The 2018 Farmyard Party was held on Friday 15th to Sunday 17th of June (or from Thursday 14th for some) at Duncombe Park, Helmsley. Thursday was a fairly quiet night with only six of the Wakefield MAG contingent in the advance party - that said, we still managed to drink an enormous amount of beer between us. Friday morning we had our traditional and now legendary Friday morning pilgrimage into Helmsley for a breakfast, then to the Royal Oak, then onto the Helmsley Brewery for multiple goblets of foaming ale.
Actually we did break with tradition a little bit by trying a new cafe for breakfast .... and we weren't disappointed and shall return !!!!
The rally itself was excellent with quality entertainment in spades. Making a welcome return this year was the Big Top main stage ... but even bigger than the last time we had a big top on site.
Friday was a little bit bizarre - headlining in the Big Top was Planet ABBA, the UK's leading ABBA tribute show. ABBA at a bike rally ?!?!?!? .... events which are more usually associated with rock music .... it could have gone either way to be honest .... totally bombed, or gone down a storm ...... it was the latter, the Big Top was rammed with drunken bikers dancing and belting out ABBA songs .... all quite surreal.
The surrealness didn't end there as meanwhile in the Blues Tent, headling were Atlantic 45, covering .... wait for it ..... 1970's disco tracks .... and that went down a storm also ... drunken bikers singing and dancing to Boney M this time ..... wierd, but strangely 'good'.
Saturday was a repeat of Friday for most of the Wakey MAG crew, except Steve & Justine who had to stay behind (Boo Hoo) to marshal the Custom Show.
Saturday's custom show was a big one, as not only were there 6 FYP Show trophies up for grabs, plus an overall Best in Show, but also a further 5 trophies for the 3rd round of the BSH Magazine Custom Bike Building Championship (the eventual winners, as well as basking in all that considerable glory, also get to show their bikes at the November NEC bike show). And if that's not enough, a further trophy was presented by the Rock & Bike Fest guys (plus free tickets to said event). Oh, and a 100 quid cash prize for the FYP Best in Show winner ..... no wonder the show was popular !!!!
Trying to get all the winners together at the same time for the prize giving was akin to herding cats.
The overall Best in Show and Best Engineering category winner of the BSH Custom Bike Building Championship was a totally unique Sunbeam, with two of the in-line twin Sunbeam engines meshed together, with an extended tank and frame to accommodate, that looked like it could easily have come out of Sunbeam's Wolverhampton factory in the late 1940's. Awesome work by owner Martin Bratby. Even more awesome is that this bike is a mere prototype, for a 3-engined six cylinder Sunbeam, which is his next project .... good grief !!!!
The only downside to Saturday afternoon was a brief storm with rainfall of biblical proportions ... it was all over after half an hour or so and the sun was out again, but if you got caught out in it, you got well and truely soaked (didn't you Steve and Ash ;-). The storm delayed the Custom Show prize giving a short while but unfortunately, the finals of Super Enduro competition had to be severly curtailed as a result.
Saturday nights headline band in the Big Top was Gallus Cooper (Alice Cooper tribute band). You would think this, being solid rally rock fodder, would have been extremely popular ..... and they were excellent and a very good rendition of Alice Cooper and his stage show (complete with all the props) ..... but it was fairly quiet in the Big Top ..... again, quite surreal .... it was the Riders Rights tent that was positively rammed that night.
All too soon it was Sunday and time to pack up and head home ... but not before we had a good laugh at Martin's camo 'onesie'.
A brilliant rally however and a brilliant weekend in the company of our Wakefield MAG extended family, and all our other good friends from Yorkshire MAG and beyond.