vespamore photography (pronounced "vespa-mor-ay" combining the words vespa and amore, the Italian word for love, "vespalove" by definition)
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30.6.17

World Vespa Days - Celle 2017

I couldn't get to this year's World Vespa Days, staged last weekend but I knew a fair few vespa friends who were going. Jörg Hemker aka Hemi, who I met in 2015 at Maskes' classic vespa rally in Holland did go and wrote the excellent, following report of his experience for vespamore. Considering WVD was hosted in Celle, Germany, it seemed only fitting to ask a German Vespista friend to write this...




"Thursday, 22.06.17, today's weather forecast is predicting thunder and heavy rain in Northern Germany in the afternoon, therefore I decide to leave early morning for my trip to Vespa World Days. VWD was last held in Germany in 2000 and this year is being hosted by Vespa Club Celle. Celle is only 245km (152 miles) away from my home town, so it could not be much better. In addition, Vespa Club Celle are experts at planning Scooter events, having organised the Heide Treffen since 20 years now.

I leave Münster at 07.45 and by 08.15 it is already 25°C , the last few days have been really hot and today is the same. I drive across the countryside avoiding motorways and shortly after passing Osnabrück, I meet 3 scooterists from Osnabrück with a breakdown and stop to ask if they need any help. They already discovered the problem; one of them will return home and change scooter while the other two decide we will continue our trip together.

So we are now my GS200 (T5 frame with a 200cc engine, this was not sold in the UK), a tuned PX cutdown and a tuned Vespa Sprint. Due to my GS not being tuned, I really have to fight to stay with the others. It is getting darker and darker and the first raindrops start to fall but we manage to make it into Celle without any additional breakdowns. We arrive at CD Kaserne, which is a youth center in the heart of Celle that used to be a military barracks in the past and is the base for the WVD weekend. I check in to the hotel, which is only 2 km away from the event and then register myself for the World Days. Meanwhile the sky has become black and it is very windy, the registration closes as do all the tents! I visit my friends from the VCVD board who have pitched their tent next to the Vespa Club of Britain's tent and ask for shelter. Heavy rain starts and there is not much to do other than wait for it to pass. After a while the rain stops and I look around the site. There are some merchandise stalls, with an impressive display from Maskes Vespa Klassiekers over from the Netherlands, SCK (Scooter Center Koln) and a lot of catering, so everything you need is there.











"How German officials dress from the VCVD..!!"


Having registered I receive my welcome bag which besides the programme, includes a T-shirt and a WVD Celle metal badge. There is also a scooter parking area inside the barracks and everyone gets a numbered sticker that needs to be placed on their scooter. In addition you receive a bracelet with the same number on. Every time you want to leave the barracks, security people check if both numbers match, so that scooters do not get stolen - great idea! Around 2pm the VWD event is officially opened and the customary speeches start; we have Ingo, head of VC Celle, the mayor of Celle, Martin Stift, Head of Vespa world club and Uwe Bödicker, head of Vespa Club of Germany. Although there are a few speeches they are surpringsingly short and fresh.

I decide to park my scooter at the hotel and walk back to the VWD site. I get chatting and catch up with a lot of people and before I know it, it is already evening. During the evening the Vespa Club Germany has invited the heads of the various German Vespa clubs for a reception. The entertainment is across 2 rooms, one offering a live band, the other a Northern Soul allnighter and decide to opt for the allnighter and cannot remember getting back to my hotel - I do remember waking up with a hangover Friday morning though!




Once recovered, I headed back to CD Kaserne to get a closer look at the stalls and Vespa Museum, which I hadn't looked at on the first day. On all 3 days, there is the opportunity to book guided excursions and ride around the beautiful surroundings of Celle through the heath. There is also one big tour planned for Saturday where everyone can join in. I decide to only go for the tour on Saturday, having visited Celle many times before.

The Vespa museum is about 400m from CD Kaserne in an old horse breeding farm, a great venue for displaying old vespas. The scooters are presented in old horse stables, which is a nice touch. The focus of the exhibition is German Vespa models from the 1950s-60´s . After the war a lot of Vespas were built under license, so there is the chance to see a lot special Vespas produced by German manufacturers like Hoffmann and Messerschmitt and even one recovered from the sea bed! Back at CD Kaserne, a tombola sponsored by Scooter Center Koln starts up with the chance to win a restored, green Vespa 50 S. Within the vespa parking area, there are so many great Vespas to see, too many to describe them all in detail but the official numbers are 4200 people signed for tickets, swelled by the people who only came for the day. In the afternoon there is a Concours d´Elegance for the best combination of rider and vintage Scooter; first place going to Frank Thöle from Osnabrück with his Hoffmann Vespa.
















In the evening I meet with some friends from the Los Piratos in Voerde, for dinner in Celle's beautiful old town. Celle only has around 80,000 inhabitants and with the temporary addition of 4200 scooterists, the city center is very crowded! The weather is warm and dry on Friday evening and we decide to stay in Celle's centre, leaving the live band and allnighter to others. Also, I had an early start as I was invited to join a vespa ride as a thank you to Celle's mayor on Saturday morning at 08:30. The mayor had made a lot of things possible for WVD, that normally would not be not possible!






At 08:30 on Saturday we meet up with other selected scooterists to go for a guided vespa giro through the old town of Celle. I'm sure not everyone in Celle was happy about such an event taking place at that time in the morning - Celle was 725 years old, so 725 scooterists went through the town!! The tour ended outside Celle at a large parking place, where all the other scooterists join us for the weekend's main vespa ride starting at 10:00. The reported numbers of participants from local Police vary between 5000 and 7000; the line of scooters was an incredible 7 km long!!! The ride was organised perfectly with the support of local police, including a police helicopter.














In the afternoon, the famous Vespa stunt show by Robin Davy and his acrobatic cohorts was held in the city centre on their Vespas from the 1950s... 










The evening began with the Gala Dinner and normally this is something that does not work at big events like these, but even here there was nothing to complain about. 20 cooks and 70 waiters made the evening perfect; the food was delicious, warm and on time. Respect is well deserved for them, if you consider that about 2000 full entry tickets were sold! The evening offered a swing band and a really good AC/DC cover band, as well again a Northern Soul allnighter on the second floor. So there was music for everyone and suited most tastes.





Photo: Mike Power - HEMI to left of shot



A marriage proposal...



... she said "yes" !!







On Sunday morning I wake up very early, the weather forecast was not very good and I decide to head back home. After one hour really heavy rain starts and riding is no longer much fun. However, I return home safe to Münster without incident but wet to the bone!

It was a really great event and I can only say "vielen dank" (thanks a lot) to Vespa Club Celle and all their supporters, you did an excellent job! Looking forward to returning to the Heide Treffen in 2018!"

Words and photos - Hemi / Jörg Hemker



Thanks so much Hemi for this!! A vespamore t-shirt will soon be winging its way to Münster by way of thanks ; )

Next year World Vespa Days will be coming to Belfast, Northern Ireland, I may see you there.. check out the official site - here















1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1.7.17

    Great text, nice pictures. Till K from Germany

    ReplyDelete

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