Simmer Dim Rally
5th Simmer Dim Rally 17th-20th June 1986
It couldn't last, could it? (The weather I mean) On the Sunday I left home, it was far too hot and sunny, and as we all know that is not the weather usually associated with going to rallies.
I met up with Neli and Snapper from my erstwhile club, ABC from Colney Heath, at Toddington Services and we headed North, stopping at a farm somewhere, (don't ask me,- I wasn't navigating), where we were welcome to set up our tents, just inside the gates. The farmer's wife even brought us tea and biscuits in the morning!
Monday was hot too, except when we got to Edinburgh, (via Jedburgh, to see Mary Queen of Scots house), and then it got a fair bit cooler and darker. In fact by the time we got to once favoured overnight camping stop at Kinross services, it was trying its best to rain. It managed to rain quite a lot that night and all the next day and night.
By Wednesday we were in Aberdeen and took the chance to look around the shops before loading the bikes onto the ferry. That having been done, we still had several hours before the boat left - guess where we went? The pub across the road, of course!
At this point I feel I should give a mention to Sleepy MCC who arrived dressed in pyjamas over their leathers and stayed in them throughout the rally.
The Aberdeen - Lerwick ferry crossing was, as usual, 'bracing', which was relieved by those who felt it with vast quantities of brown liquid. Tea and coffee, probably.
At the rally site everybody arrived, said their hellos to the locals, put up their tents and waited for the bar to open. People who had been to all five Simmer Dims got an extra badge as well as the usual very distinctive S.D. rally badge.
The now infamous Boot party soon got a lot of people very, very drunk and quite a lot missed the first nights entertainment which included that quite well known Glasgow band 'The Haemorrhoids', who I had read about here and there but never seen live. I was impressed enough to buy their record! Note: it is not usually a good idea to buy a 12" LP if you are going to have to transport it home after a rally, especially if a) you don't have the space for it or b) you have over 500 miles to travel.
I crashed out at about 2am and missed Alison from Birkenhead doing her topless dance all through the hall, this won her the 'Game For A Laugh' award, and probably well earned too!
Friday's excursion trip round part of the islands included a coach trip through Sullom Voe oil terminal. They wouldn't give us any 20/50, no matter how much we asked.
During the lunch included in the cost of the rally my camera broke! This year I didn't bring a spare but a quick run into Lerwick, the main town on the island, and I bought a new one. This was important as Friday night was wet T-shirt night and when did you know me to miss one?
At night the Haemorrhoids played on well into the morning once more to a slightly larger audience due to the lack of Boot Party.
Saturday nearest the shortest night is carnival day in the Shetlands and silly games day at the rally site. All the usual games were featured plus a yard of ale and a very messy slow bike riding contest. Contestants had to eat a plateful of tomatoes covered in salad cream while riding.
After lunch a folk band played a few jigs & reels, during which the Vikings visited us again. I'm sure it's the free beer that attracts them.
Later in the evening the coaches turned up to take us into town where the whole island gets paralytic. At about 1am, just as the sun was rising, the coaches took us back to the site, where the disco was just warming up! Don't these people ever sleep?
Sunday at last, awards time, and my club did very well, winning (non BMF) club turnout, club aggregate mileage, best outfit (Dave's Goldwing with an immense side-car), oldest bike (Spam's BSA), male long distance (Sumpbolt from the Exeter branch), P&O Ferries club turnout - and another one which I've forgotten at the moment. Puker won grot bike of course and there were, as always, a lot of other prizes.
After lunch we went into town for the last time, onto the ferry and goodbye 'til next year.
During the ferry trip home the Captain presented the ABC with the aforementioned P&O club turnout trophy. The presentation took place on the bridge. Shrub from the ABC decided she would like to try driving the boat - we left a very zigzag wake behind us for quite a long way. She tried to spell her name in the water. Then Miff, from the Snatch took over and we were asked to leave. We were still on time back in Aberdeen.
The crossing home was much more subdued than the one out due to everybody having a long trip home in front of them. I had to get back to work at 8pm and as the boat docked at 8am and there were 550 miles ahead of me, I crashed out fairly early (about 2am). Just got back in time too! Much coffee was consumed that night, I can assure you!
- Phil (the Spill) Drackley
Phil even saved newspaper cuttings from this rally.