During its first year of existence the 'Surrey Section of the Yamaha Owners Club' decided that the name was a bit of a mouthful and was going under the guise of the 'Mitsui Diehards' (Mitsui being the official importers of Yamaha into the UK.) We were also associating with the Epsom & District club (EMDC), who were a club local to where the Diehards met and so it came to pass that a collection of members from both clubs went to the Guildford Rally.
Although I only lived 10 miles from Guildford, I had no idea there was such an active club there, especially as it was in deepest Surrey. I was also unaware of the club side of motorcycling, having belonged to only the one club thus far. Following the SMIDSY a couple of weeks previously, I was still running in my fifth bike, a rather clean Yamaha XJ650, which was astonishingly quick for its size.
Evidence of our not-at-all-hard credentials was provided by one of the Epsom draftees, known for his cry of 'Cuppa-Tea' instead of the more usual 'Fag Break' that signalled stops in the middle of club runs, turned up straight from work in a suit and tie under his Belstaffs. At least he changed into an army-surplus style jumper for the duration. I am probably not best qualified to pass comment, as I still didn't have a leather jacket by that time.
Friday night consisted partly of a rebuild-the-front-of-an-RD250-by-torchlight game, which is best done before a few hours in the beer tent. After the beer, two members decided to find out which of their air horns was the louder, one decide to try sending messages by Morse code, the other just keeping his finger on the button, until marshals came over and put a stop to it.
On Saturday, there was a ride out to join up with a 'Save Triumph' march in London. This was the time of the Meriden Triumph Co-operative, which was having financial troubles (as it always did). I think it did not help that the chant (Give us a 'T'; give us a 'R'; give us a 'U'; give us an 'I') fizzled out as people realised something had gone wrong somewhere.
Anyway, a petition was duly handed over to the cleaner, or some other disinterested person at No.10 and we headed back to the field.
The rest of the day progressed much at evenings do at rallies. Drinking, much music and dropping of trousers seemed to be the order of the day.
And that was how my second rally ended. I think I was hooked by now.
- Phil the Spill