Wiltshire Rally 2023

Back in May (I know the report is late), the Wiltshire Branch held their Annual Rally at the Golden Swan pub in Pewsey.

It was our second year at this venue, which has a great campsite in a wonderful rural location. The weather was kind for the most part, and this year the tents stayed frost free.

After a the Friday evening meet and greet, held in the pub’s marquee which was kindly provided free of charge by the landlord for us for the weekend, we were up early on Saturday for a full day ride-out. Led by Jimmy, 26 bikes (or 25 and a trike if we want to be accurate) headed off in the sunshine along some glorious roads through the beautiful Wiltshire countryside.

We were really happy to be joined by members from several other branches, Oxford, West London, Gloucester, and South Wales among them.

First stop was at Shearwater Lake where folk partook of coffee and cakes at the little tea room there. The lunch stop was at The Old Brewery Café and Kitchen in Gillingham, Dorset, which has a small collection of lovely bikes on display. Thanks in part to Katie for organising everybody’s orders and phoning them through in advance of our arrival, we were fed and watered in very short order, considering the numbers.

Hats off to the staff there also, they were very accommodating and welcoming. The final stop of the day was at Old Sarum airfield, where we enjoyed watching skydivers while eating ice-cream.

Saturday evening saw the annual quiz, hosted by Darren; as always, it was a cracking quiz with a bit of dodgy acting thrown in for good measure.

The evening also saw the charity raffle drawn; thanks to Big Jim for gathering prizes from various companies and local taverns – Rick Steins, Downton Brewery, Wadworth Brewery, the Woodbridge, and the Bruce to name a few.

On Sunday we had a choice of activities; Sean led 13 bikes on a ride out to Bradford on Avon while others took on the “Treasure Hunt”. Congratulations go to Charles Deakin for winning the prize of some Muc Off bike cleaning products with a score of 175 points.

Sunday evening was a quiet and social affair, with some enjoying the pub’s menu, while others had a barbecue on the campsite.
All in all, a great weekend was had, and to cap it all we raised a few quid for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.