30 Comments

  1. Doug
    6th October 2017 @ 10:34 am

    In my opinion and not that of my “club mates” is that the National Rallies have gone stale. I would personally prefer to attend to a Scooter Club Rally, where 300-500 would attend, or on overseas rally, experiencing new venues and new countries. Meeting like-minded people (same as a National Rally), but in a different place.

    I will be taking three ferries in 2018, four if I return to the Isle of Wight for the growing Lambretta Day in May. I like riding as a pair, a small group and 30 plus riders. I also ride solo at times, including overseas due to family/work commitments and breakdowns. I don’t care what people ride, it is about the people.

    The national Rallies were great in the 80s, mainly because we were in our teens and 20s. We have all evolved since then and so has the necessity to offer new destinations.

    If there was a study group, that would take the thoughts and feelings of scooterists, to find out what their thoughts were, I would love to be part of it.

    ……in the end, National Rallies are an end to a means, if they “float your boat”, you’ll always enjoy them. It’s hard to tell my wife and kids that I have booked Bridlington for 12 months time, when I have not even sorted out what we are doing for their family holiday

    I’ll see you next years on a ferry near you, whether landing at Belfast, Rotterdam, Zeebrugee, Jersey or Fishbourne – “Ride Safe”

    • mattblack
      6th October 2017 @ 9:06 pm

      I don’t like any of it. The music,the mopeds, the vans, the DJ’s, the ride there, the hungover ride home, the camping, the stalls, the patches, that’s why I’ve been doing them for 32 years.

    • Tony Bowey
      8th October 2017 @ 8:59 am

      In My opinion

      The rally venues / towns need to be changed like we had back in the day, i know lots of scooterists are bored with same places year in year out.

      Also what is happening loads of smaller clubs are having rallies at the same time of year as the nationals so people are going to these insteed because they are bored with the rallies same places and to be honest alot of the smaller rallys cost a lot less and have a much band selection and a better atmosphere

    • Ste Porter
      12th October 2017 @ 8:37 pm

      Why not try Ribble Valley Mod weekend?

  2. Matty White
    6th October 2017 @ 10:46 am

    A very good and relevant article iggy, I’ve been away from the scene for a long time and not much has changed, new blood and ideas is badly needed to inject some life into the scene in my opinion.
    One of the biggest things is people doing runs in vans with scoots in the back it’s totally against all that I stand for, the journey there and back is as much fun as the run itself- first and foremost I’m into riding- all the rest comes with it is a bonus once you get away from thstbthen you should ask yourself why your doing it.
    Much as I love the music I’ve heard those same classics over and over again there’s plenty of modern stuff that could be played.
    One thing that impressed me as a gts owner is the acceptance of modern and non vespa or lambretta based vehicles there’s an increasing feeling of elitism about the classic scoots, I had the choice of new or retro but chose new vespa as I wanted build quality reliability and good handling.
    The number ones thing is part of the problem I think- how can you move things on with a bunch of blokes in their 50’s plus. Get some of the newer generation along and ask what they would like.
    Different resorts is a good idea as I used to like going to places I’ve never been before. If its a case of just going through the motions then it will slowly die.

  3. Ady Bowler
    6th October 2017 @ 4:03 pm

    I like Matty have just returned to the scene and apart from us all being as old as gods dog nothing much has changed which did surprise me at the IOW. We are at an age that we need a few creature comforts and i for one don’t want to be using crusty old portable bogs and old shower blocks. Would like glam camping nice tents already set up with nice portable toilets and showers but enough for everyone not just the quick off the mark peeps.I would be willing to pay for this and for security patrols to make sure that these facilities were not abused and maybe toilet attendants ensuring people left them how they found them ie fit for your Mrs and kids. If it had rained on the IOW run the official camp site would have been a shit pit with no sign of plastic webbing for paths ect.. I think i will be looking around the euro scene for the future as i can’t see the changes needed happening any time soon, shame. Ady a Lambretta snob and proud of it!

  4. Jamie Lawn
    6th October 2017 @ 4:25 pm

    I totally agree. I have been to every national so far this year, and I am bored of the music in the night doos. Don’t get me wrong. I love our scene and it will always be a part of my life. But I’m thinking next year I’ll try some smaller club rallies and hopefully venture to Europe.
    The national rallies are very well run, very well organised. But you do find it’s the same music everywhere and you always have a ska cover band, a Britpop cover band or a mod cover band. It would be nice to try some of their own original tunes from these groups.

