Bird in the Wood Rally

21st September 1984

One thing that annoys me is how people, usually fairly wealthy, buy huge houses out in the country, right next door to motor racing tracks/aerodromes, then get those activities closed down due to the noise upsetting them in their gardens on the rare occasions they visit those properties. This had started to happen where we were this weekend, just by Goodwood Circuit. The racing had been all but stopped, except for special festivals.

Although I in no way dislike rallies that are simply named after the club or location, I like it when a little thought goes into the name. This one was held by the Martlets, (the bird), and held at Goodwood, (the wood).

The field, as I recall, was not the largest I had ever been in, but there was a fairly low limit on it, so there was more than enough room for us all. It was surrounded on all sides by a fence, combined with quite a few trees, except on one side, which was only fenced, where a pathway was all that separated us from another fence, which was the boundary of the racetrack/airfield.

Friday went very smoothly, there were not too many people there and plenty of straw bales for people to sit on/wrestle in.

On Saturday, after a few of us managed to scale the fences and gain illicit entry into the next door neighbours grounds, (nothing much was happening, so we didn't stay long), were the games. Wheelbarrow jousting and massive tyre-rolling were hotly contested. There were the customary, (but not organised), 'how many people can you get on a combo before the clutch burns out' and tyre-melting contests, (the latter assisted by the rather large concrete area in the middle of the field.

In the evening we were 'entertained' by a Jazz combo, who seemed to be having a 'guess the tune before we finish playing it' game with us. They eventually packed up and we were left with a disco playing stuff we actually knew. Later, there was the usual exposure contest, and straw fights throughout the night.

On Sunday the club had negotiated permission for suitably-clad riders to run their machines around the track a few times, (I decided to try it once - BMW R65s aren't built for racing), and this was enjoyed by quite a few as the track was suitably dry.

The ride home was also untroubled by rain.

- Phil (the Spill) Drackley