The Vespa Club of Scotland
Cannonball Run # 2 , Dunbar
9th September 2006

Prelude: This Cannonball run marks a bit of a watershed for me. As 12 months ago, it was the first event I attended since my re-birth into scootering. I know 'born-agains' get a bad name these days, but there's nothing I can do about that.
My last scoot was sold as I had a DR10 stamped on my licence, and many long reasons later, which make no difference to where I am now, never found my way back into the scene. When I started the computer shop 5 years ago though, I visited Eclipse and almost bought a PX200 to do deliveries, but that was my heart ruling my head, and I knew delivering full PC systems on a scooter just wouldn't do. But the seed was sown and every 2nd thought since that day was to get back on a scooter.
Then one day, Gary & Tracey visited us and Gary mentioned getting a scooter, I instantly thought, yip , me to , and that was that.
So shortly after me and Gary both getting wheels, I came across the 1st Cannonball Run advertised somewhere. That's where we first met the likes of Snail, Skolar, Nik, Minxxy & Geoff and others. A great bunch of people.
We've made many new friends since then, and what a great bunch of people they all are. Thanks for making us welcome guys and gals.

Friday: 11am, get a text from Skolar who has agreed to help me collect the PA equipment and set it up at the hotel. "Where are you, I'm drunk.". It turns out that... even though Skolar now lives in Dunbar, and works at the Hotel where the event is being held...that our lad has his rally head on, you know that one, the one that Oliver Reid would be put to shame with. He's been downing HUGE vodkas since 6am.
I get along from the shop in the car and go looking for him, I'm told he's been sent out the back to drink some strong coffee. When I find him I must have gave him a worried look as before I even spoke he explains... "I'm on a rally Niffy!".
Fair play.
We get down to where the band's PA & backline are kept, local band Setting Sons are kindly letting us use their equipment, and we start loading up in the Meriva. 2 loads should do it, I hoped so , as Skolar was telling me the whole time I was doing it all wrong.
nip nip nip :)
So back at The Hotel, after we've unloaded everything, we get some tables sorted out, I start setting up all the speakers while the whole time Skolars still nippin' ma heid about wanting to crank the decks up now. We eventually get enough gear plugged in that he can have a shot. And blasts out some scooter tunes. Then it stops. The right hand CD isn't going to eject, Skolar demands the whole thing, still under warranty gets stripped to it's bare nuts and bolts. Luckily Iain Johnstone is close by banging and thumping with some tools and lends some screwdrivers (and hammers 'n stuff) and the chuckle brothers then set about a 45 minute routine where the pretend to hate each other, slag each other off (the bit about Iain's dad BEING in a one man band and how he helped set up his sound system was genius), but hats off to them both, they get it fixed.
I get a text from my shop to say the patches & trophy have arrived... talk about cutting it fine.
I nip into town to collect them, dumping the lads with Skolar to give folk at the hotel peace for a while, but the lads in the computer shop are not overly joyed about having to babysit for rally headed Skolar, who insisted on popping up in front of customers to demand "come and geemy a f**** hand to burn these CD's!"
I use the opportunity to nip home for some quiet lunch, and say hello to my 6 year old, but alas she's oot, so's Ali. Not seen them since Thursday night.
Evening time comes around quick enough after a few trips between home, shops and hotel, getting the function room ready with posters, and all the parafinalia (how do you spell that?), and Minxxy & Geoff arrive at the hotel - because they took the wrong turn at the 1st roundabout @ Dunbar.
I escort them down to the campsite, Geoff trying to keep up with my PX (ha ! you can't say owt here MaDGE), and they set up camp, the only ones here at that time. I arrange to go back for them at 7pm ish, which I do, then we set about chilling, boozing and starting the weekend for real !
When we get back to the Hotel, Greenie & Snail & co are already there, Ian Fletcher, the t'other Dunbar lad has turned up as well and we start a real Friday rally night - getting tore into the double gins (well me 'n Ali were). As the night wears on, others arrive, Jordan & Sarah, "Film Star" Gary, Cat (well she's been there most of the day), and a pile of others, including my Mrs.
Skolar , now in a kilt, is still the drunkest, but gets on fine, even high kicking some N.Soul moves, so much so we get to see his baws quite a lot. Not a pretty site.
At about 10pm ish, Nik arrives in the van, and he duley joins in the merriment, displacing Skolar from the decks for the rest of the night.
The banter is good, with high jinks and bragging about who's going to win the race in the morning.
We get to about 3:30am, and we start to wilt, well I do, so I grab Nik , who's staying with us, and head home. We spend about half an hour looking at my T5 project, then off to bed at about 4:30. Not together mind, Nik has his own room !

