“A shhhmoke and a pancake?”

By Simon Cuerden

Monday morning, the 28th day of July and the first day back at work after Holiday in Holland 2003. As I sit here contemplating writing this revue I think of all those “naff” and repetitive articles in Scootering, you know the ones I mean? The ones that give a blow-by-blow account of the weekend starting with “I packed my bag…” Well to be perfectly honest with you this weekend was so crammed chocker block full of memorable stuff that the only approach to this write up must be one of: “I packed my bag…”
Tom & Steve Ian's back Dancers
Right! I had to knick these pictures from another web site! We are desperate for any AFSC pictures please please get them to me!!
Squadrophenia Beer n Banana Spot the club!

Holiday in Holland (HiH) weekend is held over the weekend of the 25th to the 27th of July but for The
AFSC and many more clubs and solo riders, the experience starts some time before. HiH is a well and truly established quality rally that boasts “A friendly atmosphere” and we are not just talking about “A smoke and a pancake”. For those of us veterans who wait eagerly for the rally and for the first time visitors the build up to the run is akin to children waiting for Christmas to arrive!

The official HiH website has remained almost untouched since the previous year and I believe that this has resulted in their guestbook being under used, certainly compared to the frenzy of contacts being made and the brilliant humour that came from the HiH guestbook. The
AFSC website gave a countdown to the run with notes informing our members of the state of play, meeting points and a list of those attending but more importantly those who had volunteered to help out.

Now without digging too deep into other club's politics, I think it was safe to say that the help given this year from the AFSC to The Speed Demons was vital! And a special mention must surely go to Dia and Elaine Ranson for pulling out all the stops. Dia the
AFSC back up van was brilliant!

So, back to the plot. Friday the 25th of July 2003, I packed my bag and sat and waited for Mick Holt and Tom Keating to arrive. Steve Evans had ridden down from Gutersloh earlier on his Malossi tuned T5, Mick and Tom would both be on P200’s with 225 Malossi conversions. I would be going on the GP; believe it or not the Vespa was broken! Mick had spent a lot of time and effort on route cards and we were soon to set off.

"Can I paint their winkys gold? Its kind of my thing you know"

"No! you freaky Dutch bastard"

  "There are only two things that I hate, those who are intolerant of other people's cultures, and the Dutch."
Nutty, Jimmy, Ian, John W, Harry and Simon B Dia, Mick and Elaine - "Mick stealing pints"!

Simon "Fat Boy Slim" Cuerden spinning the funky vibe

1800hrs Friday, 4 scooters leaving JHQ towards Borculo Holland, what could possibly go wrong? Well nothing, in fact apart from the usual wrong turn and light shower, we arrived safely on the campsite with all scoots intact and not even a sore bum from the three-hour ride! Craig Balantine, Nutty Newton, Dia and Elaine Ranson, and Kerry Webster had arrived on the Thursday. My wife and I had visited the site Thursday to bring down the tents and records; I would be DJ’ing over the weekend. Big up to Nutty and Craig for putting up our tents.

2000hrs Friday, the Hohne crew arrive, Simon Brunskill, Ian Botham, Jimmy Foley and John Wymark. John was literally in agony with an old knee injury that required copious amounts of beer to relive the pain! The Hohne crew did suffer some minor break downs but were all in good spirits after a very long journey down. Andy and Harry from Leicester, both honouree
AFSC members, soon joined us and a little AFSC tented village emerged. The next thing on the agenda was to liaise with Sticky as our club was to provide assistance with the gate, the door, general security, DJing, route marking, humping and dumping, and generally being on hand to make the weekend run as smoothly as possible.

2100hrs Friday, Dia and Elaine Ranson made busy with marshalling the arriving scooters. Ian Botham, Jimmy Foley and myself took turns on the door. We had to check that every one had a wristband, blue for scooter riders and red for car drivers, who had been charged thirty euros per passenger! Well that’s what we were supposed to be doing, what we really did was have a giggle telling people that they couldn’t come in with trainers on, they needed a tie on or jacket. This evolved to no tattoos, no long hair, no short hair, no hair, basically we just took the Mick all night and it didn’t seem hard work at all! Jimmy and Ian are both quiet lads and very boring when together…not!
Kerry n Banana Nutty Newton n friends Simon Cuerden n sweat!

Friday night was excellent and mirrored last year's party atmosphere with sensible bar and food prices. Three rooms giving you freedom of choice in music and every room was leaping with its own particular vibe. I ventured down to the downstairs freaky room and stayed for a few mins…too freaky for me but the freaky people loved it! Hardcore House and Drum n Bass with a smattering of Rega Dub made for a well alternative alternative, if you know what I mean?

