Pilgrims Rally

The 2013 Pilgrim Rally took place somewhere in Essex on the usual first weekend in August.


I arrived on Friday evening after the usual ordeal on the M25 to find Kiwi and the usual suspects already in residence.

We retired to the bar to sample the range of real ales and ciders, the Legend of Leicester Nigel Woodthorpe already there.

On Saturday morning we took the bus to a pub called The Norton that had been saved by the locals from closure.

Back at the site a band started playing and more drinks were sampled.

- Dave Ranger

This year a total of six more new motorcyclists wanted to go to England with us. On Friday, 2 August, Walter Trappe (BMW F650GS), Günter Reuter (Honda CB600S), Mathias Bongarts (Aprilia 1000RSV), Christian Zündorf (BMW F650GS Twin), Norbert Wisskirchen (Honda CBF600) and me, Hans Mondorf (BMW K100RS) headed towards Calais. In Belgium at the St Ghislain (Mons) service area we met our motorbike friend Kurt Remmel from Waldrach (BMW R1200RT) and drove together to the ferry in Calais.

We had no problems reaching "New Hall Vineyards" in Purleigh. Of course, the usual traffic jam on the M25 before the Dartford Tunnel.

After registering and setting up the tents, the fun part started with a cold beer with the Mayflowers.

Shortly after our arrival, our motorcycle friends from Tawern, Erwin Müller (Honda CBR1000 Fireblade) and Walter Mordt (BMW R1150RT) also arrived at the campsite. They had previously made a short trip to the Isle of Man and travelled from there.

On Saturday morning after a delicious English breakfast at the Scouts, we once again headed to the Ace Café. The new rally participants really wanted to go there this year.

When you're driving nine motorcycles in the city of London, you don't all manage to catch every green phase at the traffic lights together. We arranged that Walter, with the best local knowledge, drove first and I rode last. When the group got separated, Walter drove a bit slower at the front so that I could catch up with the laggards. So we all managed to arrive at the Ace Café together.

We watched the hustle and bustle of approaching and departing motorcycles. Then, back in Purleigh, the usual procedure.

First dinner with the scouts and then a cozy evening with a live band and a few pints of beer in the barn.

Sunday morning after a long breakfast with the Scouts, we said goodbye to the Mayflowers and started the journey home. This year we didn't take our usual route. This year we drove to Brighton on the coast via the M25/M23 motorway.

Once there, we took a break on the promenade in bright sunshine, with cool drinks and ice cream.

From Brighton we drove along the coast to Dover. Also this year we checked into the hotel in St. Magret's Holiday Park. A convivial evening meal in the restaurant followed by a few pints in the bar to finish.

Monday morning the short trek down to the ferry and after lashing down the bikes as quickly as possible to the food court for our last full English breakfast of this wonderful weekend.

We parted ways in Belgium, the motorcyclists from Waldrach and Tawern took the route towards Luxembourg. No technical problems on the outward and return journey.

- Hans Mondorf