  5. Jay71
    6th October 2017 @ 5:18 pm

    In my humble opinion there are too many other events on that have taken away from the excitement of waiting on the nationals to come around. Used to love getting the letter from NSRA with the dates and venues on, then planning the year out. I’ve been living in Northern Ireland since 2010 and miss the nationals. We’ve the expense of the ferry over before you even get into rally costs. Local “rallies” are ok but feel more like a do. Social media has taken a lot of the excitement out of it for me. Facebook feeds can be an overload of small events and I end up just ignoring them as there’s only so much you can afford, or so many days off work you can get never mind family time or the money. Quality over quantity.

  6. PandemoniumRocket
    6th October 2017 @ 6:45 pm

    It has become same old same old for me.. Only enjoying rallies that I haven’t been to in ages.. I prefer the journey there and back the bit in the middle is a rest or a catch up with mates at best. I guess it is a constant headache organising these events and hats off to the boys and girls giving up their time to do it. I would like to see different locations less 2tone tribute acts and has been 80s Mod bands (they bore the shit out of me, sorry, what’s wrong with good DJs playing all genres of music. ) save the money wasted on bands and maybe reduce ticket prices or parts fair entry fee.. Good luck pleasing everybody all the time, an impossible task..

    • Spencer
      7th October 2017 @ 12:38 am

      Has been Mod bands, how very dare you Sean!

  7. Robert William Kennedy
    6th October 2017 @ 7:36 pm

    Great article. I realise it takes a lot of hard work by people to organise and put on the nationals but it would be good to have at least one new venue a year. Whitley Bay could be a good choice and I like the idea of a Lake District venue. Keep up the good work.

  8. SpliffSpeed
    6th October 2017 @ 7:48 pm

    personally I would prefer the nationals to remain just as they are, I would then continue to know exactly where I WONT be riding to on certain weekends of the year. The nationals, ALL of them have become a parody of their selves, something that I have become to despise. Those of us who have been constantly rallying for the past 30+ years have evolved with age, the nationals attract the people who have not evolved and at too many who don’t own ride or have any interest in the scooters, rather they go for the archaic music and bands on offer, or because its close enough to catch the bus there. I don’t know what other parts of the country are like but here in the midlands there are loads of places to go and get your.. northern soul, Ska, or what ever “fix” most weekends of the year, there is no need to have 90% of whats on offer at a national to also cater for this. In the distant past the bands on at rally’s were current or close to current bands, not cover bands of shit bands long since forgotten about. when VFM started its appeal was that their do’s where in nightclubs in the rally town playing current music, Yarmouth springs to mind.
    Its hard to organise rally’s I know but its not as hard as it was in the troubled years in the 80’s when scootering had a bad name and towns didn’t want us there. These days I would imagine that our seaside towns would bend over backwards to have the chance to get a boost to their economy, maybe I’m wrong?
    These days I much prefer heading to a non national and non rally destination with a load of mates ridding together and mingling in the pubs with the locals when we get there than walking around at a national wondering how the hell it came to this.

  9. Mark Dolman
    6th October 2017 @ 7:52 pm

    I to have just got back into the UK scene. Last time I was going to the rallies it was “alright mate” off everyone then the usual chit chat.. this is 1986-1997.. didn’t do “rallies” then… chose where we went.. Mersea and Brid were definates but so was The Rock &Blues and other bike dos.
    I came back into the UK national scene 2012 and to me the change is unbelievable… it’s aimed now at Mod & Northern Soul..
    What happened to Abba, The Prodigy, Jonny Cash being played… Bridlington especially as I remember was a lot of scooterist dressed as their nan putting Abba Gold on the jukebox.. singing along and maybe the odd dance…
    Another thing is “the scooter in the van” scenario… well we’re not as young as we used to be and you can’t sleep in a 2 man tent with your missus anymore… we wash, change clothes and eat better now so you can’t carry all that on
    a scooter 2 up….the scooter is still there with the owner and mates with their scooters.. It all seems a little clicky nowadays… not as friendly as it used to be or not as open/accepting….

  10. LCW01
    6th October 2017 @ 8:16 pm

    It’s what you make it. Get there meet friends, have fun. I’ve not been to rally I didn’t enjoy. There may be some elements that are a bit off nowadays, music, cars/vans, folk in daft fancy dress. But that shouldn’t put you off having fun, when the fun stops. Get off and take up another hobby

    • Spencer
      7th October 2017 @ 12:36 am

      ^^^That’s the point right there^^^

  11. Godley91
    6th October 2017 @ 9:18 pm

    Cracking article that. I’m sure it will spark some serious debate.

    You’re right in being able to predict when the rallies are going to be. I still look forward to them. I know what to expect and I know I had a belting time at last one. I’m only 26 though and not been doing as long as most so it’s not quite at that tedious stage for me yet. I did Scooterist Meltdown this year for my first riden European rally and it made me want to do more. That was another level compared to our rallies here.

