It was an early rise on Friday morning and we were on the road around 5am, basically because the traffic on the M5 where it meets the M6 and then M6 Toll and M54 becomes a carpark from about 8am onwards. When we lived at Ely and needed to go the Wales, as Dickie would say, the only issue is Birmingham is in the way. Well, now we live in Somerset, when we head north, you guessed it, Birmingham is in the way and the only way to miss the traffic is to ride in the early hours and get past it before everything goes down to walking pace. So, we were off the motorway at Stafford by about 7pm and heading cross country. The route; Standon, Hilderstone, Cheadle, Froghall, Ipstones, https://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/8200?msclkid=65ef1572c3ba11ec91f544ce906c2e1c Longnor, Backwell, Millers Dale, where we passed under the viaducts, https://www.google.com/search?q=millers+dale+viaduct&rlz=1C1AWFC_enGB882GB882&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjelrbwwqz3AhWhQUEAHZACBYIQ_AUoAnoECAIQBA&biw=1920&bih=912&dpr=1 Tideswell, Bradwell https://stonehengepensioner.com/derbyshire-walks/khazi-cafe-in-bradwell-in-the-peak-district/?msclkid=4698aef9c3ba11ec90413f812e7b3d22 and then onto Bamford Recreation Ground, our home for a few days. Now, if you find a flat camping field in the Peaks you are doing well and the South Yorks came up trumps with this site as the field was nice and level. The pavilion facilities were, as the advert said, rugby type, basic but perfectly adequate.
We were greeted by 2 South Yorks Home Guard, well, that is what it looked like and various members of the home guard were on duty over the weekend. There were two new Coleman Shelters set up for the evenings but, with the weather being so nice, quite a few opted to stay in groups on the field and enjoy the evening sun.
The local pub, The Anglers Rest, was also the post office and a café and run by the local community. The beer was very good with a very nice porter available https://www.anglers.rest/
Having attended a few BMW camping weekends just up the road over the years, I was fairly familiar with the area. We didn’t venture out too far just simply so nice to be back on a field. A wander up the village to the pub a couple of times and then up there to try out the café.
Best Club Attendance was won by the “Tri-Anglia Wheels” This award was a tie between us and the “Vikings” club. Tri-Anglia won because of the long milage travelled. Oldest Outfit went to Pete Ellis with his Gold Wing rig (didn’t look to see if he still has a 10mm spanner holding his mud guard on). They awarded a chairman’s choice, this could be a hard luck story on the way to the rally, or something similar. The award went to Barbara Jolliffe due to her determination in just getting to the rally.
The first Royal Enfield 350 I have seen in the flesh, so to speak, the best bike Sticky John has bought apparently, then so was the Himalayan, the KTM, the Suzuki 250, numerous Triumphs. Only trouble is you need a modern I-Phone to change the time on the built-in navigation system and at the moment it is in night time mode during the day and in day-time mode at night and you need a pair of sunglasses to ride it in the dark! John’s old phone isn’t compatible, but then a pair of sunglasses is cheaper than a new phone. I know one thing, this isn’t a Geoffrey bike, especially if you need a modern I-Phone to run the sat nav. Just wish Mr Honda would import their CB350. The navigation system is not an out and out sat nav, it is the Royal Enfield’s ‘Tripper’ – basically a simplified directional display which simply (but cleverly) takes the Google Maps directions from your phone and, through Royal Enfield’s smartphone app, crunches it into a more basic, clear and friendly read-out, so they say. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XZZSGIyRnI You will need to own a compatible phone (i-phone 6s or later) and have the app. It does have its advantages, basically you don’t have to pay for a sat nav nor updated maps, but I see a couple of disadvantages, all you get is directional arrows and not a map display, I do like being able to look down at a map, plus your phone needs to be fully charged. https://www.royalenfield.com/uk/en/motorcycles/meteor/#motorcycle-specifications
Now, for those of you who attended the Uttoxeter Show a few years ago now, do you recognise the sign / banner. Well, recycling is all the rage nowadays to save the planet, bit like Chaddy’s hot plate which is carbon neutral in use!
We left in the afternoon of the Sunday, as I was working early on the Tuesday morning, simply think about the traffic on the Monday and the M5. Believe you me it can be a pain, any kind of incident on the M5 between Bristol and Taunton and it is pure hell. The Monday Lesley went back to work and at 1:30pm they closed the M5 as a Weston’s Cider lorry caught fire. Lesley arrived home after work around 6:30pm. I can understand when “Mark the Shark” say’s “never again, I am not going ever again. He is talking about going south of Bristol, then the M5 is pretty shyt, where he lives in Stafford.
Anyhow opted for a different route home, picking up the A38 and the basically the M42, yes it was other side of Birmingham going home. It was about 15 miles further, but no hold ups and no fuel stop until 5 miles from home where I treated the Batmobile to some 99 octane, as PP says “it’s only money”.
So, to sum up, great to be out properly with no restrictions and dare I say back to normality. To be honest it was a bonus that the weather was good, because it would have meant the Coleman shelters would have probably not coped with the numbers if the weather had been like some of the past Easter Egg Rallies, snow, sleet, frosts, floods. Yes this is a rally that has had it all and one you always talk about, normally the trials and tribulations, but not this year.
There was something missing this year, the Levenes, apparently it was due to the 18th Birthday of this little witch.
Love you really Katie, hope it was a good’en. Martyn