75 miles on the trail of the dastardly Sir Hugo Drax.
Fifty four 007 field agents, cunningly disguised as H.O.G Chapter members, attended the briefing at Warr's SE for the James Bond Rideout. An impressive turnout given it’s March and the lousy weather leading up to this day.
The ride was all based upon Ian Fleming’s 1955 book “Moonraker” where James Bond was on the tail of Sir Hugo Drax (an alias, as he was a secret Nazi). Inevitably it involved his usual high speed escapades around Kent to save London from Drax’s rocket. Kent is where Ian Fleming lived and where he based nearly all his scenes and road chases. Our ride took us to and picked up the chase along Wrotham Hill A20 where we imagine Bond in his 4.5 litre supercharged 1930s’ Bentley Blower. Drax is aware that Bond has uncovered his murders and secret plan to destroy London. With Bond in Drax’s rear view mirror in the distance but gaining, we chase along to Charing (via our comfy stop of course at the M20 services). Both cars swerve left up Charing Hill towards Canterbury. Drax comes across a newspaper lorry, chugging up the hill through hairpins bends near the summit, with 20 tons of paper rolls for printing the next morning’s news. Drax was going through the bends alongside the lorry to overtake. He slows and has his sidekick climb out the Mercedes, onto the bed of the lorry and cuts the ropes.
Bond is met with a wall of death rolling down the hill on both sides of the road as the rolls of paper bounce through the bends back down the hill. Carnage ensues. Drax spins the Mercedes around in the hope that he’ll find Bond dead. The Bentley is mangled amongst the tree lined road and residents appear gawping at the destruction.
Drax draws his gun to finish Bond off but is thwarted with bystanders watching, so bundles 007 into the back of the Mercedes and drives off at speed via Molash, Chilham Castle and Canterbury, to the rocket establishment in St Margarets Bay (Ian Flemings home)....
Back on our bikes we break off from the Moonraker route just after Chilham Castle where we ride along and through the North Downs countryside until we arrive in Pett Bottom and have our group photo outside The Duck Inn. ….. Well, “You only live Twice”! It was Ian Flemings’ favourite watering hole… and that is why there’s an English Heritage plaque denoting that the cottage attached to the pub (and now part of it) was featured in the book “You only Live Twice”. The book tells us how orphan James Bond was brought up by his great Aunt who went to great lengths to give him a good education before she died. Bond is murdered near the start of that story, but it was all false, to give the baddies a false sense of severity. As you can see from photos the evil Drax is thrown into the stocks at the Duck inn, actually it was our very own loveable Assistant Director Dave Mann.
After photos we now head on into Canterbury where this ride ends, parking up outside on the concourse of the Marlowe Theatre, right in the heart of the town. The management kindly permitted us to do this and by way of thanks we take another group photo just for them. Lots of eateries and things to visit in this famous town and of course the last of the historic ducking stools can be seen! For those gossiping, nagging types…. Don’t believe it myself but it’s directed at women folk of a bygone era.
All the above was aided by my last man…. Sir Hugo Drax (Dave Mann, thanks Dave) and Q was well pleased with all the Road Captains and marshalls who ensured we and our expensive pieces of machinery arrived at our destination in one piece. Also thanks to JW and Shaun for opening up at the dealership and of course to all those special agents, all 54 of them, who made the day such fun. Thanks guys, great job.
Bernie Cresswell, Meridian Road Captain
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