|"Well, I'll be working hard to reach me target, To earn a few bob for a day trip down to Margate"|
Margate has been a leading seaside
resort for at least 250 years. Like its neighbour Ramsgate, it has been a
traditional holiday destination for Londoners drawn to its sandy beaches. We, as
scooterists, have not been to “Sunny” Margate since 1994. Jellied eels, jolly
boys, cockneys on knees up weekends, kiss me quick hats and Spitfire bitter are
all clichés from this neck of the woods and that “charm” still remains but sadly
the fate of all the British sea side resorts effects Margate in the same
unforgiving way and the place looks tired and more than a little run down. “Shit
hole” well they’re all “Shitholes” aren’t they, but we are not here to buy rock
n ride donkeys, we are here to buy beer and ride scooters!
"I'm gonna blow the lot tomorrow on all me family, We catch the coach at eight, So don't be late"
Carol and I loaded the scooter the
night before as she had to work and we found our selves setting off late Friday
afternoon togged up to the eyeballs in Gortex thanks to Sky News Weather, who
got it all arse about face! M1- M25 -M2 not the most scenic of routes but we had
a long way to go it was a race to get there with out missing any valuable
drinking time. The GTS 250 purred away a real horrowshow. A nice warm vibraty
feeling all through your guttiwuts! As it ate up the road speeding us towards
"We're off to see the sea. Del: Behave yourself Uncle Albert Rodney: Or you won't be going Down to Margate, Don't forget your buckets and spades and cossies and all. Down to Margate"
Arriving at Margate we were greeted by The AFSC Enclave who had already set up base for the weekend. Jay done us proud with the “Op Order and Comms Control” and every one including Daz “The Dog” had arrived drama free, which was a pleasant change. Gaz the Gnome had his ubiquitous brew of jack Daniels and Coke and this helped warm the cockles and stopped the saddle ache immediately. Dinger with her daughter Cherise had bought more stuff than I had ever seen on a camp site and the inside of their tent looked like a front room! Nice to see so many friendly faces and so many club members, big hi to Andy (Chelski) Taylor, haven’t seen your ugly mug since Mersea last year! Fantastic to catch up. Karen and Holly great to see ya Taff n Blue as well as Garry n Angie and Danny.
"We'll have a pill of jellied eels
at the cockle stall. We'll go on the pier and we'll have a beer at the side of
Down to Margate, You can keep the costa Brava, I'm telling you mate, I'd rather Have a day down Margate with all me family. Yeah!"
The camp site had originally been closer to Margate but due to a last minute change of heart from Margate council The VFM had to source an alternative and we were now located some five miles from Margate, it mattered not as their were ample amounts of taxis who only charged on average five pounds and didn’t raise their prices as we normally see in other sea side towns so well done Margate!
"You can keep the costa Brava and all that palava Del: Goin' to Brava. Rodney: Del, I'd rather, Have a day down Margate with all my family"
AFSC drinking Team hit Margate at about 2000hrs on
the Friday; I do hope the sea front had more than three pubs on offer? But it
seemed that way, it didn’t bother me but I did hear a few whinges about the lack
of atmosphere, The AFSC
Crew were as happy as sand boys and the lack of pubs kept us all together, the
beer was cold, the company warm and the camaraderie was superb, it was
brilliant! Great to finally meet Jacqui Fry, I hope I didn’t cause you any grief
with your club XXX. David Allen, nice to see you again and remember to speak to
Steve for me re Coalville. Dangerous Dave I did keep bumping into you but it was
usually at the burger van on the way to my basha whilst in a drunken stupor!
For me the best thing about the national Run Scene is meeting up with like minded people who have ridden mile after mile to celebrate scootering. We have a well and truly established “Ride Out” scene now in the UK where large numbers of scooters meet up thanks to the alliances doing a cracking job coordinating, and I do enjoy these immensely but they do have an important element missing and that is “camaraderie”. I suppose it’s the difference between season ticket holders meeting every other game at home and those that venture out for the way games, I am not talking about crossing the Andes by frog but it is an adventure and I Faking luves it!
