Indian Riders
Header image



Motocycle Club
Indian Motocycles - you can't wear them out                                  Indian Motocycles - built to last
Indian Raids Harley Stronghold


Well, actually it was a lot friendlier than that – no flaming arrows being shot into the roof or anything - in truth, the Harley Davidson Riders Club of GB (HDRCGB) had generously invited our club to have our annual National rally on its very own facility known as Orchard Farm in Etchingham, Sussex.
Sybil and Mike have not been too well lately so Fred & Su Woodgates bravely took up the rally baton and set about making arrangements for our rally weekend.
The secluded site was absolutely ideal and offered not only excellent camping on a shortcut grass field but also the luxury of a brick built social room, bar and fully equipped kitchen, adequate showers.....PLUS a separate TV lounge and snooker room – yep , you read it right – a TV lounge and snooker room!!! AND, most importantly of all.... a beer chiller cabinet! (Well, would you expect anything less at an HD sanctuary?).
Early arrivals were made welcome on the Thursday but the majority showed up throughout Friday.  Red wristbands were awarded as proof of £25 paid to Anita who also conducted the now mandatory painted finger nails ritual for us blokes – Oooh dear, I do hope she never progresses to leg waxing!
Members bikes were afforded their own sheltered accommodation in an open barn. Our usual ensemble of Chiefs, Scouts 741s and ‘foreigners’ was graced by the presence of two 101s – Mike Berry’s original and Kevin Wilkinson’s restored blue ‘un. (See Kev, I’m not bitter!).
Martin Bratby’s Chief sat there looking rather proud of itself for completing the rest of the journey under its own power – having been set free from its captive trailer after said auxiliary transport had dispatched one of its wheels somewhere along the M1! According to rumours, Martin had unceremoniously disposed of the offending trailer in a roadside ditch - the coordinates of which remain unknown.  Anyway, what happened to strapping a tree bough to the axle - or has Martin never heard of Burt Munro???  (Only joshin, Martin).  Another casualty was Snowy’s Chief which had stripped its rear wheel bolts (“over-tight rear chain” diagnosed M.DeB).  Paramedic Pete was endeavouring to get it ready for the ride out next day.
Anyway, by fair means or foul, about 30 odd souls had made it to the site and by 7pm were squawking like new chicks in the nest as Mrs Woodgates delicious ‘HASH’ was served up in ample portions, (evidently, Rat wasn’t really hungry but did manage to force a bit down!).
After the meal, and as the various forms of alcohol took effect, it was Ukulele Song Time with the George Formby Fornicators – sorry, I mean Impersonators!!    Cliff and Fred had been practicing and performed a very improved songbook compared to their early Flimwell days.  They climaxed (excuse me) with their rendition of Delilah, and by now many were sufficiently inebriated to join in the chorus... others, less so, simply murmured under their breath....”indeed, why? why? bloody why? Delilah!!”.
When the Cabaret eventually retired, the temperature had dropped considerably and we were all glad of the gas and electric heaters spread about the premises – yep, real luxury here and the cosy ambiance made for good Indian chit-chat and ale consumption.  Some Hash that had been put by for late comers was later offered as ‘supper’ and the scramble for seconds was akin to an alerted fighter squadron in WW2.
Val and I had booked a motel chalet for the night at The Bear in nearby Burwash so we left the site just after 11ish but I understand that some carried on till 1am.
The Bear provided an excellent full English breakfast - however, I doubt that our meal compared with that served up by the club cooks at Orchard Farm.

We arrived back at the site around 10am and it was great to see that Mike & Sybil had turned up for the day.

The Brothers Grimm had prepared a delightful route and around 11am we all lined up, engines throbbing and looking forward to the ride-out. Replacement bolts had been procured for Snowy’s bike and Pete got it road worthy in time.
We headed off through various country lanes as Cliff eventually led us into Lenham, a pretty village affording lunch at several pubs and quaint tea rooms. The resident, somewhat genteel customers looked a bit concerned as their regular premises were invaded by apparent rufty-tufty bikers – and well, when they spied the painted finger nails they became afraid – very afraid!
There was also free admission to an art show in the local hall to all those who appreciate oils in forms other than Castrol R.
All fed’n’watered, we mounted up and set off for Headcorn Airfield. Several light planes were parked up at this airfield and people doing parachute jumps into the area provided extra interest. The main attraction though was the WW2 museum – both sides are represented and the partially stripped down Messerschmitt Me 109 engine left me in awe...tappets? there woz ‘undreds of ‘em!..and the exhibits of weapons, uniforms and various equipment etc made one wonder how on earth did they endure it all........”Respect.”
The cafe provided more refreshment and then we saddled up to head back to Etchingham – arriving just too late to catch Mike & Sybil before they left – we all hope that they both fully recover from their present ailments soon and will be able to fully participate in our next event.
Silly Games proved a good laugh as usual and this time it’s congratulations to Phil Clarke who won 1st prize – a box of Bakewell tarts – (with the sell by date mysteriously obliterated?)
Around 7ish we all eagerly awaited Phil’s return from the Fish &Chip shop run – always a good option for a rally as there’s no cooking or washing up involved. The portions were huge but everyone still found room for some chocolate or sponge cake that Sybil had donated for dessert.
The beer chiller was replenished several times over as the Indian Club members proved they needed topping up as frequently as their machines and as usual, Lorna & Oz did the raffle on this, their sort of ‘Stag/Hen rally – Congratulations & Good Luck to you both.
NO Ukes tonight, so full advantage was taken of the in-house Hi-Fi system with a selection of CD favourites.  For those not so musically inclined there was the option of reliving their youth watching Easy Rider on the big TV screen in the snooker room.- so plenty of choice for all.  Nobby had carved two wooden plaques that are to be presented to the HDRCGB to commemorate our appreciation for the use of Orchard Farm.
Again, we had to slip away later on but I’m reliably informed that the rest of the night was the usual blend of stories, jokes, and alcohol consumption.
Sunday a.m. and Sue Berry was first up and cooking the breakfast on the BBQ. During the morning, several members turned up for a look-see. New-ish member, Phil from Seaford rode in on a superb red & black Chief that he’d acquired from Gary Stark and Pete from Newbury rode in on his 741 from a trip up north somewhere.
I missed the Flimwell bonfire (well, are we Indians or are we Indians?) but, to be honest, a windy, cold, sometimes damp gazebo – VERSUS - the luxurious facilities this week-end, ummm, No contest!!
All cleared away, Fred eventually locked the gate around 2pm.
Everyone helped out and contributed to making this a very successful rally, raising a substantial amount towards the 2015 International kitty.
So, our thanks to Su & Fred for all their planning and hard work and, of course, a Heap Big Thank You to the Harley Riders Club for their generous hospitality – hope we can do it all again sometime.

Rocket Ron Wells      

Back Button             


Indian Motocycles - you can't wear them out                                  Indian Motocycles - built to last  
Disclaimer:  Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, neither the Indian Riders Motorcycle Club, it's officials or any individual shall in any way be liable for loss, injury or damage resulting directly or indirectly from reliance of such information.  The inclusion of adverts  does not mean  that the advertisers are in any way endorsed by Indian Riders Motorcycle Club or it's officials.  Any disputes or claims must be taken up with the advertiser.