Six Wakefield & Barnsley MAG members, met at the Grey Horse at 09:30 on Friday 3rd June for our much awaited trek north, for this years Edinburgh MAG Ag Ol Anns An Achadh Rally. The rest of our sizeable rally contingent had travelled up the night before, with Macca & Lisa staying with relatives in the North and the remainder staying overnight in a B&B in Jedburgh.
The weather was fantastic, very warm and sunny in Wakefield, and if this kept up, we really would be blessed. We set off around 10:30, after looking for Johnny who was supposed to be coming with us, but later finding out he had cancelled due to lack of funds (buying an expensive push bike had nothing to do with it though !?!?!?).
We headed north on the A1 (the boring bit) before leaving the A1 at Darlington, and taking the far more scenic A68 all the way to Edinburgh.
We stopped for lunch at the biker friendly Camien Cafe, on the A68 near Otterburn ranges, right in the heart of picturesque Kielder Forest. Just as we have finished our meals, sat outside in the lovely sunny weather, Igor & Corinne turned up at the cafe on their new trike ... a nice coincidence.
Our lunch break was a little extended whilst we waited for Igor & Corinne to finish their nose bag, but we were in no great rush, and it really was nice enjoying the sunshine. We then continued our journey with a stop off for some much needed petrol ... only the petrol station and cafe had closed down in the last two years since we last made this journey ... Oh dear. We had also had to pass by another petrol station further south which was also closed since the last time we made this journey.
We pressed on looking for another petrol station, but were fairly certain the next one was Jedburgh .... Gulp, a few of us were pretty low by this point !!!!
We all made Jedburgh, some on fumes with the exception of Tracey who had run out with a mere ten miles to go. We filled up then waited whilst a jerry car full of petrol was ferried back the way we have come to refuel Tracey's bike.
Meanwhile, all the advance parties were already at the rally site, with their tents erected and tinnies being cracked open !!!
Once we were all reunited and refulled, we pressed onwards up the A68, then hit the A720 Edinburgh ring road, bypassing south of the city and picking up the A71, towards West Calder, our destination.
We arrived around 18:00, met our, by now, quite worried advance party and camped in exactly the same spot as we had occupied two years previously.
Once the tents were up, it was time for some of the farmers lovely home cooked food, then it was party time, for it was Traceys 50th birthday
We were very noticeable at the rally site ... Wakefield MAG were the ones with fairy wings on !!!!!
Great to bump into Mark & Ruth from Huddersfield MAG, who were helping serve behind the bar (it's a dirty job, but someone has to do it !!!!).
We all partied a bit too hard on the Friday night and consequently, felt a bit delicate on the Saturday morning.
Still, nothing that a full English (sorry, Scottish) breakfast didn't fix. We chilled out a little (very apt, as it was pretty chilly, well, pretty damn cold actually, in stark contrast to the previous day). A few headed into the local town, then we all reconvened to go to the local hostelry for a slap up carvery. A choice of 3 different meats, together with lashings of vegetables, and associated trimmings, all for the princely sum of 3.85, or you could super size yourself (jumbo Yorkshire Pudding, chippolata sausages and extra meat, all for an extra quid). This was the first most of us had actually felt warm all day !!!.
We then made our way back onto site, ready for the Saturday nights entertainment.
Eight of us donned hi-viz vests to help Steve Wykes (Scottish Regional Rep) and his team marshal the event, on the Saturday evening, and in doing so, doubled our branch points allocation.
Wakefield MAG were most successful with the rally awards (again) on the Saturday night. We won the biggest club attendance, furthest travelled male & female (Igor & Corinne, as they had travelled up from Lincolnshire), and to top it all, Igor won the Best Trike award.
The bonfire was at 23:00, which was a blessing, as we all needed the heat !!!
All too soon it was all over and it was Sunday morning and time to pack up and make our long way home. We made it all the way to Jedburgh, then it started raining and continued to rain all the way back to Wakefield ... Oh, and it was still cold !!!!
However, freezing temperatures aside, it was another cracking Edinburgh MAG rally. The attendance was noticeably lower than 2009, which is a real shame as this rally really is an absolute gem. The site is a proper farmyard (no marquee, just cow sheds !!!), excellent food (laid on by the farmer), cheap beer (1.50 for bottles of Real Ale !!), good bands, proper flushing toilets and a lovely relaxed atmosphere.
Well done to Edinburgh MAG for putting on this great little rally !! Hope it is on again next year (just hope it will be a bit warmer).