A perfect Northern Chapter Meet in Silverdale, June 14
We’d booked the mid-summer weekend for the 2014 Brazilian Bay Northern Chapter Meet, almost 12 months ago, in an attempt to find some sunshine after 2 years of mixed weather in Muker and Appletreewick.
It was the first Northern Meet held outside Yorkshire and I was a bit nervous about what the weather would hold in Lancashire but in the end we were blessed with bright sunshine and decent temperatures all weekend.
Alison and I arrived about 10.45, expecting to be the first ones there, only to find that we’d been beaten to it by three other Forum members. Claire, Darren and Charlotte (DazDub) and Jill and Steve had travelled up the night before with Geoff and Dave (Dalesman) driving over on Friday morning. The site warden wouldn’t let them into the rally field until we arrived which was a bit odd but I think they weren’t sure which field we’d choose. We weren’t expecting any electrical hook ups when we booked but the site had fitted some new equipment and we’re able to stretch leads across a wall into the field which was very handy.
Others gradually arrived during the afternoon and we set off for a walk about 2.30, up past the Wolf House Gallery and down to Jenny Brown’s Point, then back via Jack Scout to the Cafe for cake and coffee. Perfect.
We’d taken the large office BBQ with us so that we could all eat together and I’m really pleased we did as it was so much easier and inclusive than walking down the pub for food. There was even a glorious sunset over Morecambe Bay to finish the evening off. I went to sleep with a big grin on my face after a top day.
Saturday morning was a lazy morning, chilling and chatting before we set off to walk to Arnside across The Knott. Again, I was worried that 3.5 miles would be too far, particularly as there were a few hills involved but I should have known that the BraziBay team are made of strong stuff and everyone seemed to enjoy the trip.
There was a small Vintage Festival in Arnside which was something extra to occupy us and with the sun shining, a pint in the Victory and fish and chips, the venue couldn’t have been better. Some of the crew got the train back to Silverdale but a few of us walked back, again rewarded with fantastic views across the Bay to our campsite.
We had another BBQ on Saturday night and a few beers plus the obligatory Uncle Joe’s vodka finished the day off nicely, thank you, as did music from a young man called Rylan. Watch out for his name, I suspect he’ll be a star one day.
On Sunday we packed up and drove in convoy to Morecambe along the A6, receiving smiles and waves as we went. Cruising in the vans is great fun and we caused quite a stir as we drove along the Promenade to park near the Midland hotel. Actually, parking wasn’t easy and a couple of the members decided not to stay. Liz and Tony had their trailer carrying their scooter so parking was almost impossible.
The most striking feature of the population of Morecambe on the Sunday was the number who used mobility scooters. I’ve never seen so many in one place before.
There was a kite festival on in town which provided a colourful backdrop to the Midland Hotel where we had tea and biscuits. The hotel was a gem in its day and remains spectacular in parts although the rest of Morecambe doesn’t do it justice. It’s worth a visit for the toilets alone – to say they’re plush is an understatement.
People gradually started to leave to make there way home although a few of us stayed long enough to walk along the pier. It’s not Brighton but still worth doing to see the Lake District across the Bay.
All in all, we had a great weekend and hopefully we’ve introduced a few people to an area which they probably wouldn’t have visited otherwise. The plan is to have the Northern Meet in Scotland next year – here’s hoping the weather is as kind to us again.
Things we’ve learned about some of our Kombi friends:
- One of them, who’d prefer to remain anonymous, so let’s just call him Henderson, relishes committing the perfect crime – murder seemed to be involved but we thought it best not to pry too closely
- Tony seemed too interested in Motor Boating
- Not only is Penny a star baker, she’s doubles as a crochet instructor…
- …Jill will drive 280 miles to learn how to crotchet (she’s met the Queen, you know)
- James is a closet blues man
- Steve/Simon is very particular about what he wears on his legs; his choice dependent on the terrain/vegetation he’s likely to encounter
- Marcus can’t get enough Kombis
- Alan likes beef dripping (apparently)
- We suspect that Jill and Alan are party animals – we’re all looking forward to meeting them again and we’ll bring more hoola hoops
- Daz is much better at pouring the UJ vodka than me
- Tony and Liz are a couple of Mods
- Dave is the maker/bearer of top gifts
- Boris really enjoyed Geoff’s sausage
- If you need a midget throwing, then Steve’s your man
- Sarah almost needed James’ professional services when she broke the ‘no fires’ rule
- Claire had the only wearable table cloth on the entire site
- They’re all great fun and we’re looking forward to seeing them again soon
Many thanks to those who’ve contributed such fantastic photos for my Blog. There’s a full Album of pics here (including many great ones from our Campervan friends): Flickr