It's amazing what a bit of coal and water can do.

The Much Marcle steam rally.

    This weekend saw us heading for a rally of a different type.  Instead of a bunch of motorcyclists gathering for a weekend of drinking and looking at bikes, this rally was more along the lines of drinking and looking at traction engines and bikes.  Seems a steam rally is run along the same lines as a bike rally, but the 'ralliests' turn up on all manner of strange vehicles, preferably powered by an external combustion engine.  As well as traction engines, there was a large number of tractors, motorcycles, lorries, cars, stationary engines, obscure agricultural machines and even a vast collection of blow lamps.   I rolled up sometime Friday afternoon, and inquired about the camping.
"Camping is free, but we do ask for a donation towards local charities"  Sounds more than reasonable to me.  I 'took the hat round' on Sunday morning and collected the best part of 30 . . . "See - bikers ain't all bad".

    By the time I had set up camp, Gordon arrived so we 'spread out' a little to try and save space for the others.  "Captain Slither", alias Kev Corbett had managed to get slightly delayed by first managing to lock himself out of the house, and  then, when all loaded up and ready to go, finding he had left his parking lights switched on for the last three days.  Kev eventually made it, and in a desperate attempt to 'end it all', stood on the top of his trike and threatened to toss himself off.

"Come any closer and I'll toss myself off"    

  The less said about that particular incident, the better.  Before long, even more Moonshiners started crawling out of the woodwork and the field was infested with 'em.  By this time I had the urge to go in search of the Munch Bunch MCC, who, it was rumoured, would be lurking somewhere near the pub.  Well, any excuse to head for the pub, so off I went.  The rumours were true, and several species of Munch Bunch were spotted roaming on the grass in front of the pub.  The rest of Friday was spent catching up on 'club gossip', drinking and generally enjoying the 'laid back' atmosphere.

    Saturday morning, and the weather man had got it * completely * wrong.  The sun was out, so following a quick breakfast we headed out to Ross on Wye in order to stock up on food and drink.  On our return, even more 'Shiners and ex 'Shiners had turned up.  It appears the sun really does fetch 'em out !  I wandered over to the main show area and took a nose at the various steam powered beasties on display.  Of course, the camera went with me but for the sake of bandwidth and your 'phone bill, I'll try to pick the *best* piccies.

Just the thing that would appeal to a Goldwing owner. Reflections - -  a B.S.A.  A7ss  petrol tank. This engine fired once every 20 seconds ! Allis-Chalmers version of a trike.  "Love the colour." Dave Male poses with a steam powered Harley. "Look what I've found outside the pub"

    For a 'non biking' event, we had a good turnout.  I'll try and remember everyone;
Gilly & Joy, Clem & Corry - all the way from the Netherlands, Richie, Cainy, Dave & Di, Kella, Roy, Ken, Kev & Lil, Steve & Nicky, 'Firkin' Dave, 'Turtle' Dave, Kath, Kim, Sam the Pram, Bucka, Gordon, Fred - who had a couple of bikes on display at the show, and myself.  No doubt there's people who've been 'left out' - so remind me will you ?

The "Southern" camp. The 'Northern' camp.

    I have a feeling that this steam rally will become a 'Moonshiners Must Do" event.  I know I'm looking forward to next year.  { Same weekend - 14th July - 2001 }

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