By Simon Cuerden
“I swear I was there”

The Germany Based Crew of The AFSC rode into the shale of the garden centre car park. I was concentrating on not to come off the scooter (came off earlier!) The arranged meeting point worked well and a few AFSC members had gathered there in anticipation of the main event, The Armed Forces Scooter Club Annual Meeting for 2005. This was going to be the biggest ever turn out for our club since the Pink Toothbrush Do during the early eighties. I must admit to being slightly anxious at the thought of no one turning up, and as my heart sank a little at the small number that had gathered at the RV, I resigned my self to an “Oh well thirty five is better than nothing”. Coffee and grub downed, it was now time to ride the rest of the way into Skegness to set up for the AFSC AGM.

Paying the very reasonable £6 for the three nights camping, the Germany Based Crew and a few UK based Solo Riders of The
AFSC were escorted to The AFSC area. As we parked the Scooters, I was relieved to see just how many AFSC members were already there! I could hardly believe my eyes! I am not too sure of the numbers, but The Southern Division had pulled out all the stops! In addition to this there was more than a healthy smattering of our Solo Riders, who had made long journeys on there own to meet up for the AFSC AGM. I have to say that it should be appreciated that most of us had made a “leap of faith” meeting for the first time in a big scooter club. Big scooter clubs have suffered in the reputation stakes during the good old, bad old days and most scooterists tend to distance themselves from potential hassle such as in fighting and politics. I was deeply touched by the dedication and eagerness of those who made the rally.

From the moment I took my helmet off, it was a one hundred mile an hour rush of warm genuine friendliness. No one was stood around giving the thousand-mile stare and no one was left out of any clique. This was down to the brilliant characters in the club and that service mentality we all have due to the nature of our jobs. I really am struggling to write this because I am conscious of the emotions I had for the weekend. I am very keen not to miss out any events or forget to mention anyone; lord knows how I can capture the ambience without it coming over as some sort of "Hippie Love In"!

Tent up and a quick NATO Shower in a can, it was time to ride back to the RV to scoop up any stragglers. On my return I couldn’t find my tent, courtesy of Dia Ransom who decided to move it for pay back just because I advertised his scooter for sale in the paper a week before! Every one dressed in the club colours, blue polo shirts and it was time to do the mass migration to The Ship Pub.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to every one for wearing the club colours on Friday and Friday night as requested. I do appreciate that no one likes to be told what to wear and I am forever conscious about asking. I am sure every one recognises the benefits from flying the club colours, and we have now set precedence for future events having an iconic rallying point for members and a perfect advertisement for service scooterist who don’t know we exist, and I know there are many out there.


At around 1900hrs, we are now on our way to the pub. The Armed Forces Scooter Club had now swelled in size by about a million! Well it seamed that way! All I could see was a mass of club colours and smiling faces heading for the Ship Pub. It was excellent. The venue was unimportant and we could have had the same atmosphere on a desert island. Usually on a run I am pre-occupied with the scooters and I get easily distracted, usually by the shapelier scooterist but tonight belonged to The

I am not joking; it was like being out with your best friend, your brother and your sister! The banter was as quick as a TS1 Kitted GP and the humor was infectious, my sides were hurting literally with laughter as Dickie 2 Coats, Treacle and Dave Plenty got into full swing! The evening was warm, the beer was cold and the universe was in order. As the night progressed and the beer started to flow, it was time for small groups of us to drift off to their preferred entertainments. Some chose to return to the
AFSC Tented Village, some chose to stay in the Ship, some ventured into the Run venue whilst others re joined their civilian club mates. It was great that we all felt at ease with no obligations, and this made for a more relaxed evening.

I chose to go to the Night Do, as I need to get my Northern soul fix! The venue offered a variety of musical génres and you could flit from one room to another with great ease to sample the best in Scootering music ranging from top shelf Ska n Rock Steady, to the top modern tunes in the main room, not forgetting of course the live bands that were playing and all this for £6! Big up to the event organisers for not getting carried away with the pricing. The beer was good quality served quickly by friendly bar staff at affordable prices, what more can you ask?

Walking from room to room, you couldn’t go literally more than three steps without rubbing shoulders with another club member. The very nature of our jobs makes it almost impossible for any decent numbers to meet up, but this was special and certainly a tonic for the troops! One of the best comments I heard during the rally was “It looks worth joining up just to get into the club” What can you say to that?

