The weekend of 6-8th August saw Yorkshire MAG host their inaugural Yorkshire Pudding Rally at the Silverwood Scout Camp, Nr Barnsley in South Yorkshire. Those of you long standing rally goers will recognise the Yorkshire Pudding name and the site, as it was for many years hosted by the BBC (Barnsley Bikers Club). The rally hadn’t run for the last few years and the BBC gave their blessing to Yorkshire MAG re-launching it as a MAG event. Wakefield, Huddersfield, Sheffield and Barnsley and Dearne Valley MAG branches took up the gauntlet to organise and run the rally, ably assisted by other Yorkshire MAG members, including the Farmyard Party Organisers.
The gods were certainly on the side of Yorkshire MAG that weekend, as we were blessed with exceptionally hot, fine and dry weather all weekend. This was in stark contrast to the weeks before and the weeks after, in what has been the wettest August on record.
The rally site itself is pretty impressive, subdivided into zones naturally by trees and surrounded by woodland. Lots of space to camp, spread out and chill with your mates. Proper toilets and showers on-site and a great arena, with the beer tent facing the stage for the bands, flanked on either side by traders. The traders on-site included the MAG Stall, Cruise Tattoos, Helens Hats, Vyxxn Performance, R&N supplies (army surplus), Kumansukme (shop and newsagents), Tide High Emporium (tie dye clothes), Murgens Keep (silver jewellery), The Rally shack, TGS (big mirrors and stuff), Flat out (bike repair service), Road Runner Catering and the bar of course.
Friday nights entertainment was provided by the excellent rock band, The Carnival, followed by DJ Paul Kelsey, of ‘Into the Valley’ and ‘Farmyard Party’ fame. The Carnival did some great renditions of popular rock and heavy metal numbers, good to see such a quality band opening up the proceedings on a Friday night. The nights entertainment was rounded off by the bonfire, lit at midnight and built in a purpose made firepit (well, it is a scout camp) in the field behind the main marquee.
Saturday saw yet more happy campers arrive, the sun again beating down. Saturday’s entertainment kicked off with the ride-out, led by the BBC. The run was described as a ride through ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ country. Leaving the rally site through the leafy wooded entrance road, brought everyone onto the main road, but this was quickly departed for the narrow winding lanes that exist in this part of Yorkshire. Through Silkstone and Cawthorne Park, up to Emley Moor, through the small towns of Kirkburton and Shepley, before going through the Last of the Summer Wine town of Holmfirth. The tight winding lanes, and very rough roads of Yorkshire was proving tough for some of the adventurers, and some had to pull out.
The brave who continued found their way up to Holme Moss, for an ice cream. Holme moss being at the top of the Pennines marking the border between Yorkshire and Derbyshire, a short trip downhill as that’s the only way from Holme Moss to Glossop, before heading back towards Yorkshire along the renowned Snake Pass, once past Ladybower reservoir (where the WWII 617 Squadron practised their bouncing bomb techniques for their ‘Dambusters’ raid), a left turn back along ‘the Strines’ a road which consists of multiple switchback dips into hidden valleys. A quick pint at the Strines pub, the only respite along this challenging road with stunning views. Once at the end of the Strines, it was a short ride back to the camp for silly games and the bike show.
The Silly games kicked off mid afternoon, and pretty silly they were too, lots of flour, eggs, water and beer involved, fantastic !!!. Saturday afternoon also saw the final of Bikerpull, the 2004 British Bikers Tug of War Championship, seeing the Biker Tarts pipped by the Ruf Diamonds MCC to win the Trophy.
Before the judging of the bike show, a presentation was made to the organisers of the YPR for a job well done, nice to be appreciated, eh guys and gals?. There were some fine entries in the bike show, with the trophies presented by Barnsley Council's Deputy mayor, Councillor Joe Haywood. Best Rat Bike was a Yamaha V-Max, Best paintjob, a Honda Fireblade, Best Custom, a 650 Kawasaki, Best Trike, a rather splendid Boom trike and Best in show, a gorgeous V twin Royal Enfield, built in the era when British bikes still ruled the world.
Saturday nights entertainment was kicked off by local band Metal Wrks, with a fine display of air guitar by some of the rally revellers. Headlining the evening were Cerberus, a band not often seen this far north. Cerberus did a mixture of their own tracks and cover versions, played with their own twist (generally harder and faster than the originals). The put on a cracking two set show, complete with lights and lasers, the guitarist even wandering across the arena, buying a pint and taking it back on stage, all while not missing a note !!!. At the end of the second set they announced "We are Cerberus, and you have been Cerberized" ... we certainly had been !!
The evening rounded off with the biggest bonfire the site had ever seen, the flames higher than the top of the marquee. They even managed to burn the steps into the fire pit, hope the site owners weren’t too upset.
All in all another fantastic event from Yorkshire MAG, enjoyed by some 600 bikers. The feedback to the organisers has been amazing: "Great Site", "Friendly Marshals", "Relaxed and Chilled out atmosphere", "What rallies used to be like". If you were there, you’ll know yourself, if you weren’t, you missed a cracking rally. Next years rally, provisionally booked for 5th-7th August 2005 will, according to Yorkshire MAG, be bigger and better. One not to be missed.
Check out the event web site for more photos: www.yorkshirepuddingrally.com