by Roy and Chris; Picures, Martyn, Roy, Mick, Rebo, Terry and Phil
This meeting is held at Hallaton, in Leicestershire, and it is organised by the Tri-Anglia Wheels Sidecar Club. We left on Friday afternoon, with the weather looking a bit iffy – so the wet-weather kit went on; however it was not needed and we had a nice run to the site. The meeting is held at a local recreational centre; rugby posts are up, with a cricket pitch, tennis court and swings and slides for the children. Some money is currently being spent there at the moment – the tennis courts are being resurfaced, a practice net for cricket is being constructed and a netball area should soon be finished. This all helps to provide good facilities for the local people and visitors to the club house.
Tea and coffee were available all weekend, as well as a delicious choice of home-made cakes. On Friday evening Lesley and Martyn supplied food, with the choice being either chicken curry or vegetable chilli.
When we arrived Martyn told me that Anne and Steen from Denmark had arrived at the rally. They had previously contacted me as they were looking for ideas for their forthcoming holiday in England, and they were particularly interested in the Yorkshire area. They are over here for three weeks touring around.
The couple ride a 1935 Nimbus outfit. Steen has two of these machines, but the other one is a bit newer – a 1938 model. Both Anne and Steen ride outfits, although Steen does most of the riding nowadays.
Friday night saw Anne and Steen being provided with more ideas on places to visit by several of us, and a map was produced and studied. One area they particularly want to see is Goathland (Heartbeat) country.
Phil had a problem with his Norton outfit – one of the brackets holding on the sidecar had broken off. Inspecting the snapped end it looked like it had been going for a while. Luckily running repairs were made so that he could ride it home safely on Sunday.
Saturday saw Rebo leading a run out. This time I managed to hitch a ride in John’s Monroe sidecar and Triumph 1600 cc. This was my first time in one of these sidecars. There was plenty of room and I liked the side screens which could be lowered to let some air in, and the Triumph went well. We had a thirty mile trip around the lanes passing a redundant railway station, and later passing under a viaduct and eventually finishing up in Market Harborough.
At Market Harborough we visited the Welland Valley Vintage Traction Club’s open weekend. This was down the bottom of Glebe Road (a little lane), and it was held on the old brickworks site alongside the main Midland railway track. Some of the express trains sounded their hooters going past the site.
About thirty outfits pulled onto the site and parking got a little exciting as we were running out of space, There were lots of interesting things to see, with several steam road rollers, and a few small sit-upon working models. a nice collection of tractors and a few old motorcycles and cars. There was also a steam model railway giving rides, and this was a big hit with the children. There was a nice tea and coffee tent, which had a fine selection of home-made food and cakes. The Nimbus created a point of interest here.
One traction engine owner told me that they had taken a steam lorry to an event but they had actually driven it there, and once on the open road the lorry was holding 45mph. The club members are well set up here, with a good number of workshops in which to store their vehicles.
We pulled out and headed back to Hallaton, and on getting back some of the riders then went to the village where cream teas were being served.
Later talking to Karen she said that she was wondering if she might like leading links fitted to her outfit. She tried out a couple of rigs and found that the lower part of the field was not as flat as it looked!! As she was returning one outfit to its owner Pearl ran out of the way screaming. Pearl later explained that she likes to boost people’s confidence!!
The children’s Grand Prix was a laugh, and this was followed by a well- supported raffle. Later the Fish and Chip van pulled in, followed by a car- load of locals who had rapidly swallowed their pints in the public house to get to the van, only to see it drive off. They had to join the queue with the rest of us!!
Later that evening the Hallaton Grand Prix for adults got under way; this was as exciting as ever, with lots of shouting and good-natured banter. The children helped us out by shining their torches on the table.
Sunday started off nice and dry and stayed that way, so the tents could be easily packed up with no need to dry them when you got home. People gradually started to drift away, and Anne and Steen headed off to a recommended campsite in York.
This was a nicely organised rally, with good weather, a nice level site and excellent facilities. The views from the clubhouse are lovely and very relaxing, and there is a public house just down the road. This rally is well worth a visit!
Many thanks to Martyn, Lesley and the club for running such a good weekend.
Wheels members Dickie and Ozzy popped in on the Thursday with raffle prizes (many thanks lads) and to have a cupper with the early arrivals before they headed off to France and Switzerland early Saturday morning. It was a little more organized this year as everything was done early with Pat, Lydia and Terry making sure there was plenty of milk, tea and coffee etc. Jeff and Anne arrived bearing cakes which were promptly put on sale.
Thanks to Lydia, kept busy all weekend baking cakes, she made sure we never ran out of cakes. Pat as usual produced a fiendish adult quiz and the very popular treasurer hunt, Pat along with Terry also arranged the destination for the run-out so a big thank you to Pat and Terry. Friday night was curry and chilli night and 30 or so meals were served with the help of Anne. Rebo led the run-out with a well worked route enjoyed by all, he has lead run-outs before, should we say a few years ago, but like riding a bike you never forget, cheers Rebo for keeping the flying yellow banana down to a sedate pace.
A big thanks to Wheels members Roy and Chris who donated some very nice prizes for the children’s and main raffle and helping out over the weekend. The children attending were kept busy and always enjoy the excellent play area onsite, but the biggest fun for them is always the Grand Prix which Pearl did her best to control, mind you she had her hands full with the adults for their Grand Prix, as they made more noise than the kids, many thanks to Pearl for keeping things under control and running the Grand Prix and to Mark for donating a bottle of 10 year old malt whisky.
Betty did a fantastic job selling the raffle tickets and we had some volunteers to fold the tickets, although my adopted pensioner thought is a good idea to fold the tickets, origami style into frogs and the one that jumped the furthest would be the winner. I think it was something to do with the fact it was his birthday over the weekend and I hadn’t got him a present, or he is still in shock at the cost of repairing the old Vincent.
Dave donated some mulled wine but unfortunately due to everything going on, I never got round to warming it up, many thanks Dave, just keep them and bring them to the winter event where a hot toddy will go down well. Ken, one of our newest members appeared with yellow rubber gloves, this did concern me a little, but it was only to help out with the washing up. Ambulance Michael made a clean sweep of the room with his broom handling skills.
I left the oven in a bit of a state but Anne came to the rescue on the Sunday morning, may hands make light work and I must thank all who volunteered and helped with the packing up of the marquee. The Sidecar Soirée this year was blessed with good weather and as always good company. We would like to thank all who attended and hope you enjoyed our little soirée and once again thanks to all that helped out over the weekend.
Martyn and Lesley