Winter Bash Weekender
19th November 1993 - Maximum Overdrive
When is a rally not a rally? If the answer is 'when it is held in Pontin's Camber Sands holiday camp', then this was not a rally. It certainly felt like one, though no camping was allowed, as most there had arrived on bikes, some of which were parked right outside people's apartments, (or chalets, as they were usually called).
Although out-of-season events are fairly common nowadays, this was only the second such weekend I had been to. The first had been a couple of years previous, near Blackpool with the Civil Service Motoring Association, via my father's membership, which was a far more sedate happening. With me were two other members of my club, WMAMCC, and a friend of mine from the 7sMCC.
After we were photographed for our ID cards, (which weren't checked for the whole weekend, as far as I can remember), we went off and located our rooms in the maze of buildings. It helped a little that I had been on holiday here several times when I was younger, and the layout had not changed very much in the intervening decades. There were meant to be a few more people coming with us, but they had dropped out for various reasons, this meant the four of us had two four-berth rooms to ourselves, so we effectively had a whole room each.
Once our bags were dumped, we went and moved out bikes closer, but not as close as some, (and not just because we were on the upper level). As far as I know, nobody took their bikes into the chalets with them, but some were constantly visible outside their window. We had no intention of cooking for ourselves this weekend, but we still had to put some money in the electricity meters for the barely-adequate heating, as it was quite a cold weekend, even though it was only November.
Having set up, we went over to the main complex situated, of course, all the way over the other side of the site, and checked out the cafe. There was also an amusement arcade and a large hall, usually used for the camp's entertainment, full of stalls and what was either a medieval torture device, or one of those gyro-exercise wheel things. Next to this is what was usually just the bar area, but for us it was the bar, compact stage and seating area. There were several bands on each night, and I don't recall a duff one all weekend.
There was a fair bit of snow overnight, which made most people happy about the accommodation. We found the advertised 'Indoor Custom Bike Show' in a hut on the edge of the camp. There were about a dozen bikes crammed into a fairly small function room. We never saw anything of the advertised 'Tattoo Expo'.
With the weather, any plans for a ride-out were dropped and we seemed to spend most of the day in the cafe/bar. There was just enough room in the bar for a bungee-pull game in the evening before the bands started. My favourite band of the weekend, (although not everybody appreciated them), was 'Ivors Jivers', headed by a man who, on TV, was known as 'Doc Cox', reading funny newspaper clippings on 'That's Life' but who, in the recording world, was known as 'Ivor Biggun'. Only one of his records has ever been heard on the Radio, (and on the TV show), and that was only until somebody noticed the 'B' side was the 'unedited' version of the more polite 'A' side. All the bands were well received, and everybody was rocking well into the night.
Although the snow left off during Saturday, it wasn't too far away, and resumed on Sunday for the ride home. Luckily, it was fairly localised, and wasn't much of a problem once we left Sussex, and we had about 80 miles to do. At least there was no tent to have to dry out when we got home.
- Phil (the Spill) Drackley