The 2014 FYP was a cracker, and for the first time in many many years, it didn't rain .... not a drop ... all weekend !!!!!
Lorna, Pingy & Ian led our advance party by travelling up to Helmsley on the Thursday morning, where, after pitching tents, they wandered into town to sample the delights of the Royal Oak. Steve & Justine arrived Thursday evening, fully planning to pitch the tent then ride back to Wakefield (as we had a funeral the day after) ..... However, immense powers of persuasion in the form of beer and barbecue meant they stayed the night too. A good number of rally goers took advantage of the extra night for a fiver and were also camped on the Thursday evening. A TV was provided in a marquee for the die hard football fans following the world cup, but most folks were happy stood outside having a few drinks and enjoying the banter.
Friday we got up early, headed into Helmsley for a breakfast, then set off back to Wakefield for John Hannon's funeral, where we met up with a good number other Wakefield MAG members.
After the funeral service at Normanton Catholic Church, and providing a bike escort for the hearse taking the coffin to Pontefract Crematorium, nine of us headed back to the rally site, with a brief stop off at the Highwayman Cafe on the A64.
Some of our contingent (the one's who weren't marshalling that night) headed into Helmsley and the Royal Oak (again), whilst the rest of us stayed on site and had a look around the many traders, prior to our Blues Tent Shifts. First band in the Blues tent were duet Robert John. The marquee was quite empty for that one, but given it was a lovely evening, most folks were outside, chilling and chewing the fat. The second band, Steve Fulsham Band, had the marquee rammed but it was a very uneventful evening marshalling wise. The rest of our contingent drifted between the Blues tent, BSH tent and the main stage all evening, and reported the various bands on were rather good.
Saturday followed a similar theme i.e. into Helmsley for Breakfast and the Royal Oak (yet again) for some. Helmsley was packed Saturday afternoon, and the fine weather certainly added to the carnival atmosphere.
Steve, Justine and Geoff remained on-site for we had a Custom Show to marshal. The FYP Custom Show always is very popular and the first bike was in the show at 10:30 (the show isn't supposed to start until 12:00 !!). So, we started our marshal shifts early to accommodate the tidal wave of entries coming in. A panel of 3 judges (Nik Samson (BSH Editor & Show Sponsor), Lesley (Custom Bike Builders) & Wakefield MAG's Steve) had the most difficult job of trying to choose six winners and an Overall Best in Show. Not the easiest task given the sheer number and quality of entrants. However, those difficult decisions were made, and, cue drum roll, were:
The Saturday night shift in the Blues Tent was considerably more eventful than the Friday Night. A well refreshed individual decided to mimic the 'James Dean' trick of standing on a chair and flicking it over. After a scolding from marshal Lorna, he waited until her back was turned, then decided to repeat the trick on another chair (he had broke the first one on his first attempt), after being egged on by his friends ... "Hey, I could get 250 quid for this video on You've Been Framed". This time however he fell badly and didn't get up. Net result was the medics had to be called, he had to be taken out of the marquee on a quad, and had to spend the night in hospital with ripped knee ligaments (a painful injury that will take a long time to heal, and he wont be riding his bike for the rest of the summer). Moral of the story: Don't try stupid tricks when intoxicated and LISTEN TO THE MARSHALS !!!! The Wakefield MAG marshalling machine however worked perfectly. For the rest of us who weren't marshalling, we spent a rather pleasant evening wandering around the different marquees listening to the bands, and catching up with old friends. All rather pleasant.
Sunday soon came round and after breakfasting and a last look around the stalls, we packed up our tents, and headed off-site en-masse. A thoroughly enjoyable FYP was had by all. The weather helped and it's so much nicer not being sodden and wading through mud all weekend.
Final figures are still to come in but it is estimated there were circa. 5,000-6,000 in attendance, really quite poor considering the weather was the best on a summer solstice weekend in many years.
A huge thanks to all the Wakefield MAG members who marshalled over the weekend. Marshals are the absolute life blood of the event, which simply couldn't run without their services, all of which are given voluntarily for no remuneration (other than T shirts and food vouchers). Roll on the Yorkshire Pudding Rally in August !!!!