The 2020 Scottish Rally will be again held at the Falkirk Rugby Club, Dorrator Road, Falkirk, FK2 7YW from Thursday 7th May through to Sunday 10th May 2020.
The Rugby Club will operate the bar, will have their kitchen operating and will be able to supply breakfast and evening meals for the duration of the event. The clubhouse also has the benefit of an attached marquee which will give the option of a second "quiet" area for those who prefer it.
The camping area is at the far end of the rugby pitch and will be accessible for motorcycles. There is also a car park and hardstanding area adjacent to the clubhouse that could accommodate a few campervans. The rugby club changing rooms have the usual toilet and shower facilities and are separate from the clubhouse however we will have time limited access to these during each day.
For those who prefer hotel accommodation there is a Premier Inn less than half a mile away on Main Street Falkirk FK1 4DS.
The town centre is just over a mile away from the Rugby Club and has all the usual facilities for a town of this size as well as lots of other restaurant / accommodation facilities.
Falkirk is home to the famous Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies both of which are well worth a visit while in the area. Also close by in Camelon you will find the Mariner Centre if you fancy a dip in the pool or relax in the sauna for a while to ease the joints after a long ride, just remember to pack the swimwear.
Falkirk is well placed centrally for access to some of the great ride out routes in all direction around Scotland.
Please keep checking in at www.mgcgbscottishbranch.co.uk as we will be adding more detailed information as soon as it becomes available.
2019 Rally Report
Our Lunch meet on Sunday 14 April at the Tayside Hotel in Stanley, Perthshire was our last get together ahead of the Rally. The discussion revolved around bits and pieces relating to the Rally organisation so that, hopefully, everything would be in place. A couple of us had managed to get through to Falkirk for a recce of the site and reminder of the facilities available, so it was good that they had an event on that night so we could see how things were laid out and how they coped. It all looked reassuringly good and gave us a bit of peace of mind given that this would be the first time we have used the venue. We were also able to work out how best we could set up the rally control and the entry to the camping area which was a bit different from what we had originally thought when we first looked at the venue last year.
With Rally time rapidly approaching it was time to get all the bits and pieces organised and work out how we would get it all transported through to Falkirk, however as we were not running the bar ourselves this year it did make life a little easier ie. No optics, cask stands, boxes of glasses etc etc to cart through. We had decide to go through on the Thursday afternoon to do the external setting up with the control and all the banners and directional signs. The weather was promising when we arrived but deteriorated somewhat, fortunately, after we got the awning up and weather tight.
On Friday morning we were able to start organising the Rugby club room with all the Guzzi stuff and other decorations. The toilets for the camp field were delivered and set up and all the gear for keeping them in order, including the “Jobbie Wheeker”, appropriately placed in readiness for action!
With the goody bags organised, apart from the badges, (which had not arrived and we are still waiting for) we were all set for the arrivals.
Friday night as usual was fairly relaxed and a chance to catch up with everyone, the Rugby club had put on food albeit a little bit basic, but you have to acknowledge that it was all prepared and served by “volunteers” from the various rugby teams and they worked extremely hard over the weekend. The beer was good and it made a huge difference not having to be working behind the bar.
On Saturday, Jim Allan, the Scottish Moto Guzzi dealer based in Falkirk had organised various things at their showroom including coffee and sandwiches, a free raffle with some decent prizes, vouchers for the café at the Falkirk Wheel and demonstration rides on the new V85TT. This proved to be very popular as the photos show and a big thanks to them for hosting the event. After the Rally we presented them with a Shield in recognition for their efforts and they now have Club Membership application forms on display in the showroom.
The Blue Hyenas played for us on Saturday night, a first at a Scottish Rally, but interestingly we have two ex-members of the band, going back over a number of years, in our group. A great band that had the place rocking. We also held the raffle on the Saturday night and with a lot of good prizes to be had, we managed to raise a little under £400 which the branch rounded up and subsequently presented a cheque for that amount to the Penumbra Mental Health Charity who were very appreciative of the donation.
The weather on Sunday was holding up OK and good enough for ride outs, some choosing to utilise the pre-planned routes. With the Rugby Club serving food of some sort for most of the day and the bar being open, relaxing in the sun was a good alternative.
