Once again Wakefield MAG's famous five met on Dewsbury railway station platform for their annual visit to Manchester Motorcycle show which is held in what used to be known as the G Mex centre, no idea what it is called now but no matter, we just had to look for a big building with lots of motorcycles parked outside and figured that must be it.
But I am getting ahead of myself as the drama began to unfold within minutes of arriving at Dewsbury station to purchase our tickets and we were told by the nice lady behind the desk that the train was delayed by half an hour. "What ? .... I don't believe it" was the cry said in unison "not again". I explained to the lady that last year the train was cancelled altogether because of some lowlife nicking the signalling cable at Huddersfield and we ended up going by car. She listened to my protests with polite mild amusement then kindly handed me a complaints form which has been duly sent off.
There was no alternative but wait for the next train to arrive so we drifted into the sandwich shop and were somewhat disappointed to learn that the advertised bacon sarnies were not available on a Saturday .. "tsk, tsk" was our response so we sampled the coffee and Steve scoffed a pork pie which taking into account our location was really rather a brave if foolhardy thing to do but he got away with it without being beheaded!
Sharron produced her ticket and a rather puzzled look spread across her face ... "I thought we were going to Manchester" she enquired, "that's right" we assured her, "well why does my ticket say York on it then?". Oh, how we all laughed at this calamitous error and wondered how it could have happened. "it's cos the silly cow was too busy texting instead of concentrating on what she was doing" Sharron fumed as she went back to tear a strip off the poor girl.
Finally the train arrived and we got into the carriage just before first class. We were meeting Tracy at Huddersfield station and I texted her to say which carriage we were all on however she texted back to say she was in the carriage next to first class but couldn't see us anywhere, this was very mysterious so we initiated a search team to go both up and down the carriages looking for her but to no avail, and then it dawned on us there were in fact two first class carriages one at the front and one at the rear because we were in fact travelling on two trains joined together with no means of transferring from one to the other ! Oh how we all laughed again.
We all finally managed to meet up on the platform in Manchester and descended the stairs to catch the tram, as we debated which one to get on and which tickets to buy several trams came and went and then we realised there was in fact more than one ticket machine so instead of us all trying to use the same one and thereby missing our tram we could have used the others, but never mind, fortunately we only had to wait 5 minutes and we were on our way.
No one seemed to know exactly where we should get off but some of the buildings looked vaguely familiar so we disembarked and more by luck than judgement arrived at the exhibition hall. We thought all our troubles were behind us after all what else could possibly go wrong only that Tracy's e-ticket that was supposed to be stored on her phone had mystically disappeared as she frantically scanned through all her messages. Finally she had to go see someone in control who luckily had her details that she had paid and so she was let in.
On first impressions there didn't look to be as many exhibits as in previous years and this proved to be the case however what the show lacked in quantity it made up for in quality as most of the stands had something of interest. We meandered around slowly picking up bits and pieces and putting them back down again and then we arrived at the Kawasaki stand .... "my god look at the bodywork on that, it's absolutely stunning" stammered Steve his eyes almost popping out of his head and drooling at the mouth. We all looked in the direction of his gaze and there on a pedestal was a nice green motorbike and sat on the motorbike was a rather attractive young lady ... needless to say it wasn't the bike that had caught his attention. Steve: Yes it was !!! The cheek of it, as if I would be so shallow.
I went over to the rather attractive young lady and was invited to climb on the back of her bike which I duly did as it would have been rude not to. Terry did a fair impersonation of Eddie as he got clicking away with his camera.
Jealous doesn't quite seem to sum up the look on Steve's face but it was greener than the bike I was sitting on. How everyone else laughed especially Justine ... well that's what you get for bringing the wife to a bike show, I climbed off eventually and somewhat reluctantly but there were other things to see.
We met Bob our latest recruit to our legion who had brought his son for the trip out and was busily seeing how much he could get his Dad to spend before they were on their way. We also met Barnsley Bob and Lynn who were having a look around. I spent some time on the Triumph stand which along with Honda was probably the biggest and busiest there and sat on several of the bikes as did everyone else.
In fact I think between us we must have swung a leg over every bike at the show including the Harley's, Victory's, Yamaha's and Suzuki's.
North West MAG were in attendance with rather a clever well thought out stand which featured two heavily modified customs and a large notice to the effect that if bikers wished to modify their bikes in future they had beter sign up to MAG who would fight for their right, this tactic seemed to be working as the volunteers on the stand reported they had been kept busy.
There were the usual display of classic and vintage bikes on display which often bring back memories of misspent youth and the good old days and long may that continue although without MAG fighting for the retention of ethanol free fuel they may truly be a thing of the past which would be a sin against humanity.
I managed to wangle a free cup of coffee for our gallant troop from the Honda stand and we sat around for a while discussing what we had seen. After some more climbing on and off some more bikes and buying one or two 'essentials' we adjourned for lunch of lasagne and salad and then went on another stroll round the exhibits before deciding it was time to go, so we made our way back to the station and without incident this time made our way home after an enjoyable day in good company, as is the way with all the Wakefield MAG events. Be sure to join in the next one !!