1978-1982 organised by M.C. De Kraats, Ede, Holland.
I always looked forwards to this rally. It was held at a good venue, a horse riding school. The field was just over the road from the indoor arena. There was a permanant indoor bar/cafe upstairs overlooking the arena and while the rally was on there was a temporary bar/food area set up down in the arena amongst the tables and chairs. There was always fun and games organised to keep people amused, tug of war, pole fighting with sacks filled with straw and flour and obstacle courses plus music and dancing.
There was always a good turn out of English ralliests as well as continentals. Being held in late April early May it was one of the first of the year. Regular attendants were Roger Halfyard, Kelvin Clouting, Keith Arthurs (Kit), John Jocys, Stewart Paice, Sonja van Vuuren and Ozzy and Christina.
The venue was just outside the town of Ede about 15 miles west of Arnhem in an area known as "De Hoge Veluwe" a national park area. It was always a great event irrespective of the weather because of the huge hall. The floor covering which was about 5 inches of soft shredded bark which was at times a little fragrant but at least when you fell over it didn't hurt.
For two or three years I rode up the back route, or rather the scenic route, as I used to go to Zendenhorst to pick up ex pat, ex army biker "Ozzy", a nice guy from Coleshill Warks. I forget his first name now but his surname was Austin and he was living with Christina and her mother, he rode a Suzuki 750/4 and as I followed him up the road I saw that his frame was bent or the wheel alignment was out. I mentioned it to him when we arrived and, yes the bike had been in a smash.
Another regular was a lad, who's name escapes me at the moment, but he always did well in the events, probably because of his training. He was a chap from the City of London Fire Brigade. He came over every year that I attended.
Another year I was there with Sonja van Vuuren, the girlfriend, and Steve Giddens was there also. We were having a drink and a chat at the upstairs bar on the Friday evening with some lads from the north of England and after about half an hour the one lad said to me "You don't know who I am do you?" and I admitted that I didn't but that his face was familiar. He then said that his name was Max and after a minute or so I still could not place him. It was only when he said his surname Hermanns that I knew who he was; Max Hermanns from Koln. I had not seen him for about 5 years and here he was speaking in broad Yorkshire accent. He had always spoken good English but with an American accent. He had split with his wife and moved to Doncaster to work in a Mercedes garage.
Yes a damn fine do but a lot of the times it's the people you're with that makes rallying good.
- Les Hobbs
The London Fire Brigade biker was Rupert. We (the Chequers BC) used to go across to the Nederveluwe Treffen every year, and we always saw Rupert there.
We were there the same years as you. As you said, a great site due to that horse riding school. I've got some pictures of the flour-ladden sacks hitting heads, always a crowd pleaser.
Do you remember the huge Belgian guy that was there? He was an ambulanceman, spoke around 12 languages, and became a medic after deciding he needed to give back rather than keep taking. Rode a Harley with a big white sheepskin seat.