White Horse Rally

This is one I went to early in 1975, only just having gone back to riding a solo. I was on my BMW R90/6 and it was a cracking rally held in the Vale of the White Horse. All the regular people were there Paul Mullis, Steve Cawthorne, Heather MacGregor, Dot Tilley. We had, as normal, a great night with all the regular rally attenders. The weather was good up until Saturday night when the wind rose up.

It finished up with me doing 30mph in the fast lane not really in control at all.

- Les

I set off home around midday alone and joined the M1 motorway and as I travelled north the wind became a problem. I've never been a good solo rider and now, as I tried to make my way north, the wind was gusting from the west and blowing me into the fast lane. The more I tried to get into the slow lane the harder it blew. It finished up with me doing 30mph in the fast lane not really in control at all.

Things changed as I joined the M6. I had now changed directions from north to west, now coming head on into the wind and I managed to get home with no further trouble. I did find trouble as I arrived home. My mother always laid Sunday dinner at 14.30 and as usual I was late. My diner was a dried up mess kept hot for a couple of hours on a saucepan of boiling water. Eventually my mother came to the stage as she would not bother putting a meal ready for me as I could arrive home at any time or even not turn up until Monday!

I had eaten my dried up dinner, unloaded the bike and was on the point of taking a bath. In fact I was just on the point of lowering my foot into the water around 19.30. The plan was a bath, local pub, meet my mates for 4-5 pints, home and off to bed, and the telephone rang! My mother called "It's for yo-hoo!!" I grabbed a towel and made the dash to the foot of the stairs.

John Jocys was on the line. His MZ Trophey had shed the clutch on the M6 and he was stranded at the services to the east of Birmingham. Could I help? Damn! I did not relish the thoughts of going out on such a windy night. Well mates are mates and I hope that they would do the same for me. In fact several have gone to extreme lengths to help me out.

I got dressed, got a length of rope and set forth. I had to go past the services, get off at the next intersection, turn around and rejoin to get back on and then find John at the services. No time to lose, hooked up the tow rope and dragged the stricken MZ back to my garage.

John was dropped off at the railway station in Wolverhampton. God knows what time he would get a train on a Sunday night. I just managed to get the last pint in. John returned the following weekend with the bits to fix the clutch.

- Les Hobbs

Start of quotation I think it was 1973 (could have been 1974) when I went. It was held at Canada Heights motocross track near Swanley, Kent. Some rallyists were trying to blast up the hill on the track on their road bikes. Our mate (Cheesy) got up on his Bonneville but came back covered in mud as there were some deep holes just over the top.

I remember that it was a long walk to the pub and we were sober by the time we got back to the site. Some young lads (actually, only a couple of years younger than us probably!), had been causing a lot of noise late into the night. Next morning, an old rallyist backed his BSA 10 outfit up to their tent door, which he opened, and started the A10. Next thing were a few lads coughing and swearing as they exited their tent. They will forever remember the proverb: "What goes around, comes around".

Happy days. End of quotation

- John Scotcher