The Swaledale Rally
The First Swaledale Rally was held in 1976 at Fremington near Reeth in the Yorkshire Dales. I had to go on the pillion of Phil Johnson because I had written my Honda CB500T off three weeks before and was still suffering from a broken collar bone.
It looked like a scene from M.A.S.H.
I am not sure now who was there from the Dean Valley MCC, but we had a good turn out and a few of us decided to go down to Reeth to get some beer supplies. Phil and I were on his Suzuki T500 and Jeff Clift (Dinsdale) was on the back of Richard Hirst (King Dick) also on a Suzuki T500. We got away before the others, made our way down into Reeth and got a pint in the pub while we were waiting for them, but nobody else arrived.
We eventually got some cans of beer and went back to the site. It looked like a scene from M.A.S.H. Richard had failed to get round a really bad hairpin bend and had gone through the fence into the field. He was not too bad because the bike had got caught in the barbed wire and protected him. Jeff however had tried to do a superman act over the fence but he had caught his knee on the top run and left a good chunk of it behind hanging like a trophy. I suppose it could have been much worse, after all the fence wasn't bothered what it got hold of!
Jeff wasn't able to ride his bike after they stitched him back together at the hospital, so I had to ride it back to Bradford. I felt every bump, but I think we still diverted to the Pennine Rally which was on the same weekend.
- Ted Trett
I was in the Swaledale MCC then and I guess it must've been the lad Jeff with the ripped-up knee who I took down to Catterick to the Military Hospital.
I recall him doing OK until we reached the entrance to the hospital, but when he put his hand out to push the door open, it swung away from him - I guess automatic electric doors were new/novel then? - and he landed on the floor in a messy and noisy heap.
I think we held about six, maybe seven Swaledales, using three different sites; we used a Luton van and an open ex-army truck to get folks back and forth to the town. The guy with a old army truck was called 'Yorkie', not a Swaledale member, but somebody's mate.
- Bob Carlisle
All I remember about this one was the trip to the nearest town. The club had the use of a seven and a half ton wagon. The floor was awash with spilt beer etc. We spent the time clinging to the sides trying to avoid the tidal wave of fuilds on the bumpy trip.
- Mike Hull
This was my first rally (white badge) can't remember much, I know I didn't take a tent. I remember the box van taking people to Richmond. I had a 250LC.
- Les Reith