We set off to Skipton on the logical route up the M6 in groups due to the different speeds we would be travelling at. I was after all on a combo and I found it hard to maintain 55mph and on the hill just before Keele services I could be down to 45mph. At this sort of speed everything overtook me and it's boring so I was glad to get off the motorway at Preston and get onto proper roads where there is more to see and a few bends to occupy your mind.
As I came into Skipton the rally was sign posted and easy to find. Tomato Dip Cafe, what type of a name is that? Well it's the habit of dipping the bread into the tomato juice as you make a sandwich. I'm not sure if they charged for it or not. It's like around Stoke they butter the bread for a bacon butty. Strange people up t' north.
Well here we are, a soggy wet field right opposite the Tomato Dip. The bright people who got here earlier had secured most of the good spots to pitch in the lee of the drystone wall. The rest of us had little choice.
With the tent up on what looked a dryish spot I went to sign in just as a couple of our lads arrived; Paul Climo nicknamed Harry the Pig and John Barlow know as Jabe. Paul was furious and Jabe was laughing which was making Paul worse. Paul's Rickman Intercepter had run out of petrol on the motorway and it had cost him £10 plus the price of a gallon to get mobile. Back in 1972 beer was about 20 pence a pint so you can see why Paul was not a happy chap.
The rest of the lads, Gordon Harris, Les Richardson and Geoff Fulford turned up and pitched their tents. There was no nominated venue, we were just let loose on the town to wander from pub to pub. We made the best of it and had a good time. The police were patroling in panda cars every few minutes but as far as I can recall there was no trouble, apart from the wind and driving rain.
Sunday morning saw a few interesting sights. A couple of tents (the type you get in lucky bags) had blown away in the night or were badly ripped and one chap, a British squaddie*, had parked his bike up, laid down next to it with just a polythene sheet suspended from the handlebars and rear carrier, brave lad. We were glad the cafe was open to get some warm food and thaw out before the journey home.
- Les Hobbs
The "squaddie" was Mad Jim Brown, ex 2 Para and 22 SAS. He used to specialise in jumping naked off the bar into a "pool" that was a saucer full of water.
I worked at the Tomato Dip 1974 age 15 in the kitchen with Alan, Lynne and Sharon Douglas, Leo, Nancy, Ann Brown, Stutterin Jelkk (who worked at Colin Appleyard MC opposite the fire station) when we had f@*k all. Shirley washed up and the main man was Mr Alwynn Worth (what a gentleman) and his son Peter who still runs Redbeck Cafe at Wakey. And what a tribute to his dad. Named all bars after him.
I could bang on all night. Good days.
- Roy Clarke
Go on then Roy. Spill the beans, just like they did on the floor of the Tomato Dip.
I remember the Pennine ok. I used to go to the Dip every Sunday 1970-74 with a few lads from Earby. I had various bikes then, started with a CB250, YR350 & a Tiger 100SS.
When I used to hang around the Dip there was a good mate of mine Mick Garrity & his brother Ian, Paul Slater, my step brother Peter Hines. We all lived in Earby. A couple of other lads Tony & Terry Smith I beleive they were from Haworth way. We often frequented The Junction, Crosshills, The Dog & Gun, Glusburn & The Hare & Hounds, Lothersdale.
I no longer live anywhere near now ... different country.
After 40 years I have got back to biking ... well a trike, a Yamaha XJ900F ... and I'm back doing the rallies too. I've done 3 as of today, another next weekend.
- Dave Power
Did you read the first report?