Margate Lido was the place we chose to do our funky stuff, there was an alternative, The Sugar Lounge for the “Moon Stompers” but we plumped for the VFM Do. Five squid to get in, two rooms, live band, three bars, burger van, Brilianttttttttttttttttttttt! Again I found my self rooted in the Northern Soul Room the five DJ’s played outstanding sets and covered the whole spectrum of sixties oldies, RnB, seventies newies, modern cuts and all the classics you need to keep the trendy bendies on the dance floor. Jay and I played the “find the worse dancer” game and this kept us amused for hours, surely there is a law about “Cockney Dancers” and “Northernsoul”? I’m sure I read some where that the two should never meet? I do know that in Barnsley it is illegal to back comb your hair unless you are selling a pig but we weren’t in Barnsley and there where bleedin Cockneys every were, and loads of em had back combed their hair! Brilliannnnnnnttttttttttttt!
Early hours Samstag Morgen and we had made our drunken way back to the VFM Campsite where Bagzy and I decided to play our usual game of stealing sausages from the burger van. This kept us amused whilst filling our drunken bellies then it was back to my children’s sized two man (you must be joking) tent for one of the two worst nights sleep I have ever had in my young fookin life! It was like trying to doss in a coffin while staying half awake for fear of collapsing the ill designed tent frame. I kept warm by shivering like a heroine addict on cold turkey thanks to my summer time softie sleeping bag. Carol got the Army “Bouncing Bomb” complete with Gortex bag and blow up pillow and slept like a baby. Joey arrived early hours after a long ride down from Liverpool and pretty soon the dawn chorus and banging hang over’s signalled the time to get up.
Breakfast and a ride into town was the order of the day and we monged about for a while until the parts fair and custom show opened. Great to see Mark from lambretta Art, Dave from Top trumps and Blitzkrieg Bob “Craig and Vivian Coombs” all AFSC Members and all stall holders. I managed to get them all to chip in a bit of dosh and now The AFSC have sponsored a trophy for The IOW “Best turned out club” this will be presented by Steve Foster of the VFM during the IOW custom show. Mitch Mitchell must get a prize for dedication, he was stood at least three hours handing flyers out at the Custom show, nice to see ya mate. We also met up with Blocky over from the Middle East who was stoking up on jellied eels; I think he has opened a stall out there? We also met up with Danny Siggers who is now sporting his new “I can point any where finger” thanks to his recent front tyre blow out demonstration that he was lucky to have limped away from. Phil and Kim were also there with Phil showing off his new artificial leg, he is getting a new one made with an AFSC Logo, Chippy I’ll find out if you can enter it into the custom show mate! Nice to see you back on the road to recovery and superb to see you on the runs once again.
Margate’s Custom Show was a small affair, the high light was seeing Daz the Dog’s face as a “Crow” themed Vespa was entered; Daz has a GP200 with this theme and was not able to ride it thanks to a holed piston. Carol and I took the opportunity to ride the thirty odd miles to Dover to visit our son at the Duke of York’s’ Royal Military School and it was great to see our Zak and it kinda put the cherry on what was an exceptionally good weekend.
Saturday back at the camp site we kicked off the party early thanks to Dr Boddingtons and Mr Fosters then it was back into Margate and the pub “Barnacles” that by now resembled “The King Ludd” at the IOW! Great atmosphere and it was here that I was introduced to Chris browns’ father. Chris n Claire were “poshing” it up at Chris’ dads house. It was excellent to see so many scooter clubs, The Salford Knights and The Patriots, nice to meet you all.
Margate wasn’t a massive scooter rally, not sure why? On the club side it was a fantastic success with AFSC Members Ubique. I for one thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and look forward to Kelso.
Massive AFSC thanks to Bagzy n Taff for the pictures