Warmwell Winter Rally
The South West Scooter Clubs’ end of season party took place at the decidedly hospitable Warmwell Holiday Park in November.
Scootering down to Dorset to join the SWSC at their end of year rally.
Flying back from the Milan motorcycle show just before the rally didn’t leave me much time to prepare, but with the game plan being to take the trusty Vespa PX all I needed to do was check the tyres, oil and fuel. Unfortunately, with torque wrench in hand, I discovered a stripped front hub stud, and after replacing one and reassembling the wheel, another one went. Checking around for a hidden camera and laughter I continued my ‘repairs’ only for one stud to strip the hub and render the scooter useless. And so it was that my poor Lambretta Li was once again pressed into service – once I’d fitted a new rear tyre and adjusted the back brake.
All this meant it was decidedly and most definitely dark when we arrived at the site around 6.30pm, and after grabbing a portion of very average fish and chips from the on site takeaway we set off to find our chalet and hosts, Ness and Andy from Reservoir Gods SC. The heating was on, dodgy vodka stuff in the fridge and after a couple of Peronis we were nicely warmed up for the evening ahead.
While the holiday camp venue is so spread out it’s hard to gauge numbers, the ever-filling bar showed many had come out for a final weekend of scooter related partying. The SWSC Brass Monkey Award (engraved hip flask) was on the door for those who ridden miles to sign-on for. At the time I’d written down my 180 miles it was being headed by a scooterist from Felixstowe if I recall, who had travelled over 230 miles.
At the far end of the bar the soul room was packed all night and indeed was again on Saturday too, a sign of good music and being farther away from the occasional icy draught blowing through the doors and arcade into the main room! In the latter on Friday night The Talks played live, their set of original ska and ska/punk flavoured tunes going down well with those present, but under appreciated I fear by others who ignore any band who don’t play covers from start to finish. A shame because they are a great young band and well worth checking out if you’ve not yet seen them.
The party continued until two in the morning, at which time those remaining braved the frost and wandered back to their lodgings.
Saturday arrived with a ridden scooter show assembling outside the venue until around midday, with some very interesting scooters to admire. Representing the full-blown custom scooters was O’ Fortuna, while C and LD models from the 50s flew the vintage flag, with a Cezeta and Triumph T10 showing that it wasn’t just Lambretta and Vespa back in the day.
It was the engineered scooters that caught many eyes though I think (certainly mine) with the Lambretta Chopper Owners Club having a get together out in the cold, while a couple of heavily modified Vespas which looked more like cars had people crawling all around them to see exactly what was what (don’t worry folks, they’re on our hit list for a feature soon!). Add to this a Yamaha RD350 powered Lambretta and a tidy Serveta and it kept me busy up until the time the rideout left at midday, although it was more a handful of scooters on their way to Weymouth than an impressive display of classic machines in convoy.
Back in the warm and there were plenty of stalls to peruse for those who hadn’t ridden or taken a taxi into town, or indeed others who ventured no further than their chalets. Another negative of such holiday site based events is that some people don’t leave their accommodation all weekend which bemuses me but each to their own…
Saturday night saw the Sex Pistols Experience on stage, who I must say sounded good and their Mr Rotten lookalike also offered some quality banter, quite literally giving you a complete experience and plenty appreciated their set.
DJs took over after the band, the soul room elsewhere still doing well (with flat caps apparently being the ‘new’ pork pie hat!), and unlike previous years the bar coped far better with serving us all, although their prices do seem to have taken a dramatic hike of late.
The night was again cold, some of us with a long ride home not staying out for the full session again, or indeed hanging about for the Sunday SWSC party which has also become an annual event.
A great weekend it was though – it’s always good to catch up with friends from the south west – and with good kit to wear the ride home wasn’t too cold either, stopping only for fuel and the insertion of heat packets in gloves and boots just north of Guildford. It took just three and half hours from door to door, and never has a hot bath been so appealing! Congratulations again to the SWSCs and thanks once more for your hospitality. I know it’s a lot of hard work on your part and nothing is easy, but it was another great weekend!