13 Dec 2018

EuroLambretta -Spain 2018

Once again it was time for the European Lambretta Rally, or the 2018 EuroLambretta Jamboree to give it it’s proper title. This year, it was to be held in Abejar in the Soria region of northern Spain between the 8th and 10th of June. Abejar is 167 miles south of Bilbao.
As usual, there was a large contingent of members from the Liverpool Scooter Club who attended the rally along with other friends from around the North West. Some travelled by scooter, some in vans as support for the scooters, and some who flew there and hired a car when they got there. Our party was in the latter category. Good old Easyjet offered us a flight to Madrid for less than £20, and the return journey for just under £40. It would be rude not to !. So at 4am, on Wednesday the 6th of June, a bleary eyed Arthur Griffiths, Billy Griffiths and myself arrived at Liverpool John Lennon Airport for our flight. We met El Presidente Ernie at the airport, along with Barney and John Woods. Ernie and Barney normally ride to the Euro, but they had to get home quickly after the rally as Ernie was immediately leaving again with his wife Barbara to attend the Vespa World Days ( EuroVespa ) event in Belfast. Now that’s dedication for you !. John also had to return to work as he didn’t have much holiday entitlement left.
We arrived in Madrid around lunchtime and met up with another LSC member, Roy Armour, who flew up to meet us from Alicante where he now lives. Roy would later become known as ‘El Royo’ after a town we passed. Very apt !.

Ernie, Barnie and John squeezed into a Fiat 500 with their luggage, whilst Arthur, Billy, Roy and myself were spread out in the comfort of a 7 seater estate car. We found our way out of the airport and headed for our first overnight stop. The weather was showery, which was slightly better than the last time we were in Spain when it rained continuously for 6 days out of the 7 that we were there.
The following morning we travelled to our next hotel which was to be our home for the next 3 days and met up with our friends from Ireland, as well as Dave Johnson and Chris Goldston from the Wirral who had ridden there.

Shortly after came George Randles ( Big George ) and Geoff Smith ( Speccy Geoff ) from Chester. There were other scooterists there from Scunthorpe who had also ridden there on some very nice Lambrettas . Unfortunately, the elderly female receptionist did not speak any English and none of us spoke any Spanish. she also intimated that she didn’t have enough rooms, and those she did have had double beds in them because she thought we’d brought our wives. Pandemonium ensued until we kicked Dave and Chris out of their rooms and we sorted it all out amongst ourselves.
After a wash and brush up, we headed for the rally venue. It was in a beautiful location on a camping and caravan site in the middle of a forest. Unfortunately though, it was 8 miles in either direction to the nearest town. We decided upon designated drivers for the evening events as we would have to take the vehicles. The security was strict – no wristband, no entry. A large marquee had been erected for the parts fair, meals and entertainment. At the venue we met up with friends from Lowton ( near Wigan ) who’d made the journey on scooters. They were camping at the venue. They’re a great bunch of lads who we’ve had the pleasure of riding to the Euro with in the past. One of them, John Lindgren, had suffered clutch failure but after being recovered to Portsmouth, he changed the clutch and was soon on the ferry. We also met Mark Stevens and Dave Trussell who were on Lambrettas, and big Mel and Peter Curlett who came on their motorbikes.
The Friday night meal was paella, which was cooked outdoors in huge round pans and stirred with paddles. There was all sorts of crabs, prawns, and other unidentifiable fish and meat being stirred in. Some people liked it I suppose.

This was followed by a disco. Saturday saw the parts fair, which was a bit disappointing. Still, it was good to see Tino Saatchi with a Targa twin engine on his stall along with some other innovations for Lambrettas. The LTH stand had a very nice small block Lambretta engine casing with an adapter plate to fit a Vespa Quattrini barrel. I’ll bet that thing is quick !. Speaking of Italians, it was also great to see our old friend Silvio Rossi and his son Andrea. Silvio doesn’t speak English, but fortunately his son does. They were both wearing Liverpool Scooter Club shirts as they love our club – what an endorsement !. Saturday night saw the usual Gala Dinner and speeches from the heads of the Lambretta organisations around Europe. There was also the trophies being awarded in the various categories. Silvio won best Lambretta for his beautiful SX 200 which is totally original. After all this, there was a band playing live music and then the disco again until the small hours.

 

 Our friends from Chester and Lowton were stopped at the roadside for a break on their way home. By pure co-incidence, a car pulled up and the driver asked them if they’d like to come and meet the man who was the quality control manager at the Eibar factory for 40 years and see his Lambretta collection. They didn’t need asking twice !.

We retreated back to our hotel and had a nightcap before we turned in. Sunday morning, and it was back to the venue for breakfast and to say our goodbyes to everyone before we all started our journeys home. For us, we had to find somewhere to stay for 3 nights before our flight. We decided to go to Segovia. We’d never heard of it, but what an amazing place. There’s a Roman Aqueduct spanning the town centre which is a sight to behold. As it was still showery we took a tour around the Cathedral. We were thankful four our raincoats that Rooster had sourced for us all. Onto Madrid on Tuesday night. We had a meal and then an early night at our hotel near the airport.
We took our hire car back on Wednesday morning and said our goodbyes to El Royo. His flight back to Alicante left after ours.
So, another great rally. Not as good as some we’ve been to but better than others. If you haven’t been to a European rally, I would recommend that you do. It’s great to meet up with like minded people from around Europe and have a laugh along the way.

Next year it’s in Poland and the planning has already started. Bring it on !

Geoff Bell.

The ‘easyjet SC’ on tour!