This was to be my third trip to the NEC classic car show. But this time it was to be a bit different. Christina had had enough sitting in drafty exhibition halls for three days, so I called on my second choice Chris. Unfortunately he had to drop out at the last minute, which meant, I was driving up on my lonesome. This would be my first time driving the combo on my own.
Following the weather forecast and with rain due on Thursday I decided to drive up Wednesday afternoon. Leaving just after lunch with only the satnav for company (although with only three roads it was an easy drive and a very quite copilot). I arrived at the campsite after dark and by the time I’d had my curry a few other RCCers had turned up. So my beer and I ended up in the warmth of Chris and Cams camper. This was followed by a rather cold night reminding me why caravanning was best kept to the warmer seasons.
Thursday morning saw us convoying to the NEC and then setting up our “Carry On Camping” stand. Dan, my replacement room mate, and I couldn’t get into our room until after 6.30 so we followed the rest back to the campsite (thankfully Dan had a tow truck to commute with). From there we went to a local pub for what turned out to be a very nice meal accompanied by plenty of laughs. We didn’t get back to our AirBnB until around ten. I’m not sure our host was that happy having a flatbed truck parked outside his house but he took it well.
Friday was the expensive day for those paying to get in which meant the crowds weren’t too bad. In the afternoon, being shortlisted for a prize, we got an invite to the awards ceremony. The nomination was for Best Medium Stand which unfortunately we didn’t get. But, we did get a very nice sit down curry with free drinks. Unfortunately Dan and I completely forgot where we had parked the truck which delayed our departure by 30 minutes.
The first thing we did on Saturday was to go and check on the winning stand. Which obviously wasn’t anywhere as good as the RCC one. Hall 5, which we were in, was much busier than hall 8 that we had been in last year. The evening was spent at TGIFridays. After which Dan and I again forgot where we had parked that morning and had to spend a good 30 minutes wandering around in the pouring rain before we tracked the truck down.
We managed to get to the hall early on Sunday allowing me to walk around the halls taking photos and buying bits before the crowds arrived. The end of the day took a long time coming. With rain forecast on the Monday I decided to drive home on the Sunday evening. Which, as it turned out, was a good choice. Even though it was dark it was a really enjoyable four hour drive. And then it was over, I had done it. My first outing with the combo on my own.
While it was a very long weekend having the Carry On Camping theme seemed to make everybody smile as they came onto the stand. It made talking and joking a lot easier when people were smiling, much easier than when they are straight faced. A great weekend.
Another local show. One that we had booked into a few months ago. Although the weather didn’t look too good for the day, much to our surprise there was quite a selection of classics in Dereham station car park. After parking up, wandering around the cars and chatting to a Vitesse owner who remarked on our lack of a caravan we headed for the trains. The classic car day was part of their diesel day.
After a forty minute ride we ended up at Wymondham and had a wander around the town. Getting the return train back by lunchtime. Again pleasantly surprised by the number of classics still parked up. By the time we had had a bite to eat and a walk down to the DIY store for a few bits the car park had started to empty. Making it easier to leave without being noticed. It made a good relaxing day. We were lucky the weather held too. Only raining when we were on the train.
A last minute decision to go on what could be our last outing in the caravan this year. Although it is a bit like mowing the lawn for the last time. You don’t know it’s the last mow until a month has gone by without the grass being cut.
This weekend away was two-fold. Firstly to go to a car show that fellow TSSC member Will was organising at his local village hall. Secondly, to meet up with some friends who were yachting on the Broads.
With the weather looking warm and sunny and realising that if we stayed at home we probably wouldn’t stop we were looking forward to a relaxing weekend. With only an hours drive it was easy to get to the campsite by lunchtime. Lunch was followed by a short walk around what turned out to be a lovely village. The evening saw us taking a short drive to meet up with Karen and Andy and watch them wrestle with their yacht followed by a meal in The Dog.
On Saturday we took a longer walk including a board walk to the edge of Barton Broad. Followed a a quick pint in the local pub.
Sunday was show day and we were one of the first to turn up to get the combo parked up while there was still room. We weren’t too sure what to expect but there there turned out to be around 40 vehicles on show. A very eclectic mix from a vintage Rolls Royce and Mercedes Benz
300 SL to a host of MGs and another Herald.
The journey home was made with the roof down. Which probably should have been up. But we didn’t get too wet.
A last minute decision to go to the RCC rally AGM. Glorious weather on the Thursday saw us driving nearly all the way with the roof down. Havinv to put it up 10 minutes before arriving when the rain came.
Being the third time we had been to the site, we managed to find it straight away, which is quite rare for us.
