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AFSC great Yarmouth 2008


Just back from Great Yarmouth, sat here after a decent kip and contemplating how on earth to do this write up? On many levels Great Yarmouth should have been a disaster with outrageously bad weather and a dull and disappointing show from Angelo Starr but it was an outstanding success for the Armed Forces Scooter Club.

I truly believe that as soon as you arrived, cold wet and wind swept, you where greeted by a real and genuine welcome that bonded us instantly. It was a privilege to be part of our brotherhood and share our camaraderie and for this I think Great Yarmouth will be held in high esteem by those who made the effort to get there.

I will not yap on about Scarborough and I certainly will not be dragged into the controversy that is being bandied about the scootering fraternity but I do honestly believe that those who supported our British Scooter Riders Association over an Easter bank Holiday have won a moral victory and one made even more glorious due to the conditions.
Truddy and Evesy distinguished themselves for our club securing what turned out to be a top location that suited us down to a tea. We had secluded parking, camping space, hot and cold showers, bar and food but what we didn’t plan on was the ultra hospitality that John and Val showed us all during our stay and behalf of The Armed Forces Scooter Club I would like to thank the team at the Mariner Quays for going over and above that weekend.

My arrival was the same as every one else’s, dismounting a scooter completely frozen to the marrow and not relishing putting up a tent let alone sleeping in the thing. The wind was gale force and three tents had all ready been lost so my heart sank at the prospect of a disastrous weekend. But this was The Armed Forces Scooter Club and we are the British Forces who are at our best when we are faced with the worst.
No sooner had you taken your helmet off there was a welcoming committee of AFSC Members thrusting a hot brew into your hand, helping with wet kit and assisting with the tent! Before you knew it all your damp gloves and riding gear was laid out to dry and you had become part of a very special beast and an instant family member. Yes I have experienced this all before at AFSC Gatherings but it always blows me away, the genuine camaraderie and our “Band of Brothers” can feel proud knowing that our military glue is still binding us all together in the way only serviceman can understand.

Lid off and hitting the ground running the “banter” was SF and the sound track for the whole weekend was laughter! Come 2200hrs the last of the “Winter Warriors” had arrived and the scooters had now formed line and the tents square, the gang was all here and we now embarked on draining Great Yarmouth’s beer reserve.

Bish and Craig where by now in full swing and the “Blocky Twins” along with Bagzy, Carl, Ashley and Tony Teach had rooted them selves to the bar and where ambushing one and all with their jolly japes.

Daz, Rayne and Johno finally arrived with a Vespa breaking the land speed record for the slowest ever Vespa journey, 10 hours from Bedford? Si Brunskill, Karen and Gaz arrived pretty much at the same time wetter and colder than most having managed to catch every down pour possible. Rod Short made it in on his “Ratted Vespa” complete with Tarantula! Brilliant!! “Did you get your laces sorted?”. Fred and Rose West AKA Chris and Claire rode up, great to see you mate along with Smudge and Rex. It was absolutely fantastic to see you get here just before the Afghanistan deployment, triple kudos to you both!

Fozzy and Womble on Friday went for the world record “drunkest Scooterists” and I believe Fozzy may have smashed the record but we will have to wait for the official report from Guinness. Taffy and Blue, Uggy and Jeanette all with more kit than I have ever seen on a scooter run! It seamed that both Jeanette and Blue had every thing spare you could possible need, brilliant!!! Next run we go on I aren’t taking any kit, I’ll just borrow some of you two a bit like I did this weekend.

Daz thanks for helping me fly my kite, I mean help me pitch my tent mate, and I don’t think either of us slept in our brand spankers all weekend! Andy and Lou put us all to shame by managing to break the world kiting record and launching a number of tents into the atmosphere better than NASSA! Great to see you both and I am now seriously thing about Tenerife for next year?
Our wounded soldier award goes to Spence who was a brave teddy bear and was sporting the latest “Mod” fashion in hand bags, rugby at your age? You should know that when your bones start to creek its sort of a combat indicator that they may snap!
Our “Top Soldier” award definitely goes to our Joey whose journey makes me cold and sore just thinking about it! Chester to Great Yarmouth, AFSC Furthest travelled with a distance of 234 miles, respect mate!

