The first few Reivers Rallies were held at a forestry commission campsite in the village of Stonehough near Wark Northumberland, to the north of Hexam in the middle of a forest. It was (and still is) run by the Tyne Cyclones MCC.
I was a member of the infamous Denholme and District MCC and we were going to turn up in force! I think in those days of small rallies the prospect of 30 or 40 DDMCC rallyists arriving helped to start the trend for pre book only events and was one reason why I switched to the Dean Valley MCC in 74!
There wasn't a pub in the village, but we were all allowed into the Forestry Commission social club (basically two wooden sheds with a bar!) They had never seen anything like it. Like Christmas and New Year rolled into one! The queue at the bar was terrible so we bought a pack of these new fangled can things of Newcastle Brown. NOT a six pack (for wimps!) but a 24 pack which also had the advantage of giving you something to sit on until you fell over! The night passed in a blur, as did much of the next day in fact, and at closing time (remember them?) we were invited back to one of the foresters houses to continue the party. I decided to leave, when at about 2 in the morning our host decided to demonstrate his Husquvarna to us. It wasn't a bike, but a huge chainsaw!
I had some difficulty finding my tent, but remembered that I had camped near the fence, so followed that until I found a familiar looking tent! When it's dark in the forest it's really dark and as I didn't have a torch my rally career nearly came to an end. I needed to pee so I hopped over the fence (barbed wire, but I never noticed!) did the job and hopped back over. The next morning I was shocked to see that the fence was to stop you going over a quarry face!
Packing up was hard work, then I had burgers for breakfast from Yorkies Van. Whatever happened to him? It was a slow ride home with a very sore head!
Drew Grant, his brother Piglet, and Bill Jones were some of the original Cyclones. Drew is still a rep for the BMF and does motorcycle training. I wonder if he still knows all the verses of Eskimo Nell? Those were the Days!
- Ted Trett
Just read the item on the Reivers Rallies. Thanks for the memories. I was one of the founder members of The Cyclones and took great delight in the popularity of the Reivers. Well do I remember persons mentioned. Drew and Piglet I'm still in contact with. Ted & Les I remember well. At these early Reivers I forged friendships which are still going strong after more than 30 years.
Best wishes to those who remember me.
- Bill Jones
Thanks for your good wishes Bill, but what about us poor old sods who have forgotten? Send your photo!
I remember the Reivers Rally at Stonehaugh, great fun. We had a 1979 Triumph at the time. The bar was OK if my memory serves me right, as for names of folks, that's long gone, but did Bill Jones not have an Ariel Square Four & Piglet a Velocette or was it a Honda 400F?
The club also had a Sunday run which was great fun. Who remembers Brown Ale Ken DT 400 always running out of petrol?
Any way, fond memories. I now run a 1953 M100 Panther. Off to Hesketh Newmarket Cumbria VMCC rally 24th May 2015.
- Mark Kynman
formerly of Whickham