Saturday daytime: No option of a lie in today, as Nik and others need to be fuelled up and ready by 10am ish at the Hotel... and jee whizz did I need a lie in this day. I take Nik to the Hotel on the back of the scoot, as Ali needs the car, it's a wobbly ride , but short thank feck.
I realise that I must still be drunk, as I'm not hurting inside that much...that would come later. The excitement of all the scoots turning up kept me alive. At around 11am, Greenie starts to organise the Race Forms & Disclaimers, so I call everyone in from the bar window, then there's this BIG huddle of folk all asking questions and handing over fivers to take part... I bearly manage to help Greenie and just sit on a chair looking lost. Just as well I'm not racing this year, feck knows where I'd have ended up about !
At somewhere around 11:30 we get ready for the off... I stand in the road to stop any cars coming and within a few minutes give them a John Cleese style "Away You Go!" and the racers bomb off along the road towards the A1, Del Boy wheelying away last.
Then that's it... panic over, so far the event is a success, plenty of racers, do' organised and everybody happy.
I nip back to my shop to collect some odds and ends, then call ona friend who has some disco lights that we can borrow for teh Saturday night do'. That sorted I'm off to collect them and finish setting up the function room again.
By this time Mr hangover has called by and I'm ILL ! So best thing for me is a pint of lager shandy & the big comfy recliner chair in the lobby, and crash out watching the footy on the telly. Later on I manage a lovely burger from the bar - my only food all weekend apart from bacon rools in't morning.
We get news that Snail has broken down, but apart from that it's an uneventful, peaceful day. I'm SOOOOOO desparately needing to get drunk to fix my body, but seeing as I was playing bass in the band that night , there's no way I could. I'm bad enough sober.
At 4:30pm, the first sounds of a scoot can be heard... who is it... the GTS250 ? Iain's 180 auto ? Jeannie from the Blues beating all the lads ?
None of those , my lodger for the weekend and the night's DJ Nik wins ! In a great time too.
20 minutes later another scoot is heard approaching... Wee Bob Chalmers.
Bob has no idea where he's came, but before finding out, tells us he stopped for a can of lager with Gallus ! Now he finds out he's second, and might have won if he hadn't stopped for this picnic !
We all start to have a few pints - me on shandies though, as the other racers appear over the course of the next 2 hours.


Saturday evening: The band were scheduled to soundcheck at 5:45, but Gary was just back in from the race, so I popped back home to collect Gary's trainers so he wouldn't have to drum in his docs. Gary , myself and a mate - Keith McCraw were the band for the night, as local band Setting Sons had to pull out after the guitarist had to go in for an operation. We'd not played together in over a year, and had only had 3 practises together before this gig. Ach , it's only punk songs - if we make a mess it would sound authentic !

After soundcheck , and Tara from the Beer Pigs gets a once over of the CD decks with Nik, everyone can relax for an hour before it all kicks off again.
No time for food though...just a change of T-Shirt, typical rally mode :)

Back for the do, and it was filling up quick - with an event as new as this , you have no idea how it's going to be received, but we needn't have worried as the function room filled up fairly quickly, with the free buses bringing in people from the campsite and others arriving on their own transport. All the usual clubs were in attendance and the night was off to a good strong start.
At 9:45 the band went on and did a 45 minute set of Jam/Clash etc covers, good fun I suppose and fairly well received. I think next year though we should just stick to DJ's. I was glad when the band's set was over , as within seconds of playing the last song , I was at the bar ordering 2 double gins...catch up time.
During the whole night we played videos on the big screen, playing one of those 80's Rally DVD's , and a home made one with photos from the previous 6 or 7 rallies we've been at. Those went down well. Next year I'm gonna try to make a DVD up of the Saturday's race and show it that same night, showing all the racers etc.
All in all, the rest of the night was a good wheez, with Nik finishing off at about 3am again, and at about 3:30am, myself, Ali, Nik & Chunk start the walk home to our gaff.
Another half hour poking about my T5 project again, then coffee and bed.



Sunday morning: We had a de-brief meeting , and it was decided to hold the event on the same weekend next year, and at Dunbar again. Suits me. The whole weekend was a complete success in every way, anyone that was still there on Sunday told us that they would do it again next year, a great break from the normal park up and get pissed rally (although we still all love those). Things can only get better from here.
All in all - great weekend, well done Greenie, you've created a cracker !

So that's it, the first full year in the life of , and it's been a cracker... the 1st Cannonball , small but unique and bonding, Bridlington - a classic as always , Morecambe - the ride in from Cramlington, arrival at The Ranch and the buzz...superb , Kelso - what a scream, the laughs at the picnic table, the Saturday night do, learning to stay awake past 11pm with cat trying to introduce me to as many people as possible, Camping @ The Castle - a few hairy moments , but all-in-all a good wheez too, the Jam tribute boys wearing wigs, getting cheated out of the tug-o-war, being very drunk , Minxxy's coupon when we popped in to say hello at the Ghosts do , the utter madness and non-stop hilarity with Bert & Iain outside the Bootleggers @ Cleethorpes , Millport for it's simplicity and change of scenery, Beer Pigs do, a very wet Friday - but marked up as a defo for next year - what a great crowd these guys are , and this weekend... nice :)

*** Don't forget to check out the review and photos on - there's a nattty wee video there too. ***

Ok , see you for the Brid review.....