Saturday, September 6, 1980

Saturday September 6th

Andrew got me up early, about half-eightish, and we set off about nine. Surprisingly enough, we managed to get a through train from Easterby to Scarborough and the journey took about two hours.

Train journeys are always the same – you see the same people, the same landscapes and the stations you pass through always look alike. I got quite a shock when Andrew told me the price of this meeting – I was going to have to pay £5.00 for a two day ticket, which meant I’d have about £2.00 left. After this gem of information I was in a bad mood over my lack of money. Amazing – I get a 100% rise and yet I seem to be spending it as fast as I get it.

We got into Scarborough just before dinner time and soon we could hear the familiar wail of the bikes blasting round Oliver’s Mount and see it’s tree clad mass with the Memorial silhouetted against the sky before us. We had quite a long walk up to the circuit, which didn’t seem as crowded as usual and there were plenty of boringly unoriginal bikists in their leather/denim jackets (delete where applicable) with Triumph or Led Zeppelin written on the back wandering around being obnoxious.

The racing started at 2.30 p.m. with Heat 1 of the International 1000 and continued on until about half-five. There were a few big names there – Sheene, Grant, Marshall, Potter, Tonkin (on the new Cottons) etc . . . . – and I quite enjoyed myself.

After the racing had finished we had to find our digs, at 42 Esplanade Road. A young woman – about 18 – answered the door in her dressing gown and we were shown our room, which was quite big with a sink, wardrobe, two beds and a view overlooking a backyard.

At about seven, and because it was a fine evening, we decided to go out. We wandered down to the cliff tops overlooking Scarborough and the Castle. It was good to see the sea again after 15 months. What with the sea that mottled, liquid blue of reflected sky and superb altocumulus lenticularis clouds tinged with pink with the setting sun I could understand what drives people to sail round the world. We bought a copy of the local paper to find out Athletic’s result – another draw (0-0 against Cross End), their fifth in succession, and then wended our way down the cliffside paths to the prom where we bought fish and chips. Scarborough seafront was packed with bikers riding about, or standing in big groups shouting loudly and laughing and generally making the atmosphere quite hostile. After wandering to the harbour where Andrew took some photos of the lights reflected in the sea, we got back to the hotel at about nine-thirty.

It was while I was reading some “National Geographical” magazines in bed that I suddenly became overcome by regret at not taking Geography at ‘A’-level instead of Biology. I kicked myself to sleep.

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