Sword and the Stoned Rally
22nd October 1992 - Excalibur MCC
I don't recall who suggested it, but it turned out that several club members wanted to go to Alton Towers. Some may not think this such a big deal, but if you live, as we did, down Watford way, it is a fair trip for just a day. As luck would have it, a group of us were going to The Sword & the Stoned Rally, which was a lot nearer, being at popular rally site the Ostrich Inn, in Staffordshire. We didn't want to spend a day at the park and miss the Saturday of the rally, so we hit on a plan, whereby we would head up to the rally Thursday and hopefully be allowed to camp on the field for the night, go to the theme park Friday, and return for the rally in the evening.
After an eventful trip up on the Thursday, during which a Custom Silver Wing needed some adjustment, (the original CX500-based machine and not the later scooter style), but we got there in time for the evening session. We explained our wishes to the barman, who phoned one of the organisers, and when he arrived, we quickly arranged everything, set up the tents, and had an evening in the pub. We didn't want to get in anyone's way, so we camped in a corner of the field, which turned out to be rather soft under foot but, since the bikes stayed in the car park, this wasn't too much of a problem.
The next morning, we put the plan into operation, by which I mean that we buggered off to Alton Towers. The car park was quite large, and there weren't many vehicles already there. It was nice to note that there were several bike locations that had a locker unit, (we had to provide the lock), for our helmets and other stuff. These were also used to chain the bikes up together. Having sorted out our security, we had a carefree day being hurled about, which didn't suit some who had a bit of a hangover after the night's intake.
I must admit that the tail end of October meant the weather wasn't wonderful all day, but there were patches of sun about. It also seems that this isn't part of the high season, so there weren't as many hordes of screaming kids around that we were expecting. Having had sufficient amounts of thrill-seeking supplied, we wandered back to the site, (I think we only got lost once).
When we got back, we had to explain to some of the organisers who hadn't been informed of our presence, why our tents were already there, without us, before they turned up. We had a restful Friday evening, having worn ourselves out just a little more than if we had driven straight here.
I don't seem to have many photos from Saturday, but there is a video to make up for it, depicting various silly games and messy substance splattering aplenty. The band on Saturday was, I think, Seamus O'Blivion and the Mega-Death Morris Men, who were great fun, and might still be going today.
Still overcast, the trip home on Sunday wasn't wonderful, but not unbearable, once we managed to get our tents out of the muddy section of the field.
- Phil (the Spill) Drackley