South West
Custom & Classic Bike Show

3-5 May 1985

The Telstar BC trip down to Priestleigh for the show was not without issue. A Triumph that was with us had a bit of an issue about half-way down, requiring a bit of a road-side tinker. Other than that, it was a fine day and we set up in the huge site that was allied to the halls where the bike show was held. There I discovered a few of my friends from the ABC that I knew from the Shetland rallies.

Friday night was spent in a medium-sized hall with a bar, but there were a couple of immense halls next to it. One was to be used for the music on Saturday night, while the other housed the bikes, to be looked at during the day. After an evening in the makeshift pub, we wandered back to our tents, only for one couple to discover that somebody had stolen their airbed and sleeping bags! There wasn’t much could be done about it there and then and the security personnel were not very helpful. But, honestly, what could they have done? A midnight tent-to-tent search was unlikely to be all that fruitful.

In the morning, the couple in question, after complaining to the organisers, went shopping for new sleeping equipment. I’m not sure if there was any compensation forthcoming.

It became apparent that quite a few people decided to come in cars, vans and even trucks, rather than bikes to this event.

In the bike show hall, I was immediately set upon by people I knew who were manning the Rally Review stall and was persuaded to help out for some of the day. Quite a variety of machinery was on show, from immense Honda Gold Wing Aspencades, to the rustiest piles of grot I had ever seen. I was not convinced that these had been ridden with any success for some time.

Outside there was some company offering helicopter rides over the site for a nominal charge, I seem to recall that 'nominal' meant about £30 each! Having not expected this, I could not partake, so I just wandered about some more.

The music, when it eventually started, was a bit heavier that most of my friends, or myself, enjoyed, so we spent the evening in the beer-hall, one friend, naturally, checking on his tent from time to time, even though it was quite a distance away.

Sunday morning was quite nasty, really. A light drizzle made packing up unpleasant and it was persistent, too, so some reluctant packers waited in vain for it to lift, and still got wet packing.

Half-way home we had to stop again, but not, this time due to mechanical misfortunes, but because it was now dry and hot, so we had to divest ourselves of our wet-weather gear, or suffer overheating of the personnel.

Phil Drackley - Phil the Spill