SWSC Warmwell scooter rally | RALLERY
After a busy season riding through much of Europe, as far afield as Spain and Andorra, the 140-mile ride from Kent to Dorset for South West Scooter Clubs end of season rally seemed no more than a ride around the corner.
Having just got the GTS back from the mechanics after the front drive pulley seized on the way to Bridlington and numerous other breakdowns prior to that, I did ask myself, could I make it to this rally without a breakdown? The usual pre-rally banter about my infamous Sat Nav and comments about the AA being on standby had already started. So with the scooter cleaned and packed we took the all too familiar A3 to Portsmouth and then the M27 through the new forest and arrived at Warmwell Holiday Park by early afternoon, cold but ready to enjoy what was going to be a great weekend of entertainment and fun. Oh and with no more than a blown headlamp bulb!
There you are deer
For those that haven’t been to this rally, the holiday camp is situated within a woodland park with wood cabins set amongst fir trees and three large lakes and you will see the odd wild deer roaming around. There are great facilities on site, indoor pool, restaurant, takeaway, shop and a really nice venue, which hosted all the entertainment for the weekend. On top of that and for those that want something a bit different to what you’d normally do on a scooter rally weekend, there’s a dry ski slope towards the back of the park.
SWSC’s Doug & Mark were on top form giving the wristbands out. I had the programme of events, a nice collection of stickers, (one being their 20th Anniversary sticker) and I purchased my rally T-shirt. So, for now, it was straight to the bar to warm up and see some friends.
Afterwards, having checked into the chalet, the first priority was to fill the fridge with booze leaving just enough space for a bottle of milk. Time to put the club banner up, the music on and start drinking. As the drinks were flowing, one by one we all started to get ready for the evening and we were still laughing about the prank we pulled earlier on. A couple of club members had arrived late to find all the lights out, with the rest of the club hiding in the cupboards, stupid I know but it is all about the banter.
Chuck another Shrimp on the barbie
Once we’d arrived at the venue it was already packed out, the drinks were flowing and the dancing in both rooms was well underway. Some say Friday nights are the best and everyone was certainly enjoying themselves with clubs and riders from all over chatting, drinking and dancing, which created one big party atmosphere. The Mighty Shrimps entertained the crowd in the main room with some familiar ska and 2 tone tracks and the dance floor was buzzing.
After their last few tunes they announced that this gig was to be their last, so whatever their reasons they are to call it a day, I think they certainly went out on a high.
With the DJ continuing after the band, we made our way to the Soul room with DJ’s Emma Cox and Dave Lloyd spinning the decks. After a load of dancing and too much drink I staggered back and could have done without the barricade of the garden tables etc. being put in front of the chalet door so I couldn’t get in!
The next day begins and we managed to drag ourselves up to the parts fair. Unfortunately, I was a bit the worse for wear so didn’t make the ride-out to Quiddles Beach Bar on Portland, which was led by the Lowriders Scooter Club. Instead, we soldiered on to see The Skones for a lunchtime afternoon set and a few Guinness’s to settle the stomach. Before long it was time to get back to the chalet to get ready to go out and do it all again (am I getting too old for all this?)
Of Corsairs a band on!
Having organised rallies myself I know that very rarely does everything run as smoothly as you’d hope and SWSC certainly had a problem when their Saturday evening band the GTs, had to pull out of their live set that evening due to illness. To find a replacement band within a few hours isn’t ever going to be easy but they did it and The Corsairs stepped in at the last minute. The evening’s entertainment was again a great success and in the end, it ran like clockwork and no-one was any the wiser but what a headache that must have caused to SWSC. These things happen and they did a great job by getting another band in at such short notice.
With another brilliant night nearly over Dave Lloyd signed off with an absolute classic tune, Tribute by Bob Sinclair and everyone was jumping up and down with their hands in the air, just as the track was telling them to do! Great night and certainly a tribute to Andy Greenslade, Stuart Lanning and all at SWSC for putting on yet another awesome Warmwell Rally.
With only a few stragglers left and after being rugby tackled to the ground by Stewart Rapp (thanks Andy for helping us both up again), it was time to go. After a half hour walk back to the chalet, (that should have taken five minutes), I was once again met with another barricade into our chalet, are they trying to tell me something?.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay on for the Sunday and the club’s party night with the promise of soul to psychobilly, punk to disco and ska to Christmas tunes, but by all accounts, we missed another great night. It was a cold ride home, but what do you expect mid-November? On a positive note, it was great to find no garden furniture barricading my front door once we got home.
Thanks to all the SWSC for yet another great rally, we’ll certainly be back again and don’t forget the dates are changing to the last weekend in November for 2018, so book early as this rally always sells out fast!
Words: Mark, Big 7 Scooter Club
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