The whole weekend was a celebration of all things
AFSC, friendship and family. The weather for the whole weekend was insane but we did manage a small ride out through Great Yarmouth flying the Colours proudly with the Backpatch of Courage having its maiden voyage and being worn with pride by the AFSC Top Boys and Girls.

We had a real presence in every pub we frequented and the Black Patch of Courage was omnipresent. Our RV was the VFM Night do’s and although a little disappointed at Angelo Starr we all had a great time.

I know I have used some emotive words whilst writing this report but trying to capture the essence of our club over the Great Yarmouth weekend is an impossible endeavour, I do know that we are stronger than ever and if you are reading this and considering joining our merry band then just make a leap of faith, you only need two things and they are a love of scootering and service to your nation you will get the warmest of welcomes I promise.

I remain, your humble and obedient servant, Simon Cuerden
AFSC President.
blocky's write up

So after several weeks of high anticipation and numerous hoax text messages from the Skipper, Yarmouth day had arrived. First bit of good news was that the predicted rain in mid-Essex had held off. Scoots out and ready, tires pumped and tents packed (Tents? you do realize it's March they all said?)....Ready to Move. So having met up with a bunch of local club mates, we headed North up theA12 to meet with Fred and Rose at the Mersea flyover. Brownie duly arrived only a couple of mins late and again off we set.

The wind en route was most definitely against, and a couple of extremely hairy moments ensued as we got blown across all three lanes of the Essex Raceway. We'd had a serious chat about whether to chance the Orwell Bridge being closed, but in the end we went for it. Straight across no probs. The rest of the route gave us a taster of Sunday's return as a number of snow falls gave us cause for minor concern.

We made it the rest of the way into Yarmouth with one POL stop (and two smoke breaks/Arse Breaks for non smokers!). At this point I thought I'd look at the Destination RV map, and found to my own amazement that I'd actually got us within a km of the place without even realizing! Quality...could have been a pathfinder eh Brownie!!!

On reaching the Marina Keys, we immediately noted Si Cuerden and Daz Stocks engaged in some kind of warped kite flying practice. Couldn't really understand what Stocksy was saying to Si, but he was getting fcuking wet for sure, as by this time, Sleet had begun to fall in horizontal format. We'd done our 105 miles in 3.05 hours, and against the wind, I was well chuffed with that.

We de-bussed to the bar whilst Hunty decided he couldn't let Si suffer alone, so he went to Stocksy's assistance with their big kite. A couple of other folks were also intent on challenging the northern lads at the kite challenge, so we had quite a chuckle whilst demolishing a beer! Anyway, we eventually ran outside to assist and hey-presto, tents erected and correct Staff!

So onto the serious stuff of meeting greeting and eating. And a lot of Drinking. I'm not gonna attempt to recollect everyone's names here, but if you were there, I'm pretty sure I said hello. At this point, I should point out that 4 of my club buddies from Essex wimped right out and went B&B stylee. Not for them the hard core camping malarkey. And actually, not for bloody me either. After numerous bursts of greeting rhetoric...with numerous new arrivals (Most of whom whacked their tents up in nice calm but cold conditions), we got some Sherbet Dabs organised for the run into town, or Ashore as Bagzy kept saying. Strange.

The final RV was the VFM do, with some punk covers band giving it a go. But we'd managed to drink our way via the pier bar, the long bar and a brief stop in Mission. Everywhere you went, Black AFSC badges were prevalent, as were a huge number of smiley faces....Bad Weather? Scarborough? fcukit...we're partying right here. The punk band were actually not bad, although the Soulies amongst us were telling us were we in for a treat on Saturday with Angelo starr on show for our delights and entertainment (Well it showed what they fcuking know then eh!).

