Monday, 23 June 2014

Dutch Norton Club 40th anniversary

Well what a weekend that was, this weekend was the 40th anniversary of the Norton Owners club in Holland, unfortunately it also clashed with the National Rally but we felt we had to go visit our friends on the Continent as they have always supported any event we have ran and they always have great parties.
My brother John and Alex joined us for the trip and we took the DFDS ferry from Newcastle to Ijmuiden, its unique in charging a premium price for crap and expensive service. They have a knack of knowing just how badly to treat motorcyclists, every time I've got this boat it has never failed to disappoint, the alternative though is a slightly less crap service from Hull. I'm not sure why but many of the UK ferry companies I've travelled with have this knack of making you feel like a second class citizen, maybe its because being an Island they know we have no choice.
Anyhow despite that rant we had a great time on the ferry and spent way too much drinking way too much, luckily the Friday run to our destination Kampen wasn't too far or difficult, we did catch a bit of rain though, just enough to dirty the bikes a bit.
The rally was fantastic, a great weekend, perfect organisation and great to catch up with our many friends, it was a great party and Millie has to be singled out for praise, she never stopped and made sure it all went smoothly, thanks Millie and to all the organisers, also thanks to our friends for helping drink beer (and whisky)!
Back today on the crap DFDS ferry again, our toilet didn't flush in our cabin and smelled of piss when we arrived so that didn't help the hangover today! I have to mention once again how small a place the world is, as we sat in the cafe in Ijmuiden waiting for our ship to start loading I saw Gary &Amy MacKnight go by, just returning from a tour on their BMW of Sardinia, Gary & Amy are usually on their pristine Norton Rotary but obviously wanted a stress free holiday, see you guys in Germany! To make things even more weird they were talking to Donnie and Linda on their Triumph Explorer who we'd met in a cafe car park earlier in the year, the world is indeed small when you have a motorbike.
I also have to warn you that there seems to be a party of probably more than 100 Germans who seem to be in the one tour group heading North, the way they got lost and caused chaos in the passport control leads me to think they are going to be a travelling traffic jam for the next couple of weeks, hopefully we don't catch up with them going to Applecross next weekend!

Fi waiting to be treated like a 2nd class citizen
John & Alex doing likewise
Fi explaining how the engine works
Holland, the land of incredible sea defences
Lunch stop
Our little corner of Holland for the weekend
Nice in blue
There were a few unmolested bikes like this ridden to the Rally, excellent
A Hedlund Wasp outfit, scarce!
Our Flemish friends, Marc, Karin amd Miki (see you in August)
Hesketh, also rare to see them nowadays
Hangover time, not so rare
Who says no young guys ride Nortons
This is the young guys Mum, she rides this 1929 16H, only the 4th owner of this bike
Norton being worked on always draws a crowd
Kampen, nice place and great weather
And now Camping!!
Praying to the Norton god
Nice bikes everywhere
Eric Joyce's very nice Manx
Fiona & Hessel win the silly hat competition
Brother John didn't get to the gym so practiced with serving us up beer instead
A great weekend, great party atmosphere, thanks to all.....

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