Piston Broke Rally
27th May 1983 - Wheelwrights MCC
This was held in Marshbrook, Shropshire and not, as I discovered, Marshbrooke, which was some miles away.
In common with many other Piston Brokes, the evenings' festivities took place in the nearest pub, which was usually within staggering distance of the camping area. In this case it was just across a car park. Unlike other Piston Brokes, this one was held on a Bank Holiday Weekend. More potential fun for us, but more work, (and potential expense), for the organisers. This could have been the reason the Friday night was quieter than other rallies, not a bad thing in a pub of this size.
Saturday was the day most people arrived, in a steady stream and not a mad rush. There was general larking about in the camping area and the car park, and then we all piled into the pub again for the evening.
On Sunday most people went riding about the area, but I did not bother, as I was determined to just get a rest, and the long ride to Shetland was planned in a couple of weeks time, so I was saving pennies.
Apparently, the time most people had left the site was the time the organisers checked out all the bikes for the awards. Seemed a bit strange to me. In the evening though, when the trophies were awarded, I found that I won the Long Distance award and Grot Bike! I am pretty sure other bikes there would have won that if they hadn't been out in the afternoon but, for some reason, Grot Bike is not an award many people are looking for, so nobody complained. (I know these days it is one of the prized trophies, but it seemed to not be quite so popular in the 80s.) I maintain that my XJ was just a bit dirtier than the other bikes on site. The ALFA4-1 exhaust may have made it look a bit odd, especially with the fantail deflector jubilee-clipped to the rear end, to stop the throw over panniers getting melted, but not really grotty enough for a trophy, surely? I thought they made a mistake with the long distance as well, but they were sure I deserved that one.
Along with the rest of us that were able to make use of the extra day off, I left for home on Monday morning, and had a mostly uneventful ride home. There was a point at which I realised the Fantail had parted company with the exhaust, and part of one of the panniers did, indeed, get a bit melted, but enjoyable apart from that.
- Phil (the Spill) Drackley