The Great Essex bike meet
Every Wednesday night, from Spring through to Autumn, bikers descend from all over East Anglia to meet-up on one of the largest village greens in the country - Great Bentley in Essex. This tiny village on the Tendring Peninsula has acted as a motorcycle magnet for more than 30 years and regularly sees up to a thousand bikes proudly parked on the 43-acre site.
Although it appears orderly and organised - cones mark the access points and everyone seems to park in regimented rows - the meet is actually as impromptu as it always has been and it’s only down to the enthusiasm and indeed mindfulness of those who attend that it’s been so successful for so long. The atmosphere is laid back, friendly and inclusive, and in common with many village meets just about every type of bike imaginable rolls in at some point. Food and refreshments are available at the Plough public house, who set up with teas and burgers especially for bikers.
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It’s true origin seems to be lost in the mists of time, but Dan Somers, who runs a thriving facebook page in support of the meet, credits Boz Boswick as being the man who started it all. This online group gives a fair reflection of the strong community spirit that abounds and acts as a notice board where members offer help and advice, share photos and sell bikes or kit and so on. In that respect Great Bentley Bike Meet is something of a club, which currently has over a thousand members.
It falls to Dan to kick things off every year and once he has the first Wednesday of Spring in the calendar he notifies local businesses and the police. Thanks to the community aspect of the event it’s largely self-policing; unruly behaviour is frowned upon by the fraternity and the occasional miscreant generally just gets a quiet talking to.
Great Bentley is well worth a visit if you’re in the area and its proximity to the roads and beaches of the ‘sunshine coast’ means you can always make a day of it.
How much is it?
Where is it?
The Green, Great Bentley, Colchester CO7 8LA
When is it?
Every Wednesday throughout British Summer Time @greatbentleybikemeet on Facebook