Portsmouth RallyPortsmouth Rally 1974 organised by the Porsmouth & Dist MCC
or "Hello sailor"
or Snuffies yer man!
This was during the time of my hanging around with Steve Porter, Pete Birkitt, Neil Avery and "Pete the Snuff". God we got through some ale then. Pete Birkitt owned a solid rear ended A10 combo of around 1948/9 vintage. The front of the sidecar was painted and lined to look like a "Park Drive" packet and was known as the Park Drive Special but as it happened Pete and Neil couldn't make it so it's just Snuffie, Steve and myself, ES2 Norton, A10 combo and TriBSA "Super Frog" combo respectively.
We set off early and made our way slowly south towards Portsmouth. The first problem was I ran out of cigarettes on the south coast and after going into several newsagents and petrol stations found that it was impossible to find Park Drive cigarettes anywhere as one retailer told me "Too working class, no demand for them." I just liked the taste (I stopped smoking 14 years ago).
We eventually got to the campsite and put Steve's tent up after signing in. It's "What do we do now?" Well it is Portsmouth, home of the navy. Let's go have a look around. So we ended up in this queue to have a look around HMS VICTORY. You've just got to do it, NELSON and all that. So we do the tour around the ship, a lot of taking the p--s going on from us, the guides not batting an eyelid. The tour ends at a small gift shop on board the ship, maps, badges, trinkets, coasters, dolls, post cards etc. I've no interest and likewise neither has Steve, but Snuffie's loitering (a danger sign). Most of our crew of visitor have now gone after getting their VICTORY tea towels.
Behind the counter of the gift shop is a young girl of about 17 and an older woman 50ish. Me and Steve want to go, the pubs are still open, Snuffie wants to play up. He approaches the young girl and asks her slowly, totally dead pan "Have you any post cards of naked nude ladies with no clothes on?" Steve and me were doubled up, this young girl flushed up and walked over to the older woman and recounted the request. The lady came over to Snuffie "Yes sir, may I help you?" and he said the same request for post cards of naked nude ladies with no clothes, on rolling his eyes in the serious Snuffie mode. "No sir, we don't have those. Have you tried the shops in the town?" "Can I get them there?" "Yes sir." As we leave Steve and myself have trouble walking. Snuffie never cracked a smile until we got back to the bikes. We got back to the rally site and found our way into a local pub for the evening session.
Next morning, all nursing hangovers caused by expensive foul southern beer, we had a bite to eat and set off towards Sailsbury Plain to have a look at Stonehenge and from there on to Bristol and the M5 back home. We called in at Michael Wood services for fuel and a coffee and Snuffie was up for it again. He stopped one of the table clearing girls and spun her a tail that he was starving and couldn't afford to buy any food and that he hadn't eaten for three days and he would be very grateful if she found any choice left-overs. Could she find it in her to bring them over to him? Within 5 minutes she came over with a half eaten plate of fish, chips and peas. Snuffie picked a chip up and bit it in half and then started to complain loudly that the food was cold! Steve and I were doubled up. We left quickly before they had a chance to throw us out.
At one of the Potters Phoenix Rallies Snuffie bought the pub landlord a double, spun him a line and finished up drinking from the drip trays all night. You never knew what Snuffie was going to do.Les Hobbs