During the evening our very own Rob James showed great fore thought and planning when he purchased a Kebab on the way to the club. Eating half, he decided to wrap it up and hide it under a hedge so he could be one step ahead of the game when he fancied some munchies at the end of the evening. Rob retrieved his kebab three or four hours later and started to enjoy the fruits of his planning. It was three or for minutes into the kebab when Robb realized that a nest of ants were also enjoying the fruits of his planning, and Rob had eaten a fair amount of ants, well enough to make a medium sized ant eater proud!

“Aint eating ants brillllliannnttttttttttt!”

After tripping the light fandango in the Northern room, it was soon time to do the short tab back to chez
AFSC, now here is where it gets a bit blurry? I cannot remember the trip back to the site, but I woke up in my tent on Saturday morning with a headache that hurt when I breathed! Thank you to the “The Pink Lady” who sorted me with aspirin.

Next on the list for this call sign was breakfast! Brookie, Marshy and I (The three stooges) rode out to the greasy spoon for the best of Skeggness’s culinary delights. As per normal drills, Marshy n Brookie were in perfect form and the poor chap behind the b/fast counter was out of his depth. After the greasy stuff it was decided that we should embark on “Operation Depth Charge”. The mission was to find porcelain for a “Posh Poo”. The sight of three over grown squadies touching cloth riding desperately around Skeggy in search of a bog that didn’t resemble a crack house (excuse the pun), can not have been a pretty sight. At one time I thought Brookie was going to burst into tears as we queued up in Morrison’s Supermarket waiting for a vacant sign to appear!

Load delivered and wet wipes administered to those important little places, it was now back to the camp site to join the other club members who by now, were all up washed and dressed and eagerly looking forward to our ride out.

“H” hour approached and Mik Boon was not in sight? He had broken down unbeknown to us and he was the lead for the ride out. No plan surviving contact and all that, we appointed Rob “The Ant Eater” to lead the way on Acid Trip. Rob did a sterling job getting our posse to a village pub seven miles from the campsite, well-done mate!

The ride out for me personally was one of the most satisfying, gratifying, exciting and proudest moments in my young life! I shit you not; the birth of my children and the first time I saw Angela Truscott's fanny were all great times and the
AFSC ride out joins my list of wow memories! Treacle told me that he was over whelmed during the ride out, to the point where he had tears in his eyes and I can fully understand that.

If you are a visitor to the site and if you are reading this, please don’t be alarmed at our tendency to wax lyrical, what we do and what we have done in our jobs harden us to things, yet makes us appreciate other things to the extent where we can be overly hard some times and yet show great tenderness another. If you get bored with the cheesiness of the write up, just look at the pictures.

In a haze of two stroke, we pulled into the village pub car park. Scooters lined up, we folded into the pub, it was like a scene from Mad Max. We were kind of hoping for Quadrophenia, but no one seamed to be wearing a suit? The landlord was great; some shit their pants at the sight of a load of hairy servicemen but we were made welcome. The concept was to get a pub lunch and a cold beer but the small pub could not cope with the size of our club, and more than half of us didn’t get fed. We all got a beer and there was a BBQ to look forward to, so no Teddies were thrown. I got fed so that’s all that matters!!!!!!!

Back on site we were eagerly awaiting the BBQ. Dave Bellis did an outstanding job acting as Chef, and we seamed to double in size as soon as the first sausage was cooked? We are going to adopt a token system for future BBQ’s, so no one misses out on any thing. During the BBQ our good friends The Salford Knights joined us, always welcome and we look forward to getting wobbly again together in Holland.

BBQ scoffed we showered, booted n suited. The girls disappeared into Mik n Sue’s marquee sized tent and appeared dressed in their new
Pink AFSC Polo Shirts complete with fluffy pink rabbit ears and the cutest fluffy pink tails you could ever imagine! Brilliant! Next stop, The Ship again for yet another evening of beer and banter in true AFSC stylee.

Yet more of Skeggness’s finest ales supped, it was soon that time again to drift and do your desired entertainment. Northern soul, talk, beer, live band, beer, talk Northern soul, talk, beer, live band, beer, talk, a bit of Ska Northern soul, talk, beer, live band, beer, talk. Well that was my Saturday evening and it was like revisiting my miss spent youth!

Sunday morning is usually a sad affair with the sound of departing Scooters constantly reminding you that the fat lady is about to sing. This time it was different, this time it was like being present at a birth. I was left with a real feeling of optimism and sense of wellbeing for our most precious scooter club the Armed forces scooter club.

Yours Simon Cuerden “I swear I was there”