Bluebell Rally (Scottish)
Not to be confused with the original Bluebell held in Sussex by the Hailsham MCC.The Scottish Bluebell organised by Strathgriffe MCC, was held at Strathyre for 21 years (taking over the former site of the Thistle Rally when it moved)
The first one I did was 98, the final one at Strathyre, and I had nothing to do with them loosing the site!!
The rally was spread over the three pubs, The Munro, The Ben Shean and The Inn. All went well on Friday night and was a great reminder of some excellent times spent in Strathyre at the Thistle. Saturday was spent (after a late start!) with a ride down to Aberfoyle and a tour of the Trossachs. Then, feeling energetic I managed to walk to the top of Ben Shean (the mountain not the pub!) with Stuart "Henry" Todd.
After all that exertion it was pub time so it was on to the Inn to see about some food and start the evening "session".
As soon as we walked in we could tell that trouble was brewing. A group of young locals (well non rally people) had obviously been in there all day, watching the footie and playing pool. Things were getting a bit boisterous! We decided that the food would be better at the Munro, (cowards!). We were proved right later on when we heard that fighting had started. They were out in the road brawling and that things were moving our way!
Time to retreat again. (Brave? No; but at least I still have all my own teeth!)
There was a Disco on in the Village Hall down the road towards the rally site so I took refuge there just before a policeman appeared at the door and refused to let anybody in or out. They were dealing with the fighting but didn't want any more people involved.
I had a conversation later with the policeman on the door and he told me that they had closed the other pubs and were moving people back to the site. Most people in the hall never realised what was going on, as not many wanted to leave before the bar shut! The policeman asked me what we did at rallies (other than drink!) I told him I had been out for a ride on the bike and been walking on the hills. He said it made a change to actually talk to a hiker and a motorcyclist as they normally only dealt with the dead ones! Not sure whether he was joking!
I ended up having a good night as I had met up with some friends from the Rossendale Club and, as we couldn't leave the bar even if we wanted to, we just got on with trying to drink it dry!
When we were allowed back to the site, other than a bit of shouting here and there it was all over.
On Sunday morning the only problem was getting the bike off site. The exit is uphill and on to a main road. All round the gate was deep mud. I just got the bike lined up and went for it, but ended up bogged down. I am truly sorry for spraying several "pushers" with mud on my way out!
The road back towards Sterling is superb and in years gone by could be done at an enthusiastic speed, but now, particularly on Sundays it is strictly patrolled, so it is best not to get too carried away!
I also went to the rally a couple of years later, when it was held at Blackness Castle, just east of the Forth Bridge. The camping was along the shore and you had a fine view of the road bridge. I think I only stayed Friday as I was on my way further North to the Crann Tarra Rally.
- Ted Trett