A Nice Quiet Day at the Seaside?

2013-05-06 12.05.32It was sunny and warm, once the sea fog had lifted, so what better way to spend the morning than to have a stroll along the front?

But rather than strolling along to the gentle rhythm of the ebb and flow of the tide, as soon as I reached the promenade the air was full of the thrum and throb of roaring motorbikes.  Turns out Monday was the day for tens of thousands of bikers to converge on the town, the so-called Bike 1066.  The closer I got to the centre of Hastings, the louder and more all encompassing the noise grew, and I realised I was part of a trickle, and then a  tide of people heading east along the sea front.

IMG_3309Some were dressed in green, garlanded with leaves and ribbons, heading for the traditional Jack in the Green celebration (‘revived’ in the early 1980s….) , others dressed in the ear rings and t-shirts suggesting an interest in motor-sport, and that other motorbike related seaside bank holiday weekend tradition.

By the time I reached the pier, the pavement was already filled with motorbikes, lined up like sardines, and the crowd now included the leather clad, standing in small groups admiring the shiny bits and pieces and accoutrements of biking.  Some arrived individually, others in big gangs all dressed in the same embroidered jackets.  All roaring and revving their engines as much as they could; almost comically show-off-y.

By the time I came to the end of the beach and wanted to turn around and walk back home, the pavements were more choked than those on Oxford Street on the last Saturday before Christmas.  The fish and chip shops were doing good business with queues snaking out across the pavement, and much lemonade was being consumed in pub courtyards.  It was a relief to escape.

But now they all have to drive home…..

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2 Comments

  1. Never heard of Jack in the Green but I REALLY like the look of that huge emerald cloak. My only knowledge of motorbikes is a) they’re easy to fall off, and b) a Harley has huge sticky-up handles. Too noisy by far.

    Reply
    • I think it’s a made up pagan festival involving dressing up in leaves and ribbons and chasing each other around – the woman in the cloak had green paint on her face, and I think one of the activities of the day is for her to transfer that green to other people’s faces, and I saw a few people walking the other way with green noses and cheeks (although curiously no-one in leather trousers seemed to have caught any of the green!)

      Reply

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