On Sunday night we had the Dangerous Brothers playing for us again and I reckon they were even better than last year, the dance floor was full for most of the night and the award presentation during the break allowed us to get our breath back. The award presentation as usual was fairly laid back with additional awards going to our far travelled friends - four from New Zealand, two from Belgium and one from Germany, in addition to these we also had a Guzzi enthusiast visiting us from California, so all in all a truly international doo. Also I was presented with Jake’s masterpiece of table cloth art which was adorned with heartfelt messages from the company, which, at this time, meant so much to me – it is things like this that make this such a great club – a wonderful gesture for which I am extremely grateful. The tablecloth has now been framed and is hanging on the wall at home and looking great!
On Monday morning we organised a “continental” breakfast for those who required a wee bit sustenance before heading home and for those involved in the clearing up an packing away.
The weather broke and the rain started as we were packing up to go home so this meant that once home everything had to be unpacked to dry out again, however we did manage to get some decent weather for the Rally itself, probably the best we have had for a good few years.
We now have the task of deciding if we have a second year at Falkirk or move on elsewhere, personally I think it worked well and was certainly a lot easier not having to organise our own bar. However the downside is that this year we were very slightly the wrong side of break even from a financial point of view, but with a bit of fine tuning that could be sorted.
2018 Rally Report
Rally ticket sales seemed to have peaked so the beer order was placed with the brewery the usual two weeks ahead of the Rally. As the beer we have at the Rally is termed “Bright” so has to be specially prepared and it has a limited shelf life therefore there is no sale or return option available so the quantity has to be based (guesstimated) on the ticket sales. However we had a flurry of ticket sales at the last minute so we pretty much new the barrels would be emptied before the end of the Rally.
The organising party for the rally arrived at Thornhill on the Thursday afternoon to start setting up the campsite and the outside flags and banners all of which took a bit of a pounding in the wind before the better weather arrived after the “witches” performed their Sun dance!!
Friday morning saw the usual burst of activity after we got the keys for the Hall; we have to wait until the village play group is finished so it doesn’t give us a lot of time before folk start arriving. The beer arrived and the bar was set up, the hall was decorated as usual and all the tables hauled out of the cupboard, a few lights set up and the music / videos working and we are ready to rock!
The mobile kitchen arrived so it was ready to feed everyone.
Friday night was the usual natter night catching up with old friends and I found the cure for my back pain – apparently beer is a marvellous anaesthetic, it definitely works if you consume large quantities!
Saturday night we had Davy Sloan and the Rattlers on stage and they were excellent, really getting the hall and everyone in it rocking!
The raffle was well supported with some excellent prizes available by choice of those who had a winning ticket. As a result we were able to make a donation of £400 to Doddie Foundation (the following link will let you see what the purpose of the charity is) https://www.myname5doddie.co.uk/ Prizes were donated from various sources but particular thanks go to Gutsibits and Total Oil for their generous support. Also thanks to Moto Guzzi UK for the parcel they send every year which makes up the main items in the “goody bag” everyone receives on arrival at the Rally.
The bar was very busy so a trip to the supermarket was planned for the Sunday to restock the bar in preparation for the Sunday night.
Sunday morning and we had a continental breakfast laid on as the caterer had to go to another venue during the day but would return later on in the evening to feed us all.
Gino and Fiona did an excellent photo / video presentation and talk on their recent trip to Nepal – some really scary stuff involved, definitely not a trip for me!
On Sunday night we had the Dangerous Brothers perform for us, they too were excellent albeit perhaps a little more technical and it was obvious that a lot of people were really enjoying the show.
The prize giving was carried out during the break and followed the usual light-hearted entertaining theme.
The prize winners were as follows:-
Guy Wain – Favorite Guzzi
Claire – Favorite new Guzzi
Trish - Outstanding Stupidity.
North Staffs – Best Branch Turnout
Uki and Pete – Furthest travelled, from France
Ali Hay – closest to average mileage.
Gerbil and Claire – Special
Gino and Fiona – Branch Adventurers.
Apologies if this is not quite right but it was transcribed from a screwed up piece of paper with someone’s scrawl over the top of the extensive calculations to obtain the average mileage category winner!!
All in all it was another great rally with good reviews on Facebook and the Forum.
A big thanks to everyone involved which really means everyone that was at the Rally because it needs you all to make it the success it is.
We now need to sort out what we are doing next year and start the organisation ball rolling.
