Vespa World Days Belfast
June 14th – 17th 2018

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The team

Thumbnail picture of Mark Cooke

Mark Cooke

Event Manager

Born in Belfast reared in Carrickfergus, now living in Ballyclare!

When did the Vespa World Days 2018 journey start for you?

"It all started for me back in June 2012, although I've had an interest in Vespa from the age of 12, VWD in London for me was the start of my European travels on a Vespa each year.

Then I thought... if London can do it, so can Belfast and the plan started to hatch. After going to Belgium in 2013 I was 100% sure Belfast could do it. On the way home from Belgium with a little thinking time I had the plan for Belfast put together."

What is your favourite thing about Belfast?

"The Belfast people have such a sense of humour to out do any other City, we enjoy the friendly people and it's such a lively inspiring City"

What is your Favourite thing about VWD?

"Vespa World Days is such a unique event that travels the world each year, it's now our time for Belfast to host this event.

Each year travelling to the VWD event is like travelling to meet family each year, there's always the warmest welcome whenever we meet again."

What are you most excited about for VWD2018?

"I'm excited to welcome our friends from around the world to Belfast, I believe in Belfast for more than just a small City but a vibrant City for everyone to enjoy, no matter what part of the world you travel from"

Thumbnail picture of Maggie Surgenor-Cooke

Maggie Surgenor-Cooke

Wife of Director, Mark Cooke / Event Co-ordinator

Where you are from?

Born and bred in Ballyclare... still my home town to this day!

What is your favourite thing about Belfast?

"For me, the best thing is when Mark and I go into the city centre, walk through the streets of Belfast up to City Hall and have a picnic on the lawn. I love to watch the world and his wife pass us by."

When did you get your first vespa? 2016?

"I am the accidental scooterist!! In recent years I have been inspired by the women around me who ride Vespas so I decided to take the plunge and join them. This made Mark smile from ear to ear as he has always encouraged me get out there on my own Vepsa."

What is your Favourite thing about Vespa World Days?

"The people!! It doesn't matter where you work, what kind of house you live in or what you wear!! The Vespa family is a family!!"

What are you most excited for at Vespa World Days 2018?

"I am excited to see Mark's dream come true! When he came home from Belgium in 2013, excited from just attending Vespa World Days and said to me "we could bring Vespa World Days to Belfast". My response was "yeah, yeah uh huh" and then... he did!!! Note to self... don't say yeah when you didn't expect him to do it in the first place and never underestimate your husband :)"

Thumbnail picture of Owen Nicholson

Owen Nicholson

Ulster Vespa Club President / Entertainment co-ord

Born and grew up in South Belfast, lived in Newtownabbey and now live in Ballyclare.

what is your favourite thing about Belfast?

"The old town and arcades that you have to seek out. Also the people who make Belfast what it is!"

When did you get your first vespa?

"In my teenage years me and my mate (Richard) stared through the local Vepsa dealer's shop imagining / hoping to own a Vespa. In approx. 1983 / 1984 (too long ago!) I started with a Vespa V100. Back then driving my small frame to school was the "bees knees" and I have never looked back!! I have continued to drive a Vespa since those early days and will continue to do so!!"

What is your Favourite thing about Vespa World Days?

"Meeting old and new friends (and swapping banners)"

What are you most excited for at Vespa World Days 2018?

"Meeting up with all our international friends again!!"

Thumbnail picture of William Hughes

William Hughes

Rideouts and cavalcade manager

From Glasgow

What is your favourite thing about Belfast?

"I have lived in Belfast for over 40 years and no mater where in Belfast you go you'll never meet a friendlier bunch of people."

What is your favourite thing about VWD?

"Over the years I've meet a lot of what I now call good friends from around the world and it's allways great to catch up for a chat."

What are you most excited about for Vespa World Days 2018?

"This will be my 6th VWD and people have always asked why I'm prepared to travel half way round the world on a vespa well now you can see it first hand and hopefully enjoy it as much as I do."

Thumbnail picture of Beth Kennedy

Beth Kennedy

PA and Event Co-ordinator

Born and grew up in North Belfast now live in Ballyclare

What is your favourite thing about Belfast?

"The people!! Everyone is friendly, wants to have a chat and have some craic (a laugh)."

When did you get your first Vespa?

"2008 - Owen bought me a Vepsa which I didn't know about. He arrived home with it on a Friday night, had me driving round a car park on the Saturday and Sunday. The following Friday we were on a boat to England to attend a Vespa rally in Southport for the weekend. Frying pan into the fire :) but one of the best Vespa rallies I have ever been too!!! Taught me a lot too :) "

What is your Favourite thing about Vespa World Days?

"I really enjoy meeting up with all the friends that we have within the VCB and throughout Europe. During the year we can only speak via social media and it is so wonderful to meet up properly to catch up ... also all the singing ... like we did in the pub at VWD 2012 London lock in :)"

What are you most excited for at Vespa World Days 2018?

"To see everyone again, meet new friends, catch up with old friends, welcome everyone to our wee country and show off our amazing city of Belfast. Above all I really want to have a brilliant time and ensure that everyone else does too!!"

Thumbnail picture of Richard Darrah

Richard Darrah

Vespa Museum Display

From Lisburn.

What is your favourite thing about Belfast?

"The people. Despite our past we have some of the friendliest folk you could ever wish to meet."

When did you get your first Vespa?

"July 1984"

What is your Favourite thing about Vespa World Days?

"The journey…. and the great people you meet when you arrive."

What are you most excited for at Vespa World Days 2018?

"To let our visitors see that we have a city to be proud of."

Thumbnail picture of Vicky Rocks

Vicky Rocks

Campsite organiser, volunteer/trader support

Where you are from?

England, lived in Belfast 17 years

What is your favourite thing about Belfast?

The diversity of the city!

When did you get your first Vespa?

When I was 17, I got a Vespa 90 (a long time ago).

What is your Favourite thing about Vespa World Days?

The coming together of people who enjoy and love Vespas.

What are you most excited for at Vespa World Days 2018?

To meet new friends, and see all the scooters riding around our city

Thumbnail picture of Luke Hope

Luke Hope

Gala Dinner Supervisor

From Born in Belfast live in Newtownabbey

What is your favourite thing about Belfast?

"My favourite thing about Belfast as i city is the atmosphere and the craic! As they say the craic in Befast is 90!!"

When did you get your first vespa?

"I got my fist Vespa px125 back when i was 17, 4 and a half years ago!"

What is your Favourite thing about Vespa World Days?

"The best thing about Vespa World Days is being at an event so big and being surrounded by like minded people!"

What are you most excited for at Vespa World Days 2018?

"Seeing thousands of scooters around my home city of Belfast!"