Over the last few years a lot of people have moaned that we just seem to have the same old rallies in the same old tired places and it was in danger of becoming boring. In an effort to shake things up, last year the South West Scooter Clubs decided to try a new venue for a pre-season scooter rally. They opted for Teignmouth in South Devon, about 15 miles south of Exeter.
Being a pre-season rally they found an all in one campsite with a mixture of chalets and campervans. It was a great success so I was eagerly looking forward to this year’s return trip. In fact after last years success it was no surprise to learn it had very quickly sold out and in the run up to it lots of people were posting requests to see if anyone could squeeze someone else in their chalet/caravan.
The site is just across the river from Teignmouth itself and is a lovely site, crisply clean and has a bar, a restaurant and a chippy with two further venue rooms and a bar for the main events. Another thing I liked was that they weren’t ripping you off at the bar. It was still under £4 a pint, only a few pence more than the Weatherspoon’s down town.
Anyway bags packed and strapped to the scooter with my missus on the back I listened to the BBC weather reports and decided I wouldn’t need waterproofs. Now I gotta remind you the National weather centre is at Exeter only 15 miles away and they just spent £300 million on it. I could say they could’ve just looked out the f##king window….yes well just past Exeter it started to rain and I found out it only takes a few minutes to become soaked to the skin without your waterproofs.
I arrived slightly damp and happy to find that strange whineing noise I had heard on the way down was not the scooter but had been my darling wife. It soon became obvious that a lot of people had taken the Friday off work, as there were loads of scooters on site when I got there at 5pm and it was quickly filling up. I got changed and with the wife and a few others from the Confederates SC headed down towards a pub near the bridge over to Teignmouth that was supposedly having a happy hour. Cheap beer always makes me happy and this set the scene for the rest of the night.
Being the first real event for many people in 2017 there was loads of hugging that night, it was almost emotional to see so many baldy headed middle aged blokes embracing each other so much. Who says scootering is unfriendly? That night in the main venue hall The ReOffenders played a great set and everyone had a great night and there was a separate Northern Soul room to keep everyone happy. I eventually ping ponged back to our caravan about 2am but some people partied on till nearly breakfast.
The next day after a cuppa and a bacon sarnie I was ready to face the world, the on site restaurant was doing a rip-roaring trade in brekkies and nearby on an all weather court the custom show and a few dealers were setting up. Soon two poor fools were sent to judge the custom show, a thankless task that wins you few friends and more than a few enemies.
It’s a small rally so it was no surprise that a few classy scooters stole the show and with it being the South West it seemed appropriate that a scooter dedicated to cider got best of show. Here’s to Rattler! Another stand out was ‘Why be Normal’ a chopped, cut down auto engine beasty but if you want to talk about real beasts there was a Lammie GP from Bristol with a truly beastly Honda 600cc engine grafted on.
Later on about twoish the band The Surfin Turnips did a gig in the site pub and they were a great little act, sort of a west country indie punky outfit with a bit of the Wurzels thrown in. They even did a song about cider. That done we headed into town and found it is a great little place and naturally ended up in the locals Spoons, which was full of scooterists…no surprise there then.
The weather as it had done before was a mixture of very sunny spells but every so often a thundercloud and belting shower would sweep through, soaking anyone caught out by it. We were told the local cab firms were loving the rally and were fully booked up for several hours in advance, which again proves scooter Rallies are money spinners for the local economy. That evening there were several fiftieth birthday pissups in chalets/caravans etc. Including Dave Lloyd, although I don’t believe Shelley is fifty. Forty perhaps?
That evening there was again the main hall and the Northern Soul room at the venue. The Killertones played the main room, the dance floors were full and I stayed by the bar with the usual suspects. A great night was had by all and I reluctantly left the do when it started to wind down in the early hours, a great end to a great night/weekend/rally.
Overall I gotta say this rally is an excellent little rally, it’s a fairly small site and was probably attended by about 600 to 700 scooterists in all. I must say thanks to Andy and Stu and all the guys and gals who work at it and helped to make it such a success. I’ve just read that since last years rally, Teignmouth came fourth overall in the UK and first in the South West for best up and coming towns and places to visit and move to by the Sunday Times. So that shows hosting a scooter rally is good news for your town these days and on that I will leave you.
Custom show results
Best of Show: Rattler
Best Lambretta: AF ‘S’ Type
Best Vespa: Blue PX (MX03 TXE)
Best Streetracer: AF ‘S’ Type
Best Engineered: Lammie/Honda 600
Best Cutdown/Chopper: Why Be Normal
Best Restoration: Red LD Lammie
Best Paint: Rattler
Best Mural: Rattler
Best Auto: Why Be Normal
Words and photos: Bill Mac