Shakedown winter rally
Some years ago a bunch of Kent and Sussex scooterists gathered again at an early season rally in Dorset and began talking. They all loved summer camping rallies but out of season preferred a roof over their heads. The Camber Sands Winter Warmer had ended and options had dwindled to events which they considered a long way for local scooterists to get together. So the germ of an idea was born; a group was formed from scooter clubs across the South Coast, a caravan park near Hastings was found, and 2014 saw their first Winter event there.
This year’s Shakedown opened on the morning of Friday, November 6, with folks checking-in at the reception van equipped with a shot bar for everyone to have a ‘landing-shot’ to warm their cockles on a dreary, wet November day. Numbered plastic ducks handed to arrivals as a bit of fun. Who saw the irony of ‘good weather for ducks’? Where would they end-up?
On-hand was the fantastic A&A Mobile Pie & Mash run by Andi and Andy from ‘that London’, selling the ‘naughty but nice’ fast-food.
Friday evening in the venue got off to a cracking start with MC Neil Carter ‘USM’ at the tiller and introducing the first act of the weekend. Lorraine Bowen, finalist of Britain’s Got Talent is not your normal rally fare but clearly intended as a fun ice-breaker. She did not disappoint. The cookie lady had hardened scooterists prancing around the hall doing the hokey-cokey. She played her signature tune I Love Cooking Crumble on a toy Casio organ with ironing board stand. Our eyes are still bleeding!
The Winter Rally vibe continued with members of A259 South Coasters and other scooter clubs sporting kilts; Mr Peter Floyd in full third foot and mouth “devils in skirts” regalia resplendent with pith helmet, and the Pissed & Broke SC in Mexican ponchos and hats.
This year saw the magnificent Badness from Hull live on stage. Standing room only, the floor packed and these guys raising the temperature. The place was bouncing!
Meanwhile in the marquee, the Silent Disco got under way, with Karl Beeston of the South Kent Saints SC, and Paul Wils / Callum Osmond of Sid James SC at the controls with a little help from Riley and Katie Collard of Whitfield Wanderers SC. Head-phoned ravers revelled in the lazer lights, smoke and bubble machines.
With everyone safely settled into their caravans, the Saturday opened with traders in the Marquee, food stalls, and by midday a Bucking Bronco for people to have a giggle on.
The Saturday lunchtime session proceeded, showcasing sets from Modway doing solo electric numbers, and the fantastic Herbal Love of Eastbourne with all our reggae favourites. Ably MC’d in eloquent working man’s club style by Neil Carter ‘USM’. We hear he is now called ‘Sweary Neil’ but everyone still loves him.
Saturday afternoon played host to some charity events. Sue Kavanagh sold custom-made poppies for the Poppy Appeal and the kids of Shakedown sold cakes to raise money for Taylor Made Dreams, a children’s charity close to our hearts.
Saturday evening continued with the most amazing The Riff all the way from Swansea. Ben, Tommy, Sam and Chris are still teenagers and only recently able to get into licensed venues! MC Carter tripped over the drummer with a quip ‘Who dya think you are? Keith Moon?’ They blew the room away with a mix of Sixties, Eighties and indie. The highlight was Wipeout with the young drummer Tommy in the spotlight. Keith Moon? ‘Well yea!’ Amazing!
A photobooth appeared in the venue for clubs to ‘pile-in’ for a free group photo. That went down well.
Next up was Mad for Brit, a Kent group performing tribute to great British rock’n’roll bands, from The Who right through to Oasis. They really belted out those numbers with class.
Sunday was a far more relaxing day, with the Park offering a free extra night for those wanting to lie-in and chill out, visit the Cenotaph for Remembrance Day, or take in a bit of Hastings.
Overall a superbly friendly and intimate rally and the winter-blues have already started to set in. Special thanks go to all the scooter clubs and individuals who have supported Shakedown, with large attendances from Gravesend Sentinels, Big7, Sid James, Medway, Medway Aces, South Coast Pirates, A259 South Coasters, Thanet SC, South Kent Saints, Dover Sharks, Whitfield Wanderers, and many others. Thanks also to Park Holidays’ James, Josie, Helda and the team on the bars. All our suppliers, sponsors, and advertisers. The Dannys of the Sound team. The DJ team: Danny Peach, Marc Leigh, Peter Floyd, Roy Williamson & Ady Mason. The Silent Disco Team: Karl Beeston, Paul Wils, Callum Osmond, Riley & Katie Collard, Stall holders including A&A London Pie and Mash, and Etty all the way from IOW.