Veterans Thunderwest 2019

Welcome to the Demilitarised Zone

Each year the Veterans MC NSW Chapter put on Thunderwest at their property, F.S.B. Pearlbrook, at Scott’s Creek near Murrurundi in NSW. Usually held in February, this year it was moved to the first weekend in March due to the heat in previous years. This was a great move as some of the blokes said it was 47 degrees on the day that it would have been held; instead we had a warm but bearable 33 degrees.

My chapter departed Canberra at 0800 on the Friday morning in beautiful sunshine (which would remain for the whole weekend) for the 600 km ride to the event. We took the scenic route via Cowra, Bathurst and Muswellbrook with mostly pretty good roads, some dodgy ones and a few twisties arriving mid-afternoon to set up camp. 

There were already quite a few people on site and a friendly buzz as we set up the ‘Tarp Mahal’ before finding the all-important beer tickets and headed to the bar to meet old mates and make new ones. 

I had never been to Pearlbrook before — wow! The NSW Chapter have done a stellar job with their set-up in a beautiful place surrounded by hills. It is a credit to the efforts of their members. 

After purchasing the best deal tickets, I set about working my way through them. 

There was plenty of food on offer with various vendors and the club providing options. Cleverer folk than me took advantage of that. It was a pretty cruisy night with some hardy partygoers kicking on and the rest of us keeping the wildlife awake with our snoring. Sleeping on the ground will always see most people up early and breakfast was available from about 0600. 

Saturday sees people arriving from early on, checking out the stalls, entering bikes in the show, and an early start to events commencing with a ceremony to lay to rest the colours of the Vietnam Veterans MC. All chapters in NSW/ACT wear the colours of the Veterans MC. There was representation from almost all NSW/ACT Chapters and also from WA. Many other clubs were also represented with Gladiators MC, Bandidos MC, Highway 61 MC, Black Uhlans MC, Free Souls MC, God Squad CMC, Longriders CMC, Native Sons, and a raft of social clubs and independent riders all enjoying the day in total harmony (won’t see that in the mainstream media). 

The MC for the day, VMC NSW member Stirrer, started proceedings rolling with a scooter race for kids followed by one for the ladies, all with cash prizes. 

Throughout the day there were also tyre holding contests for men and women, an ironguts competition (as disgusting as it sounds), tattoo contests with multiple categories, a bike show, a wet T-shirt contest with several categories, and of course, four bands — Vdubs, Colt Seavers Band, Brian McVernon and Smarts — who kept everyone rocking throughout the day. 

One highlight this year was the fireworks display which commenced with a waterfall of fire down a cliff face and went for a very spectacular 15 minutes or so. 

It is a great day in a beautiful Aussie bush setting, as the sign at the bar says, all attitudes stay at the gate, and a top day is had by all. 

Thunderwest is a credit to Veterans MC NSW Chapter President Tower and his members who work their arses off to put on this show; some members are up to 80 years old and all put in the hard yards. Thank you also to the NSW Chapter for the use of some of their pictures. 

See you there in 2020… Mork

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