3Bs Only Fools and Bikers Classic & Custom Show 2008
Well the forecast wasn’t great but when did that stop any of us? Not a long way to go so I took my time and set off after lunch, going a roundaboutish sort of way cos I was collecting Round Britain Rally landmarks en route. Stopped off at Britford near Salisbury, just off the A338 – pretty village that you wouldn’t normally turn off the main road for, then A30 through the lovely little market town of Stockbridge and down to King’s Somborne where I took to the back roads looking for the Farley Mount memorial. Unfortunately I took to the wrong back road but it was very pretty and on the way I found something else to photograph. While I was stopped at the side of a single track lane the driver one of the passing cars stopped to ask if I was O.K – I was just having a coffee break but it always gives you a warm fuzzy feeling anyway! After doing a left, left and left, (as taught to me by my ex lorry driver hubby), I found the Landmark and then proceeded to get lost in Winchester! Pretty good going as I shouldn’t have been in Winchester anyway! - I was looking for the A272. I don’t normally DO getting lost but I managed it about 6 times that day and finally turned up at the rally about 6pm when my friends were wondering where I’d got to!
It’s an amazing site for a rally, on the grass in front of the Headley Park Hotel near Bordon in Hampshire, (for anyone trying to find it next year, that’s the address but it’s really near Sleaford!). There are woods and a lake and if you get there early enough you can choose whatever glorious spot you want to pitch your tent. If you’re late like me then you want to have good friends there to save you a spot!
I don’t know how many tickets were sold this year but there’s a really good feel to this rally, some good bands in the marquee but if you want to chill out with your friends round the tents you can still hear the music and feel part of what’s going on. There’s a bonfire that’s kept going all weekend, whatever you want at the bar including of course 3B beer! (though I believe they ran out of JD some time on Saturday evening), various food wagons and also food at the hotel if that’s what you want. Anyone who doesn’t do camping can book a room at the hotel, (if their wallet is deep enough), but campers can use the real loos and showers or drink in the hotel bar if they prefer – me, I go for the rally not the hotel! There’s quite a few stalls as well, selling everything from bike bits and clothing to ethnic clothes and leather stuff – one of these days I’ll sew my name tag on my waistcoat!
The bike show is on Saturday afternoon with an enormous variety of bikes and trikes, both old and new, some with great paint jobs and some wonderful engineering but also those who just love their bike so they put it in the show. I’ve no idea who won what, but for me the pleasure is just walking round looking at what’s on show and enjoying it!
The highlight of Saturday night is the firework display which is really something! I think there were about £1000 worth of fireworks this year and I’m a sucker for anything that explodes and looks pretty and makes loud noises!
It was great to spend the weekend with folks I know from various forums, most of us managed to camp fairly close to each other, not always an advantage considering the way some of them snore! A lot of alcohol was consumed and a lot of rubbish was talked and the weather was amazing, not a drop of rain in spite of the forecast. It’s great packing up on Sunday morning in sunshine, such a rare occurrence, do a bit of packing then sit around having a coffee and a smoke before doing a bit more, then heading off in entirely the wrong direction for home cos I went to find another Landmark in West Sussex not very far from Bury Hill. It was a great day to be up on the hills and I met some folks who were practicing with their dogs as they form a search team. Amazingly they told me they get called out about twice a week to look for lost walkers! After that I decided to go home the easy way along the M27 and A31 and it was one of those wonderful days when nothing could go wrong, the traffic was light and Gertie was flying and I was almost tempted to go out for another ride when I got home!
Another great rally, thanks to all the 3Bs for their hard work that made it possible – it very nearly wasn’t at the Headley Park site this year due to problems with local people or local authority, not sure which! But whether it’s there next year or somewhere else, it’ll certainly be on my “Gotta be there” list!