Brr brr brr --- --- brr brr brr --- god damn it! It's 4.45am again. It only seems like I've been sleep for 20 minutes. I drag my body out of the pit, quick splash, grab the sandwiches and I'm off to work. It's not far so I'm still half asleep. I get out of the car, typical winter morning, cold, damp, windy. Then I hear it, a familiar sound ---- clink, clink, clink, clink. It's the wind blowing the cables against the four alloy flag poles outside the factory ------ and I'm transported back in time 30 years, back to Glasson Dock for the Clipper Rally
I did two, the 1st and 2nd, both cracking rallies with good mates. A better site would have been hard to find. The River Lune meets the sea, some sort of canal meets the docks/marina so it's a busy spot on what should be a dull boring back water.
Getting off the M6 at junc 33 and heading west leads you to Condor Green and a pub called The Stork (all right for a pint but hit and miss on food). Just a few miles brings you to Glasson Dock. The camp site was a field about half a mile from the pub. The marina was at the back of the field. The wind was blowing and all you could hear all weekend was the bloody rigging ringing out in the wind.
All the usual crew was there. We had a couple of pints at midday and had a womble around. There was one of the old Isle of Man ferries tied up at the dock awaiting the cutting torches and the scrap man. We had a cup of coffee in the floating cafe, the "bar bar ge" or something like that. The floating cafe was some sort of old trawler.
Then a pint or two in the pub on the night. On the way back from the pub we had to walk around the side of the marina and I thought it would be great fun to take rocks from peoples gardens and throw them into the marina splashing the lads behind, mainly Dave Wood as he protested the loudest. A lot of the gardens that backed onto the marina had done away with the fences which meant it was more or less open plan. It was Dave's plan to get me but I was waiting and, as Dave chased me onto this lawn, I intended to do a judo throw and dump him on the grass. The meanacing 6 foot plus Woodsy came after me. I reached out and caught hold of his jacket and leaned back feet coming up for the throw and finished up on my arse with Dave's breast pocket in my hand, ripped clean off his coat and the contents strewn across the lawn. Dave was most understanding about this. The next obstacle was the barbed wire fence. Most people walked around it. Me being a little taller thought I could get over it but the ground fell away the other side so I ended up with some torn flesh around the nuts. Good job I was pissed.
Next morning was a 2 solpadine job just to shrink my brain back into it's normal size to fit inside the skull. We had a walk around and Alan Giddens found some mushrooms that we ate for breakfast. That could explains a lot. I can't remember the club that ran the rally. Any ideas anyone?
- Les Hobbs
Yes Glasson Dock was a great place for a rally......not sure the locals agreed though! All that water and all that beer, how any of us have survived I don't know. It's probably because nobody did a risk assesment before the rally!
The Clipper was run by Derek Halewood & The Morecambe and District Rally Club.
The old ferry that Les mentions floated away on its own one night when there was an unusually high tide or something. It's a bit careless losing something that big!
I seem to remember a Blackpool Rally was held there in 1975.
- Ted Trett
I remember at that rally I had wax in one ear, and couldn't hear a thing on my right side, it was blocked solid, we were all in the pub on the night, there was loads of background noise and I was finding it impossible to make out any conversation clearly. My mate Paul Elliott realised this and sat on my right side and just mouthed words to me for a good 5 minutes before I realised he was taking the pi55...nice one Paul!
- Dave Honneyman