Goose Fair Rally

One of the very best rallies in the calendar is the Goose Fair Rally held by the Clifton and District Club. Dave Hill and myself travelled up the A6 in the rain and turning onto the A648 we found the campsite well away from any houses but within walking distance of a large pub. The well organised host club had posted marshals to guide the bikes through the muddy entrance. Memories of this year's Dragon flashed through my mind as we struggled to keep the Guzzi moving. Parking the bike on some solid ground we booked in and collected our badges.

The tent was soon erected, the bike covered up and the beer tent discovered. Then pints in hand we walked up the road to join the girls who had arrived in the car. Being the gentleman(?) I helped Sheila put on a pair of boots and received plenty of good natured remarks from other rallyists who were walking to the pub. We then paddled our way back through the mud for another drink and a chat with a Guzzi owning couple.

Later we piled into the car and headed for Nottingham in search of a hotel for the ladies and after driving round in perpetual circles due to my navigating, we eventually found one near Trent Bridge. After the girls had booked in and Dave and me been given some old fashioned looks we parked the car and caught a bus to the fair (it's a lot safer than driving in Notts).

At the fair we fought our way along the stands with about two million others, gorging ourselves with hot dogs and mushy peas. The afternoon was pleasantly spent riding on the steam roundabout, shooting countless tin men to win a couple of glasses and key rings, falling about on the cake walk, sadistically attacking each other with dodgem cars, feeding thousands of one armed bandits and watching a disappointing wall of death.

Finding a stand with a fellow who claimed to be able to give your age within one year Shirley couldn't resist challenging him. He guessed she was fourteen and as no girl can resist flattery Sheila also went forward but was a little upset when he reckoned she was about twenty three. So as a consolation prize I took her to have her palm read and she recounted her future to us as we walked to a pub. (Jeez, 14 kids!) After Shirley had fell out with the fruit machine in the pub we caught a bus back to the hotel. The run back was quite pleasant because on Trent buses they have introduced piped music.

Falling exhausted into the car we went in search of a chish and fip shop noticing the number of bikes heading back to the site. So after a meal we miraculously found our way back to the site where Dave and Shirley went off to get drunk and Sheila and I did our by now famous 'we want to be alone thank you very much' act.

Later we had a few drinks together and then when the fog had lifted we packed the girls off to the hotel and successfully drank the beer tent dry although it took us until 1.30. The serious boozing was entertained by a male stripper/streaker and a very good choir. The mixture of bitter/mild/Guinness/lager made us feel very tired and we slept really well. I only woke up once to inspect a nearby fence post.

Sunday morning was really foggy and the majority of bikers packed up and left early before the mud got impassable. The ladies arrived about 10 O'clock after a pretty good breakfast. Dave and I made do with egg salad sarnies brought by the girls.

We waited until the fog lifted and the sun came out really strong to make us feel great and say goodbye to our hangovers.

The kit was packed into the panniers and the tent and rain kit thrown into 'Fred's' car. Dave, Shirley and myself had a barrel of fun fighting 500 pounds of Italian iron through the mud while Sheila was promoted to official photographer to record the event. On the road we all headed for the cafe at Donington Park where we stocked up with sickly cream cakes and Shirley enquired if they were still doing breakfasts. As it was 2.00 in the afternoon we ignored her and ordered some lunch. Then leaving the girls to find their own way home (male chauvinist pigs unite) Dave and I enjoyed a ton up cruise down the M1 that made me feel really lost without my Commando.

I really enjoyed the Goose Fair Rally and am looking forward to the Antelope Rally especially if I can have the Norton on the road.


- Terry Reynolds