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As seen in issue 244 of 100% Biker

In these times of clubs coming and going, its impressive for any club to be going for over 25 years , but here we are celebrating 40 years of Ogri MCC. They were originally formed from serving RAF and Army personnel but now  are a mixed group and have been partying ever since. Named after the cartoon character of the archetypal biker OGRI, who was first drawn by Paul Sample six years earlier in 1972 this is one of only a couple of clubs I know named after cartoon characters.

“The Ogri” as it is simply known rather than The Ogri MCC Summer Rally, has always been a busy rally and with the loss of the Bulldog we all knew this was going to be busier and the event was sold out quite quickly, the fact of it being to celebrate their 40th was also a big draw. It’s at this point I have to admit to my shame that I haven’t been since 2008 when it was decidedly nippy, and I have to say any cold and wet weather is possibly all down to me.

Ah 40 now I vaguely recall a party for my 40th which included a rockabilly band, hordes of bikers  and drunken fireworks and sub-zero camping in Dartmoor, yes never been one for being totally responsible so what could we expect from the Ogri guys and girls.

Firstly considering how many people were on site and how many queuing when I arrived, there was a very efficient signing in system, and with wristband on I went to find a few square inches to put my tent up, not as easy as it seemed with so many people there camping spaces were already limited and I wasn’t that late in. And when I did find space I bumped into Brough Tim who was randomly on an early Indian, who I haven’t seen in years I knew it was going to be good event.

Tent up and, with some freshly purchased beer tokens in hand I headed off to the bar, , though this took getting to the real ale longer than ever as I was forever caught by old friends which was great. For those not into ales there were several other bars including a normal bar, a gin bar, whisky bar and cocktails which was next to a lady dressed as a lobster, too surreal even for me.

Catering harked back to their military routes, with a huge army mess tent which was efficient, but I did miss having a morning breakfast baguette and wasn’t sure there was much choice for vegetarians certainly for breakfast. The coffee and cake tents were fab though.

Bands on Friday night were the magnificent Holborn Hillbillies who were great fun followed by full on punk band with WAM, there were a lot of people complaining the next morning of aches and pains from excessive pogoing.

Me, no pogoing aches, but I have to say the morning was a struggle after a cold and wet night, but the OGRI folk just wouldn’t stop smiling and this soon warmed the day up. There was a good selection of stalls for those who so wanted, including a barbers. A stunt show showed us how to save on tyres by riding on one tyre, and then there was the bike show and silly games.

Some ace bikes in the show too from a lush Ducati café racer to a rust and bone covered Honda rat bike and the silly games were enthusiastically undertaken possibly due to the chance to win more beer tokens.

Taking in their German roots, there was a beer Keller theme to the main tent with an oompah band too (which I avoided in the same way as I avoid pan pipes and bagpipes) but it was fun to see the OGRI folk in their Alpen attire.

Prize giving was in the evening when the bands were Assylum Affair and Steamroller with special guest HAXAN which to all accounts were fabulous.

However I left on Saturday afternoon with a lovely warm glow that I had been part of something very special and a huge thanks to all involved and made it such a warm and friendly affair, heres to many more.