East Essex Sidecar
I am not sure who organised this one, presumably the East Essex MCC? We only got a sticker at the '77 one and a small plasticky badge in '78. The rally was held at the Salvation Army Farm near the remains of Hadleigh Castle. This was a strange place to hold a rally, even a sidecar one, as no alcohol was allowed in the farm grounds.
I went down there on my 400/4 with Barry Clark on his 750cc Honda. One of the things that attracted us to go 200+ miles down to Essex was that just up the road from the rally at Westcliff on Sea was Hadleigh Customs. This was a bike shop that sold all the fancy American tuning gear for the original Honda fours. We didn't want anything like that though, what interested us was that they sold pattern oil filters for Hondas at a fraction of the price of the genuine ones. Unlike now you could not buy things like that easily. An oil change and filter were needed every 1500 miles on the Hondas we ran and as we were both doing over 25,000 miles a year it was quite a saving. Plus we could buy enough to sell a few and make ours even cheaper.
We went off on a bus ride to Basildon on the Saturday afternoon with some of the Mayflower MCC, Phil Guy and probably Radar, looking for Real Ale. I remember we passed the Greeves factory at Thundersley but couldn't see any trials bikes, just lots of the old Invacar invalid carriages in their yard.
Sorry, but I can't remember anything that went on back at the site but it must have been ok as we went back there in '78.
I never managed to get to any of the later East of Essex rallies which were normal solo rallies.
- Ted Trett