Ides of March Rally
Organized by Salford Centurions MCC since 1964
It's probably the oldest continuously run rally in England.
It always has been, and still is an excellent trad style rally. A very popular event and early pre-booking is essential now, as it is always a sell out.
For a lot of years there have been a few members of the Bacchus club from Holland in attendance (They used to run the Molen Treffen)
The Ides has been held at a variety of sites, but in recent years was at the New Inn (now converted to housing) opposite Baitings Dam near Ripponden. A nice pub, shame about the hilly camp site! I always seemed to manage to stack the tables up and camp in the beer garden, because it was flat and near the pub!
The weather has often been a problem at the Ides. They should be on a bonus from the tent manufacturers as I have seen more tents destroyed at this rally than any other on the mainland! We have had everything from hurricane strength winds to blizzards, hail, sleet, frost, and occasionally sunshine!
One year (1979?) at a site just above Littleborough there was a row of bikes in the pub car park that disappeared under a snow drift. The unlucky ones were under more than ten feet of snow! I went there across the M62, because the moor road was impassable. After I squeezed past an accident blocking the motorway westbound near Outlane, I rode on virgin snow and didn't see anyone else until I got to the Lancs border. All the cars were stuck going up the long hill eastbound and a team of police were trying to clear the way for the gritters to get through. After watching the police range rovers pushing and pulling fully laden artic wagons up the hill in the snow I made a mental note never to buy an ex police vehicle!
I only stopped at the rally for a cup of coffee. No, I didn't go home, I was on my way up to the Reivers Rally at Gilsland near Carlisle. But that's another story!
- Ted Trett
I was at the Ides in 1979 - boy it was cold. I was one of the ones that lost my bike in the snow and had to sleep in the pub garage with only half a roof as snow was so bad I couldn't put up tent.
Nice to see others lived to tell their tale 30yrs on.
- Steve Mac
I was a club member back in 1977 and it's interesting to see the Salford Centurion Club is still going strong.
Send me an email telling me when and where the Centurions meet these days and I will ride over.
Like Steve Mac I also was at the 1979 rally. Strange feeling waking up on the Sunday morning with the tent under snow. Oh happy days.
Me and my mate Dave Parker came all the way up from Devon (Exeter & District MCC) on his T3. Took us hours to get back to the M4.
Highlight from the rally was the beer fight in the pub and me winning the first 3 raffle prizes.
At 63 now and I'm still around.
- Dave Rowlatt
Hebdon Bridge 1984: Pillion on the back of Rob Davis RD400. Snow, ice the full smear. Not passed my test at this point, but I knew how to drink, or so I thought.
Anyway, pitched the tent and hit the pub. Bit edgy 'cos a lot of the guys were saying 'cos it was my first rally I had to undergo an initiation. A guy walked past naked and wet through. They told me it would be me next. Needless to say one was crapping oneself. However soon reassured not my fate.
Spent the rest of the time drinking vast amounts of ale, enjoying the best company of people ever. Names I remember from the club are Terry BMW45, Vinny the Bacardi man, Big John, the bro's Gill, Greg and Graham and Julie.
Oh and by the way, it was me who shouted "come on down" all night.
Thanks for the memories guys, you're the best.
- Mark Holden
The Ides of March in 1979 was my first ever bike rally which I did on my Kawasaki Z200. I remember having to leave the bike on the lane up to the pub/camp site due to the snow.
I also attended the 1980 and 81 Ides.
I've managed to get a ticket for the 50th on 15/16 March 2014 so really looking forward to it, lets hope the snow keeps away...
- Neil Branham
A long time ago I was a young pup who had got the biking bug early (8 yrs old) I got my first rice burner at 18 and have never looked back since.
I fell in with a mad bad bunch from Stalybridge called the Drunken Vultures MCC in the winter of '91 and did the Ides of March rally in the following year with the club.
It was a fun filled ride at night and we enjoyed every minute of it. Anyway we got to the New Inn site and put the tents up and then went into the pub thinking it would be empty... how wrong we were!
It was packed to bursting and it was an awesome night (what I remember of it) It also happened to be my 1st rally with the club and was subsequently 'got' as a rally virgin which meant I was subjected to painful nipple torture, which was akin to the thing in a Man Called Horse film, but I survived and went to another 3 Ides at the New Inn but because we had become a big club we were allocated very few tickets and didn't go again.
As an old fart I would like to reminisce and to do this rally again wherever it may be.