Sidecarland

Fenland Sidecar Club Camp

by Roy and Chris

Just as I pulled the outfit out of the garage on Friday morning the heavens opened! I decided to put on my full weather kit for the ride to March in Cambridgeshire for the rally. I had a totally dry ride to the camp site, although some other riders got wet. The only problem I had on the journey was a vehicle crash at the junction right by the campsite, which I could see as we waited to be moved on by the police. The rally actually started on Wednesday and the club members were a bit surprised when 18 units had arrived by noon on that day.

Arriving at the campsite I rode past Jim’s new outfit – this is something else!! Dave Baker has ridden it and was surprised at the performance when he checked the speedo.

Paul Ennis brought along a fine display of models that he had made, and he was happy to talk you through them.

Friday evening was spent around the camp fire; this is the focal point of the rally.

The TT Races were on the television at 9.00 pm and the second sidecar race was shown. A lady rider going around the Hairpin left the road and scattered the spectators; luckily no-one was hurt, but the organisers did not allow any spectators to stand there again.

The Fenland Club time this rally to coincide with the town carnival. The carnival dates back to the early 1990’s and starts on Friday evening with music in the park. Saturday morning sees the traders and charity stalls being set up. The classic vehicle parade started at 12 noon and included several floats, several motorcycles, and a Vespa scooter

complete with lots of lights fitted, two trikes and an outfit, as well as many classic vehicles. I liked the mobility

scooter taking part in the parade; the scooter was blue and the rider was dressed in blue complete with a blue crash helmet – one for Paul Ennis!! Lots of local organisations had groups of people walking the route.

The organisers had worked hard here. Later the vehicles would be displayed in the park, close to the fairground rides and not far from the music stage. Lots of fun was to be had for the younger visitors, with a bouncy castle, a House of Horrors, roundabouts, swings and slides and fairground rides. There was a great choice food outlets, and the Big Red Bus was busy again.

It was nice sitting alongside the river with its canal boats on one side and the fairground on the other. The weather was nice and warm and dry. I got lucky and had a phone call to tell me that I had won a bottle of wine; this was from a raffle on the MS stand; the blue mobility scooter was based here, and I got talking to the rider.

Dave Angel turned up on Saturday evening. We talked about the Real Classic Magazine ride-in that had taken place at his workshop earlier in the week. He had a nice display of motorcycles on show plus four outfits; some of these were already sold.

The bonfire was lit about 7.00 pm, with wooden pallets being the main source of fuel; however the wind had brought down a fair-sized branch, and this was thrown on the fire as well. Later a few people toasted marshmallows at the fireside – however they needed long sticks to do this safely.

Sunday also had a full programme of events in the town, and the Lions had arranged a Soap Box Derby. The Lions hope that the derby will get more people interested in getting involved with events over the Gala Weekend. The last band starts playing fairly late on Sunday evening, so the party in the park covers the whole weekend. Well done to all the organisers for a great job done again.

The Fenland Sidecar Club are talking about moving the rally next year to start on the Thursday and finish on the Monday morning to allow members more time to enjoy the whole programme of festivities. A total of 37 units turned up this year; Shirley felt that is the most they have ever had; the campsite was pretty full. Well done to the club – all their hard work paid off. See you again next year!!