2017 FESTIVAL OF JURBY
SPONSORED BY WEMOTO
It's 7.30am on Sunday morning, but rather than their usual lay-in, the Wemoto team is up at the Jurby Airfield on the north-west corner of the Isle of Man, carefully laying out t-shirts and freebies ready for the busy day ahead. The sun is shining, the temperature rising, and there's a quiet anticipation in the air.
It's the 28th August and the event we have been waiting for all year is finally here: the 2017 Festival of Jurby. Organised by the Vintage Motorcycle Club (VMCC) and sponsored by us, "the Jurby" is a one-day event which sees motorcycle enthusiasts flock from far and wide to see famous bikes and riders, to mingle with like-minded people, and perhaps do a parade lap or two while they're here.
The Jurby is part of the Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling: a bundle of events which includes the Classic TT, taking place on the island every August. It has grown massively in popularity since its entry onto the calendar eight years ago. It's Wemoto's biggest event, and this year, Anne, Peter, Nick and Romain are our volunteers who've travelled over to the IOM to meet with the festival's 10,000+ attendees.
As 9am comes around, these lucky chosen few have just about gotten everything ready. The gates are open and the first visitors start to come through.
There's plenty for all to see. Along with its members' area, the VMCC has its own marquee with some members' bikes on display, as well as a collection from the Isle of Man Motor Museum. A steam-powered land-speed record attempt bike stands out to us as rather interesting.
There's the same bookstand that's here every year: Lily Publications. Talking of books, Anne catches up with John McGuinness and Ian Hutchinson doing their book signings, both of whom are out of action due to injuries, with huge frames around their feet.
We've got a McGuinness bike on display in our own marquee, alongside one of Joey Dunlop's. The Joey Dunlop Foundation is also here promoting its cause.
Two of our favourite machines have to be the stunning Brittens that are on display. Hand-crafted by engineering genius John Britten, only 10 bikes were ever built between 1991 and 1998. To see one was a rarity, but to see two together, quite extraordinary. The Flying Millyard is another beauty to behold.
The Isle of Man Offical Merchandising stand is here, along with the Visor Shop, for those who fancy a bit of retail therapy. But the parade laps which take place throughout the day have to be the main attraction. Whether or not you're taking part, they're splendid fun, aside from one accident which takes place, resulting in the Manx Grand Prix Helicopter Ambulance being flown out to the rescue. Although a regretful incident, it highlights the significance of the work the Manx Grand Prix Supporters' Club (MGPSC) does and the importance of keeping its helicopter ambulance running.
The MGPSC is the charity Wemoto has been raising funds for over the past three years, through the sale of our increasingly popular Festival of Jurby T-shirts, the profits of which go to the charity. We are delighted to see so many visitors to this year's festival turn up wearing a t-shirt - our marquee kitted out with stacks of stock for those who wish to purchase one on the day.
We release a new design every year, and we're pleased to notice they seem to be becoming a bit of a thing with collectors. A lot of visitors to our marquee mention that they missed the previous year's design and ask whether it might be for sale again at some point. (To answer your question, yes - keep an eye out for our limited reprints coming out in the near future.)
This year's t-shirt design seems to be a particular favourite, judging by the feedback we receive at the marquee. It has been specially designed to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Bob McIntyre becoming the first rider ever to lap the TT Mountain Course at over 100mph. Sammy Miller leads a tribute in the legend's honour, demonstrating a replica of Bob Mac's factory 500cc four-cylinder Gilera.
(For those who didn't get a chance to buy a t-shirt on the day or who couldn't make it to the festival, you can pick one up on our website. And keep an eye out for the grand total raised which we'll reveal later on in the year.)
While we're on the topic of supporting and promoting motorcycle safety on the Isle of Man, it seems a good time to mention the Isle of Man Constables, who are also here giving helpful advice.
All the above makes for a great day out for any motorcycle lover. But we've yet to mention our favourite part of the festival, and it's what we spend most of the day doing: meeting and chatting to our customers. You all make it possible for us to do what we love 365 days a year: eat, sleep and breathe motorcycles. It's also refreshing to see that there is a younger crowd here than in previous years. The classic world is beginning to make its mark on everyone.
It's our largest marquee yet this year, allowing for hundreds of bikers to visit at once. We have the help of two MGPSC volunteers. Some visitors are here to pick up a t-shirt, and others to grab a poster or some of our free notepads, key rings and stickers.
Nick has the pleasure of meeting a very nice guy who kindly tells him we are the reason he has made it to the festival today. He ordered parts from us last week, and having arrived on time, he was able to do the necessary work so that he could ride here. Comments such as this make our day.
(Also, if the guy whose cable snapped reads this, we're sorry we couldn't help you out on the day, but here's the kit we mentioned, which might come in handy in the future.)
We're very lucky to have the legendary enduro champ David Knight in our marquee this year. And as well as our Dunlop and McGuinness specials, we have a lovely 1947 Norton 350 T and a 1923 James on display, courtesy of Robert Dixon. We're also sharing our marquee with the TT Marshalls, who are doing their bit to get people to sign up for next year's races. So many worthy causes!
Come 5.30pm, the last of the festival's visitors begin to make their way home. With lots of packing up to do, the Wemoto team won't leave till much later, but the amazing time had by all has made the long day completely worth it.
Did you go to the Festival of Jurby this year? Tell us what you thought about it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
06/09/17 - Yep!
06/09/17 - Yes
06/09/17 - Yes and was it busy?!!
06/09/17 - Yes
06/09/17 - No, stayed away this year as it's just getting to busy. Spent some time bike watching at the Raven instead
06/09/17 - Marshalled the first ever race there when they opened the circuit ,a car race with BARC production cars and we had to make a tyre chicane to slow the devils down
06/09/17 - Yes!
06/09/17 - Yes loved it missed the six though
06/09/17 - Yes. Wouldn't be anywhere else on that mad sunday
06/09/17 - Yes I was there, anyone know who was riding the ex Loris Capirossi Desmosedici that day, it was flying.
06/09/17 - I couldn't get thre this year but the rest of the family did, so I just supported by buying your T-shirts!
07/09/17 - Yes I was there, took an Eddie Lawson replica Kawasaki Z1000J. Couple of sessions on track, no noise limits Kerker pipe sounded fantastic. Buzzard @ the Buzzworkz.
07/09/17 - Yes as always
07/09/17 - Yes, excellent as usual.
07/09/17 - Trackside in Orange
07/09/17 - Yes, first time we've managed to get there in 4 years!
08/09/17 - Looked amazing....
08/09/17 - Back after 3 year being stopped
08/09/17 - Yes great day out and also meet the master John Mcguiness
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