Gert Bustards Rally

The 1989 Ye Gert Bustards Rally was held at a pub about four miles out of Devizes on the road to Melksham.

The stormy weather made it an interesting weekend. The weather forecast that Saturday morning had said don't go out unless you need to. I needed to go. I had paid out money to pre-book.

I arrived Saturday lunch to find that the marquee had already blown down. This left a small pub to service about seventy people. Anyway about forty of us called mini buses & spend an evening in Devizes.

The landlords of Devizes were very pleased with this, as was the taxi firm.

I heard later that the local police had also been pleased. It appears that it had been the first Saturday night in ages that they had not need to turn out to deal with trouble.

Another reason I remember the weekend. My trusty old CX500 won Best Foreign bike.

- Dave Cooper

20th October 1989 Moonrakers MCC

To fill the gaps in the previous reporter's memory, the rally was held behind the Three Magpies pub, in Sells Green.

It doesn't bode well when the organisers can't spell the name of the rally correctly on the invite. To then promote an "Irish free gift", which turned out to be a condom stapled to the ticket, indicates that not so much care is being lavished on the planning as usual. But, the Moonrakers MCC had been running the rally for seven or so years, so a little slack should be given.

It certainly wasn't lack of care that was in evidence when the site was lashed with extremely high winds on the Friday night. The marquee was only held down by everybody grabbing hold of part of it and just hanging on. Unfortunately, hanging on to the marquee meant letting ones own tent go unprotected, and many of them got terminally damaged (including mine).

Thanks to one of the organisers, Paul Baker, for letting me have some tent space for the weekend. The remains of the marquee were taken down on the Saturday morning, enabling some resourceful rally goers to borrow some more respectable tent pegs for their structures.

Pat Read had made a valiant effort to keep the disco going until the power was shut off to prevent injury from live flying cables.

Luckily, the food provision was in one of the pub's outbuildings, so that was not too badly affected and everybody could have a full breakfast, even those that gave up and went home. Obviously the rally had to shift to the pub itself for the rest of the weekend, and the bands had to be cancelled.

An enterprising local singer, (one Patrick Robinson), managed to get the job of keeping us entertained in the pub, so they put some boards over the pool table so that could be used as a makeshift stage, (there wasn't much room for anything else). At one point he spied me joining in on my kazoo, (as I am wont to do), and insisted I joined in with some songs, but I found it very difficult to play along to 'Stairway to heaven' in 3:4 time.

Despite the winds there hadn't been much in the way of rain all weekend, so it was not unpleasant sitting around the bonfire after the pub had shut.

Packing up on Sunday was less arduous that we might have expected it was going to be, as many people were just chucking what was left of their tents straight into a skip. As I approached with most of mine, (the poles were fine, so I was keeping them in case a future structure required them), one of the Lurkers MCC made a 'humorous' remark, which resulted in my flysheet being thrown in his face rather than the skip.

All in all, a little more subdued and expensive weekend than expected, but still a rally worth attending.

- Phil (the Spill) Drackley

Start of quotation Definitely remember this ...

Borderline MCC and Wayside Rats MCC always in the thick if the fun stuff.

I have still got my rally badges ... are they worth anything?

Memories more priceless I think. End of quotation

- Anon