    Looking forward to seeing what people have to say about this topic.

  12. paul d
    6th October 2017 @ 11:25 pm

    Still look forward to them. Only do Brid and the Isle but if I was living in England I’d do more. It was mentioned before but an agreement with local establishments whereby they finish entertainment at a reasonable time to encourage people to the official do would be a good step. I’m afraid of future legislation putting an end to our lifestyle. The nationals are the only places where club members and individuals from all over meet up and they are the only platform I can see for us to show some kind of political strength in the future if we wish to remain using our older machines. This might be the only common interest we all have at this stage. I like the fact that Brid and the Isle are constants. In our case we use the same food spots and shops every year and its good catching up with the locals. Only a small thing but I’d like to see a registration where people would write down where they’ve come from. It would be easy to plot the journeys on a map which could be shown on one of the screens say at Brid. A person could see how many if any had traveled from their area. Also it might help the organisers pick new rally towns in the future.

  13. John Whelan
    7th October 2017 @ 7:46 am

    I’d like more scooter only events. I personally don’t get “it’s about the scene” bollocks. It’s about riding scooters, and having a good time.
    New venues would be great, but I understand that alliances, or private promoters would take over that venue.
    Creating another rally on an already congested calendar. There’s plenty of soul and ska do’s. So it might be nice to
    Keep everything in one room. Play more diverse music, like VFM used to. And if people don’t like it they can do something else with their weekends.

  14. Gavin Courtney
    7th October 2017 @ 8:33 am

    You’ll never please everyone and a rally is what you make of it at the time, I’ve loved every event i’ve attended last few years and appreciate the work the organisers do just so i can let my hair down without a care in world for a couple of days.

    Personally only thing i’d like to see in a main do is a kareoke room, every pub you go in on a rally with a karekoe on is banging.

  15. Emma Vespa Cox
    7th October 2017 @ 9:25 am

    I love the rallies they have been part of my life since the 80s but as we get old some of us our bodies give in and now with chronic illnesses I can’t ride a scooter anymore so it’s blue badge for me. But scooters still in shed in the hope I might be able to ride again one day.

    I see people moaning about music which yes I totally agree with its boring now same old tunes all the time.

    But thank yourself lucky to be able to ride a scooter I miss the journey to rallies the chance you’ll meet someone along the way you know to ride with or stop at services and bump into other scooterists who are looking forward to the weekend ahead.

    And we all want new places to go to but the amount of organising and councils refusing to have us back after bad press from the 80s doesn’t help.

  16. Brooksy
    7th October 2017 @ 10:19 am

    Great article Iggy.
    Having been doing rallies for 34yrs it does wears a bit thin. I still go to local nationals but would only ride far now for the “scooter only” and lcgb type events now. Smaller and folk with the same attitude. These I love.
    But the bigger events I can take them or leave them. Full of folk more interested in the party /piss up than the riding or scooters.
    Unfortunately these same folk book up all the accommodation way in advance and take the places of the scooter riding folk. Shame but I can’t see it changing.

  17. Antony Atkinson
    7th October 2017 @ 11:06 am

    The isle of man hosts the T.T every June ,it would welcome a national rally no problem.There is a well organised rally held here every two years with numbers growing each time.The iom tourist board would be more than interested in holding a national.

  18. Laura Ann Jones-Ridgway
    7th October 2017 @ 2:25 pm

    I’ve been going rallies for years.what is the point of a number 1s meeting anymore? Would love to see a shake up this year as true sccoterists can no longer book accommodation such as Woolacombe as it’s sold out before they get to the location.
    To stop this happening the location dates should not be released until the Bridlington number ones meeting.
    Next year we have decided to go abroad more and give some of the UK rallies a miss because of booking issues.

  19. Martin Taff Evans
    7th October 2017 @ 5:42 pm

    Need new venues!
    That’s it

  20. Willo
    9th October 2017 @ 8:47 pm

    Not sure how you would prevent organisers advertising a national before the info is officially released.IOW has been on the same bank holiday forever don’t think you’d ever get away with changing that one.As for others eg Woolacombe if you decided not to have it as a national after they’ve already sold out the accomadation it would be ignored and held anyway so seems like SWSC can decide without having to consult at Brid,based on that advertising Exmouth now is a bit naughty on their part, tbh they put on great rallies so i don’t mind.Rumour has it the grand pier at Weston has been booked again for next year on the same bank holiday so there is still some decisions not announced.Scotland where else could you go that’s any good but Kelso anyway i know there are some brilliant places up there but who would actually want it to go anywhere else.
    Trying to find places that give change with help from locals is far more difficult than people think and tbh who would want to go to half of them anyway take Morcambe for instance was a great rally back in the day but i wouldn’t go in my car for day out let alone for a rally on my scooter there again.I tend to do 3 a year if i can so it doesn’t really get too boring going to a different set each year as it would 2 years since i’d done the rally previously,mix that in with a few locals or non nationals and it keeps it interesting for me.

