1955 Hastings Douglas Vespa Scooter Rally

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I'm showing these photos additionally on the VVC website, after publishing them in the latest copy of the JOURNAL (No.79), which most members should have received by now. Space is a constant consideration and compromise when putting the magazine together and these photos haven't really been done justice, so here they are again for you to view, this time in a larger size with more clarity.

To remind you, and as mentioned in the JOURNAL, these were sent in to Roger Smith some time ago by Bob Southerland...

“I have some old colour slides of a Douglas Vespa Scooter rally in Hastings 1955. The slides were taken by my Grandfather who owned a scooter shop in Gloucester at the time. Would your club be interested in the images?”

The observant among you will notice I have featured here some other choice shots that I couldn’t fit in to the latest issue..

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This was an international event as you can see below - Italian Vespisti enjoying the British hospitality, while fraternising with the local ladies and doing their bit for Anglo-Italian relations...!!

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Hmmm…!!

Hmmm…!!

A green space had been set up for field events, which back then were a big part of such rallies. These were well attended by determined competitors - the winners gaining their bit of recognition as well as a trophy..

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VVC Chairman, Roger Smith, was pleased to see a Brighton Vespa Club banner adorning one of the Vespas. And spare a thought for the volunteers; these events would never get off the ground without their help - nothing has changed since then and today, the VVC owes a lot to those who source and put on our events and run the club..

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“We’d much rather be chatting to those nice Italian gentlemen..!”

“We’d much rather be chatting to those nice Italian gentlemen..!”

British Pathé newsreel of the Hastings rally..

These old images and video are a real throw-back to days gone by and a fantastic insight into the early days of scootering. If you have any old interesting Vespa photos that you would be happy to share with the VVC, please get in touch and email me at vespamore@hotmail.co.uk