Solent 50, One Fort, Three Birthdays

Friday saw me finishing work at 4pm, my Harley in the carpark at the marina, already loaded the night before, and waiting patiently for me to get back from work. So after a quick wash, shave, and change of clothes, I was ready. The bike fired up and soon settled into that nice easy Harley rumble, helmet, gloves, and glasses, and we were away into the gloomy damp overcast summer evening, and out into the usual Friday night rush hour traffic, combined with the ever increasing roadworks. I headed the bike south, the coast and friends were waiting down the road, and we were offer the weekend.
A little over an hour and a half later, and too much filtering through stationary traffic to be relaxing, I was signing in at rally control at Fort Purbeck, overlooking the solent down on the south coast, and ready to throw up the tent, join Bob, Marcus, Jules, and Alec, for the 50th anniversary of the Solent MCC Rally. Bob was joined by his son Ollie, and Marcus with his son Ed.

My Harley and Tent, home for the weekend…

Once the tent was up, it was time for a beer or a few, and time to join the others down in the bar, before the need for food kicked in, and a Chinese was ordered, and of course more beer.

After a night of fun and laughter, and a rock solid sleep in the old fort, I awoke to the sun creeping over the horizon, and got the makings of a coffee, and sat watching the hazy sunrise next to some of the old cannons.

So with a coffee in hand it was time for a mooch about, always nice to see what bikes people use, and easy to get pictures in the early light before the rally site wakes up

So coffee drunk, and mooching done, Bob came to find me as he needed a hand to decorate a tent and Guzzi for the second birthday of the weekend, and this time it was Serena of the Guzzi club UK, she is also the lady that sorts out a lot of other rallies, and gets the lazy ones (US!) booked up and ticketed in plenty of time. So while she and Paul slept, Bob and I filled the tent with balloons, and decorated her Guzzi California.

Then it was more coffee, and more mooching

So as usually happens on a Saturday, the campsite woke up, the smell of bacon in the air, and lots of tea and coffee, as the rally goers try to shake off the excess’s of the previous night, Serena woke to find a tent full of balloons and was suitably impressed with the surprise decorations. Then as people started to get their heads in gear once again plans for the day were made, and little groups went in different directions to do different things, most of the group I was with went to a bike jumble, me, I decided to stay and explore the fort, and just sit around talking to others, and chilling over a pint of beer, until the others came back.

Bob on “Old Smokey” heading out to the Jumble.

Looking south from the top of the fort, over looking Portsmouth, the Solent, and the Isle of Wight on the horizon

Looking south east, over Farlington marshes, and Hayling island

And so followed a heavy evening on the beer, with curry and chips (fries) the band played, the beer flowed until very early in the morning, Sunday morning, this morning! and that brings me to the last birthday, and the end of this little tale, as tents were packed, bikes loaded, and we all headed home, the last birthday? well that as it happens is mine, today.

A great weekend, good fun, good friends, great weather, and a decent bike to do it all on.


Great write up and photos.
Glad Serena got a start to her birthday celebrations in style.
Great pictures from the fort.


Looks like fun. Quite fancy the Solent rally but could not find anything on line for it. Is there a contact for next year or is it invite only?

Jim, you just need to google ‘Solent Rally’ and all the info comes up.

Cheers Uki

I tried that already and nothing relevant to this year came up. There were some stories of old events on the Leicester Phoenix MCC site, but that was it.

Anyway will get the info from the moleys for next year I daresay

The clues are in the post itself :smiley:

Excellent Kev, just read this I too had a great weekend and I will remind Serena that you would like a ticket for next year Jim.

Brass monkey first :smiley: