1st Prowlers Party 23 October 1981
This rally was quite close to me and didn't require any motorway driving (or so I thought). This was handy as I was travelling alongside an old school friend, whose chosen steed was a Royal Enfield (made in India) Bullet 250 - a vintage-British-styled machine, not capable of much in the way of speed. This was preferable, as the brakes were not up to much.
Scaring a horse or two on the way, we made our way to the designated site, not far from the A40 near Denham in Hertfordshire, only to be met by an organiser who told us that the land-owners (council) had decided they didn't want a mass of 'airy bikers polluting their nice park, and we were given more directions to the actual field, just outside Chandler's Cross, a good ten miles away, overlooking the M25 construction works. We couldn't help wondering if the organisers used the name 'Party' instead of 'Rally' in order to sneak into better class sites.
When we got to the field, it looked like it had been snowing, but this proved to be just chalky soil exposed by ploughing. The marquee was a not-too-large army tent, which soon filled up, leading to many people talking around bonfires that had sprung up around the site.
One of the encampments closer to the marquee was composed of members of the Barrel Bikers MCC, whose GPO Rally I had attended earlier in the year, so I spent my time nattering into the night with them, my own tent being on the far side of the field. I managed to secure an invite to their early Xmas disco, so that was worthwhile.
Saturday was a little chillier, but still not as bad as the appearance of the ground suggested. The local pub was popular as were the afternoon games, and we were soon packed into the marquee again for the evening.
The wet T-shirt contest was popular as well, with the lack of water being purely for the benefit of the participants, the organisers not wanting anyone to get a chill in the cool night. The night proceeded much as usual for an event of this nature, if a little bit more crowded than we would have liked.
There were stories that a group of 'heavies' claimed ownership of a bonfire and charged people, including those who had built it, a beer to sit around it, backed up with threats of violence but I never saw this at the fires I visited on the way back to my tent that night.
- Phil (the Spill) Drackley