In 2002, Vandals, in line with previous years where they have visited unusual or newly available destinations visited the historic city of Tallin, Capital of Estonia, situated on the Baltic Sea.
This followed the remarkable story of John Slade a slightly mad Englishman living in Tallin who has fought to develop the game of rugby for the youth of Estonia as an alternative to falling prey to Estonias serious drug problems. His efforts can only be described as a complete success and he now runs the well organised, Tallinn 10's rugby tournament for the benefit of anyone who wants to compete.
Vandals flew to Tallin on Thursday evening with a 30+ touring party, the theme being 'Vicars and Tarts' - needless to say it was the tour virgins who would be wearing the dresses!
After an early morning tour meeting in which the virgins were auctioned off to supplement the beer kitty and medicine was administered by Dr Danny, it was into Tallin for a relaxing day sightseeing and drinking. Who would have thought the sight of 15 rugby players dressed as women, (in particular all 6'7" of 'Bigbloke') accompanied by their casually attired mates would have attracted so little attention in a bar? Particular mention also goes to Brian Cameron in a bumble bee yellow and black stripey lace number, high heels and a wig and make up who campaigned tirelessly all afternoon!
After a quiet cultural afternoon basking in glorious sunshine and an action packed evening, Saturday morning dawned with everyone really looking forward to a hard days rugby! With the entire touring party now in fancy dress, our arrival at the rugby stadium was a sight to behold. Who could forget the scene as His Holiness Pope Kevin I (Keaney) was carried aloft and into the stadium, on his throne by a throng of large men dressed in skimpy dresses and high heels accompanied by his various bishops and vicars!
Far too many games of 10's later and the hospitalisation of Paul King with a broken face, Vandals retired gracefully and settled down to the important business of drinking. More memorable shennanigins took place later in the town square as the Quinn brothers encouraged most of the touring party along with assorted 'civilian' tourists to join in a semi-naked Haka for the benefit of the local populace.
The following morning saw the arrival of Tour Court with fiendish cocktails being invented and downed in one, on the throw of between 2 and 5 dice (depending on the severity of the offence). There was also a virgin singing competition with the final between Huw Thomas and Bob Kennedy battling it out as they sang 'Dancing Queen' whilst racing around the bar on fire! (honestly!)
Then it was back to the rugby stadium for 'gentle' 15 a side rugby against the other touring sides in Tallin for the weekend. This was concluded with a superb rendition of a 'Lancaster Bomber' performed by Bigbloke with Rob Minskip being the unfortunate last engine on fire!
Later that night a huge meal at a Russian restaraunt accompanied by bottles of neat Vodka (mmmm just what was needed 4 days into a tour) was consumed and then another quiet cultural evening over a few beers.
Our final morning in Tallin found the touring party back once again in the town square mulling over the previous few days, buying 80% Vodka and sightseeing! P***k of the tour went to Brian Cameron who seemed to spend far too much of the weekend wearing his truly horrible dress - even when he didn't need to!