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Indian Motocycles - you can't wear them out                                  Indian Motocycles - built to last
2nd Flimwell Rally 2003


T & J Motel & Campsite.  What a lovely picturesque site, situated alongside the A21.  You enter the site past the motel along a gravel drive, which opens up to a grassy field in a kidney shape with trees dotted around offering welcome shelter and secluded little camping spots if required.  The rear of the campsite is a wooded area and pond.

Being one of the first to arrive, we picked a prime spot – weather was set to be hot so we headed for the shelter of a small group of trees and set up camp underneath.  We also brought along a small freezer, which Mike Debidaph plugged into his genny, this gave everyone cold drinks throughout the weekend and kept the JD cool (no need to dilute with ice!)

Friday midday, we had set up the marquee and installed Sybil & Lynda in the kitchen tent.  They kept everyone supplied with tea & coffee all weekend and as much grub as you could eat – we did let them out in the evenings when thoughts turned to cold, alcoholic beverages, which you brought with you or blagged from a “friend”.

The best way to describe this rally is low-key, chilled out and friendly.  The evening entertainment was a huge bonfire Friday & Saturday (courtesy of the site owners and their JCB loads of firewood) with everyone sitting around chatting, drinking and discussing the finer points of Indian Motocycles.  We were given some light entertainment by Fred Woodgates and his gramophone – encores stopped when he started to sing along.

Saturday was a glorious sunny day. Breakfast was served alfresco and only stopped when the last person had finished 4th & 5th helpings.  We meandered around, chatting, admiring the bikes dotted around, drinking coffee and offering technical advice to anyone who would listen. 

Robin Oakley had set up a small repair centre emanating from the back of his trailer, all bikes needing attention happened to be parked there (it worked! my 741 decided she needed to be re-timed and carb mixtures fine tuned) – even a Harley which everyone had a go at fixing. A rally is not a rally unless you have to tinker with your bike. 


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Chris Ball wins best rat bike. (or should have).

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A pit stop at the midway point on the ride out

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Ken & Bruce admiring the 741 military line up

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Ken's Henderson


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Big john on something he can handle!

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Mike Debidaph's four, languishing under the trees

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Line up of 741 military bikes

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Robin Oakleys, super fast 741. Nice to see it clean for a change

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Sam keeps the local kids quiet

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Why does Fred look so happy?

Fred Woodgates had organised the ride-out for Saturday.  We all gathered in the blazing sun at the starting grid and were given a pep talk on the ride out procedure.  This we all promptly forgot after the first three tight left handers (Thanks Fred) and ended up making our way to the midway pit stop (a pub outside Bodium Castle) where we all had lunch or collapsed on the grassy lawns having procured a well earned drink after fighting off the Japanese tourists.

After making our way back to camp, we were just in time for some more lazing around in the shade, drinking coffee and chatting.  Rod Williams organised the auction in the early evening where lots of Indian parts and memorabilia were offered, even the contents of Fred Woodgates’ shed appeared with old black & white tellys and pushbikes.  Anything that didn’t sell was raffled to the nearest passer-by or if this failed, left in Rod’s car (he had not read the terms in his contract of employment!)

Saturday evening rolled into Saturday night and the bonfire gathering became more and more relaxed the more inebriated everyone became.  I can’t remember the last person to go to bed, having given up and staggered to bed sometime in the early hours myself (or did Pete have to carry me?)

Sunday was an even slower, relaxed affair with a generous breakfast being offered.  One of the helpers absence was noticed (too much wine and cider the night before) so Sybil had to press gang Sally & Mike to help.  I would have offered, but no one would want to eat it – this is a tried and tested excuse I have used for years and I am sticking to it.  I’ll be chief knee-capper and collect the money instead.  After a slow clear up, and packing away of tents and marquees the site slowly emptied as everyone said their goodbyes and made their ways home.

Couldn’t have asked for a better site or better weather.  Thanks to everyone who helped and see you next year?

Anita Dray

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