Mad Monks Rally

8-10 February 1980

We turned up on the Friday. The site was a banger racing track surrounded by trees [really pretty]

I had to push Charles's Triumph Bonny as it was like the Somme [all mud as far as the eye could see]. Needless to say the usual "too much throttle no traction", just rooster tails of mud, only it is me in the way. I was as one with mother earth, covered in mud.

Eventually we made it into the trees and with the rest of the Bedford Eagles set up camp. Isn't it amazing how we all stuck to our own little gangs?

We then made the compulsory camp fire place.

The weather was ace so after the tea which consisted of young chickens wrapped in dough marinated in tomatoes and butter. Egg butties for the mere mortals with tom ketchup.

We set off to the beer tent; the earlier the better [Oh to be young and drunk]

The evening is all a bit of a mystery to me ... hold on me brain is drifting back ...

We decided that it would be great fun to go to the local pub. Only it's dark we are in the middle of farmland, but what the hell. We crossed the water filled ditch and made it to the pub ... I must admit it has all vanished from me memory now ... it must have been good though.

On the Saturday more of our gang arrived.

It's the normal thing for the rallies in them days to do silly games! Just after the bar closes from the lunch time session ...

The games started

Tyre rolling, tug off war, crank or welly wanging

I entered them all, but won none.

As for visiting the pub on the Saturday night we stayed in the marquee.

As it was very muddy I think mud sliding came onto the agenda I think the Bexley Gropers MCC had some members in on the fun. I think it was them.

We had the usual climbing of the marquee poles; which I was getting very good at If you ain't tried it don't mock.

I must admit our sub gang, the band that have remained good mates, well most of us, consisting of Chas, Phil [m' brother], Smirf, Wobberly Wobert [due to when he got drunk he fell over] and Ali and Anus sorry Amos; my ex brother.

Well Chas came up to me and said give us a tenner for the kitty, I said " nay" as I'm not drinking. O how wrong I was because by 9 oclock I was actually rat assed. Charlie found me talking to some members of the TWITS MCC I was talking drivel and they were trying to ignore the drunk.

This is when the bar was running short of booze.

On the bartenders advice I started drinking barley wine and coke. I was pissed so what the hell.

It must have worked because it seems I tried to get into the wrong tent, was sick as a dog and also passed out when sitting around the camp fire.

Oh what fun?

The next day a hangover to end all hangovers which was strange because up till that time I could drink anything and NOT get a hangover.

We all left for home. On the way home we came across Bodge, one of the new young blood of the club. His DT175 had a rear wheel puncture. He was going to try and ride it the all the way home but we decided to call out the break down services for him and get the bike fixed.

Nick Maister came across us, so he went off for refreshment for us so we had an impromptu picnic by the side of the main road.

When we were sat there waiting for the breakdown truck motorcycle after motorcycle stopped and asked if they could help ... isn't it strange it isn't like it now!

We got the rear wheel fixed and off we all went.

Picture from Keith Herbert
Chas by the side of the A10

Picture from Keith Herbert
The Bonnie and the Commando

Picture from Keith Herbert
Chas in the forest

Picture from Keith Herbert
Smirf and Chas

Picture from Keith Herbert
Phil and Woberly Wobert

Picture from Keith Herbert
Fat Rabbit at tug o war

Picture from Keith Herbert
Tug o war team 2

Picture from Keith Herbert
Keith wanging the engine

Picture from Keith Herbert
1st B.E.M.C.C.

Picture from Keith Herbert
Part of the Gang

Picture from Keith Herbert
Dave Richmond

Picture from Keith Herbert
Sunday, homeward bound

This is how I remember the rally. It may be wrong. But what the hell. There was always another rally next weekend.

- Keith Herbert

Start of quotation The Mad Monks was a small invite only rally that I somehow managed to blag us into.

It was held in Essex in February at the pub shown with camping in the pubs garden.

Cannot remember to much about it apart from sitting about six inches away from the rock discos speakers and not being able to hear for the next 3 days.

With me were Cat, Woolfey, Trotsky and Woodsey. End of quotation

- Dave Ranger


Read the 1985 report from Phil the Spill

Open quote Damn good report. Like the photos. Wish that I'd have done that one. Close quote