Published on May 25th, 2012 | by Adrian Simpson0
Border Bogie Challenge: Tony Lockey interview
According to my wife, and countless other women, men are responsible for all the bad things in life like genocide, World Wars and road rage, and she may have a point. But then again boys have been also been behind some truly great bits as well; baked beans, 24 hour petrol stations and the bobble hat all undoubtedly owe their existence to men and that’s just the start of it.
The reason why grown men end up in such hot water is that they never really stop being young boys. Sometimes this manifests itself as a World War and at other times you end up with events like the silent, fumeless beauty of the Border Bogie Challenge.
We spoke to the brain behind the event Tony Lockey to discover just how this whole crazy event came about and where on Earth it’s all going.
Adrian Simpson: Whose idea was this event?
Tony Lockey: One sunny Sunday afternoon 4 men of a certain age sat at the bottom of the Dean Hill Road and supped on their beers. As if in unison all three men agreed that they used to have great fun building and riding on carts/bogies when they were small and what if…. We decided to give it one more go for old time’s sake.
AS: What had you been drinking?
TL: Most things, and in large quantities. It was a perfect Sunday afternoon.
AS: What do you say to people who think go-karts are for kids?
TL: To be honest, most of the doubters we get them on a Bogie (our word for a cart up here in Denholm) and shove them off the top of the hill. They either like it or don’t survive that’s evolution in its best format.
AS: Are there many girl racers?
TL: It’s growing as a sport amongst the fairer sex and God are they competitive. There are now some dozen women on our circuit with juniors between 9-16 and adults from 16+. They have a great time and there is huge rivalry and great banter.
AS: How big was the event when it started?
TL: In the beginning it was 4 guys on a Sunday afternoon. Now it is up to 35 Bogies (2,3,4 wheel gravity machines and sidecar versions) in the Adult Section, 15 Bogies in the Scottish Junior Cartie Section and around 1.5k spectators.
AS: Do you get any real go kart envy?
TL: To be honest we get a massive range of Bogie types from 3 bits of wood strapped to 4 wheels to £15k+ carbon fibre jobs which are fantastic and have all the lovely carbon fibre and paint works. But I am a man of simple means and I love my old bogie with its old Morris Minor steering wheel old Jag grill and bike wheels. I get a thrill every time I go down the hill and when we do the parade of the Bogies at the beginning with the bagpipers and the crowds cheering you feel like you’re at Monte Carlo in the 1930’s. Great Feeling I cannot recommend this event any more highly.
AS: Do the winners get the girls?
TL: Ha, cannot really answer that my wife is no doubt going to read this but there are Bogie Groupies and yes it can be quite a good way to meet new friends. Live fast and live fast is our moto. We have Will Stephenson the British Luge Border at the event and I have seen his Winnebago just dripping with scantily clad young followers so he is doing something right at the event. The rest of us slightly balding, overweight and wannabe Senna’s are happy for a pork pie and a pint with a smacker on the lips from the wives.
AS: What’s the best vehicle you’ve seen race?
TL: We have had some fantastic and hugely expensive Bogies like the VOSPA one that was full carbon fibre and worth about £35k (well it was until it hit some bales on its second run and took off a panel to make it worth about £20k) but I love the fun ones like the church on wheels complete with working bell tower, driver dressed as a monk and with dual drinks holder optics on the side and then there was the Nuns on the Run entry with 3 nuns driving a toilet on wheels with toilet paper floating behind that we had as a sponsors Bogie with real parts as supplied by Thomas Crapper & Company. I look forward to seeing the fun carts its like watching Whacky Races.
AS: How strict are the drinking laws?
TL: Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Yes they are aren’t they! They should do something about those. Oh, you mean at the race. Well of course we don’t let the Junior Bogie Racers drink but the Adult section usually start the night before in the village pubs and continue until they leave on the Sunday afternoon. I will never forget the church on wheels heading off down the hill because the driver had drunk too much and wanted to go to the loo, so without warning he struck off down the hill whilst the races where on and then meeting the local vicar walking up the course – I don’t know who was most shocked to see the other.