Brass Monkey RallyReport from Les Hobbs about this rally on the south coast in Hampshire
Well I did 2 of these and despite the name they were not cold. In fact the 1975 rally it rained on the Saturday night. I can distinctly remember waking up Sunday morning and finding the frying pan full of water and having to bail a couple of gallons of water out of the tent. That particular incident spelt the end of the road for the blow up igloo tent that I had about 4 years. The idea was good, but after a couple of years it started to leak and I couldn't stop it or the ridicule being heaped upon me. It was bulky, heavy and you had to carry a foot pump. The wind would try and blow it down so I used to try and find a tree to tie it to. You would wake to find yourself being smothered by 15 square yards of material and trying to find the door then having to pump the thing up at 3 in the morning in your underpants or try and find something to use as a pole. It was easier to buy a new tent.
1974 rally. Geoff Fulford and his then girlfriend Joyce came around to my parents house just as I was finishing my breakfast. He was a little early so we all had a cup of coffee and as I was just strapping the tent to the bike, my mother asked Joyce if she needed to use the toilet. Not the kind of thing us blokes think about. So off Joyce trots to the bog while I get my gear on. I asked Geoff if he was tanked up to which he said full.
Right, off we go, 180 miles - 9 am, BMW R90/6, Triumph Tiger 100, should be there around 12.30. So we get of the estate and onto the A4123 heading towards Birmingham dual carriageway. Three miles later I look in the mirror, no Geoff so I pull over.
We had just come over Burnt Tree Island, Dudley and I couldn't see it, it was just over the rise. Now Geoff had told me he had a full tank so he's not filling up at the petrol station by the island, and he was what you could call accident prone so he's dropped it. Lets go back. So I turned at the next set of lights and went back to find Geoff on the forecourt, not filling up but waiting for Joyce.
She needed the toilet again, and again at Statford on Avon, and again at Abingdon, and again at Newbury, and again just out side Winchester. She's a gold medal contender if they ever make it an Olympic event and she wasn't even pregnant.
We eventually made the rally site around 13.00 so it didn't work out too bad. We had time for the customary pint or two and there was some silly games going on, the winner getting a half pint bottle of beer. A normal good nights drinking and chatting with old friends, a uneventful drive home when Geoff finally managed to get out of his tent.
1975 rally. this year I traveled down alone and met up with the lads down there.
There was quite a few lads from the Manchester area; Tony Cormack, Allan Giddens, Alan Barclay, Dave Wood, and others.
On the night time in the pub someone dragged a half yard of ale glass out and the competition was on. The winner, if I remember correctly, got a crate of (24) half pint bottles. Second place got half a crate (12 half pint bottles) and third place was 6 half pint bottles. There were quite a few of the regulars there including Roger Halfyard and his cousin Kelvin Clouting along with his younger brother and some others from the Hackney area of London.
Next thing you know we are going at it with a purpose having several turns getting quicker. First place, then second, then third, then another go back in first place again, then second, then third then out of the running, then another go back in first place then I think I'll just nip out side for a breath of air.
Strange stuff that fresh air. It made me feel quite strange. I must of had just a bit too much of it. I think I'll just lie down for a moment, 9.30pm and I'm out of it. Next thing you know I've got a splitting headache (that bloody fresh air again) and it's daylight and people are asking me "what happened to you last night? Nobody could find you. You got the second fastest time in the half yard of ale."
"Who won?" and "Great where is my half crate of beer?"
"Roger Halfyard won and said he'd look after it for you."
By the time I got to Roger and Kelvin's tent it was evident that there was not going to be a lot left. I came away with just one bottle.
Still we'd all had a great time.
- Les Hobbs
1980 rally reported by Dave Ranger who found a novel excuse for getting plastered.
This rally (which is still being held today) is Solent MCC's winter rally.
- Dave Ranger
2010 rally reported by Graeme 'Ritchie' Cunningham who suffered a slapping from his tent.
I was invited to the 2010 Brass Monkey, which was being held in Fort Purbrook overlooking Portsmouth, by Andy Brown of the Solent MCC. Myself and few other members from the Royal British Legion Riders were invited probably as Andy is a member too.
- Graeme 'Ritchie' Cunningham
I was recruited into the Solent MCC in 1972 by Graham Cooper, at Fareham Tech where we both studied. I attended the Guilford Rally later that year on my BSA A10 Super Rocket. Graham (350 Yam\') and Dave Gladstaines (Fast back Commando) also went. Great fun, beer, dancing etc.
- Tony Smith
As reported in the Solent Club History by Graham Cooper.