In the main room the normal Scootering sounds were being spun but the emphasis was on having a good time so no boundaries were set. I’m not saying that there was an “Agaddoo” fest on, just that if a bit of music fitted the tempo and the mood, it was played, even if it didn’t fit the cliché of scooterist music. This for many is hard to pull off but the HiH participant seems to have a more open mind when partying.

The third room was for the Northern soul junky and my favourite. Champ and Sunny the dancer (also
AFSC German Chapter) who added the backbone to the room, and to be honest the only time the dance floor cleared all weekend was with an unknown DJ (sorry I didn’t get his name?) who played to his record box rather than to the floor! I was sorry not to see Carsten Fox from the Paderborn Chapter of Cloud 9 SC (also an AFSC German Chapter and one of the founding members) It was nice to bump into Sherry from England and Harry Barlow wanted to bump into her Dutch friend! Tom and Kerry went to bed early on Friday night; they must have both been knackered with the long ride down? Most others drifted off to their tents at various times of the wee hours.
  "I don't speak Freaky dickey Dutch"  
Simon B and Jimmy Ian with The Salford Knights! Long road back to Hohne

0900hrs Saturday sounds too early to be getting up on a weekend, but who wants to sleep? Hot showers were on! Massive improvement from last year. The Speed Demons had obviously thought long and hard about improving this run, an almost impossible task as last year's HiH was also superb but improve it they did. Next on the cards was B/Fast, the normal European fare bacon scrambled eggs/omelette type stuff that tastes better than it sounds, bread, coffee and the ubiquitous cheese and ham. Six Euros for an "all you can eat breakfast"!
Some of the AFSC AFSC Back up van Simon, Dia's and Mick's England!

By 1000hrs the sun had appeared and so had all the
AFSC members, there we sat all 17 of us all wearing the AFSC T-Shirts! For me this was the best sight of the weekend, great to see this rare sight with club members flying the flag. I honestly thought that this couldn’t be topped, but it was! An impromptu AFSC ride out was in order and 11 scooter riders all bedecked in our club T-Shirts rode into Borculo and parked up in the popular posing square of the town. Here we chilled for the next couple of hours just giggling and letching.

1300hrs Friday I was asked to judge the custom show and to be perfectly honest with you it was quite difficult to say the least. The categories were limiting and some of the brilliant scooters there would not receive the credit that they deserved. Dia Ranson had entered his immaculate fully Modded DL 150 and I was going to enter my GP but thought bad of it as giving my self best of show may have caused a riot! After an agonizing hour of selecting and re-selecting I judged the following:

Best Lambretta

This was awarded to a TS1 GP225 with a subtle yet tricky red street racer custom paint job. The bike was very well put together and to say it was clean and tidy would be an understatement. There were two other Lambrettas present with equally good modifications and some superb use of carbon fibre but the chosen Lambretta just pipped them at the post.

Best Vespa

Very difficult to choose and my first impression was to give it to Eddy Holman’s Titanic chopper. Also in the running was a Vietnam War themed Vespa that was a head turner. Both these custom scooters were brilliant! But the winner in my opinion was a German Street Racer done out in the Ferrari livery. The attention to detail and the skill of the build was breathtaking. Liquid cooled barrel, hydraulic clutch, all very well done and my winner.

Best Vintage

Choosing the eventual winner was not a good experience for me. My first choice was Dia Ranson’s DL 150. Dia’s scooter is stunning and if there was a “Mod” category Dia would carried away the trophy. The prize instead went to a 1957 Vespa sidecar out fit that had been lovingly restored to look brand new! Battle ship grey and in showroom condition.

Best Auto

The Eminem Dragster as featured in the last Scootering won this category. Built by Karl Russell of Hull, this very trick and well thought out automatic Scooter was easily the winner. The fact that it was the only auto in the competition did help it along somewhat but the quality of both the plating and artwork was obvious.
There was Nunny's  Lambretta GP with an auto engine that was outrageously good! I want it! All very clever stuff, but not strictly in the auto class, as I was informed? You tell me?

Nunny's BIKE MODIFICATIONS frame extended to rear, mould made for wider & longer GP panels, runner boards altered to accommodate wider rear section, enlarged fuel tank (over 100 miles). Radiator in toolbox with fan, mesh & vents in toolbox to aid cooling, Lammy forks & links altered to accommodate Gilera front wheel & disc. Gilera logo on panels ENGINE MODIFICATIONS 25mm carb kit with ram air filter, Polini inlet rubber, malossi reed block, Malossi up gear kit, tuned roller weights& clutch spring, Malossi 180 barrel kit, custom made exhaust.


