The Revival motorcycle gang

24th June 2019

The Hornets tell us how much they love attending the Goodwood Revival each year

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Who are you?

We are a group of vintage motorcycle enthusiasts called the ‘Hornets’. All old friends from different parts of the UK who share the love of owning and riding vintage Harleys and Indians.

The Hornets are a group at the Goodwood Revival recreating the style of a 1940s and 1950s American motorcycle gang on bikes from the era too.

How long have you been a part of the Hornets?

Oh gosh, we have been friends for years! We’ve been attending the Goodwood Revival as the Hornets for the last six years.

How did your group get involved with the Revival?

It was through our leader, Huggy. He’d been attending the event since the very first Goodwood Revival.

He was asked by Juliis Thergood to put together an “authentic” 1940/1950s bike gang. Huggy asked some friends that first and foremost, have a real passion for our bikes and riding them.

These bikes are ridden as much as possible. Some of us even commute to work across London on them! I think we see them as just a really cool mode of transport. We ride together as much as we can and travel to bike festivals and gatherings all over Europe.

Someone at the Revival one year asked us how we got the bikes to look so dirty and used. I think they were quite surprised when we told them it’s because we ride them all the time.

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What do you do at the Revival?

We bring along around 11 vintage American motorcycles, from 1920s board track racers and Wall of Death bikes, a late 1920s Indian scout, a couple of 1940s Harley Flathead 45s, Flathead big twins, a couple of Panheads from the 1950s, an Indian chief and a BSA single flat tracker (ironically ridden by one of the lads called Harley).

What has made you return to the Revival so many times?

We see being part of the Goodwood Revival as an honour and we embrace our role as event ambassadors.

For us, it’s all about the people, a bit like life really. We love the interaction with the public. Some want to have their photos taken with us, some people want to talk about the bikes and some want to talk about our outfits. We particularly love it when they try to have a secret picture taken with us. Before they know it, we’re posing with them and offering them to come and sit on one of our bikes.

A few years ago, we designed a Goodwood Hornets badge so we could give guests a little something to take home with them. The first year we gave away 1,500 badges and have been doing this ever since. We’ve found that guests are starting to collect them each year, especially children. Last year, one little fan turned up not only with all their badges but also a homemade hornets t-shirt. If you ever wanted to see ten grown men with a tear in their eye, that was the moment!

Over the years our kids, wives and girlfriends have become very much part of our time at the Revival and now can be seen stealing the limelight on our bikes. There seems to be just as many photos of the them as there are of us. It has become a real family affair, and long may it continue.

Over the years, we’ve become friends with lots of the other volunteers and it’s great to see them and have a little chuckle again.

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Favourite Revival moment?

Along with meeting some amazing members of the public, it’s amazing to meet some of our heroes, not only from the word of motorsport but from stage, screen, art and music.

Our best highlight has to be taking part in the parade laps. This was our chance to show the public that we are not just a static display and that we really do ride our bikes! Plus, we loved hearing the cheers of the crowd and all the waving.

What will you be doing at the Revival this year?

Remember to visit us to collect the new 2019 badge design!

Do you have any fun stories you’d like to share?

One-year Huggy, our illustrious leader, lost one of his gloves. Now Huggy is a little obsessive about his gloves….

One of us fortunately found the missing glove, however rather than return the glove, Huggy’s glove went on an adventure all around the Revival. He met all sorts of characters and a few famous people, plus he even got to ride round the Demon Drome Wall of Death, during his search.

Huggy’s glove’s journey was lucky enough to be documented on Instagram. He was blissfully unaware of this until on Sunday night when his glove sent a picture asking where he was…

Ever since Huggy glove has been travelling searching the world but rumour has it that he is heading back to the Revival this year in the hope he may be re-united with his owner.

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