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Kent Hells Angels’ Family Yard Party

Back in the day, when BSH had only just begun to appear on the shelves of newsagents, Kent Hells Angels’ annual custom show was the premier custom event in the UK. Then the Bulldog Bash became the main Hells Angel event, but the Kent Chapter stills put a show on these days, albeit much smaller.

Known as the Family Yard Party, it takes place at Angel Farm at the beginning of September. While the gates open for the party on Friday evening and stay open until late on Sunday afternoon, the main action takes place on the Saturday when the custom show takes place on one side of the clubhouse and the kid’s activities are going on, on the other. Keeping the two aspects of the party makes great sense, the last thing you want at a custom bike show is a youngster high on a sugar rush running into someone pride and joy. The consequences for both really don’t bear thinking about.

A walk back through the clubhouse, stopping off for a quick beer, and it was time to check out the diverse range of machines in the custom show. Only problem was I got a bit distracted with the real ale bar… when one bar simply isn’t enough, have two. It’s a policy that works for me. With drink in hand, I then had a quick wander around the traders offer their wares at the party, which included the usual range of T-shirt and jewellery stalls, and also a mobile tattoo studio and Maidstone Harley-Davidson bringing a corporate feel to the event.

Shopping done, it was time to get to the point of being at the show – the customs. The biggest surprise for me was the diversity of the machinery entered. Alongside a mod scooter and a scooter chop was a stock Gixxer. Don’t go thinking there weren’t any real custom though as there were, of both the two and three-wheeled variety, and for me it was a trike that was the star of the show. Built around a VW flat-four engine and ‘box that had been turned through 180 degrees, it was seriously cool. It would seem I’m not the only one who felt that way about it as it took the prize Best Trike for owner Brian.

Staying with the prize winners, Best Paint went to Mark for his Monster Energy-themed Honda, while Illusion, a vivid pink scooter chop, took Best Scooter for Steve, with Mike’s Pro Street winning Best Bike.

Away from the prize giving, what was equally interesting was the quality of the bikes parked outside the show area, many of which wouldn’t have disgraced their owners if they’d been entered – especially the ape hanger wearing V-Rod and turboed Sportster. Maybe the owners’ll return this year for the seventh Family Yard Party (2nd to 4th September) and bolster the numbers in the show.

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