Best Oddity

This I gave to the black Lambretta “Skull” chopper, this started out as a LI 150 Lammy and ended up as a mutant from the planet Arse Kick! Fantastic, a real head turner and certainly one to piss off the “Keep it standard brigade”

Best of Show

I fell in love with an Italian Grand Prix 200 the first second I saw it. Clean, bright and in a class of its own. Enough bright work to catch the eye without cluttering the appearance. Clever murals depicting Wigan Casino in its various states of demise. I have seen better artwork but not here at HiH. A classic scooter with a classic theme, Northern soul based customs are not new, they’re not original but it is an icon.
The GP was without doubt the best of show.
Ian, Mick and Tom Simon n Jimmy Back up van in the background

1700hrs Saturday The fun games were the usual Beer n Banana race come bucket of water taped to a helmet egg fight type vomit competition come vodka laced beer come sliding off your scooter come every one laughed come egg fight free for all. "Thanks Mick for the egg my tracer!" :-)

2000hrs Saturday shit, shower n shampoo. Best dancing shorts on Saturday is a frenzy of fun were do you start? Try to think of the camp sight as a little Scooterist fun park with pockets of enjoyment around every corner. There was a live band, I think? Playing on the tented area next to a beer stand. Just in front of this was the rolling road provided by “Scooter Attack” from Germany, here you could prove how many horsepower you had and it was amazing to see such power out put by the small-framed Vespas. The Germans love it! Harry Barlow tried to convince me to run my GP but I like my crank were it is thanks! Besides speed has to be taken from a race not by some Sony Play Station Game (more about this subject later!)

2100hrs Saturday Time for my DJ spot, gulp, I was starting to get nervous. I new what I wanted to play and that was Northernsoul. Whether they wanted to listen to that I didn’t know! The other thing I was a bit wary of was that I was to do the opening set always a hard spot, no one wants to be the first to dance and people are still sober enough to be critical.
I wanted to give the crowd what they wanted but I was reluctant to play safe, besides I had a few tracks I wanted to push. As near as I can remember my first records played went some thing like this:

“Shout it to the top” Fire Island (I just love this tune and I think it should get more play than it does)

“Pressure” Drizabone (British modern soul at its very best)

“Because of you” Jackie Wilson

“Back Street” Edwin Star

“I don’t do this” Sidney Joe Quails

After two hours I finished and the floor was full of dancers. I must admit that this was one of my personal highlights and a big thank you must go to Mick and Tom for helping out with the music.

0100hrs Sunday Again all three rooms are kicking, there is a crowd out side watching burnouts in the rain. Amazing? I go through to the Northern room were I find Mick in full flight dancing with this Soulie who was bedecked in Spencer Bags and soul vest. Mick was really scaring this poor lad who made numerous attempts to escape but Mick was determined not to let his newfound pet escape. At one point the lad passed me a note with the words “help me” written on it! I spent a while with Harry, Andy, Mick, Dia and Elaine every one was in good spirits and although we were all tired no one was sloping off to bed.

One of the endearing things about HiH is the friends you meet and meeting Sherry again for me was brilliant xxx (Told you you’d get a mention)
Craig& Dai's Some of the crew Steve Evans Kerry Webster

0500hrs Sunday Time for some sleep! Staggering back to my tent and finding Tom’s roll mat floating in two inches of water is a sobering site! The tent, a gift from Borgo (thanks mate) was as much use as my new Malossi ashtray! Boy did it rain! Thank god for Gortex Bivvi Bags and Craig Balantine having enough room for me in his tent!

0900hrs Sunday I awoke next to Craig’s two lovely cheeks, how he got his arse up that close I do not know? Everyone was feeling a bit fragile and it was impossible to sleep in with the sound of Scooters leaving in a steady stream. With tents struck we lashed everything to our scoots and made our way towards breakfast. Dia was awarded a trophy as a thank you for the weekend and our club had donated a special trophy for the furthest traveled club.

1230hrs Sunday Time to say good-bye the air was thick with two-stroke oil as wave after wave of scooters left the site. John Wymark was suffering with his leg injury and had to get the train back to Hohne. A certain young lady who works for a certain British Scooter Shop in GB insisted on racing my GP with her TS1 Dealer Special. Unfortunately she came off her scooter damaging her headset top and suffering minor bruises to the bottom and ego.

The HiH 2003 was crammed full of special moments, I met Kenny from Suffolk REME AAC please get in touch! Kerry your mate from RAF Lyneham, I have forgotten his name (too drunk, sorry) please ask him to get in touch.

Dia Ranson coming up trumps with the back up van complete with
AFSC logo graphics (should have entered it in the custom show!) Our ride back towards JHQ with forty scooters from Archen was the icing on the cake.

All in all a brilliant run, a brilliant club get together and I would like to thank every one for the hard work they did to make the rally the best in Europe!

Sir, this statement is true and correct to the best of my recollection. Yours Simon Cuerden

Thanks to the Dutch Lions for some of the pictures
Thanks to the Welfen Rollerklub Braunschweig for some of the pictures