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Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Filming at Aberfoyle - the missing bits











Just heard back from the Beeb and have the go ahead to publish the full and gory details about the filming. So here it is.






Sunday....continued....So we arrived at about 2.30pm, plenty of time to get Cubbie and Vic’s Bantam off the trailer. With the niggling thought that Cubbie wouldn’t start earlier on, the first thing I did was try and fire it up. For some peculiar reason it caught first time and ran without any problems. Super duper. Got our period riding gear ready, me in my faded blue jeans, white tee shirt and rocker leather jacket, oh, and my rather stylish Davida open face lid, and Vic in his leather troos, Grampian Classic MCC tee shirt (good man, always willing to advertise the club) and some sort of tin hat and goggles. Luckily he took a few spare hats with him as some of the chaps turned up in modern full face lids, tsk tsk tsk boys, would have thought you’d have some old gear in the back of the shed?!! By the time we’d all assembled, Ceri from Twofour – the production company in charge of the filming, arrived, along with Simon Forster and his good lady wife whose name I didn’t get, and their rather swanky Bentley. Known affectionately as JDK, this is a 4 ½ litre Mk VI machine from the year of 1952, hence having to find bikes from the 50s and early 60s. Ceri went through the basics of what we would be doing and after a team chat we all kitted up ready to roll. The idea was when we got the signal, we’d fire the bikes up and await the arrival of the Bentley before setting off from the Brig O’ Turk tea room, south over the Duke’s Pass to Aberfoyle – being filmed from the chopper overhead. Sounds easy but keeping at a regular speed and not spreading out too much was a tad tricky. With 9 bikes to organise Ceri did a great job of placing us – the big black bikes (BSAs, Matchless, AJS, Cubbie…at the front) and the Bantam, Ariel, Franny B and the outfit at the tail end. So that was our stint for the Sunday, when we got to Aberfoyle we were off duty and most of us dived straight to the snack bar for ice creams and gallons of cold drinks. T’was slightly warm. Must have been around 6pm by then so Vic and I headed back to the tea room, loaded the bikes up and set off in search of a campsite that didn’t charge £18 per pitch per person per night. Someone at the shoot had mentioned one in Thornhill, just a few miles down the road. Found it ok and Vic stunned the poor lady in charge into giving us a really good rate - £17 total for 2 tents for 2 nights, including parking the car and trailer on site. I think it was the bit where he said he was a film star that did it… I’m counting that as a slightly unofficial Cubbies Counties Corporate Sponsorship. A rather long walk to the other end of the village rewarded us with a nice quiet pub; the Lion & Unicorn mentioned below, food was fab as was the friendly atmosphere. I’ve no idea what they put in the water to make me partake of zip slide activities in the middle of the night. So now you’re up to speed with Sunday….

And now we’re on track for Tuesday. Mind you, I should probably mention that I had to move my tent in the night to get away from the rumble in the jungle, while the man himself, Vic, had to up sticks early and sit in the car due to a small flood in his tent….aahh, there is justice in the world after all. So we packed up (no time for brekky again) and arrived on site for filming ‘take 2’. Rolled Cubbie off the trailer, reached for the key. Um. Bother. Now where did I put it? Searched all my pockets, bags, coats, shoes and boots. Not a key to be found anywhere. Had a vague memory of when I returned to the campsite the night before, taking my jacket off and slinging it over the bike, perhaps I’d put the key on it, along with my gloves and had dropped it into the long grass as I’d transferred it all to the tent. Not to worry, Vic lent me his Bantam key (gawd, I’m never going to hear the end of this one!) while he was able to operate the BSA ignition with a screwdriver. All the guys turned up as per the arrangement so we were able to keep the continuity going. Lots of activity going on in the tearoom as they filmed a bit in there, while we all got ready again. I believe one of our lot, who shall remain nameless (but let’s just say he was the Ariel rider) accidentally walked in on them mid shot! We met some other faces from Twofour, Zoe, Jonney the Producer, the Director, the cameraman and the sound guy. Really nice peeps who made sure we all knew what we had to do. Parked the bikes up outside the tea room, then Richard Wilson had a bit of a chat with each of us on camera, asking about the bikes and so on, followed by the guys getting close ups of the bikes – hope they didn’t look too closely at Cubbie! The day was a wee bit grey and chilly, but when you’re wearing such fashionable gear as we were, you don’t notice the cold, damp air when you’re at the top of Duke’s Pass. So we rode in the same formation to Aberfoyle, with the Bentley in the middle of us, being filmed as we went. I was, er, pretty peckish not having had any brekky so managed to find the time for a jumbo hot dog when we were hanging around the car park. Little did I realise we would have lunch when we got back to the tearoom! After a nice bit of grub it was time to do the last filming run over the Pass again. A short hop into this last stint we all rounded a tight left hand bend, with a road branching off to the right. As the front lot of bikes cleared it, a coach came the other way and cut the corner, meaning the Bentley had to drop back. Well chappie in the car waiting at the junction saw his opportunity and nipped out, ending up in between us and the Bentley. Bearing in mind they were trying to film us, they now had him on camera! Of course, we at the front didn’t know what had happened, I glanced behind and noticed that everyone else had disappeared, so signalled to the others to slow up. When we reached Aberfoyle for the umpteenth time it transpired that the Ariel rider – an ex copper had overtaken the Bentley and pulled the car driver in, informing him politely that we were filming and would he mind awfully just minding out of the way? Seemed to work and the crew we pleased with the footage that got. Hmmm…wonder if that bit will ever appear on the out-takes show! Our man with the sidecar had an onboard camera too – caught a sneaky glimpse of the footage, that’s gonna look brill! Finished about 3pm, I raced back to the campsite to hunt for Cubbie’s key. Started to rain. Then started to chuck it down. Then I got drenched. Didn’t find the key. Gave up and swam back to Vic and the car at the tea room, slightly crestfallen that I was going to have to buy a new key or make one from a Tuna tin or something. Decided to get changed out of my wet jeans, ‘cos although some people say that’s a rather attractive look, I personally didn’t fancy sitting in them all the way home. Would you believe it, I had to get changed in the bus stop! All in all, had a fun couple of days with the production team and Richard Wilson, ticked off another 4 counties and raised what might seem like a small sum of £38 but every little helps, and even losing my Cubbie Key didn’t cause too big a problem. Don’t know if I should tell you this….but….got home to Cubbieville, met Mrs BC at the end of our bumpy track, rolled the bike off and loaded all my gear in the van. Er, undid my helmet bag to remove my gloves from inside the lid, and er, well, found what appeared to be a key. Put it in the ignition, switched it on, gave it a good tickle, and…yep…you guessed it…not a Dickie bird. Nothing. Wouldn’t even attempt to cough. Must have been getting on for 9.30pm so gave up and Mrs BC towed us home – the last mile.



Look out for Britain’s Best Drives shown on channel (to be confirmed) at the end of the year. Will let you know, when I know.






Thanks to Jim & Joan Leddy for these pics.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

quite an adventure...I guess I'll have to wait for the DVD...

BigBob

Lindsay said...

Another epic from CBG, ha ha ha. Again a well written and most enjoyable read, thanks BC.

john said...

its the never ending story all over again .......

brilliant read BC, cant wait for the movie ..... lol

Anonymous said...

Fame!!!

you'll soon be an international star!!

Heidi

Darrell said...

Great reading, as always. Thanks for the pics and the enjoyable writing. One technical question: what kind of camera do you use?

Gorgeous Biker Chick said...

Hello Darrell....tis a Canon 300D...

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