  21. [email protected]
    11th October 2017 @ 4:29 pm

    It’s is so easy to sit there and be critical on your keyboard. As an organiser don’t you think we try to look elsewhere to do other events? Yes there are plenty of venues, but do they have the facilities you all come to expect. NO! We are not 20 years old anymore, people want a decent campsite, they want decent accommodation in town or close. With most people are bordering on 50 now, as organisers we have to cater for everyone. That what the nationals do, provide everything you want. In the south west we have looked at other venues but quite frankly there isn’t any. However, we still have a good choice of events in our area, and what we can’t do the smaller clubs fill in which is how it should be. We as an organisation will also help and promote them and we have a good spread, throughout our region. But it is the same throughout the Uk, there is a lot of variety here and throughout Europe. People haven’t had it so good really, the scooter scene is thriving. It is so easy to forget the good old days, yes they were fun, but at one stage it nearly all died because of it’s secrecy, and paranoia of certain people. When the NSRS collapsed a few of us came together when Scooter scene was at a very low point and kept it all going, and we haven’t looked back. There is so much to do now, good or bad, the fact is it is better now than it ever has been.

  22. The real raveydavey
    11th October 2017 @ 11:34 pm

    Personally avoid nationals for all the reasons mentioned in this great article. Embrace change people. Mix it up!

  23. MikeCollum
    22nd October 2017 @ 9:16 am

    Lots of interesting comments an a subject talked about many times. A few years ago Scootering Magazine requested the very same comments too see how people actually felt about the current scooter scene. VERY FEW scooterists bothered to reply!! I did, and Andy was kind enough to take my letter into the meeting at Bridlington that year. No one really paid any attention to it. I wasn’t expecting my views to completely re-arrange the whole nation rally scene, but the organizers must know that people are getting fed up with the same venues booked solid every year. I can’t help thinking that the nationals have become victims of their own success. I do wonder if the large number of car-driving parasites has become a financial necessity so that the organizers can put on a big rally again next time. Sadly, there are only two (and until this year, only one) advertised scooter only rallies available. The numbers at Strictly are quite low, but the rally is definitely one of the best of the year. I will be hoping that The York SC rally next year doesn’t clash with anything else as I wanna go. Having said that, I also wanna do Kelso again for the umpteenth time as I really love the ride there, however I would welcome a return to the Highlands. I used to ride from the south east to get to Fort William, now I ride over 300 to attend Mersea (did IOW every year from ’82 – 2015). Brid in the summer, camping up at the golf course was also one of the best. Lets mix things up a bit more and find a way of at least limiting the dedicated car-drivers…..sorry if this is a bit long-winded!!!

  24. wintermod65
    30th October 2017 @ 1:59 pm

    my issues with the nationals are with location on 2 points only 3 locations out of the 12 are less than 200 miles away and one of those has the added ferry expense of the I.O.W. even the Meltdown / dutch lions rallies are closer than most Nationals

    the other point is they are somewhat bunched geographically with 4 yorkshire / humber
    3 in devon/ somerset.

    living in east anglia im more likely to do local rallies such as Mersea , GT Yarmouth, smugglers , norfolk rally, flying 8 balls as these are financially more achievable to me and the club im in also puts on a rally / event .
    i’ve never been into the whole ska/ northern thing since i started doing rallies in 1985 although i do tolerate it, but it does wear thin and doesn’t motivate me to attend do’s ,
    so for me a ska /northern free rally would be great .

    my suggestion and this is by no means a perfectly formed one would be a two tier approach
    all coming under the umbrella of a BSRA event to avoid calender clashes and give assistance with organising where required.

    a core/number of rallies that have the ability to meet the highest level of requirements for hosting a rally can be given National status with other events meeting a less stringent level being granted “Regional Status” this might give a better distribution across the country of BSRA events and mix things up each year a bit more.
    people drive cars to rallies for all manner of reasons so lets not be too hasty to label or insult them after all some maybe testing the water ,seeing if they want to be part of the whole scooter thing and its not the most friendliest of welcomes to call them parasites.

  25. Dave Minton
    1st November 2017 @ 9:14 am

    Personally think the rallies need to change to different places as it’s very boring going to the same places for years and personally think I. O.W is a rip off.

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