Southern Rally 2024 will be Friday 6th - Sunday 8th September with opportunity to extend days either side of the weekend at The Blackcock Inn, Molland, South Molton, Devon EX36 3NW
Booking and further info email Anton Henley: email@example.com
** 2023 Rally Report below**
Southern Rally Report – The Blackcock Inn, South Molton, North Devon. Fri 1st – Sun 3rd Sept 2023.
With last years rally proving to be so successful it was immensely tempting to return to the same venue for 2023. However this went against my plan to find 3-5 venues of which we’d return to on a rotation basis and the search for a new venue continued as planned.
South Devon had proved popular in 2021 so I was drawn to finding a venue in a more northerly location in Devon to ensure a fresh route for ride outs. As soon as I came across the Blackcock Inn I felt drawn to it, the location, the roads etc etc. Once I’d contacted the pub I was convinced this was the right place for our Southern Rally in 2023 with all boxes ticked the rally was confirmed with Gloria over the phone.
With the rally set for the usual first weekend in September plans quickly started to be made. As with in 2021 Colin Richards from the Devon branch kindly offered to research and lead the Saturday ride out and this as has become a new custom became a Friday ride out as well for those who’d arrived on Wednesday and Thursday. Colin and I met at the venue a few weeks beforehand to firm up plans and it was all systems go.
Weather, well the weather was odd leading up to the rally weekend which lead to some altering plans on which day to arrive in attempts to avoid heavy showers, Julian Eade bit the bullet and arrived Wednesday while some who’d planned on Thursday held off to Friday, all with varying degrees of wet shirts amongst the lovely sunny spells in between. I rode down Thursday lunchtime with my wife driving down by car to drop off my camping and rally materials.
A fun evening was had on the Thursday, spent in the Blackcock chatting and catching up, getting acquainted with Gloria and very pleasant it was too.
After breakfast Friday morning we embarked on a ride with the early arrivals, Colin Richards leading us on a fantastic ride and stop off for pub refreshments/snacks. On our return to base we enjoyed a wonderful sunny afternoon, greeting the flow of arrivals and revelling in the peaceful ambiance of the campsite. As early evening came we gradually moved to the pub for our evening meal, there was a fantastic atmosphere amongst everyone as we all chatted, catching up and making new friends. The lovely sunshine came to an unexpected end with a huge downpour and as each new arrival showed up there became a flurry of support from those earlier arrivals getting them settled into the pub out of the rain and wondering how tent erection could happen in such a deluge.
As the evening meals were being enjoyed, the expected group from Nene Valley arrived and on entry to the campsite one (Chris), braked and slip off on the wet grass. After some discussion and helping him to some shelter from the rain I called for and ambulance and between us we waited with him for their arrival, which given the remote location was sooner than expected. Off to hospital he went to return on Saturday with foot in a boot, fractured foot and cracked rib. What a relief to learn that it wasn’t more serious.
Saturday morning we all had breakfast and as planned we set off after a briefing on a ride to explore North Devon with the weather now dry and looking pretty promising. Colin had provided beforehand a Tom Tom file and google maps route so most had a pretty good idea of the route ahead with a planned lunch break set for the Old Station House Inn, Blackmoor Gate. Shortly after setoff we discovered that a group of us toward the back had not passed anyone doing drop off and were at a T junction not with no clues. We continued on with me taking he lead using google maps and eventually caught back up at the lunch stop, it was a great ride there and our route took us over single track roads to Dunster in thick fog, which we and the other group also experienced up and over Porlock Hill. The lunch stop was fantastic, a great choice from Colin and we were joined by a group from the Cornwall branch and some from from base who’d not gone on the ride.
The afternoons ride back to The Blackcock Inn took in some wonderful roads (I’m not going to mention pot holes, no don’t do it), riding in glorious weather and stunning Devon scenery, a fantastic day had been put together by Colin Richards whom I’m so grateful to for his efforts.
Back at base everyone was buzzing from a fun day and the evening was spent in the pub where we had our evening meal followed by a raffle. Prizes were mostly items from the clubs merch with donated items. Colin unfortunately had to leave early to attend a family emergency so didn’t get to see the smiles from the prizes being won. Our annual award of the Penguin ornament, given in respect of behaviour above and beyond during the weekend, had been posted back to me by Izzy from Oxford whom couldn’t make the rally unfortunately so I’d without hesitation discussed with Colin earlier that the Penguin award would go to Chris White who’d had the minor off on Friday, been to hospital over night and was now back in the pub enjoying the rally with us. Despite being so concerned for him, we’d given him some ribbing (cracked one) and it was great to see all was relatively not so bad. Thanks Chris for you contribution to the rally and look forward to you joining us again next year.
I cannot thank Gloria and her small team from The Blackcock Inn enough for their endless efforts to ensure we all had a fun and successful event, from preparation of the site, catering for a much larger group than ever before, suggesting and allowing members who’d not been able to get their tents up in the rain to sleep in the pub and generally making us all feel so welcome with a massively positive smile on at all times. Safe to say, we will be back in the future at The Blackcock Inn, if you’re out exploring Devon, don’t forget to stop in at EX36 3NW and for those of you whom attended please take the time to leave some positive vibes on Tripadvisor/Google-maps etc.
