The Yorkshire MAG (MAP) set up guys arrived on the ITV site on the Tuesday along with the marquee chaps who set to work putting up the various tents. The build-up went well with a good number of willing hands to help put the stage and all the other bits and bobs it takes to put the rally together. The estate had seemed to be getting their act together this year by cutting grass before the set up crew arrived rather than thinking they could do it whilst they were on site. The hope next year is they will manage to get any tree felling done before build up, it's maybe unlikely, but we can but hope.
With all the rally site set up, the sun was shining, and it was time to welcome the happy rally goers on site from Friday morning onwards ..... and they did arrive in some numbers.
Friday night went well, with lots of people enjoying the sun, the real ales on offer, evening entertainment and the communal bonfire to round off the evening.
Early Saturday morning saw a white field and lots of frost on tents and bikes (it was a tad fresh by all accounts). The CMA tent was a blessing (blessing ... get it !!!) with the marquee heater and hot drinks though the night. But, the following morning the sun came out and it warmed up nicely during the day.
Wakefield MAG marshalled the ride-in custom show from lunchtime onwards and it proved to be hugely popular. Fifty entry forms were printed and there was a bit of a panic when we had issued all fifty, scrabbling rounds for bits of paper to use as entry forms. The quality of entrants was high and the hugely difficult job of judging went to BSH editor (and ex-100% Biker editor) Nik Sampson. It has to be said, he's the best show judge I've ever worked with, very business like, no messing about, decisions made quickly, and he's a jolly decent chap to boot. The 2014 ITV Custom Show winners were ... Cue Drum Roll:
The 1971 50cc Raleigh Runabout had been ridden to the show by a sixteen year old lad on L plates (top effort). We got chatting to the owner of the Harris Magnum with the porn paint job, asking him if he had to issue 'public decency warning' to onlookers. He does, particularly to mum's and dad's with little Johnny in tow. The best story had to be the one with two old dears admiring the paint "Oooooh, I remember when I could do all those positions ... I can't even get up the stairs now".
Meanwhile, whilst the custom show was on, the comedy show was in the main marquee and was again rammed with standing room only. The local cakes went down very well indeed, raising funds for charity, following the village hall ladies bake off. Saturday night followed the familar theme of fun and merriment.
Lots of people commented on how much they have enjoyed themselves and the rally went without a hitch. The locals have made no complaints and the estate are happy with us.
However, we do seem to have been hit by the tent theft syndrome that has plagued music festivals for many years, bike events with cars for a number of years and now unfortunately rallies like ours. We are sure the thief (or thieves) was on site and that means they came through the gate on a bike. The marshals and MAP crew did their best to catch or at least deter them from striking too much by making constant patrols through the dark hours, but unfortunately the very nature of traveling about a campsite with a torch in Hi-Viz does give them an advantage of being able to see you a long way off. We can only do our best, but the customers are the ones ultimately who will have to take responsibility for their belongings and they can no longer depend on just shutting the tent zip to keep people out.
But, all in all, a very successful first Yorkshire MAG rally of the year. The numbers on site were by and large the same as last year, less pre-books, but more paying on the gate, so income will have been up as a result (which, as these rallies raise fighting funds for MAG, that is a jolly good thing).