Tattie Wine Rally

Moonshiners M.C.C.

2nd - 4th August. 2002

    What's this, have the Moonshiners migrated North ?  In a word "no", this is another Moonshiners M.C.C. who hail from Trimdon, in County Durham.  Give a click HERE to take a nose at their website.  Having sorted out any confusion, on with the plot.

    I decided to book Friday off work, besides, I'd rather be riding the trike than working anyway.  Seeing as we had got all day to get there, we started as we meant to carry on - a nice leisurely breakfast / dinner in the cafe before hitting the road.  The idea being, if we set off around 11 o'clock, we should miss most of the traffic.  This worked well for the first fifteen miles or so, then just as we hit the "fast" bit of the A 38 the whole plot stopped.  Seems there was an accident a little further North, so we just sat it out for half an hour or so.
    The weather forecast promised storm and pestilence the further North we went, but we carried on regardless.  Waterproofs are a marvellous invention, and sure enough, after around 120 miles or so we stopped to get "togged up".  The sign that said "floods after J 49" had me a little worried, especially as most of the sheep we had seen were stranded on little islands in the middle of what once were fields.  I do hope the rally site is on a hill top.
    After what seemed like an age, we rolled up at Durham services and promptly fed.  I know motorway food is a rip off, but sometimes your stomach can override your head.  After a little map consultation, we were under way again, and it didn't take us long to find the rally site. . .which was on a hill top.  Due to the recent rain, the rally "events" had been moved to a nearby barn, which wasn't a problem seeing as the Moonshiners had arranged a van to ferry folks back and forth.
    Having booked in and set up camp, Kath and myself headed into Durham.  Never having been to Durham, I imagined the place to be some kind of industrial, run down, "dark Satanic mill" of a town ( don't know where I got that idea, but that's what I thought.)  I was surprised, very pleasantly surprised.  We parked up and watched whole trees being carried past by the floodwater, then took a stroll round to find the local supermarket - which had just closed.  Well, it was after 8 o'clock. We got back just in time to miss the "bus service" down to the barn, so we took another little walk.  It didn't take long to find the barn and make ourselves comfortable, courtesy of a few hay bales.  Ah - this is the life.  Beer in hand, a nice comfy "organic" settee, the band doing what bands do best and surrounded by like minded folks.

    The beer was more than reasonably priced at a quid a can and the catering folks gave similar good value - it didn't take long before I was scoffing sausage and chips. No wonder I'm a fat bastard.
    One of the more fascinating ( well, it was to us lot - our minds seldom reach out of the gutter ) features of this rally was the gents toilet.  This consisted of an old farm building, the floor of which had a healthy covering of "farmyard detritus" - or shit, as we call it.  Fixed to the wall was a galvanized steel trough which wasn't "plumbed in" - whatever hit the steel, then hit the floor.  Had you have fallen over in there, it would have taken a brave man to pick you up.  For sheer entertainment value, it was ten out of ten.  For the less adventurous, there were conventional portable toilets, which I must say were kept immaculate.  To the "Shithouse Technician" who, resplendent in his S-T tee shirt, kept the toilets in first class condition, we would like to say thanks.  You were appreciated mate.  Not only did this guy look after the "turdis's" but he also doubled as bus driver - what a star.

    Saturday morning, and the weather was the complete opposite of yesterday.  Sunshine ( which was to be my downfall later on ) was the order of the day, so we all set off for the seaside - as you do.
    Whitby seemed like a decent destination, besides, we had it on good information that the best fish and chips could be found in one of the local pubs.  The road over the North Yorkshire moors was most enjoyable.  The trike ran well, only a minor problem with the brakes causing any hassle.  It seems captain Cook had left his boat for us to have a look at - very decent of him.

    In true Moonshiners ( that's Black Country Moonshiners - I just knew this would get confusing <grin>) fashion we did indeed find the " Giant Whitby cod and chips" - which went down well, according to those that ate it.  Once again, I was pleasantly surprised by Whitby, a seaside town without any of the "cheap tat shops" that seem to infest most coastal towns.  One shop did make us smile, and I couldn't resist taking a photo of the sign.
    As I said earlier, our minds are seldom above gutter level.

    Another interesting shop caught our eye - the Victorian Image.  This shop recreates those old sepia toned Victorian photographs, so without further ado, two people who shall remain nameless popped inside and got dressed up in Victorian clothing.  The result was most impressive ( if I get chance I'll steal if off 'em and scan it ).  Having done the tourist bit, we headed back to the rally site - I only managed to get a little bit lost on the way back.

    Saturday night saw us back in the barn again.  To me, this rally was like going back in time, and I don't mean that in a disrespectful way.  A "proper" rally - no fancy bits and bobs, just a load of bikers having a good time, no extortionate rip off prices, decent cheap beer and food and, best of all, that laid back atmosphere that seems to be missing on some "modern day" rallies.  Maybe it's a "Northern" thing, and I've been doing to many rallies down South ?  Whatever it was, this rally had it - in short - we bloody enjoyed ourselves.  To make things even better, I managed to get the long distance award - 202 miles.  Kath was a tad disappointed that there wasn't a long distance male and female award, seeing as she'd done 196 miles ( if that ain't a hint, I don't know what is ).
    For some reason, I'd picked up a headache along the way which made drinking a most unwise move, despite that, I still had a great night.

    Sunday morning and I felt terrible.  Monster  headache and a good throwing up session.  Sadly this was not a hangover, if it were, at least I would have had the pleasure of being pissed the night before.  It appears I had sun stroke.  Bloody typical.  Rain all the way up here, the sun comes out and I end up suffering.  Looks like I'll be wearing a hat more often when riding the trike.
    It didn't take us long to pack up and say our goodbyes.  The journey back took a good two hours less than the journey up there, mainly due to taking a different route and the weather being kinder.

    What can I say ?  For a first rally this was excellent, but what do you expect from a club with a name like Moonshiners ?  {Can't have too much of a good thing, if you ask me.}  OK - so the rain caused a few problems, but even the Moonshiners ( wherever they're from ) can't do much about the weather.  I think making it a "barn rally" added to it, rather than making it less of a rally.  I do hope the lads and lasses from the Moonshiners are putting another "Tattie Wine" rally on next year -  I'll do my best to try and drag a few more Black Country Moonshiners up with me, 'cos I think they'd have enjoyed it. . And on that note, I'll end it.  Thanks once again to the Moonshiners M.C.C.



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