The 1986 Griffin Rally organised by the Griffin MCC was held at a pub near Upper Chapel not far from Bluith Wells.
This isolated pub, I think called the Griffin, did not have mains electricity. It had a noisy old farm type single cylinder diesel engine generator in one of the outbuildings. It ran twenty four hours a day to service the freezers.
I arrived Saturday lunchtime. It had been a damp ride down but it cleared up in the afternoon.
I cannot remember a lot about the evening in the pub or even who was there.
I do remember Sunday morning. We awoke early to the sound of grenades & small arms fire. Some nice army chaps were having fun on the training area next door.
- Dave Cooper
We were meant to be going the year before, about eight members of a twelve man club. Then one by one, for various reasons, we dropped out until there was only one couple left, Glen an Shirley.
They came back to the next club meeting with tales of derring do and beer, plus a three inch tall medal. That was some rally badge, so we went to the next one in '86 only to receive a well designed badge but only one inch tall. "We over spent on them last year" we were told. Bit of a let down but not the rally itself - great stuff.
In fact we went back in '88 only to find out the pub had been taken over by a couple whose only image of bikers was the rapin' chicken kind. So being fearful (this was only days before the rally) he decided to let it go ahead, using his family as extra bar staff. The organising rally club said there was no entertainment on for the weekend. This was before we saw the landlords mother-in-law. She did her best, but filling a pint of lager then finding it was too heavy and slipped through her fingrs, four goes to find the right short never mind the right row of optics. Great stuff, all banter given and taken in good humour. So much so, the landlord was asking if we would all be back next year?
At this time I was with the Legion MCC (Hartlepool) and was on the ever faithful Cold Ethyl (later to become Ethyl, then Ethyl Too) my 550F1. There was Col, Short n Biker with me.
Yup, still do rallies tho lately on a Saturday night about 12 (bottles that is) I sometimes wonder why. Then Sunday morning, nursing a hangover, I remember.