MORE than 700 motorcyclists took to Hampshire’s roads to roar a deafening protest against crash helmet laws.

New laws compelled riders to wear helmets, so on March 29, 1980, they demonstrated the best way they knew how – with the sound of engines revving and horns blaring.

As the quarter-of-a-mile convoy left the car park near Southampton’s central swimming baths, police took the names and addresses of about ten bikers who were not wearing helmets.

“The authorities are telling us how to dress,” said a spokesman of the Motorcycle Action Group who arranged the demonstration.

“We are not against crash helmets themselves. We are against the compulsion to wear them – it’s all a matter of freedom of choice.”

Escorted by 14 police motorcyclists and a patrol care, the noisy protest drove through Southampton’s city centre, Bitterne, and along the A27 to Fareham and Portsmouth.