The National Rally
Scunthorpe - 2006
Did we have a good time? You bet………
The weather forecast was excellent, its predictions didn’t let us down.
Chris Pebbles, Pippin and I managed to get away from work at one o’clock on Friday afternoon (admittedly an hour after we had actually planned, but hey, that was good going for us)!
The drive to Scunthorpe was uneventful, although the man who took our money on the Humber Bridge did comment that he had seen a lot of ‘these little cars’ today, so we presumed that there must be a good steady flow of Minors heading in the direction of Normanby Hall. It is just a pity that we didn’t head that way to start off with as we missed the turning……..but after some accusations of not getting the map out quickly enough we made a turning and headed back…….. Stress levels subsiding………
We arrived to be told our trailer tent was classed as a tent? No, Chris pointed out we always have to pay caravan fees on any normal pitch, so in the light of this we were shown the way to the caravan field, (the rally site was split into two areas one for caravans and the other for tents) Chris and Keith Haigh were already up and running and showed us into our space. We knew that Paul, Sheena, Alfie, Jackie, Graham and family were all on their way so we hitched across and made some ‘bagged space’ for our crew as people started to arrive thick and fast. My only worry at this point was I knew that Steve and his family were coming the next night but in a tent and I had promised to save them a space next to us…………
Every one arrived very soon after us, we all got set up and then tables and chairs appeared and there was food and drink on the go………..as always……….
Maurice and Jean weren’t staying on site as they only live 20 minutes (10 mins, if Maurice Schumacher is driving) away in Barton, so they came as visitors to the camp, with of course more goodies………we sat by the encampment and had as usual for us a lot of banter and laughs…………
Not too long after we were joined by Brian and the Yellow Peril driving up the field with what looked like 20 illegal immigrants holding on to the back and sides, in the end it was only the North East and Barnsley Branch members! Our camp site was expanding FAST, good job Paul and Sheen had taken plenty of chairs..........Sandy Hamilton – ever resourceful arrived on a push bike, (this whole Rally site was quite big to keep walking around after all), he stopped for a quick chat and a beer, we felt that we had to explain that Rosie had called by earlier and was cooking Lasagna, he peddled off into the sunset……….
Everyone went to bed quite ‘happy’ I think that night………
Chris woke up the next morning full of the joys of spring, made a cup of tea, had the girls outside and met up with Graham, what time is it? Quick look at the watch in the trailer………oops 5am!!!!!! By then all our close neighbours who had been woken up by our whistling kettle were out and about…………ever felt not very popular?
All our Branch members had agreed to do some stints as marshals, so being up early was perhaps a good thing although no was booked to do a stint until ten………which left me plenty of time to rinse down and leather off the Pick-Up………….Chris’s Minor, me, I just do the maintenance – having spent two hours on Thursday washing , polishing and can I say ‘touching up’ said vehicle, I was needed to make her look smart again……..as we were on the show ground………
All I can say about marshalling is, you get some really nice, polite normal people, and considering we all are there because we are interested in the Morris Minor, some absolute prats, who are so ignorant you just can’t believe it. I felt like saying to some of them, look pal, we are volunteers, get out of your car and off your backside and help the Club………….as we all know these events take an awful lot of organizing and the people who do it deserve a big pat on the back………
All that said I didn’t mind all that much, but I am a female. I think the guys who were marshalling took more flack than they should have though………
But I am proud of our Branch members who stayed over for the two nights as everyone took an active part on both Saturday and Sunday. Thanks Guys……
On Saturday of course it was England’s semi-final against Portugal, all our Branch and anyone else that wanted to go were invited back to Maurice and Jeans in Barton, so decamping at around 3pm we drove over to be met with drinks and a BBQ (good old Jean, the ‘Chuck Wagon’ rolled on) a BBQ for eleven people, and all achieved in only around twenty minutes, how good is she???????
England would have won if they had only listened to our riotous support.
SADLY we all now know the result of the match…………
Brian, Yellow Peril from Barnsley (and our branch) had been spit roasting a hog all day, we drifted back into camp about 8pm to be met with the most wonderful aroma of pork and apples (very Robin Hood Prince of Thieves)! How tender was that Hog Roast? Pebbles and Pippin had been indulging themselves at the Stewart’s BBQ but still managed a little more……….as we all did…….
Then on to the main marquee where Kev, Richard and the two Colin's who make up Team Work were playing, on the way we met Steve and family they had got camped and were thoroughly enjoying the atmosphere.……….in the marquee everyone from six to sixty plus rocked, bopped and jived to the bands music……….
In the morning I’m glad we did, when we met up with the others of our party who thought that they were still all 18 and could ‘hack’ the all night party pace ……….
Sunday was just as glorious as Saturday had been, and after a couple of hours marshalling, it was a return to our pitch in Branch Avenue. This is the place where all Branches set up camp on the main show field with their Club gazebo and Banner. On this occasion we were in a lovely wooded area. The advantage that ours had over every one elses was ofcourse the ‘mini’ Chuck Wagon smoking away and a table groaning under the weight of salads, wine and beer……..
We had entered the inter Branch Challenge of some weird car driving event……….this involved driving a strange Minor round an extremely bumpy/hilly course with a tennis ball on the bonnet in a very shallow dish………..our team consisted of me, Norman, Graham and a still very ‘under the weather’ Paul…….. we were supposed to have a practice run round the course, all the other teams had done it but when it came to our practice the Minor kept overheating so it was decided to just go into it cold……….
All four of us watched as the other teams went round losing the ball off the front, we shook our heads – and this lot had been practicing………..
I am not going to say much more, but we did a splendid round none of us had to get out to retrieve the ball once!!! It took us 3.79 seconds, not bad but not good enough……..The team who won did lose the ball but they were fast…….but then they were the ones running the event…….slightly more practice too………Who cares we did great and it was only a bit of fun……….wasn’t it?
Back to the ‘Chuck Wagon’, for some liquid solace………Chris and I had a wonder over to watch the prize giving and low and behold our very own Norman won yet another FIRST!!!!!! I had to run up and accept it for him as he was relaxing back at base after our ‘grueling’ challenge………..this little car Chester is almost world famous, every event does he win a prize………
We sat in the sunshine and chatted to passers by on Branch Avenue, took some photos for the album and had the odd glass of wine or two……….
Then it was time to start packing up from yet another great weekend.
I always think it is quite sad when we start the process of de-camping and saying our goodbyes, there were quite a lot of people staying over, we were actually booked in as well, but sense won out, work on Monday and we had already had Friday afternoon off………….
Great weekend – Thanks to all concerned.See you all at Herrington Park in the North East next weekend