2017 RALLY REPORT
Having got everything packed into the car (or rather cars as there is that much stuff to take) it was off to Thornhill on the Thursday to get set up for the start of the 25th Scottish Rally. The weather on the Thursday was very kind to us for setting up outside and the hope was that it would continue that way over the weekend! On the Friday we got access to the hall just as the beer arrived from the brewery and commenced turning the hall into our very own “nightclub” for the weekend. With a lot of effort and even more ingenuity from the team we managed to achieve a reasonable result.
Also the amazing “Transformer” trailer that evolved into our dining facility for the weekend arrived outside the Hall so with all that food and drink we were good to go and ensure that the 150 members due to arrive would have a great time.
I am sure there will be a report on the rally from a members point of view in the Gambalunga, so there is no need to duplicate that here however we would like to thank Gino and Fiona for doing their travel presentation on Saturday afternoon (part 2 next year perhaps!) and Willie Chrystal, Maxsafe Solutions, for his CPR / AED Defibrillator demonstration on Sunday afternoon. Also a big thanks to all the volunteers who, without being asked, just muck in to make sure that everything gets done – I am sure that it is this element that contributes to making the event so enjoyable and successful.
As referendums seem to be the thing these days we asked for a show of hands on Saturday night regarding the venue at Thornhill the result of which is that we will return next year all being well – it would be difficult to find another venue that could match the combination of facilities that we have there.
The weather over the weekend could have been better but it was acceptable and we managed to get everything packed up in the dry on the Monday which certainly makes life a lot easier when you get home and don’t have to start drying out tents, awnings etc.
They say a picture speaks a thousnad words so click on the link to view Elaine's superb photo album of the Rally - 2017 Rally photos
2016 RALLY REPORT
Thursday 28th April saw the advanced party heading for Thornhill to start setting up for the Scottish Rally. As we arrived the weather turned wet and windy and setting up the caravan awning was a task in itself trying to stop it blowing away until it was safely pegged out. Perhaps there was some significance in the Sea King Rescue Helicopter parked next to us!
We are not able to access the Hall until midday on the Friday so we ensured we had all the external flags and banners etc. in place before then so leaving “only” the Hall to be set up. This is a massive task that needs to be completed in a few hours and only made possible by the enthusiasm of all the hardworking volunteer members.
The weather throughout the country was pretty appalling on the Thursday and Friday and significantly worse than where we were at Thornhill. Reports coming in from members down south saying they would not be able to get to the Rally due to the weather (some were snowed in) were ringing alarm bells with the thought that only a limited number would actually make it.
As Friday progressed things seemed to improve with reasonable numbers arriving having braved the elements to get to Thornhill, so the Hall was reasonably busy on the Friday evening. Unfortunately we had the incident with Alex and the newly acquired AED in the Village was used for the first time and very successfully. Alex has made a good recovery and our thanks go to all those who made that possible.
The weather improved a great deal on the Saturday and a lot more members arrived. Some took advantage of the ride out routes and I picked up some very enthusiastic comments about the magnificent scenery on the "Col de Mount Argyll Lakes" and some of the other routes
The Barbeque set up by the some of the locals as a fund raiser for the trip to Malaysia for Amelia and Laura proved to be very successful, the food they served up was first class and hopefully we can do something similar for next year.
The happy hour at the bar on Saturday night proved very popular as well – to popular in fact as by the end of the evening we had emptied all the barrels despite having ordered extra!!
Baby Issacs gave an excellent performance on the Saturday night demonstrated by the dance floor being busy throughout the night or perhaps it was all that beer that was consumed!
The weather was not so good on the Sunday and a visit to Stirling was required to get more stock for the bar for Saturday night. The two girls put on a quiz show in the Hall in the afternoon to entertain us while afternoon teas were available outside.
Chil, a new group for us, performed a good all round selection of music on Sunday night and again the bar was pretty much emptied which must be a good sign!
Hopefully everyone had a great time and we will be back at Thornhill next year for the 25th Scottish Rally which should be a very special occasion.
See below for report about the 2015 Rally published in Thornhill Views.
MGCGB Scottish Branch
M 07713 659572
For an online membership application form go to:
The Scottish Rally will be held in Falkirk on 3rd May to 6th May 2019. Go to the Scottish Rally page for more information.
CHECK EVENTS PAGE FOR 2018/19 ACTIVITIES