We make no excuses for luxuriating in the 1980s (again), plus the TRX850 ‘secret’ that can’t be put back in the box. Plus, a dinosaur talks birds
After reading your We Love The ’80s issue (PS, Sept 2018) I was inspired to tell a few stories from that time, especially as we’re only down the road from you at PS. We basically started meeting in 1984 at Orton Longueville shops in Peterborough at around 7pm every night as most of us lived around that area. After much twitching of blinds and curtains by the residents, we would usually head off to the Gordon Arms pub along Oundle Road and chitchat and catch up on the day’s events, usually complaining about having to work to be able to afford our bikes.
Around closing time, especially on a Friday, we would head off to Sunny Hunny (Hunstanton) and either camp or stay there until dawn the next morning. At the start of gatherings, we were mostly on 50s or 125s but within a couple of years we’d all passed our tests and gone on to bigger bikes.
Memory #1 The frying pan incident
We decided to go camping for the Silverstone 500 GP. I must have been around ’86 or ’87 as I was already on my CBX6. At night, the usual ruckus of burn-outs and wheelies along the country roads around the track was halted by a convoy of riot vans and suitably clad policemen. It was all quite friendly to start with and we even sat in one of the police vans chatting. One of them even offered a friend of mine his sandwich.
As we walked back to the campsite, which was just behind the bordering hedge, a commotion started and before we knew it, people were getting grabbed and put in vans. There ‘may’ have been a frying pan thrown over the hedge from our campfire into the crowd on the other side which obviously included the riot police. Someone was heard muttering, “Me frying pan, where’s me frying pan?”
Much later when everything seemed to have quietened down, one of us was relieving himself on the hedges when suddenly three or four police in riot gear appeared from nowhere. It turned out they were hiding in the hedges lying in wait. As he was bundled into the back of the van, he later told us he heard a voice in the darkness say, “You **cker! I gave you my sandwiches!”
I had to take that friend a few days later to Towcester Crown Court on the back of my CBX as I felt guilty because I KNOW he didn’t throw that frying pan. No one has owned up to throwing that frying pan to this day.
#2 Santa Pod Camping
One of our after closing time camping trips was to Santa Pod Raceway as it was a Run-what-you-brung weekend. One of our friends came in his mum’s brand new red Ford Escort to carry camping gear. I don’t think it had a thousand miles on it. We rode around the back roads testing the car and we happened to find ourselves in an access road to a wheat field.
He thought it would be fun to make a line in the middle of it using his mum’s car. Well that
line ended up as a full matrix on the wheat field. We now know it wasn’t funny and not clever. Sorry Mr. Farmer. As we were setting the bonfire, the same Ford Escort key holder decided it would be a good idea to soak his hand in petrol and stick it in the fire. He’d seen in movies that the fuel would catch fire but the skin wouldn’t get hot. Well now he knows it doesn’t work like that.
I drove his mum’s car around Northampton looking for the emergency department only to find it was closed. I remember how unimpressed I was with the car. Dagenham’s 1300cc didn’t seem that powerful, and it chugged a lot. We found out later at dawn that the edges on the front of his mum’s new car were down to primer and under the bonnet was full, and I mean FULL, of wheat; airbox intake, radiator, the lot. On the way home, we had to stop at a petrol station and luckily found a tin of red rattle can to hide the obvious. He later told us his mum took it back to the garage to complain about the poor running and the garage had to replace the fuel tank as it had wheat in it.
I could go on, but most of it is unprintable, mainly because it’s embarrassing, and much of it is hidden somewhere in our memory banks and usually only comes out when we’re together. The last big one was in 2014 when I went back for a surprise 50th (for me). Pretty much everyone was there and we reminisced all night, much to the shock and embarrassment of the offspring. The wives had already heard the stories a million times. Well, some of them anyway. Best regards,
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