I believe there was a Norvun Soul room somewhere in the do, but never found it till Saturday, when it had morphed into a room full of Skinhead types playing Ska/Boss sounds. (More to my liking anyway!). About 0100hrs we decided to shuffle back to base, and via a cab arrived back at Marina Keys, where the party was in full flow. Johnny the Guvnor had got a local mate to rig up an ipod connector and me; blitz and Bish had several hours of fun playing at DJ's. Apologies to all for some body finding a copy of "the Sash" on my Ipod, honest, I reckon Bish put it on there with his majic light bulb device. We leveled things up by playing the Jolly Ploughman though and ended Honours even for the sectarian singing! Finishing up the night with a rousing chorus of I'm forever blowing bubbles. Luves it...

I believe there may have been some Jolly japes occurring during the night, but as I'd secured myself a nice cozy corner of the bar room and adopted the prone reverse supported position, I wouldn't have a clue what they were. Although for some reason, my Arse was and still is all clogged up and Blitz was fcuking smiling at me? There were some very serious attempts made on the world snoring record though. Well done Bish.

Saturday morning beckoned all too soon and a walk to ASDA for Brekkie seemed like a top idea until we'd been walking for 25 minutes and got about 500metres into the wind. Fortunately, The Womble mobile returned and rescued us. Womble then scared most of the young ladies behind the food counter with his numerous and world class chat up lines. Well they'd probably be world class when they were first uttered in 1846, but they still made me laugh and the young girls blush.

ASDA breakfast is to be recommended. I was amazed at how they let you help yourself to sausages whilst you waited for breakfast to be cooked. And free re-fills of coffee and tea. We like ASDA and we'll be back. Fortunately, Gaz the gnome offered us a lift back in his Pope mobile and whilst I amused myself giving the papal blessing to the Saturday morning populace of Yarmouth, Gaz got us back to base. At this point things got Hazy. Allegedly, Carl took the lads out for a ride and delivered some Easter eggs to local sick Children. Excellent. Unfortunately, I managed to chuck half my ASDA brekkie into the canal and then went back to my snoring area for some welcome rest.
My Twin Brother, (who actually fcuking isn't ok!) had put himself in a chair by the bar, and when I awoke 3 hours later, he was still there...hmmmm. The use of the Marina Keys facilities for a quick freshen up, although I failed dismally in my attempt to take a poo in that VERY STRANGE small know what I mean right? Womble and Fozzy then left us for the weekend with good reason, and we continued to drink in a hideously quick regime throughout the rest of the afternoon and early evening. I should mention that Spence had managed to arrive at some point and was wearing a really gay, hand shaped Man Bag. And drinking Rum and Black like there was gonna be a global Molasses shortage. Good effort mate.
I should also mention that Shane Hayter had also arrived but I shall leave further details to your discretion as tourists. But we did have a very good laugh at his stories of the Provost Cpl with tourettes. The evening was punctuated with loud bellowing in a Norfolk accent as Evesy attempted to shout to his mate in North Walsham, whilst purporting to use a mobile phone. Fcuking Plod, always gotta be the biggest and loudest...only joking lads.

Saturday night followed and amidst the drunken Haze, I can remember 3 of our intrepid scooterists as having a ride in the tea cups on Yarmouth Front, Brownie breaking a world record for referring to me as a "fcuking Stab", Angelo Starr being pretty fcuking toss, a whole barrel of beer being drunk, and somewhere amongst it, my girlfriend showing up and going home again. I hear she actually stayed for 3 I also remember being told to smoke inside a pub, and then the order being rescinded sheepishly by the pub Guvnor. Didn't really get to grips with that.

We ended up in the Ska room watching the follicly challenged do funny dancing and listening to the Boss sounds. Well that's what the DJ said. I didn't hear one Springsteen song all night.
Back at the Marina Keys, we'd been evicted from the Bar and were dossing in some canal side cafe. It looked warmer than a tent, but it bloody wasn't. I had Hunty snoring one side and Johno the Pup giving it rock all the other side. Total sleep? Fcuk all. All of that led me to being awake and packed by 0645hrs having said my farewells to those who were awake, me and Steve headed off back to sunny Essex. Like Fcuk it was. Apart from the life threatening journey home, an absolutely superb weekend. Brilliant to see everyone again, make some new mates (Uggy/Jeanette, Damage and Co, Truddy/Evesy, andy/Lou) and well done to the Norfolk contingent for hosting and sorting out the Marina Keys. Pompey next then? Please can it be warmer???




