My Scootering Days - Gilly from Halifax

Photo: Showing my dad what I'd been spending all my money on - 1987.

Every week we'll be asking one of you to share your Scootering memories. The good, the bad and the f**king freezing. From sleeping under caravans at Great Yarmouth to the Beach at Brighton and everything Inbetween. These memories wouldn't be so special without all the drunken nights, the breakdowns and the truly shitty British weather. 

First up is Gilly, 49 from Halifax. 

First Scooter? 

It was a Vespa 50 Special that I got in about 1986. I remember it was all hand-painted Blue!

How Much did it cost?

£100, I saw it in one of the adverts in the local paper.

How would you define yourself and why? 

Probably a Scooterist. I just really loved the sound of the scooters, the smell of the two-stroke, fixing them, but I don’t like four strokes. I spent more time covered in Oil than decent clothes so I don’t think I could call myself a Mod and to me the good music was just a bonus, it wasn't what got me into it, I had hair down to my arse and The Cure were one of my favourite bands, so yeah definitely just a Scooterist.

Photo - Me with my mates' Lambretta in the late 80s

What first got you into the scene?

My big brother Alan came home one day with a scooter, I was actually going to buy a motorbike but then he brought his PK125s home and the rest is history.

Do you remember your first rally? 

Yeah, It was York, pre-season run, I think it was 1987. I remember it because It took us two hours to do a 15-mile trip. If it wasn't us getting lost all the way there it was because everyone kept breaking down.

Best Memory to do with the scootering scene?

Building my lads first PK50 from scratch. I did it for his 16th birthday. It had The Who custom painted side panels from a mate of mine called Gatch in Halifax and it looked quality. He was about 6'2 and when he rode uphill with his Parka on he probably went about 15mph max.

Worst memory of Scootering?

I don’t think I’ve got any, the only thing that comes to mind is when we went to Morecambe Scooter rally end of the season in 1988 and I just remember riding home back over the Pennines, it was snowing, pissing it down and freezing and I just remember feeling grim and horrible.

Things you miss the most?

Fixing the scooters, I used to tinker with Scooters every day since I was sixteen, then a few years ago I had a crash and I haven’t been able to fix any properly since.

Photo - One mans trash is another mans treasure..

Things you don’t miss?

The freezing cold but that’s about it.

Specific Clothing you used to wear?

I just wore anything really, for me it wasn’t really about the fashion, I spent half of my Scootering days covered in oil so any fancy clothes would have been knackered anyway! I suppose my favourite item of clothing was my 14 hole high Dr Martens that I got from an army and navy store in Halifax town centre, cost me about 30 quid.

One thing you couldn’t go to a rally without?

A toolkit, always someone breaking down on the way to a rally, never got to a rally clean. Add a few hours onto the expected journey time and jobs a good'un.

Favourite Rally?

I used to love going to Woolacombe every year, mostly because we used to stay in really nice log cabins, meaning we didn't have to camp. I think my favourite though was Mersey Island. I liked Mersey Island because it was by the sea and I loved the location. 

Worst Rally?

Skegness because it always pissed it down every time I went.

The last rally you went too?

Isle of Wight 2017, went with my lad and a load of mates, stay in Sandown so we aren't swamped down too much in Ryde. The Isle of Wight is a quality rally, remember seeing Busta and Pauline Black playing at Ryde Ice Rink.

Photo - My PX at Isle of Wight, 2017

What do you think has changed Nowadays?

When I first started, if you saw a nice scooter you’d spend a lot of time looking at it. Now, if I see a ratty scooter I spend a lot of time looking at it because it’s so rare to just see the normal ones that are being ridden often. I'm not a fan of the scooters that look like they've never been ridden a day in there lives. I remember we used to only finish building half of our Scooters the night before a rally, we didn’t really care what they really looked like we just set off and went.

What do you think of rallying nowadays?

I think it has got a little commercialised, it’s all about getting money rather than the do itself. Hardly see authentic ratty scooters nowadays which is what I used to love about it, seeing the variety and the uniqueness of scooters.

What could help get younger people into scootering?

Well, I'm not sure because I suppose its harder to get a licence now for a bike and its hard to buy scooters now because they’re so expensive. They’ve been modernised and no one wants to sell the traditional ones. 

Anything else you want to add? 

I've been breaking Scooters since I was 16 so chances are if you’ve bought second-hand scooter parts off eBay you’ve seen me. If you need any classic scootering parts or toy cars check out thefixer70 on eBay.

Okay Lastly, what are your Top 10 Scootering Tracks.

Okay not all these are Scootering tracks but here's my top 10.

The Cure - Boys Don't Cry

Wolf Alice - White Leather

Small Faces - All or Nothing

Robin Schulz - Prayer in C 

The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary

The Jam - Going Underground

Happy Talk - Captain Sensible

The Doves - There Goes The Fear

The Cure - Just Like Heaven

Divine Comedy - National Express






If you want to share your scootering stories, message us on Instagram @vespaboyuk or drop us an email at with the words My Scootering Days and we'll get back to you.

1 comment

  • John

    Now then Paul do you rem me mate I used to have a pk 80 in the 80s I’m from much I used to have a lass called Kelly with me all the time we got together at the fair it would be nice to catch how the years have past lad

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