The Rally that is forever wondering the north.........
The northern Gala has changed the camp site over the years but has recently settled for the past few years at the lovely pontefract Racecouse
Please check the calendar for this years rally dates!
COME AND ENJOY THE NORTHERN GALA - Duncan Bradford
Northern Gala is one of my favourite rallies of the year. I’ve been going for quite a few years,
and in spite of that I still feel welcome! It’s very easy to think of long-running rallies as getting
‘cliquey’, but there are often new faces there who become repeat attenders, and so it grows.
All rallies have their plus points and their minus points [and I don’t include the cars or the
people in that], but the Northern Gala has more pluses than most, and the only minus point I
can think of is the lack of showers on site. But Ferrybridge Services is only 2.5 miles away, with
superb free showers. [Incidentally that’s conveniently near the huge Sunday morning carboot
Friday is the day when most people roll up. The wise ones choosing the most level areas to
camp in, though for me that is balanced by being near enough to the wash-block and club
room to reduce the difficulty of navigation under alcoholic influence.
It is a big site, at the back of the park and racecourse on the way into Pontefract, and the 25-35
tents, campers and caravans we normally get leaves plenty of room for the very many games
or Sunday Silliness [ever tried catching fresh eggs from fifty paces?]
Additionally there’s a large area of hard standing for a Sunday vehicle display – when we are
usually joined by about a dozen to 20 day-visitors from all over.
On Saturday Mel and Adam will likely have planned a road run to somewhere of interest in the
region which is usually well-attended and enjoyed. Others use Saturday for shopping,
snoozing, catching-up with people they may not have met with since last year, or exploring. Or
there is always the Bank Holiday Fairground down at the entrance to the park.
Pontefract is easy to get to, there is an Asda a few hundred metres up towards town, and a
retail park with fast food on the other side of the main road.
We have use of a club room on site which is useful for the evenings, or in wet weather –
though it is on the first floor, up stairs and with no wheelchair or lift access. This becomes a
busy meeting-place most evenings. There are tables and chairs for all [just about] but no bar.
Nevertheless a lot of people usually find something alcoholic in their hands while their brains
wrestle with quizzes, card games etc. I won’t mention Bingo [Awww I just did!].
The only real minus of Saturday night is the possible need to bear in mind an early start on
Sunday if you want to catch the bargains at the Bootsale. And no, I never get there as early as
I promised myself.
Well, I was intending to describe the weekend in chronological order, but somehow things got
sidetracked. I hope I’ve given you a fair flavour of some of the reasons why you might enjoy it
with us. I find I’ve neglected to mention the cars, but they are a given, and, for some, Sunday is
largely taken up by the spit-and-polishing, the greasy knuckle-grazing, the perennial arguments
about points vs electronics, ‘the best oils’ discussion etcetera ad infinitum. In fact for some
these matters occupy the whole weekend. I name no names.
Monday morning is time for a leisurely packing away, usually getting together for a coffee-and-
goodbyes around 11, then off site by 12, and back to the weird normality of home.
Northern Gala is certainly a ‘something for everyone’ – more children and families come along
than at other rallies, for example – so I can honestly say to anyone not sure about rallying,
come along, try it out. Join in with the bits you like, ignore the bits you don’t, and add whatever
Here’s to August Bank Holiday Weekend!