Scrumpies Party 2011
Being a family weekend, we were keen for our Grandchildren to come to the party, and fortunately our eldest daughter, Sophie, agreed to puppy sit for us. As many of you will know, Benson just loves motorbikes and both he and Maisie love animals, so Court Farm Banwell was a paradise for them.

Arlene and I met the others at Chieveley and Ed kindly nominated me as ride leader. Having already set the route in my Sat Nav I called the pre-ride briefing and was told " If we come off the motorway just after the bridge and turn left, then just down on the right is a Morrisons we can have a fag break".  "Oh NO You Can't!  This is a bike club, not a gentlemen's smoking club.  We ride 100 miles or to the smallest tank capacity whichever is the lesser  .....   not to the shortest nicotine craving tolerance!"

We set off and at the front we kept the pace down around 60 - 65 MPH as Keith was towing his recently improved cool box. Even so, there were complaints that high speeds were being acheived at the back to keep up. None the less it was a good ride down to Banwell and the party began.

Rachel our youngest daughter was travelling down by van with her boyfriend and the kids, but ran into a long jam on the M5. Their Sat Nav directed them off the motorway and they ended up somewhere miles from where they needed to be. They called me for help .... only for the battery in my phone to die. They called back on Arlene's phone, but as I answered it the screen blacked out down the left side and the phone stopped working !  Luckily Andrea has the same model phone as mine and was able to loan her battery for the duration of the crisis. Thanks Andrea.

The atmosphere in the bar on the Friday was brilliant and young Benson got into the spirit of things by showing us some moves on the dance floor in between playing in the brilliant kids area at the far end of the barn. Maisie slept.

Saturday morning dawned and the general concensus was to have a bit of R&R before riding into WSM. Stigg took the lead and we were soon parked up outside a rather swish bike park (It was full of bikes from the official ride out). Whilst Carl and Kate represented the Vultures in the sand sculpture competition we all strolled along the prom and found ouselves some lunch, before heading back to camp late afternoon.

The camping facilities are pretty thin  on the ground, but the farming attractions and the bar area more than make up for that. Roger threw down the gauntlet to Arlene and I to compete in the Maize Maze Challenge. We were disappointed to find it had closed twenty minutes earlier, but undaunted we set forth into the ten foot high crop of maize. Eventually we became disoriented and had no idea which way was which, but strangely we had not encountered any false trails or dead ends. We decided enough was enough and set about retracing our steps to the entrance. Not as easy as you may think. We did however reasonably quickly find our way out. On emerging from the field as the light started to fade Roger climbed an observation tower and was astonished to see the size of the field we could have potentially been spending the night in ! It was HUGE!  We then discovered you are supposed to carry a very tall flag with you, so help can be sent if you get lost !

Saturday night and the band Lipkinsky played two storming sets. A really great three peice ensemble that played all of the dance classics and had the floor filled all night. All this at a sensible volume too. The DJ was also very good and obliged with the usuals, Delilah  and Alice.

There were some pretty sore heads Sunday morning and some heavy rain showers throughout the day.
So, a wet ride home and now a wet and muddy tent hanging in the garage to dry out ! The bikes need a good clean too, but hey, what a great weekend!


Photographs by, and copyright of:-  © Daniel Dickinson 2011.
Video and additional photos copyright © John Stevens