The 1987 report appeared some 26 years ago in Rally Review Magazine, but has been edited for this release.
I thought that rallyists were made of sterner stuff! Apparently I was wrong because, despite 270-odd pre-bookers, only 100-ish braved the elements to get to the 7th GPO Rally near Milton Keynes, and a lot of those paid on the gate! Just because of a little rain.
For those of you who don't already know, GPO stands for - Generally Pissed Off. Most of us who were there re-named it Generally Pissed ON.
Despite horrendous traffic on the London Orbital Car Park (M25), and Great North Contraflow (M1), we, being Pete and myself from my erstwhile club Telstar BC in Guildford, got there fairly early. Well, they hadn't got the toilet tents up, or the stage for the disco, or the generator running properly, or even set up control but who needs these luxuries anyway? To be fair, when they were set up and/or running properly, they were up to the usual high standard of the Barrel Bikers. While waiting for the control to get ready, and in between showers, we set up our tents by what seemed to be a ditch, with a bit of mud at the bottom.
The disco on Friday night was extremely annoying - the DJ insisted on talking all through most of the records - and VERY loud, (even back in my tent the music was quite loud). They had some silly games though, which tried to make up for it.
Saturday morning arrived with a splat. The ditch behind our tents had turned into a river, and was in danger of breaking its banks and washing several tents away. We squelched around the marquee for a bit, (I don't think anybody went on the run), then myself, Pete and Simon from Bath MCC, hit on the idea of walking to the pub in the village.
We were not allowed in, so we squelched back to the field.
We tried to build a dam to stop our own little river overflowing. I don't think it would have worked, but the rain slowed down enough to lower the water level anyway.
The games were held in the marquee, due to the rain. Some of them had to be modified slightly to fit, example - blow-up doll throwing instead of crank/engine/breakfast or whatever. Great fun all the same, even if the Hastings and Rother did win most of the trophies. (They did provide the doll though).
On Saturday night the disco had a different DJ, a vast improvement, but still a bit loud even for me. More silly games gave us a giggle, and the band, too were very good, but I can't remember their name.
Round about eleven, the club actually managed to light the bonfire! Quite soon most people were standing around it getting warm for perhaps the first time that whole weekend.
On Sunday morning guess what the weather was doing? Correct, brilliant sunshine! Typical! Even so, the prolonged rain had affected some of the bikes, mine included, but I think most people managed to fix the faults themselves. That reminds me, I owe Simon a pint for the jump-starts.
The entrance was the expected mud bath, but nobody fell over while I was there - boring! Still, all things considered, those who didn't turn up at all missed a fairly good rally. Maybe not the best, but well worth the ticket price.
- Phil (the Spill) Drackley