I always like to do this rally, it's such a good event irrespective of which site is used.This year it was held at the Palmer Flatts and I set off on the Friday to make it a three day event. Last year I had missed seeing some old friends as they had done the Friday night and left on the Saturday morning before I arrived ... perhaps they had heard I was coming.
I set off around mid-day and with less than five miles covered the heavens opened. I stopped to put on my rain suit and you can guess as soon as I'd got it on, it stopped. Typical. I didn't put it on before leaving as it was hot, now its on and I'm not going to stop to take it off. M6 up to J37 turn right and straight on. As I turned off the motorway I could see that I was following a big black cloud to the east and as I made my way along the road I could see the standing water on the road and the swollen streams flowing towards me. I must have crossed the summit of the Pennines as after a short while I noticed that the water was now flowing the other way. I pressed on to Aysgarth and the rally site to be greeted by Steve Giddens and George Perrin, sat outside the pub pints in hands. My Vango Force Ten tent was soon pitched end to end with George's and we headed back to the pub.
Around 5 o'clock we headed back to the tents for a superb spaghetti that George had brought with him followed by more beer outside the pub, due mainly to the crap person providing the "entertainment". It was all done on a computer with him trying to sing. This was organised by the new landlord of the pub and not the Dean Valley Club.
Just after midnight we withdrew to the tents for curry and rice. Another fine meal was it not for the blasted midges. The only sound you could hear was the waterfall at the side of the field. The temperture dropped during the night and I had to reach for my jacket to cover my shoulders.
The morning came bright and clear and the pub had left the doors open for the toilets and washing facilities. Hot drinks were provided free by the Dean Valley Club all weekend, thanks. Breakfast was cooked and eaten and the washing up done. Steve and George had made up their minds to go for a ride out and I cried off as I was having problems with the handling on the BMW, which later proved to be an underinflated front tyre.
So as the lads went off I had a walk down to the falls and an ice cream followed by a walk around the rally field. Lots of old faces, nice to see them. John and Christene Flitney, Sid and Christine Beaumont, Dave Honneyman, Ted Trett, Alan and Sylvia Giddens and many others. I was sat outside the pub in the sunshine when George and Steve came back on one bike. Steve's Kawasaki had had a front wheel puncture that had scrapped the tyre, he was lucky to have held it. [see Steve's own account lower down]
Well we certainly know how to eat. Tea was a tasty chilli con carne with rice followed by enough beer for ten men. We found a spot in the pub to stand and chat and finished up cooking more chicken curry in the early hours after tripping over nearly every guy rope in the field.
All in all a great weekend. George went home to Wales, I went home to Wolverhampton and Steve went home with Carole Nash.
- Les Hobbs
The usual Friday lunchtime blast from Oldham to Aysgarth in the fabulous Yorkshire Dales, via Halifax and Skipton.
- Steve Giddens
Nice to read about old friends and their antics