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1st Flimwell Rally 2002


After volunteering to help we aimed to arrive early on site on Friday, so at the crack of 1pm we arrived to find Mike & Sybil, Roly & Claude, Pete & Anita, Robin & Linda and others on site with totem poles, gazebos and marquee erected and BBQs and tables and chairs in place. After profuse apologies and excuses we set up our pitch and cracked open a beer or two. Our rally had started.

The new club marquee had been set up flanked by gazebos housing the cooking facilities in case of bad weather but turned out to be unnecessary as the sun shone the whole weekend but it made a good focal point anyway.

After eating Friday evening was spent round the bonfire telling lies etc and when Claude came out of the woods with a couple of railway sleepers under his arm the temperature turned up several degrees and kept several of us warm as we chatted into the early hours.

As we had been told breakfast was thrown in we kept the doors locked on our camper that night and Su and I were the last to arrive at the chow tent the next morning’ a full English breakfast with a fried slice cooked especially for me by Mrs Oakleys little boy Robin. Luvly Grub.

Saturday continued with a photo session in the woods, more chatting and then an open house workshop session on Ron Wells’ very nice white 46 Chief, adjusting the timing, carburetion and then fine tuning at full blast across the field. Very impressive as it was the first time he’d ridden it. Nice one Ron!

At 11:30 about twenty bikes assembled for the rideout and with route maps and instructions handed out we set of  via the wilds of Kent to Rolvenden where a few of us took in Chris Booths Morgan museum and even more the gastronomic delights of the Bull Inn.

After lunch the run split into two, one group going straight back to the rally site and the others following Su and I the 30 or so miles via Rye and Bodiam. One glitch in my navigators route reading meant a U turn on a very steep downhill stretch but it kept the foot clutchers among us on our toes eh Anita!

We returned to find some visiting riders from the 45 club, Dean on his HD WLA and Smudge on his Evo engined special with the clutch and rear brake operated by the footboards. Also Big John with a very nice black and white HD 45 and thanks for organising a generator when ours died on Friday night.

After a panoramic photo shoot of bikes and riders organised by Chris Ball it was time to eat again with a BBQ and roast lamb prepared by Mike de B. (I think Sybil may have helped him!) and a special mention for Sybils’ Lesbian (or was it Lebanese) salad.

With appetites sated it was for Rod Williams to once more mount the auctioneers rostrum (ooer missus!). This year a cache of 741 spares appeared and the bidding was brisk and frenzied especially when an original (allegedly) 741 wine rack appeared.  

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Stuart & Mark Alexander posing again

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Half way stop on the ride out (what is Stuart looking at?)

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Andy Donald playing on a 101

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New boy Ron on his recently acquired Chief.

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Mike Debidaph caught doing some cooking for a change

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Rod, Fred, Anita & Robin posing again!


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Line up of some of the bikes at Flimwell on the Saturday


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And some more bikes


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Stuart and family on a borrowed 741 & chair


The highlight of the auction was when a box of Whitworth taps and dies came up.   Stuart opened bidding and almost won when cousin Mark entered the fray. A competition ensued ending only when Stuart said “Oh **** it, I’ll borrow them off you!” But then a new bidder surprised every one. Rachel, Stuarts’ wife was now fighting for family honour. Not to be outdone Marks’ wife joined in. The auction ended with husbands’ hands firmly but lovingly clasped over the girls mouths. The funny thing is I can’t remember who won in the end. Thanks again to the Indian Riders answer to David Dickinson, Cheap as chips Rod.

The evening ended round the bonfire once more and Sunday morning arrived all too soon and after another fry up it was time to pack away and with many helping hands the gazebos and marquee were soon down and away and the site cleared. Congratulations to Mike and Sybil for an excellent rally.

My highlights: the weather, the picturesque wooded site with bonfires allowed and the good company. Also the excellent ride out, (did I mention I led it?), which proved that even if you give everyone a map, a route sheet, mark the signposts and put people on each junction to point the way (it works for the VMCC!) some will still get lost. I laughed when told “what good is a map if you don’t know where you are”. SatNav could be the answer. This same gentleman was to be seen going to Hastings in the direction of London on Sunday. WARNING: If you get a taxi in Southampton take your own map! (Only joking mate).  

We loaded up our camper and were the last to leave the almost empty site reflecting on a great weekend.

All the Best,

Fred and Su W.

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Indian Motocycles - you can't wear them out                                  Indian Motocycles - built to last  
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