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As seen in 100% Biker issue 212


Now I am often told I plan too far in advance, but even I was flummoxed at the middle part of 2015 way before I had my 2016 diary when a message came through asking if I would like to attend a rally at the end of May 2016 it would have been rude not to say yes. However I may have trumped this enthusiasm of telling people about events by letting people know of my birthday event in 2017 the day after my birthday in 2016.

So early this year and a loud thud through the letter box and a nice letter and tickets had arrived, cool I now knew where I was heading for.

Next I knew I had been upgraded to official photographer for the event, time I thought to find my best photographer hat and trousers and look for my camping gear as unused for the last few years. As ever leaving it to the last minute, I pulled tent out which has done sterling work for over 36 years now gave it a quick sniff and decided lets go. had i mentioned I really have gone off camping now.

 The venue was the superbly cool Fort Purbrook which is one of several Napoleonic forts that were built near Southampton. Part of a defensive  line of forts on Portsdown Hill, along with the superbly named Fort Widley which made me smile with a childlike glee. Many have now been demolished, but this one still looks like a fort, guns the lot and is used as an activity centre.

 It was that cool just strolling around looking was a popular activity and also had proper and clean toilets with hot water brilliant as later that night the temperature dropped and hot water got the blood moving again on the Saturday morning. Under the camping area, which was a challenge to peg tents as the soil is very shallow, are some cool tunnels and rooms sadly all locked up this year. In previous years these tunnels have hosted the main evening event but it proved difficult for some disabled visitors to access so the event moved to the main arena. The walls giving the event a kind of amphitheatre feel with riff raff on the tunes belting out all afternoon while some fools tried out the assault course.

 With a large gazebo marquee and beer tent, and beer tokens and beer  purchased,  I was comfortably positioned for the evening. The caterers were for the weekend the superb "tattooed skullery" with  a superb range on their menu and are now in the top 3 of Bosun’s recommended food emporiums.

Fed and watered, well beered really if that’s a word, the main act came on a great local group “something else” who belted out fab tunes, and energetically ran after the audience wherever they were, as the only critism of this amphitheatre effect was it meant people did not have to move from their camping spots to enjoy the band. (the other being too many people bringing beer in when asked not too meaning they stayed away from the tent area)

After a great night, and all tokens spent, I crashed out, not hearing half the gazebo making a break for freedom due to gale force wind , in the small hours, and awaking In the morning to a truncated marquee. I have to commend the work of the sanzarru guys for not only rescuing but rearranging the marquee at 4am.

 Saturday and a lazy start in glorious sunshine meant ride outs, yes a windmill on Hayling Island, and a huge ride in by several local clubs in the afternoon. Followed by a quick bike show, well the bikes I picked kept riding away, but those that had awards were chuffed ,  and then silly games  including the put on a frozen t shirt contest  and any game they could find to embarras a guy on a stag weekend

the evenings entertainment was planned for dead fred, but feeling the effects of a night under canvas i headed home to a comfortable bed... will Bosun camp again watch this space..  



3 albums of photos Friday, Saturday and the fort