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In 1993 I set out out with members of Sunderland SPAM and Sunderland MAG to attend a Bike Rally in my home town of Durham. The group were volunteering as marshals at this one field, one marquee event. They had a high tech announcement system consisting of George and megaphone at the top of a tower scaffold. There was working, drinking, dancing, music and a great bunch of people.

I think over the years I have done pretty much most jobs including working on every gate, front stage, bike show, traffic control, pushing bikes onto and off muddy fields, litter picking in the pouring rain (before the days of the lovely Coopers came along),putting up and taking down signs/gates/fences/track mats/tables &chairs.

I've worked in the pouring rain, the howling wind and glorious sunshine (Sometimes all in the same weekend). I have been there as a shoulder to cry on, to pick up the drunk, injured and worn out as well as share in the joy of the many new couples who met at the event, married at the event and even conceived at the event (Note: I wasn't actually there at the conceptions)

In 2016 Jim (The great and mighty Director of Stormin' the Castle) approached me to ask if I would consider joining the committee and take on Marshal Control. Well of course I said yes!

Am not gonna lie, being on the committee takes a lot of year round commitment which I have to fit in around a full time job but I love the event, I love the people and I have a fantastic variety of high viz in my wardrobe. All of the committee and marshals are volunteers who do the the work for free because they want to see the Rally succeed and see the punters have a great time.

It's a family affair. My husband, son and brother have all joined me in marshalling over the years but it goes much further than that. I have a Stormin' family made up of all the people I have met along the way.

We have marshals who dip in and out over the years, those who come back every year and we are always on the lookout for new marshals to come and join us.Yes there is work to be done but you also get to enjoy the event and time to mix with friends, party to the bands and enjoy a beer or ten after your shift.

Don't just take it from me though... Here are some of the reasons our Marshals do what they do.
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Helen : This will be our 5th year as marshals, 6th as punters. We love it, it’s a massive shot of good feels, cracking music, family, bloody good laughs and milling around in fields full of like minded people. Long days, long nights, plenty JD to help me along, but when the masses arrive and you see everybody enjoying themselves, knowing you’ve contributed to it - it’s just like being on 2 wheels - there’s no feeling like it xxx
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Kicky : A friend said it was a great rally, so I planned to attend the following year. Unfortunately, I was involved in a nasty bike accident and spent 3 months in hospital and another 10 months trying to walk again. I used Stormin as my incentive. So, in 1998 I finally ride from Cornwall to County Durham to marshal at Stormin'. Everyone was lovely, found a job for an idiot on 2 crutches, and I have been a marshal every year since. I would not miss it for the world. All the other marshals are like my extended family and make the event what it is. 21 years and counting.

Alan : Some friends used to Marshall and kept going on about it came in 96 as a Marshall on first ever rally as everyone I knew Marshalled. This year will be 19th...  
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Steven : I came to the dark side to learn. I`d been to Stormin` a number of times and first applied to marshall in 2005. Working Stormin` gave me a great insight, experience and the confidence to put on events elsewhere. As a caterer my working life is spent looking after people and inputting the means for others to do the same. Stormin` has given me fourteen years worth of memories, a wife and an extended family across the country. Would not of swapped all that for anything.  
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Erin : I was invited by my boyfriend at the time. In all seriousness, Stormin' legitimately helps me with my anxiety. It gives me a massive boost of confidence and now I have a big rally family I look forward to seeing every year.
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Phill : If I don't come and marshal I fear the elves will come and steal my toes.  
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Robin : You forced me to attend in 1995 to have a good time. I did. now I can't escape.  
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Sharon : I was at a loose end, had a week off work coming up, no money for a holiday. I was on the Farmyard site on Facebook when I saw a post from Jen asking for Marshalls. I thought why not give it a go? So I found myself driving 200 miles up to Witton Castle, I didn't know a soul and was feeling a bit apprehensive. But I can honestly say it was the best decision I've ever made. I was made to feel so welcome and have made friends for life! It is the highlight of my rally calendar! It is hard work and long days but on the plus side you are fed well, great camping facilities and you never stop laughing! Don't think it's just a free rally...you do work hard And the variety of jobs you get to do is so varied but it doesn't feel like work because you're meeting new people, making new friends and having a good craic whilst you're doing it!And the Marshalls after party is hilarious.I've been twice now and I have my time off booked to go again this year. I can't wait to meet.up with my Stormin family again in 2019...Bring it on!
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Greg Phillipson : My first experience of Stomin’ was as a punter back in ’02, I know by most standards that was just yesterday, but for me that was back when I was 15. Stormin’ sold me the life style that first year and since ’03 I have been riding bikes and Marshalling Stormin’, to say it changed my life would be a bit much however it defiantly made me who I am today. Back in ’03 I came along with Durham MAG and have Marshalled every year since, the people that Marshall are the friends I socialise with through out the year so when we come together once a year it like a family gathering.

I joined the committee in 2012 and although it is hard work and you do get a bit of stick about being a “Committee Member” I haven’t look back. Once the site starts to fill up and general tone has been set for the weekend, there is nothing better than going for a bimble and meeting like minded people with the knowledge you extended family are keeping an eye on things.

Thank you to everyone who helps and most of all thank you for making the weekend the best in my calendar.

Why I volunteer to marshal — that is an easy one for me. I have been riding bikes for 34years and during that time I have been to many many rallies. At one rally their was a back log at a gate and I wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody, got of my bike and went and helped.

Since then I have been a volunteer marshal, I have been coming to Stormin’ for many years and volunteering for some ten years or so. Since volunteering I have seen a very different rally world, a lot of effort is put in behind the scenes that we don’t normally see, organizing the event that we love to attend year after year. Every year there is always a big smile or hug awaiting you when you walk on site and you meet up with friends you haven’t seen for a year.
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John : Marshalling is a way of enjoying the rally, from the inside, and you get so many great experiences that will stick with you for the rest of your life. Everyone is always very appreciative of all our efforts. 

Would you like a whole new family that you can choose rather than be born into?
Would you like to meet the best group of people on this side of the known universe?
If the answer to any of these is ‘yes’ then you should be a marshal at Stormin’
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Seven years ago I turned up at Stormin’ to reunite with old friends and meet new ones; I spent a happy weekend attaching wristbands to lovely people on bikes, rolling programmes up in bin liners and general dogs-bodying. I had such a marvellous time I have been back every opportunity and have enjoyed every minute of it since, even the challenging muddy years have been made fun by the people around you.

There are loads of things that need doing so there is always something that everyone can get involved in. It’s a work hard play hard kind of weekend, rounded off with the phenomenon that is the “Marshal’s Party”.

So, if you have had any, even vague, thoughts about becoming a marshal and having the best time of your life then hesitate for not a second longer and DO IT! Make this year the year you become a Stormin’ marshal. : Charlotte Halstead

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How do I sign up I hear you ask?????

Easy... Go on the Stormin' the Castle Website storminthecastle.co.uk and have look in our Marshal section to see the terms and conditions and fill in the online application form.

If you want to hear more about Marshalling come ask for me at Marshal Control during the event or drop me an email via the website. : Jen

 

y appreciative of all our efforts. : John

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