MAG Helmet Demos
24th March 1984 - Kent MAG
I have to say this up front. I am in favour of helmets. If it wasn't for various helmets I have worn, I wouldn't be here today. I am against the compulsory wearing of helmets, even though, had they not been a requirement. I don't think I would have worn one for long after starting my riding lifestyle choice. (There is a point to ponder that, if this were the case, would they have developed to such a level of efficiency that they could have saved my life when it came to the 'crunch'?)
What can I say? It was the 1980s. I joined MAG. MAG was always banging on about helmet compulsion and holding demos. A few people I knew were going to the Kent MAG Demo and Party, so I followed. When we were assembling, an organiser was pointing out that the police had not given permission for a large(ish) group of bikers to parade around helmet-less, so bookings were likely. One guy got a turban out of his topbox and put that on his head, and the helmet went in the topbox. I decided, as did most of the others, to wear our helmets, despite the sentiment of the organising body. I think this was mostly due to the weather. I seem to recall more pillions than riders were willing to go without, although theirs were still carried, in case of need.
We did warrant a police escort, though, but I think they were there just to note the riders who did not wear helmets, to report to the vans parked along our route, which were stopping us and handing out tickets. (I think there were two or three vans in total.) I cannot remember if the turban deflected any legal action in that rider's direction.
The ride ended up at a small village hall, where there was a disco through the evening. There was a message of thanks for our support from the organisers, but I cannot recall if the number of ticketed riders was given out. I think it was still raining all the way home.
I don't think anyone in the corridors of power was unduly concerned about our activities that day, but it seemed worthwhile.
Phil Drackley - Phil the Spill