Hemsby Rock 'n' Roll Weekender 2005

Published: 08 April, 2011 - Featured in Skin Deep 123, July, 2005

If the word Pontins conjures up images of mouldy chalets, unidentifiable stains and soggy beach trips, then you will be surprised to learn that twice a year this unlikely venue plays host to a rock n roll event of legendary status. Fast motors, huge quiffs, an abundance of leopard print and a bar which serves mini bottles of Lambrini. What more could you wish for from a weekend beside the sea?

Aside from the fine wine and loose gentlemen, tattoos also played a huge part in a weekend dedicated to pouting and posing (and that’s just the boys). The on site studio also appeared to be doing a buzzing trade and was my first port of call having checked in and finding relief in discovering inner chalet stainage was notable only for its absence (hell they even provide loo roll – now that’s what I call luxury).

Dave and Tony of Mad Ink appeared to be engrossed in a spot of spring cleaning as I arrived at the studio and I must say it was a treat to see two inked up biker types indulging in their domestic duties, with all the vigour and enthusiasm of a pair of 1950’s housewives. With a steady stream of customers looking to commemorate their visit to Hemsby with something more permanent than a stick of rock, the Mad Ink crew were kept busy. Several gluttons for punishment returned in various states of hangover for repeated ink punishment and large, colourful new school designs were very much on the play list.

With a diverse mix of inked up, quiffed up and generally pissed up guys and dolls attending the week long event, you are pretty much guaranteed to be rocking around the clock. Frequent hot rod rallies take place and are the perfect place to catch some serious ink. With this in mind, I secured an invite on a Cleavers Auto Butchers cruise, where my credibility took a battering when I sheepishly revealed I would be tagging along in my trusty Micra. Cringe. However, I had the last laugh as the good old British weather broke, true to form, resulting in some very flaccid quaffs.

Back at the ranch, Tony kept us entertained with stories of on-site hot rod death and destruction as well as with lethal vodka shots. (I maintain it was the evil blue one that floored me). The evening is when all the tatts really get an airing, with a variety of inked skin propping up the various bars. Apologies for rolling out a cliché, but the girls really seem to be contending with the guys in terms of ink coverage, size and style, which is always good to see. 

A restorative weekend by the sea it aint, however this was a rockin’ ink drenched mini-break I intend to repeat in September. Mad Ink can be found on Coventry Road in Birmingham, or contact Mandy, Dave, Tuffy or Tony on: 0121 6930166. For more info about Hemsby rock n roll events contact 01522 752453 or check out www.hemsbyrocknroll.co.uk

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Text & Photography: Rebecca Burton

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Skin Deep 123 1 July 2005 123
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