The Scarborough Natonal Scooter rally is one of the most important events on the Scooter scene to date. Iggy from 2 Commute www.2commute.co.uk is a regular attendee and has given us an account of the 2013 event, as well as providing photos which can be seen on the Fred Perry Subculture Facebook page here
Easter 1980 and the east coast resort of Scarborough was invaded by thousands of fledgling mods and scooter boys, riding high on a wave created by the 1979 Quadrophenia revival.
Boisterous behaviour, inter club fighting, vandalism and heavy handed policing meant hundreds of arrests were made. The authorities ran out of handcuffs as they filled cells to the brim. Plastic tie wraps were used to contain the prisoners, the first time the method was used in the UK and by Monday morning most were bailed, with either a fine or court appearance to look forward to.
Fast-forward 33 years and although Brighton is regarded as THE spiritual home of the mod, Scarborough is more relevant to the thousands of scooterists who visit the town every other year for the BSRA national scooter rally. Many of these riders have fond memories from those early days and have carried on with the scootering way of life ever since, but there are also plenty of hip young kids getting involved and seeking the excitement that this vibrant scene has to offer.
Our group of midlands based friends and clubs set off in minus temperatures whilst snow still covered our towns. Riding both classic and modern scooters, we opt for fast engines, practical and protective riding gear and a weekend of hard partying. We’ve grown up together, old rivalries died decades ago and lasting friendships developed. We’re as close as any family and ride together to a dozen or so events every year.
Scooters become more prevalent the closer we get to Scarborough and the old excitement still builds, we’re zipping through the traffic, enjoying the buzz…developing a thirst. Before long we’re hitting town and meeting mates in the local pubs, welcomed these days with open arms where in years gone by their establishments boldly stated ‘No mods or scooterists.’ For us the weekend entertainment centres around the spa where VFM are providing the main entertainment. JAM drc provide the live music during the first night and go down well with an estimated 1500 people in the venue.
Today is the big day, day-trippers flock into the town and numbers are bolstered to breaking point. The trade & custom show at the Spa is setting up whilst most of last nights party people are sleeping off hangovers but by 10.30am a ¼ mile long queue has formed and the doors open for folks to flock in and buy everything from the latest tuning parts and scooter spares to clothing, accessories and souvenirs. Although the fashions have evolved for many riders, smart casual is still the preferred look with the old faithful Fred Perry, DM’s and Levi’s still in vogue. The promenade is lined with classic scooters of all types, surprisingly to an outsider not all scooters come with a multitude of lights and mirrors, the majority of scooterists prefer clean lines and nice paintwork.
Evening soon comes around and punters fill the pubs and an early queue forms outside the Spa, tonight an excellent and very original band, Busters Shuffle, open the live entertainment with a breath-taking performance, think Madness meets Chas & Dave with a 2013 twist and you’ll get the idea. Close to 2000 people fill the venue and the soul room, alternative room and of course the main room keep folks happy, whatever their musical persuasion. Who’s Who are headlining, as always they give a fantastic live performance and the drummer mesmerises us with his Keith Moon style showmanship, their set leaves fans wanting more as the DJ’s take over to finish the night with classic scooter rally tunes, with everything from the Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian and The Enemy to the Jam, Oasis and anything in between getting an airing. All too soon the show is over, leaving just the hard core to continue the following day with a low key event in town before heading off home for a week or two’s recuperation before the show gets on the road to another seaside town…next stop, Tenby.
View a video of the Fred Perry boys on the rally back in 1989 -