Memba Rally and BMF Show - May 1996
I wasn't up at the club when the sec asked for names for BMF Memba Rally tickets so he didn't get me any. This was especially annoying as Gissele wanted to go, (her first rally!). However, Neville came to the rescue with an exhibitor's pass for myself and then Peter North had to drop out, which enabled me to get one for Gissele, so at least we could get into the show on Saturday morning, (for free, as well!) and camp there overnight and get into the Memba enclosure for £5 on Saturday night, if only for a few hours.
We couldn't leave until about 7:30pm due to work commitments, so it was dark when we finally turned up at Ian's place, the others having spent the evening down the pub. We had eaten en route, but the others had been unable to get any food, so Ian had gone out to a local chippy for them.
On Saturday we had to get up early as we were supposed to get in and set up at the showground before noon. Ian, Neville, and Gissele went in Ian's car, while John & Brian Tedman and myself went on our bikes. The car arrived first, as the bikes were in need of petrol so when the bikes got there the tent was already in the process of being put up. After several moves and studies of the site map, it was eventually decided where the boundaries of our area were and which corner was suitable for the club tent. There was just enough room for my own behind it.
The club tent was going to house Ian. Nev, Brian, John and Dewi. Gissele & I preferred our privacy (and our airbed, as the ground was rock-hard). But the weather! A couple of weeks ago I was at the Necromancer rally in Barnet where the weather was incredible, (well, on Saturday, at least). It was as hot as any summer rally I have been on, I even got a little sunburnt. At the BMF, the conditions were appalling! 'Scattered showers' they said, they didn't say scattered around the East of England Showground.
The others didn't want to pay the £5 extra when they had enough beer with them already, so only Gissele and myself went over into the Memba. The food prices were more reasonable here and the quality of the Chinese food available was far superior! Gissele was amazed when several guys climbed the poles, flashed their bums (and other bits) to the crowd and then climbed down - at least there was no repeat of the drunkard dropping from the cross-beam and nearly killing himself this year.
After standing round the bonfire for a while and listening to the music for a bit, we made our way back to the Club stand. Apparently the combined effect of three snorers and Neville having eaten chilli that afternoon made it rather unpleasant in the club tent for Ian.
I was awoken by the noise of the rain really coming down sometime early in the morning, but I was too tired to notice the time.
The wind on Sunday was almost gale force! While helping the others taking the club tent down I was hit on the head by a waxed-cotton coat blown down from the clothing stall nearby. I was quite prepared to hide the coat until they stopped looking for it and then claim it as my own, but seeing the stall-holder searching for his stock, one of our number said; "There's one over here, mate!" (I hadn't checked the size, mind you - it probably wouldn't have fit me).
The weather certainly stopped the scheduled parachute drop, but the Flying Gunners were as good as ever. The only really annoying thing about the whole weekend was that I had left my chequebook at home, so I couldn't buy anything, bargain prices or not!
- Phil (the Spill) Drackley