Why English camping is character building!!

  A wet and windy July weekend at the huge four day festival known locally as THE ROCK AND BLUES down there in Derbyshire, the bike is a Yamaha Dragstar 650cc, there was no way I would try the Goldwing at this place, the campsite is on a bloody hill! The trick was to get there on the first day and go to the top and camp on the flat piece!

Here we are a couple of years ago on the 1st weekend of April at the CELTIC WARRIORS in Sunny Ely down Cambridge way. It started off quite nice on the Friday…then went downhill rapidly from then on!


Riding became hard work! A fistful of throttle and plenty of heel digging was the only way forward. “Matey boy” must have smelt the snow coming because before the hour was up it was! He was giving it “large” with the throttle which woke me up and I emerged from the tent with camera. We decided to have a beer and watch the early leavers, we managed until dinner-time before leaving. Julie pushed me as I heeled and throttled the bike to the road, she had a line of mud up her front, bless her!

 The night before had been much fun in the beer tent with old friends. Everyone was revved up with excitement, its the same on every camping weekend as friends meet again for the first time in ages.


Another fine summer weekend, this time at Helmsley in North Yorkshire. Yes it’s THE FARMYARD PARTY  and by far the largest of its kind in Europe.Thats the BIG house in Dunscombe Park through the morning drizzle.

Whatever the conditions..(mainly rain) We had contingency plans, wore the correct attire and puloined exciting modern head gear from JOHNSONS ex military stuff tent!

Julie sits at our collapsable tent on her collapsable chair by the collapsable table drinking tea at breakfast time, our bikes at the time were a pair of Yamaha 650cc MT O3’s Unsually for us it wasn’t raining today.

The rain did appear on both days on the weekend at the infamous sludge filled  IN TO THE VALLEY RALLY in Fridaythorpe, Yorkshire. Its the famous “All hands on deck” Sunday morning routine where everyone helped to push every bike out off the muddy campsite to the road.


This is what happens when a couple of hundred motorbikes use the same piece of soggy grass! This is Friday and its at its best, Just wait until Sunday!

Possible the best place for a child?? Kidding just kidding! Mum and Dad found a novel use for a plastic bin on their trike for the weekend, kids took turns to ride up and down the site in it, they loved it!

A scooter and a Moto Guzzi fight with the mud. The guys just have to shout up for help and they usually do in short time..its a long struggle to the tarmac!

Everyone takes a break, the Yamah 1600cc Wildstar is a heavy beast! I should know because mine was exactly the same (same colour too) I required a hand here and there when I left later on Sunday.

A trike is easily the best vehicle (besides a Sherman tank) at many English bike rally’s! This one had a mobile kitchen fitted and was offering tea and coffee, we were sorry to see them go, they didn’t need a push I might add!

Here is ANOTHER Wildstar in the mud, these cruiser type motorbikes are extemely popular at rally’s because you can strap the tent over the headlight, stuff a change of socks, undies and sleeping bags and a few tinnies in the leather panniers, then you can fasten food and more tinnies to the back rack using elastic bungeys..we had a table and two chairs on the back of our bike.

With all that carnage going off outside everyone made merry inside, this is an afternoon in one of several music tents, we are waiting for STICKY FINGERS to play, they are brilliant Rolling Stones tribute band..Yes this is an unusually cold weekend and the furryats congregated to exchange fur.


   Julie sorts out the tent at THE ROCK AND BLUES, down there in Derbyshire, the wind was thrashing at us and the rain blew up the hill! We soon got the tent up and secured before diving for shelter at the nearby tea van.


There is always a bike show, only this weekend was a spectacular event with everyone having to guess what kind of bikes where in show! A JCB was outside scooping the mud and flattening the deep ruts, it looked like the Somme, I’m sure one or two children disapeared, swallowed up in the brown gloop!

Let me explain!…..The mud was so bad down in the music arena that I was caked from shins down to my feet that I had to take my trousers and combat boots off quite often back at the  top of the hill to dry them off a bit and scrape the thick layer mud off with my big knife…OK?

Then it was back down to the arena to enjoy the music and companionship with total strangers! all thoughts about the mud forgotten again until the legandary midnight stroll to the porta loos…hilarious fun!!!!!

This is why I think English camping is character building!



One Response to Why English camping is character building!!

  1. Mega!
    (nice pants Dave!)


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