GPO Rally

4th on 20th April 1984 - Barrel Bikers Bucks MCC

Shock Horror, as the handout read, we were right in the middle of Milton Keynes. I was familiar with housing estates, but I had never encountered so many identical people-boxes in one place before. Apparently it was supposed to be nearer the outskirts, but a last-minute change of venue, meant we ended up on a rubble-strewn patch of land between a community hall and the Grand Union Canal. This also explained the lack of marquee, but, due to the weather and the hall on site, this didn't bother us too much, even though we couldn't use the hall for the first night due to a party some Goths were having. This was an annoyance, but we could use it on Saturday. There was a food van on site and the Control had directions to local food/beer outlets and a list of pubs where we were not welcome.

DAILY EXCESS 20-23 April 1984 SHOCK HORROR 4th GPO Rally The Barrel Bikers (Buckingham) MCC Welcome to our 4th GPO Rally. We apologise for the late site. Badges will be sent after the rally. Make sure your name and address or club is in our Rally Book. There are pubs, chip shops,Chinese takeaways, markets and the city centre nearby. A map showing these is at Rally Control. The Swan at Woughton does not welcome bikers. SORRY: Main bonfire ONLY Ex-Friend Nominates a Mate You too can be ab ex-friend. Nominate a mate for Prick of the Rally. Write down his or her name and hand it in to control. Special Offer Grand Union Canal. We are able to offer, at very good rates, the use of this masterpiece of Victorian engineering as bathing facilities for first time rallyists. Events Saturday: Bar, Games at about 3pm - throwing, tyre changing, eating, disco, band, bar, Miss GPO, Mr Moonlight and spot prizes during evening in main building. Sunday: Awards and raffle about 12 in the car park. Disco and bar in the evening. Awards Long distance - home. Long distance - abroad. Club turnout. Miss GPO. Mr Moonlight. Best foreign bike. Best British bike. Grot bike. Prick of the Rally. Men's throwing. Women's throwing. Eating. Tyre changing. Advertisement Get your soft bog paper at control. Only 25p a sheet + VAT. Free with doctors prescription.

We went exploring the area and found that cows are not the only animals cast in concrete around the town/city/borough, as there appears to be a number of dinosaurs and even pigs. I think newcomers and visitors used them as an aid to navigation, although hardly any of them are visible from the roads any more.

A group of us spent the evening in a 'fake pub', (part of a block of flats), about a mile from the site. The saving grace of this establishment was that there was a Chinese takeaway on the way back.

On the Saturday it turned out that we were quite close to a Mental Hospital with somewhat lax security, as a guy who assured us he was in "constant cosmic contact with 2000 people", visited us, followed by security personnel. The games were quite subdued, as there was nowhere near enough room for a tug-of-war. The timed tyre changing got a few entrants, as did the object throwing and eating contests.

The adjacent canal was a good place to throw first-timers, much to the amusement of the narrow-boat dwellers who were moored alongside the location. Later on there was a small ride out to the famous Concrete Cows, nowadays nearly surrounded by houses, and a nearby market.

Back at the site, there was an impromptu engine-damaging contest with a sledgehammer. When people got bored with that, some guys from the Snatchgrabbers Club (Merseyside), repeatedly dropped a large lump of concrete on it until it was properly crushed.

We were allowed to use the hall tonight and there were a couple of bands on, which almost made up for the exile we were used to for the weekend so far. There were 'Miss GPO' and 'Mr Moonlight' contests advertised, but I don't recall seeing them.

The good weather extended to the Sunday morning, leading to a pleasant ride home.

- Phil (the Spill) Drackley