The roaring sound of hundreds of Harley-Davidsons echoed through Baildon for the 44th year over the Bank Holiday. 

Bikers revved their engines as crowds lined the streets for an epic ride-out on Sunday, August 27.

From Harley Davidson’s famous ‘road kings’ to sportsers, the flow of iconic motorcycles left the pavements shaking.

The saying, ‘A car moves the body, a motorbike moves the soul’ was uttered by one biker in the crowd.

The Shipley Harley Rally coincides with a weekend of live music, trade stands, and bank holiday fun in Baildon’s pubs and rugby club.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Chester and Brookes - one of many families who attended Shipley Harley Rally 2023The Chester and Brookes - one of many families who attended Shipley Harley Rally 2023 (Image: Newsquest)

It is believed to be the UK’s largest Harley-Davidson rally.

Neil Walmsley, head road captain and safety officer for the Aire Valley HOG group, said there’s no event quite like Baildon.

Neil’s love affair with motorbikes began in 1969. But it was owning a Harley 40 years later that unlocked a whole new world.

“This is the only motorcycle brand and therefore the only family that comes from the motorcycle brand,” he said. 

“You won’t see Triumphs or BMWs doing anything like this. 

“It’s this wonderful feeling of brotherhood and camaraderie.

“Baildon’s special - it’s special because Baildon’s special.”

Describing the feeling of riding a Harley-Davidson, he said: “It’s freedom.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Jonny Conroy and daughter Celia on his Harley Davidson motorbikeJonny Conroy and daughter Celia on his Harley Davidson motorbike (Image: Newsquest)

The Harley Davidson rally has always been part of family life for Jonny Conroy, born and bred in Baildon. 

Jonny and his partner Sophie are now nurturing their love of motorbikes in daughter Celia.

“It’s the atmosphere, it’s the feeling,” Jonny, who has owned a Harley for eight years, said.

“It brings lots of money to the community. Everybody’s really smiley. 

“This is what I live for every August.

“It’s all about cruising and having an adventure.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Jonny, Sophie and Celia ConroyJonny, Sophie and Celia Conroy (Image: Newsquest)

Describing how his passion has already left an imprint on his daughter’s soul, he said: “I want her to follow my upbringing. I’d love to go camping with her, just put her on the back when it’s fine to put her on there.

“She goes to nursery, on Friday all the bikes were coming and she said, ‘Daddy, motorbike’.

“The noise is instilled in her.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Sisters Davina and Julia CockshottSisters Davina and Julia Cockshott (Image: Newsquest)

It was the first time that sisters Davina and Julia Cockshott rode their glistening red Harley in the event.

“Even when I was younger I fancied a Harley Davidson,” said Davina, a member of the Aire Valley Harley Owners Group [HOG].

“We’ve had this 15 months.

“I just wanted a bike, we were shopping around, saw this and fell in love.”

Describing the atmosphere, Julia said: “It’s brilliant, so inclusive and friendly, nice, chill and happy.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Linda Gordon, picturedLinda Gordon, pictured (Image: Newsquest)

Linda Gordon, who lives in Shelf, said: “It’s just the atmosphere. Everybody looks forward to it. It’s just a right good weekend. 

“When you’ve got everybody lining the side it tears me up - it’s right emotional.

“All these other bikes don’t mean anything to me. It’s a big machine, they stand out, and the noise. I like a shiny bike. It just stands out more than any other bike.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Ex soldier Neil Thornton and his 13-year-old son JakeEx soldier Neil Thornton and his 13-year-old son Jake (Image: Newsquest)

Ex soldier Neil Thornton and his 13-year-old son Jake took part on their BMW bike. 

Neil, who served for 22 years, takes his bike - adorned with a sticker for The Royal Army Service Corps - on memorial rides across the UK.

Baildon was the next stop for the Thackley veteran, who sports a poppy pin on his leather jacket.

He said: “It’s my de-stressor - everything that goes on around you, you forget that and enjoy your ride.

“A lot of soldiers seem to ride motorbikes.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Mark and Katie with their Volkswagen Trike, named JollopsyMark and Katie with their Volkswagen Trike, named Jollopsy (Image: Newsquest)

Pete Hallam, who has lived in Baildon since he was a young boy, has been to every rally since it began. 

“Harley Davidsons were always something I wanted when I was a kid,” he said.

“I was born in Baildon so we were here. I haven’t missed one. 

“You just get associated with everybody and you go on rallies all over. It’s like a big family. 

Describing his love for Harleys, he said: “They’re all different, a sports bike they’re all the same. These are to your own tastes and means and style.

“It just gives you more smiles per mile.”