Sidecar Soiree 2016

by Roy, Chris and Martyn, pics Roy, Shark and Skippy.

This rally organised, by the Tri-Anglia Wheels Sidecar Club, is held at Top End Farm in Little Staughton in Bedfordshire. This is a nice family-owned campsite close to the Cambridgeshire / Bedfordshire borders. There is a well- stocked shop, doubling as a village store, which also has an off-licence. For the children there is a large play area and a skateboard ramp, all on the eleven acre site.

This year Chris and I day-tripped to the rally on Saturday. On arriving at the campsite I was walking over to the shop to obtain the code to activate the security gate when I was met by Karen; luckily she knew the code and so saved me a walk. The club had taken over the far end of the field, and were set up with a large marquee for socialising, plus another tent in which an urn was bubbling away for free tea and coffee. This tent was also used to house the prizes for the raffle. Paul and his Martello sidecar got a mention in the latest edition of “Old Bike Mart” in an article about Martello chairs, written by Mick Payne. It was a nicely-written and informative article.

On the Thursday night Lesley ran a light hearted individual quiz for those who had arrived before the rally starts on the Friday and Julia just pipped everyone else to take the prize.

Friday night and once again Ken’s Jenga competition proved popular, especially later on in the evening once a few, should I say, beverages had been consumed

This year the ride-out was to the “Wood Green Animal Centre” in Godmanchester. Lesley was leading this ride-out which was scheduled to leave the campsite promptly at 11.00. Lesley explained that, as it was so hot, she did not want riders standing around in their riding gear longer than necessary. To help keeping to the time scale she walked around the field reminding people that the ride was soon to be under way. What an efficient lady!!

Leaving the campsite most people turned right; however I believe a few people went left. Eventually we lost sight of the riders ahead and so we resorted to using a map. Arriving at Wood Green we spotted a couple of other club members already there. It did not take us long to find the café, which did excellent food, with an excellent choice as well, plus being reasonably-priced – it was a win / win situation. Having finished our food I spotted Lesley arriving and parking up with the other riders, I think that approximately 20 units, including solos, turned up. They looked very impressive all in a line in the car park.

The animal centre is very well laid out, and has plenty of space for all their animals. Chris and I had been there many years ago when the St Neots’ Motorcycle Club organised a charity ride in to donate pet food to the centre. I had a Yamaha XS 750 pulling the chair in those days.

After a good look around Chris and I pulled out and returned to the campsite. Later in the afternoon Rebo ran a quiz; teams consisted either of two or three members. Mark and Karen volunteered me for their team. We were trying hard and managed to score 9 out of a possible 30, so we did not set the world alight, especially when the winning team of Mick and Barbara scored 17 points.

As the quiz ended Lesley spotted that the fish and chip van had already arrived, so everything stopped for food. When I arrived at the van I had timed it well, as there were only half a dozen people queuing. Often you can wait half an hour to get to the serving hatch; the van’s food is nice and popular.

Later the “World Championship Tank Racing” took part. Last year’s champion did not do so well this time! This was a closely-fought contest, with Julia Aldridge winning; her tank developed wings and flew and she become this year’s champion! Well done Julia!!!

Chris and I pulled out just before the start of the famous Tri-Anglia Wheels “Grand Prix Racing Tournament “this is another hotly-contested event and lots of fun. This year it was won by Mick and the Children’s grand prix was won by Krystal.

Another great rally, with 30-odd units turning up; organised by Tri-Anglia Wheels, on a first class camp site, and with plenty of sunshine ….. What more could anyone want? Many thanks to all the organisers and we are looking forward to next year’s rally.

as you can see, last year’s Tank Racing Champion lost gracefully this year