A review of Angelo Starr
by Taff Roberts

Angelo Starr was absolutely awesome to start with, managing to capture the vocal tones and nuances of some of the greats, such as Marvin Gaye and JJ Barnes.

When I entered the room Angelo and his band were well into delivering one of the most recognizable tracks of his brother ‘Time’. The sound was astounding with the thumping bass emphasizing every dance move on the floor. I stood on the dance floor with my mouth open in awe and every hair standing on end. I just absorbed and soaked it all in.

This truly was an awesome performance which was sadly to be the only one that I witnessed. Angelo Starr went into what seemed to be his standard set. His showmanship lies to the audience maintaining the impression that he was delivering requests, maintaining an illusion that he was dishing out what his audience wanted. The fact is these were just showmanship lies and every track was already pre-programmed into the Korg synthesizer. He didn’t deliver anything that his audience required. I personally feel that the dance atmosphere on the floor was only saved to a mediocre level by the copious amounts of beer.

Time seemed to be the only song he delivered that was relatively true to the original. He seemed to think that we were into 70s disco and didn’t demonstrate any understanding of Northern Soul at all. Disappointment was an understatement.

To the point where Bluey and I walked out after about 40 minutes of dull, dull and dull disco and funk interpretations of classic northern and Motown tracks.

I accept that every singer and band will offer a certain personalization of the tracks we adore, but this was out the window. We wanted classics and he evidently wanted a disco. How wrong he was. He was doing cabaret while we wanted something personal. He did not know his audience at all.

Half way through the set I waited with baited breath for ‘contact’, which he would undoubtedly deliver, and he did! As an interpretation of Donna Summers’ I feel Love, and ‘popcorn’ with the same disco labor pains that was the threshold of the original Donna Summer track.

His set and talent is undoubtedly entertaining and a leading edge in the recent re-emergence of Motown and Philly influenced musical sounds. But he did not deliver what his audience expected. Certainly not what I expected or wanted from a rally.

It was absolutely fucking horrendous and I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I gained more personal satisfaction from sitting outside in the cold having a fag, rather than being inside listening to my life’s musical influences being raped by a disco fanatic.

Fortunately, I have seen Edwinn Starr on a number of occasions and had the good fortune to be on stage with him at Northampton in 1997 (I think) and perhaps I expected too much from someone that was described to me as Edwinn’s brother, although I don’t believe it. I think Angelo is cashing in on a name.

I personally left feeling betrayed and ripped off and wishing I had never braved the cold to go and see the show. It seemed that the traditional soul tracks the band played had been stolen and defiled.



"The Roll of Honour"

1 Simon Cuerden Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
3 Uggy Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
5 Craig & Vivian Coombs Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
6 Si SIMON BRUNSKILL Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
7 Dave Rapson Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
8 Carl Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
9 Bagzy Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
10 Spence Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
11 Bish Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
12 Blocky Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
13 Blocky BLOCKY 3 TENTS Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
14 Blocky BLOCKY 3 TENTS Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
15 Tattoosmudge Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
16 Ashley Taylor Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
17 Daz ze Dog Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
18 Joey Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
19 Daz Stocks Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
20 Roann Leatz Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
21 Andy and louise Dent Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
23 Tony Teach& Son Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
24 James & Missus Wright Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
25 Robert Bradley Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
26 Lee Davison Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
27 Ollie Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
29 Taffy & Blue Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
30 Karen Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
31 Truddy local no accommodation required
32 Simone local no accommodation required
33 Evesy local no accommodation required
35 Dave and Mandy Allan Chalet booked
36 Fozzy Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
37 Womble Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
38 Jamesy No accommodation required tenting with Olli
39 Jason & Missus Smith Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
41 Chris & Claire Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
42 Steve "Waterlessmod" McGarry Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys
43 Rodney Short Tented accommodation booked at The marina Keys