The Lantern Rally was held in a field above the town of Horwich north west of Bolton just of the M61. Still a big draw for bikes as Rivington Pike / barn is just up the road.
This was the first rally put on by the Kingsway MCC and a learning curve for all. We took the best ideas from all the rallies we had done and set off down hill from there!
We had a chef in the club, an ex Royal Marine hereafter known as Bob the Chef. He did a big stew given free on Saturday evening. We also grossly underestimated the amount of burgers, beans, bacon etc the bikers can eat and sold the whole weekends supply by midnight on Friday. This entailed a hung-over trip for Andy Junk, Gwyn Griffiths, one unknown other and I into Bolton in my clapped out Mk II Cortina (club taxi, pick-up and limo for the weekend). It's not easy to buy 600 burgers and baps Saturday morning dressed for a rally, covered in mud and smelling like a brewery, from a little butchers full of housewives doing weekend shopping. Butcher said "Are you f----ing serious, son? And you better have cash" "Yes sir", to both.
Seem to remember the weather being OK and over 700 signed in by Saturday night: Heavy rock disco in the marquee went well. Tapes made up by Les Hall and others.
It was held around November time. First one was in 1978. I think we did five all told. The last two having smaller badges.
We also did a winter one called The Jim Benson. (Long drunken story on how we came up with that name) Pub on the corner of the rally field was the Smithy (I think? If anybody has a better idea of dates, pub etc, send it in.) and we drank him dry by the end of Saturday night
The Kingsway MCC was formed from a bunch of guys and girls who drank in the Lantern pub in Bagley, Wythenshawe, Manchester, in 1976 and was originally called Knockers MCC. Being male and young they occupied a lot of our time! But we needed a more p.c. name when signing in at rallies so we picked Kingsway as it's a major road that runs through the area (A34). It was a fast bit of dual carriageway and still is, apart from the bus lane, traffic calming, cameras, trucks and far too many cars! President was Steve (JC) Birch, (God rest his soul, missed by all.) Secretary Paul Winstanly and a list of members that would fill the page. Gwyn G & Stan Johnson helped with some info for this, thanks.
- Ian Kemp
Ian Kemp was Treasurer from start of the Kingsway MCC until it all ended in the mid 1980s. Most of the time he rode a BSA 650 Thunderbolt and at the beginning a lot guys rode old British iron. Ian still sees the odd ex member and a few still have bikes!
I was a member of Kingsway MCC I remember having to do a number of rallies with them before they let me become a member. Previous to that I was with Manchester17.
I remember Steve Birch and his partner Tina.
I did the Lantern Rally in 1980 & 81.
Do you remember the Jim Benson rally? I attended the first one but can't remember the year. I tended to be the odd one out as I rode Kawasakis.
- Neil Branham
I remember doing a couple of the Lantern rallies as a young 20yr old.
One memory that springs to mind is after a night of copious amounts of alcohol I flopped into my tent, only to be told by two massive bikers that I'd woken up "Wrong tent mate".
I made a quick exit, threw up in their porch and found my tent directly opposite. My mate was nowhere to be found until next morning where he was sleeping peacefully in a ditch.
As for the two lads I'd woken so rudely all they said next day was "Mornin".
- Geoff Lyon
I was a member of Manchester 17 but was desperate to join Kingsway MCC. I had to do 20 rallies with them before they would let me join, which I did and when I attended 1980 and 81 rallies I was a fully paid up member.
Not sure where the rallies were held but remember doing them on my Z650 and Z1R.
I also attended and helped organise their other Rally, Jim Benson.
- Neil Branham
Good to hear about a rally I never attended. This is just as it was in the late 70's like the bit about the butchers shop.