And so yet another of many runs of the gauntlet variety through the ‘cash-cow’ cameras on the A68 on our way to the Dragonslayers’ Sober Up The Dragon Number 8
Having attended 5,6 and 7 we just can’t help ourselves now and we keep going back. The folks must be doing something right.
Running a rally for a couple of hundred folk with fourteen members working it is one thing, but the same number running one for fourteen hundred folk is another prospect entirely. Unless your off yer hied, hmm sounds like Kev and crew !
The Dragonslayers take a great deal of pride in their rally, trying to improve it year on year, more stalls, good bands, a better site than two years ago and cleaner bogs, less likely to make ye heave when ye go in the morning after those many many , er, small sherries, honest officer.
To top it all it’s the friendly welcoming atmosphere, a lot of folk and that it still feels like a small rally, that’s what keeps us coming back.
Time to take up battle with the new tent which me missus made me buy at the Farmyard, ye know the policeman–like grip on the elbow followed by ‘We’re GOING to look at tents.
I figured as I’m getting’ an old fart now and years of quaffing port and cigars in my luxurious padded smoking jacket have played havoc with me gout, I’d go along with her. One tunnel tent and burning wallet later we had what I figured was a huge tent.
I was wrong, no sooner had I got it up (oooerr) than I bumped into me mate Skida from the Northumberland Bikers, who had what he calls ‘Skida Towers’ , basically ‘the’ small housing estate of tents. Only the eight pole marquee was bigger than this.
This year they had circled the wagons and fenced off the event area, good idea in principle but a severe bout of incontinence from the clouds saw fit to turn the avenue into a sticky quagmire of that chocolate custard that this year’s summer seems to have a penchant for creating.
Yet another endearing feature of this rally is that they always have a charity promotion of my very good friend Mr Daniels. Off course I had to play the part of the ‘Leather Trousered Philanthropist’ and donate as much as I could to charity, all in a good cause y’know.
Friday’s entertainment began with me falling over, I managed to regain verticality with the aid of a friendly marquee pole, then the real entertainment kicked off with ‘Rayne’, ‘Impact’ and ‘Full Tilt’.
Lots of folk were eager to see ‘Gangsters Of Ska’ . Personally, I don’t particularly like Ska but I’d been told they were worth watching. They didn’t disappoint, with a great stage show and presence they whipped the assembled drunken rabble (including me) into joining in all the songs.
When you put a “different” band on at a rally, and by that I mean something other than the stereotypical rock covers and tributes, (not that there’s anything wrong with that), you realise that you can fill a bunch of partying bikers with alcohol and they’ll all jig aboot and sing along to such masters as ‘My Girl Lollipop’.
At least until the Jenny went ‘fizz, bang, pop, splut’ and the marquee plunged into darkness.
My sympathies to the club and the band, it’s a bummer when shit like that happens.As it went, the power didn’t come back on for an hour or so by which time most folk were either face down having a deep philosophical conversation with the grass or had crashed out.
Saturday morning echoed with more rain and the howl of ‘geezanibuwhatchyemacallit’ and break the glass panel on me pannier and crack open the emergency can of Irn-Bru. Such charity
work can really take it out of you.
All that ‘Red Sky at Night’ crap, Yes, Friday night’s sky was red, so it led me to seriously question the exact nature of the
meteorological skills of these shepherd blokes, I mean ye just don’t see the weather being presented on TV by a bloke in a flat cap and a black and white restless collie called ‘Shep’.
A small Ritual and sacrificial offering of a Cossack sidecar outfit (which isn’t hard really as they tend to sacrifice themselves with alarming
regularity) later the sun peered round the nearest cloud and said hello, to which of course everyone replied, ‘About effin time’.
A chance to get the bike out of the field with reduced chances of ‘pridus dentus coup on me arsicus’. The regular horde of Saturday afternoon Pub dwellers made the trek on foot which is fine except when you try to
come back up the hill carrying the additional weight of ten pints of Guiness in yer gut. The answer came in the form of a resourceful young lad in a Fiat Uno who was asked if he’d run folk up the hill for two quid a head, he started an impromptu taxi service and made a few quid and perhaps
prevented a few coronaries into the bargain.
A bike show was held this year in the area outside the marquee. There weren’t as many entries as might have been as some folk were ‘fearties’ and didn’t want to take their bikes up the wet grass, despite Kev opening another gate in the fence.
The usual crop of bikes and trikes assembled, Jim Coxon and Veece, who organise Stormin’ and myself were assigned to judge the winners. It’s always a hard job as there were quite a few good examples. The ‘pinker
than a pink thing on particularly pink day’ dragstar with the five quid charity shop pink snakeskin jacketed seat certainly caught the eye, or was that the back of yer throat. It was only surpassed by the ‘Merlin’ Suzuki a splendid example of ‘Bikes you shouldn’t look at when you’ve got a hangover.
The wee Triumph simply stood out amongst them all as a tribute to simplicity and mimimalism, Howies’ Bandit hardtail was a comtemporary version on the same theme. I’d did love the yellow and block XS six and half flat-tracker.
I bumped into Rab from the Saint’s and Sinners who wanted to say a big thanks to Ian from the Dragonslayers who went well out of his way to leave the site to recover his V-Max which had decided that the mixture
of big bore kit and 280 rear tyre was in it’s o’pinion too much for the gear box which transmogrified itself into something that performed like a box of ‘two for a pound autojumble special’ Taiwanese spanners.
Thanks too for he Farmer in who’s field the rally was held, for storing Rab’s bike.
With the duties over with it was time give generously to charity once more . A young band ‘Needless’ were staunchly giving it some on the hardest shift, aka first band on a Saturday, despite a small group of onlookers
they got into it and acquitted themselves very well. I fair enjoyed them actually.
‘Skinflint’ followed, then PLC with the excellent Mrs Grittythroat (well I don’t know ‘er name) belting out covers to the appreciative crowd.
Plain Crazy topped the bill with a highly entertaining and disturbing (to the drunken mind) , ‘horror in spandex’, ‘two pigs fighting in a bag’, (not my words) show.
Iif the Ozzy wannabe aspired to be as scary as Ozzy then he did a bloody good job. Scarily entertaining, like yer Granny at a wrestling match.
The crowd was well wound up by now enjoying the Sabbath and Ozzy numbers. We retreated towards the back of the marquee where Sue had that one drink that pushed the big button in her back, so apologies to anyone who was accosted by a purple bespectacled mental Scots lass and forced to join in the dance of the paralytic.
Rumour had it that this would be the last ‘Sober up The Dragon’ they were ‘Scotched’ by (and like) Kev who announced that there would indeed be number nine next year. The Dragonslayers would like to thank S.P.O.T members for their help over the weekend.
Heres looking forward to next year
Words & Pics By Al
Last but not least, a huge thanks to Sue for the extra photies.
Trophy Winners – er, I’m waiting for the names, I’ll update or correct bad memory when I get the details.