Nob Rot Rally

21st October 1983 - Griffin MCC

If you run a rally with a somewhat 'risque' name, why have an even more unnerving logo on the badges? When I first saw people wearing badges for this rally, I had no idea it was a rally, I just kept my distance from them. There were also t-shirts available that used a completely different typeface/font on the design.

The first thing people did after arriving, if the bar wasn't open, was to get some wood together for the bonfires, of which there were several. Some enterprising types also 'acquired' old tyres from the banger-racing track in the field next door. Having been to banger races in the past, I was a bit uneasy about this, as such tyres are regularly used to prevent serious injury in races where the cars are MOT failures hurtling around a track with dubious brakes.

Anyway, afternoon turned into evening, as down came the autumn mists, which combined with the smoke from the fires, especially the tyre smoke, to produce air-borne black mud that covered tents and rallyists alike. Also, there was a bit of noise in amongst the tents, and a few flashes of a pyrotechnic origin. I often wonder if firework manufacturers noticed a sales spike in Stratford-upon-Avon about a fortnight before the 5th of November in the early 80s. There were certainly a lot going off bang at an unusually low height, (loud ones were the preferred type). There was also a massive increase is sales of Crow-Scarers, in farm supply shops, as these were slightly cheaper, and certainly louder, than most of the 'entertainment' fireworks available. (The phrase 'more bangs per buck' comes to mind.)

On Saturday, when fresh supplies of, lets be honest, explosives, had been obtained, and tourists baffled, we set about designing stuff. The 'rookies', once they were removed from their slow-release fuse-rope, and paper removed from around the inner fuse, were discovered to have about one-two seconds before explosion. This was just enough time, once an apple had been cored, and a rookie inserted, to light the fuse and throw the apple in the air, to then watch the apple disintegrate in mid-air and shower the area with apple juice.

I did attempt to take a photo of one of these magic apples, pre-bang, but my camera decided to do a multiple exposure on top of a lot of people on an overloaded bike and a rather nifty trike. I did manage to get a photo of a rocket gun. At the time cheap packs of very small rockets had become quite popular, (I think they have since been banned). If you got an old discarded one-foot length of tent pole, with a hole about halfway along, you could drop one of these rockets down it, stick a lit match in the hole, and launch the rocket with a fair degree of accuracy. There may have been some games going on in another part of the field, but we were making up our own games in our corner.

When we had finished playing silly-buggers, the music in the marquee attracted us, and we seemed to spend the rest of the night in there. The music was well appreciated, as were the charms of the young ladies who decided they were too sexy for their shirts. The party continued well into the night as such things often do.

The weather on Sunday morning was a bit chilly and misty, but the sun soon broke through. It was obvious that many of us were going to have to clean our tents before using them again, as thick black mud had settled on several of the taller ones, the smoky mist of the night before having only come down to about 5 feet above the ground. This meant several of us also had somewhat darkened features, which was amusing at the time.

- Phil (the Spill) Drackley