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Dingles Wall of Death 2008


The plan was, leave early Friday, get there mid afternoon, set up camp and then go out and play on the bikes.  Plans were made for being re-written.

We were travelling in our van, with the 2 bikes and all the camp gear.  We were meeting up with Nick on his Harley Road King at Clacketts on the M25, transferring his gear to the van, then meeting Mike & Sybil with the car and bike trailer at Junction 6.  Mike swore blind he was only going to go 60mph so we rang him, he left his house, we waited 5 mins then took a slow jaunt from Clackets to Junction 6.  Needless to say we did not catch up with Mike at Junction 6, a quick call to them to make sure they were in front, then 70mph + and we did not catch up with M & S until well onto the M3, where they pulled over for a quick coffee and to wait.  60mph my behind!!

We made good time up to this point, a small RTA on the M3 saw Nick (our outrider) weaving his way through to the end with an update as to how long the hold up was for.  Through this then onto the A303.  A few pit stops, a few hills that slowed the van down, a few stops to regroup when we all went 3 different ways (It was at this point that our outrider overtook Tony & Linda cutting in from the A35, ahead of us).  We arrived at the site late afternoon to find the wall up and practice going on and Allan Ford organising our camping and showing us around.  By the time we set up shop it was time for a good ole Cider or three, sod riding the bike after that. 

I had forgotten how hilly Devon is, we were camped on a hill with a lovely view of a valley, it was a tad windy but warm and dry.  An added bonus, it was not snowing!.  Bill & Lorraine Herbert arrived early evening and Brian Rose, relatively local being from Dorset, made it as well.  Sacha and Phil made it in time to escort M & S to the cottage they had rented for the weekend.
Friday night, the bonfire blazing, the alcohol going down nicely, it was the usual chewing the cud, re-organising the club, assigning duties to people (most of whom were not there), discussing the dreaded W trophy and who would be up for it this time.

The event was to celebrate 100 years of the Wall of Death in the UK.  The Fairground Heritage Trust has a museum, which is very much a work in progress, with lots of old fairground rides and memorabilia on show. As this was a static show, the bikes were displayed outside, opposite the wall of death all day.  There was a good line up of bikes, with Nobby Melrose making it and a new member, Ian Middleton on his very original 101 Scout (who everyone was making offers to purchase, £50 an overcoat and a piece of cake etc).  A couple of Matchless’ arrived to complement the display.  The weather continued to be good to us and the Heritage Trust saw a good few people come through the gates and enjoy the show.

We had a little surprise in store for Sybil.  We had heard on the grapevine that her birthday was on the Monday.  The weekend before at Brooklands and during Saturday at Dingles, we were busy getting people to sign her birthday card in secret.  A birthday cake had been made and some sparkling wine obtained.  With much whispering and organising, we managed to get everyone together outside the wall of death, where Allan Ford announced on the loud speaker that the birthday girl should come forward.  A look of panic crossed Sybil’s face when she realised we were all looking at her, Pete presented her with her birthday cake and then out came the wine.  Sacha works at a cake shop and had also brought two humungous cakes with her to share out.  These were promptly cut up and devoured in record time, using Ian’s 101 as a very impressive cake stand (hope you didn’t mind Ian). 


One of our members, Sacha, decided that she would like to try riding pillion on the wall of death.  She was advised not to have too much cake before she undertook this, it is not so nice the second time around.  Ken Fox gave Sacha some instructions, and after the last show of the day all us IR members stayed on inside the wall to cheer her on.  What a gal, no screaming, no throwing up, just a bid giddy afterwards.  WELL DONE, not bad for her first ever ride on an Indian.

Saturday evening the Heritage Trust had a rock n roll band playing, this was set up in one of the fair ground rides inside the main hall.  There was also an FOC BBQ put on for the exhibitors, which went down very well.  The dodgehem cars saw the IR members having fun, most of whom remember these being called BUMPER cars!!  We also had our late night bonfire and club meeting until it started to rain around midnight, which meant an early night for us campers.

Sunday saw a bit of a damp start and most people were leaving early for the journey home.  The display on Sunday was one Indian, one Harley and two matchless’. The weather brightened up late morning then got quite humid. There were quite a lot of bikes visiting the event on the Sunday.

Pete and I were the last to leave, we packed up and headed off around 3pm, making good time on the way back until the usual RTA on the M25.  All in all a good show.  The organisers want to hold this type of event again and hope to make it even bigger by getting other exhibitors involved.
Watch out for this in 2009

Anita Dray   

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Indian Motocycles - you can't wear them out                                  Indian Motocycles - built to last  
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