Long time Dimmer, Stuart Tod maintained a site on the web covering the Simmer Dim, no longer wishing to maintain those pages and in order to preserve them Big Al at Bikers1.com stepped in to take on the hosting of the pages, Bikers1 coverage, from 2011 is integrated into this new site.
Please Note : I am just one of the crazy folk who attend the Dim and have no involvment in the running of it so please don’t contact me re ticket or rally related stuff 🙂
The ‘Dim’ is now fixed in Karen and my diary and I’ll endeavour to document further ‘Dims’
So if I point my camera at you, smile and/or have a carry, if yer not already 🙂
I’ll develop the site further and hopefully folk will contribute (see further down) 🙂
A Brief History (Stuart Tod, edits by Al in red)
The idea for the Rally came from the local Shetlanders who had attended various motorcycle rallies in the UK and FIM rallies abroad. Some of the main instigators were Steve Henry, Wilbert and Leslie Johnson, Kenny Johnson , Sproo (Neil Sutherland) and the late Tommy Watt.
The main idea was to have a rally that was similar in format to the FIM etc – i.e all inclusive. The first year the rally ticket cost £20 which included: badge, food and drink, plus bus to Lerwick on the Saturday night for the carnival.
First Memories (by Stuart)
I remember reading the little bit in Motor Cycle News or was it Motorcycle Weekly ” How do you fancy a rally in the Shetland Isles?”
I applied as did as load of others from all over Britain, Ireland and abroad. I always remember Steve Henry (the first rally secretary) telling me of the phone calls and letters he got with wonderful questions like ‘ Is there not a bridge – do we have to take the ferry’ ‘ Is Shetland not really located in a box in the Moray Firth’ and similar things.
Anyway the rally got going and I (Stuart Tod – Caithness) along with John Hinkley ( Watford) are the only non-Shetlanders to have attended all rallies to date. We lost Puker to another event in 2005 – just me and you now John!!!. There are only a small number of local islanders who have been to all the rallies. As of 2006 there are only 2 Islanders, Steve Henry and Stewart (Animal) Fraser. This is still the case in 2012 when we all got straightjackets for our efforts?!!.
The rally has been held at Vidlin on the east of mainland Shetland apart from 1995 when it was held at Hillswick. The move in 1995 was due to the fact that Vidlin Hall was being used as a temporary school and was also being enlarged. The site moved to Nesting in 2014
Nearly every year on the Saturday a Jarl Squad have turned up for the festivities. They used to be the main Lerwick squad, dressed in Viking costumes, from the winter Up Helly Aa fire festival. In 2006 it was the main squad again as former Rally Secretary, Mark Manson, was the Guizer Jarl for the year. Different years have seen mixtures of squads attending
Low points of the rally have been an accident in, I think, 1986 when 2 rally types were badly hurt in an accident. Both recovered fine. The death of a rallyist in 1996 due to old age, a dramatic burn out by a Honda Melody in 2005 – nuff said!!!! (see 2005 page)
Why I keep going, and others: the locals – so friendly, warm and generous; the craic; the lack of bar licence; the real ale; the scenery; the music; and the meeting of many friends old and new.
The introduction of real ale for 2005 made a big difference and also the fact that Hom Bru played at the rally again for the first time in years. The rally’s still good craic and it is what you make of it. Weather does help also. Even more real beer in 2006 with 6 different Shetland brews. The real beer keeps getting better and was very good quality in 2009 (26 barrels drunk). Think the total for 2011 was 32 with 50 ish in 2012
For Previous Simmer Dimmer’s – I heard at the 2000 rally the bad news that Margaret O’Regan had died earlier in the year. For anyone that knew or had encountered Margaret she will never be forgotten – A heart of Gold but just a wee bit mad!
This site is hosted by Bikers1.com and maintained by Big Al and his hard working team of wood weevils from their office in the base of a particularly nice tree in Central Scotland. We have moles and squirrels for friends.
HELP ! … Be a Contributor
I’d really appreciate if folk to contribute photos, stories, links, Jack Daniels , however I have a surfeit of navel fluff so don’t send any.
If you have and photos or stories, especially from earlier years I love to hear from you. It would be fully credited of course. please contact me via the form at the bottom of the page and I’ll get back to you.