The Buttstock is organised by Get Off Your Butts MCC at a site just North of Birmingham, and is a Marquee based rally. However you have the option of going to the rugby club bar, if the various bands that are on in the marquee are not to your liking, or a short walk from the site are a choice of some good real ale pubs.
It was nice to see a younger age group out enjoying a bike event.
Although this was the 9th Buttstock it was a new rally for me. It was recommended as a well organised event. I set off Friday afternoon in sunny conditions and so took the slow but interesting route from Bradford over Holme Moss and down through the peak district. When I got to Uttoxeter I could see the storm clouds, but I was lucky and only had a short burst of heavy rain and then just showers on the final part of my ride.
The people already at the site had not been so lucky. There had been an incredible amount of water in a short space of time and some of the drains couldn't take it. The road in to the rugby club site was flooded and only just passable.
The actual entry gate into the rally field was also badly affected and bikes were not allowed to use it for a few hours until the club got some straw down and sorted out a ditch to get better drainage. The entry was badly cut up though, and you had to be careful going in and out.
The Get Off Your Butts MCC had their control by the gate, with booking in, selling tee shirts and raffle tickets and also tea, coffee and even biscuits. This seemed to be open all the time, and indeed I took advantage of a late night cuppa before bed both Friday and Saturday night.
There was a couple of catering vans on site doing a good trade in breakfasts, burgers etc. The rugby clubhouse also had meals on offer, as did the local pubs, so you had no excuse for being hungry!
Friday night we started off in the local pub. There didn't seem to be many of us there from the rally and we had a good bit of banter with the locals. We went back in time to catch the last band in the marquee. They were quite good, or I had had more to drink than I remember! After that the disco started, and I have no idea when it finished, because I was in bed by then!
Saturday started a bit late, (as seems to be usual) and we had a late breakfast and discussed going out on the bikes. In the event we only discussed it because we ended up just having a walk down to the local supermarket, and getting a few things in for the evening meal. Then we had a look at the bikes on site, had a look at the bike gear stalls, and watched some of the silly games.
We missed the activities with the stocks, which judging by the mess around them had been well used. The other games involved being pushed around a circuit in a wheelbarrow whilst holding a pint of water on your head. It's a good job the sun was out as there seemed to be a lot of wet people at the finish line!
The bikes on site were a very varied bunch. I had expected it to be mainly cruiser type Harleys and their clones, but there were some nice classics and a good few sports bikes and big tourers. It was also good to see a nice Panther outfit being used.
In the evening we went back to the pub again, but got back to the site a bit earlier than Friday, and again enjoyed the bands although the last one on ended up running rather late. We actually met quite a few locals on their way in to the rally to see the bands and it was nice to see a younger age group out enjoying a bike event. I suppose the usual rallies I do cater more for the older end of the rally scene.
It was an enjoyable weekend and, as I had been told, was very well organised with lots of fluorescent jacketed marshals guarding the site and checking that you had an official wristband to prove you had paid!
- Ted Trett