Thanks Colin, thanks Gloria and especially thanks to all of you who came along and made this weekend the fun that it was.
Please visit the clubs photo gallery page where you can find images from all our rallies over the years.
If you'd like to book please email Anton Henley firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern Rally 2022 Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th September.
The Crown Inn, Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire, SN10 2JZ
Arrangements for the 2022 Southern Rally are now confirmed and bookings can be made, message me for booking details email@example.com
This is a fantastic venue for the weekend and a superb opportunity to make it a longer stay should you wish to extend and explore the area where you'll find Avebury, Silbury Hill, and Stonehenge just to mention a few stunning attractions within short distances from the pub. There are camping & motorhome pitches available on site and plenty of Hotel and B&B accommodation possibilities within a few miles.
A great location for the rally and I look forward to welcoming members.
The Southern Rally 2021 was a fantastic success at Whitehill Country Park https://whitehill-park.co.uk/ We look forward to returning there for the rally in the future. The sun shone and a fantastic weekend was had by all.
Whitehill’s facilities are superb and we were able to access these throughout each day and the bar area became a hub of DOC GB socialising, making new friends and catching up with established friendships in glorious Devon sunshine.
2022 will again be a new (tho’ tried) venue for the Southern Rally and will again have accommodation options to suit everyone, Glamping Pods, Shepherd’s Hut, Camping, local quality B&B and Hotels within a short walk or ride/drive. I’m hoping to release details by mid December.
Thank you again to everyone who came, you all made it a fantastic weekend and the Owners at Whitehill want us back sometime in the future which again is a good measure of just how well the weekend went.
Colin Richards (Devon branch representative) had put together a fantastic ride out route for us to enjoy on Saturday, leaving Whitehill for a full days riding in the beautiful Devon countryside, which Colin kindly lead with Alan Mansell complementing him as our tail end Charlie. The local knowledge was a treat for us all, taking in some amazing roads, with incredible scenery and a really nice mixture of road types to suit us all, especially the route over Dartmoor.
Saturday evening we congregated in the bar area again for a meal and some fun, where we all enjoyed tales of the days riding and everyone had plenty of those to share, the scenery, the mixture of roads, the amazing sunshine, we’d all stayed together and most of all we all enjoyed a safe legal pace and arrived back safely thanks to our lead and tail riders. We had a light hearted raffle with some club related prizes which raised £105.00 for Devon Air Ambulance.
Looking forward to doing it all again...
The Southern Rally for 2022 is on Friday 2nd September - Sunday 4th September and will be in South Gloucestershire. There will be potential to extend bookings either side of the weekend for those wishing to make a longer holiday.
Please save the date for this event. Booking details will be announced shortly.
For 2019 we held our Southern Rally at Castle Combe race circuit in beautiful Wiltshire. This was a change from recent years locations on the south coast in Dorset and was held with the support of the DOC GB Bristol Branch.
The rally was over the weekend of Aug 31st - 1st September where the circuit were holding their biggest bike meeting of the year, the circuit offering our club members an online ticket discount in support of the club, which they are keen to continue for future years.
On arrival on the Friday, members were greeted at the clubs Marquee, where tea and coffee were on tap throughout the weekend, accompanied by a constant cluster of members to chat with.
The Marquee was positioned well to enjoy socialising and also for viewing the racing close to hand whilst also being a stones throw from the camping area.
The turnout for the rally was tremendous, with many members either staying for the weekend or popping along for the day or commuting daily. Many chose to camp whilst others stayed in local hotels, with the Premier Inn 2 miles away proving popular amongst the non campers. We’d booked sunshine for the weekend and in true DOC GB fashion it was there on tap with a short shower each afternoon to settle the dust, which was particularly welcome amongst the contact lense users amongst us.
As a part of this years continued 25th year celebrations of the 916 we were somewhat spoilt by both club & non club members bringing along a good selection to show at the Marquee.
For those who’d not visited the area before, there was the added treat of venturing out of the circuit and walking down into the village of Castle Combe, something that most did at some point. The village boasts being one of the most photographed villages in the country, if you’ve been you’ll already know why, if you haven’t then you know where to be next September.
With all the DOC GB rallies, the one common denominator is it’s members, their enthusiasm for all things Ducati and the rallies providing the club with a vehicle to engage with non members. We were blessed at the Southern Rally on this score, with many regular participants returning and many more coming along for the first time, resulting in new friendships being made and many new members from the interaction by being part of a public event. One non member arrived early Sunday morning and was still with us packing the Marquee up at the end of the day, he was hooked.
The DOC GB Bristol Branch members stepped up to make the weekend a fantastic success and we all had a superb ride out around the Southern Cotswolds on the Saturday evening to a local pub for an evening meal. Superb roads, food, beer and company.
The weekend was preceeded by two track days at the circuit & for 2020 we are in discussions with the circuit to extend the weekend to encompass these into the rally (tho these would require booking with the circuit seperately to the race meeting).
The circuit have informed us of a provisional date of Saturday, Sunday 26th & 27th September for their bike race meeting in 2020. A date to save as we continue our plans for another great Southern Rally in 2020.
Southern Rally Coordinator