Like most of the rallies we have been on this year it was very windy.
Friday saw Paul driving off with Chris and Cam in their Rolls Royce to have a look at their barns of caravans and bits. They have both now got quite an amazing collection.
Friday night was cocktail night with cocktails from the 50’s to the 80’s. I have a feeling they were a tad more potent than the ones you would normally buy from cocktail bar. Some of us tried to get through whole selection of course…
On Saturday there was the table top sale and we came away with a few caravan sales brochures for our train of caravans (not sure what the collective is for a group of caravans?)
The evening was spent with one of Camerons light hearted and fun quizzes. Obviously we were out of the running for a prize but we didn’t come too near the bottom either.
Sunday morning was set aside for the AGM which we followed by an enormous roast dinner at the on-site cafe. Thinking the drive would be easier on the Sunday afternoon as opposed to the Monday morning we upped legs and set off for home.
The second of our East Anglia rally’s. This time in Suffolk at Stonham Barns. We had invited Lexie, Pauls niece, to come along with us. She stayed over on the Wednesday night for the getaway on the Thursday. A day earlier than planned but we had two others that had booked in and wanted to arrive in the Thursday. With the car and ‘van newly washed we headed off. A nice easy drive found us at Stonham Barns within 1 1/2 hours chatting to the organisers about the area we were allowed. Which turned out to be smaller than we thought. It was just as well we had a few drop out.
We soon had the caravan and our retro “camp HQ” tent set up. Ann and John were the first to arrive. Followed by Chris and Cam at 4 in the morning.
Friday saw us moving our caravan to give us more room before the rest started to set up. A bit of a pain but worth it. It’s difficult to judge the space needed for caravans when your the first.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing. Although we did spend some time walking around the complex making a treasure hunt for Saturday.
Friday night was ‘meet and greet’ with the first of our quizzes – Suffolk translation. Followed by a fairly early night. On Saturday we had the treasure hunt, which some took more seriously than others (must make it harder next time), ‘Chuck the Log’ game came out and replaced the sports day we had planned. The evening saw us laying the tables in a line for the social group meal. After which it was time for the “Feely Bag” quiz which again, turned out to be far too easy. I won’t mention the game of hide and seek Paul partaked in with Lexie and Violet, Ann’s granddaughter. But it involved the security guard asking Paul what he was doing sneaking around in the dark at one point. Sunday, saw us at the bootsale and was, of course, car show day. This we became a part of. In fact it wasn’t long before we realised why we had been given such a small space. The field became packed with over 1100 cars. The caravans, along with the Carry on Camping sign and our toilet tent went down well and, I think, gave a bit of variety to the show. And then, all of a sudden, it was just three caravans left. We took the Camp HQ down while it was dry and spent the evening in Chris and Cams ‘van. Monday saw the last of us leaving what had been a very enjoyable if windy weekend.
We had every intention of bringing the Triumph 2500 with the Windrush caravan along to this one. But time conspired against us. Not only was the caravan not finished but the refurb had hardly started.
So, for the third year in a row we took the Herald and Viking combo. This is always a good weekend with just the right amount of joviality for us. The usual run out around Rutland on the Saturday followed by a BBQ. Sunday saw the coach trip to Oakham for the treasure hunt. Another good weekend with great weather.
After a few cancellations (probably due to the weather
forecast?) this ended up as a small rally of just 3 units in an absolutely
massive rally field! Rufus couldn’t believe the amount of space he had to chase
rabbits, this and the fact that the field was gated made it a perfect location
for dogs. Whilst Rufus kept himself occupied, the humans set to work on the
Pimms – a bit of an early start but it’s always Pimms o’clock somewhere!
With the forecast rain in mind we had taken our retro tent
to act as a ‘club house’, so after a game of Molkky (which didn’t get at all
competitive!) we all gathered for a drink and a natter.
As predicted, Saturday saw rain almost all day, but it
didn’t really affect what everyone did, and we managed a few outings between
showers. We gathered together for a joint BBQ in the evening, along with the
obligatory quiz (which involved trying to interpret ‘Essex-speak’) and a few
There was no set time to be off the site on Sunday so John,
and Lynnsey, Mark and Harry set off after an extended coffee morning, while we
opted to stay another night before going on to another site further up the
This is a lovely site, with very friendly, welcoming owners. Hopefully one to be returned to, with perhaps a few more attendees next time.
Our next port of call was Mersea Island. Somewhere that we’ve both wanted to go to for a while. There’s something about crossing over a causway to get to an island. It was quite a trip down memory lane for both of us. Christina with her boys and Paul was he was a boy. Very expensive campsites but another one we can tick off.