Far From Sirius Rally

14th July 1989 - UFO's MCC

I don't know how far from Sirius Plumpton is, but it wasn't all that far from Spill HQ in Surrey.

Once there, it took a while to find the racecourse, where the rally was sited, but it was a nice warm day, so that was no real hardship. I was bemused, shortly after arrival, when a club was installing a barrel of beer in a small tent in their cluster. It turned out that this was a Morris Troop, (possibly the Royal Liberty Morris Men, but don't quote me on that), and this was part of their payment for the entertainment this weekend.

The bar was based in a shed/hut, which was likely used by VIPs or 'members' at race meetings, and there was some seating inside, but it was quite warm enough to sit around outside. Not trusting the weather remaining fine, one club had brought a large tarpaulin with them, and had it raised on poles over their machines and some tents.

Saturday was, if anything, even warmer than the Friday had been. I don't know if there had been run outs arranged, but most people stayed on site relaxing in the summer sun. One of the organisers was performing some stunts with his kite, but he was probably just enjoying his hobby rather than doing it for our entertainment.

The throwing contest was arranged with throwers standing in a box, rather than being allowed to preface their attempts with massive runs-up. There were likely other games, but neither I nor my camera can recall them.

Shortly thereafter, the Morris troop started up. This troop prefer waving pick-axe handles and spanners to pigs' bladders, or such, but still retain bells on their legs and wave hankies.

As the evening drew on, rally virgins got stripped of clothing and covered in messy substances before the bar opened in the shed/hut.

In a while the Morris Men turned out again, this time dressed as policemen, and were waving (plastic) wooden clubs around in place of truncheons. All good fun.

Later on, there was a huge, (but mostly unneeded), bonfire, which a few people walked through, as quite often happens.

I seem to recall Sunday was even hotter than the preceding days, and the ride home, after an exhausting packing-up, was a delight.

- Phil Drackley