ORIGINS OF HELLS ANGELS WESSEX

THE HISTORY OF HELLS ANGELS WESSEX BEGAN IN JANUARY OF 1969, WITH THE FORMATION IN FARNBOROUGH HAMPSHIRE OF THE FREEWHEELERS NOMADS MOTORCYCLE CLUB.

THE NAME THE FREE WHEELERS WAS ADOPTED FROM THE TITLE OF THE SHORT BIOGRAPHY OF A CALIFORNIAN HELLS ANGEL, FREEWHEELING FRANK. NOMADS WERE USED TO SIGNIFY THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE LIFE STYLE OF THE BACK PATCH BIKE CLUB.

EASTER OF THAT YEAR WAS TO SEE US HAVING GROWN FROM THE ORIGNIAL TWO FOUNDER MEMBERS TO FIVE, RIDE OUT AND HEAD OFF TO SWANAGE IN DORSET FOR THE FIRST CLUB RUN.

A WILD EXTRAORDINARY AND FUN PACKED WEEKEND WAS TO FOLLOW AS BIKERS FROM ALL OVER THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND DESENDED UPON THE TOWN.MANY NEW BONDS WERE FORMED AND FRIENDSHIPS MADE. IT WAS THE START OF A RAPID EXPANSION IN NUMBERS FOR THE CLUB, WITH NEW MEMBERS COMING IN FROM AS FAR A FIELD AS SURREY, HAMPSHIRE, WILTSHIRE, SOMERSET, DORSET AND EVEN DEVON.

BECAUSE THIS CATCHMENT AREA COINCIDED ROUGHLY WITH THE ANCIENT REALM OF WESSEX THE NAME NOMADS WAS DROPPED AND WE BECAME FREEWHEELERS WESSEX.

AS TIME WENT BY THE CLUB POLICY OF CLOSING DOWN OTHER BACK PATCH CLUBS IN OUR “PERCEIVED” AREA AND ABSORBING THEIR MOST COMMITED MEMBERS INEVITABLY RESULTED IN VIOLENT CLASHES AND CONFRONTATIONS. WE WERE SOON TO GAIN A REPUTATION AND NOTARIETY FOR HIGH EXPECTATIONS AND SUDDEN AND DIRECT ACTION.

THE FREEWHEELERS ALSO MADE THE FIRST CONTACTS WITH THE “HELLS ANGELS AMALGAMATION” (THE AMALGAMATION CONSISTED OF UNNOFFICIAL, UNCHARTED HELLS ANGELS CLUBS WHO AT THAT TIME WERE IN DISPUTE WITH OFFICIAL, CHARTERED “HELLS ANGELS ENGLAND”). DURING ONE PARTICULAR SET-TOO WE FOUND OURSELVES STANDING SHOULDER TO SHOULDER WITH “HELLS ANGELS ESSEX” AND LATER AT THE 1970 SHEPTON MALLET ROCK FESTIVAL, AFTER FERRYING THE BAND FAIRPORT CONVENTION IN THROUGH THE GRIDLOCKED TRAFFIC ON OUR BIKES AND SUBSEQUENTLY BEING INVITED TO STAY BACKSTAGE, WE MET “HELLS ANGELS WEST COAST” FOR THE FIRST TIME.

LATER STILL AT THE INFAMOUS AND BADLY ORGANISED 1971 WEEKLY ROCK FESTIVAL WE ARRIVED AND WERE CAUGHT UP ALMOST IMMEDIATELY IN THE NOTORIOUS BATTLE THERE BETWEEN VARIOUS BIKE CLUBS/GANGS TRYING TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE SHOW, THUGS HIRED BY SOME OF THE CATERERS AND THE POLICE. ONCE AGAIN WE FOUND OURSELVES STANDING ALONGSIDE THE “AMALGAMATION HELLS ANGELS” WHO WERE THERE.

WE WERE TO RIDE OUT FREQUENTLY OVER THE FOLLOWING YEARS WITH THE “AMALGAMATION” EVENTUALLY AND INEVITABLY JOINING, BECOMING “HELLS ANGELS WESSEX” IN 1974.

THE PASSING YEARS SAW LOSS OF MANY MEMBERS, SOME BECAUSE OF THE IMCREASING HEAVIER COMMITMENT EXPECTED, SOME GOING TO JAIL FOR LONG PERIODS AS A RESULT OF VARIOUS INCIDENTS WE WERE INVOLVED IN, SOME DYING IN MOTORCYCLE OR OTHER ACCIDENTS.

THE EVOLUTIONARY PROCESS HOWEVER, STREGTHENED US AND RE-INFORCED THE CLUB FUNDAMETAL PRINCIPLES OF DETERMINATION, TOUGHNESS, MUTUAL RESPECT, HONOUR AND HONESTY. WE BECAME A TIGHTER KNIT AND DISCIPLINED GROUP AND WHEN THE “AMALGAMATION” DECIDED TO MOVE FORWARD AND BECOME PART OF A RECONISED AND CHARTERED “HELLS ANGELS ENGLAND” WE WERE MORE THAN READY.

THE CHARTER FOR THE HELLS ANGELS WESSEX ENGLAND MOTORCYCLE CLUBWAS OFFERED ON THE 29/01/1977. WE TOOK OUR PLACE ON THAT DAY AS PART OF THE LEGITIMATE “HELLS ANGELS WORLD”