Wet, Wet, Wet in Bakewell
Wet, Wet, Wet in Bakewell…
…not the Marti Pellow fronted band of course, simply a description of the weather for this year’s Northern Chapter Meet.
We arrived at the Greenhills Site just outside Bakewell in the early afternoon, before the rain had started, but it didn’t take long for it to begin falling. It didn’t dampen our spirits though and we still managed to have a barbeque on Friday night.
Other vans gradually arrived on Friday and Saturday morning – giving us the biggest gathering of Brazilian Bays ever seen in the North of England. The Meet was as far south as it’s ever been (in Derbyshire) so a number of our Southern-based Forum friends were able to join us, boosting numbers considerably.
We had two event shelters, so everyone could get together in the evenings, which was great. Ian played his guitar, we sang a few songs and drank a few drinks – Espresso Vodka anyone?
Several of the southern members are cycling from London to Brighton next weekend, for our chosen charity, Cancer Research, so on Saturday morning they headed out on their bikes to Monsal Head to maintain their training. The rest of us walked down into Bakewell to sample tarts and puddings (or in our case, fish and chips).
Bakewell is a busy town on Saturday with locals and visitors pottering around the various shops and watching the almost tame trout in the river Wye. Some of the fish are huge and they’re used to being fed from the bridge close to the town centre.
We met Gill and Alan in town. They’d organised this year’s event and a splendid job they’d done too. The site was ideal – large but with each camping area separate from the static caravans. It was shame that we couldn’t all be together in one field but no one anticipated that we’d have almost 25 vans attending.
We walked back along the river to Ashford in the Water and grabbed a quick beer in the Ashford Arms. The barmaid was none too friendly – they stop serving at lunchtime at 3pm and we arrived at 2.50. I’m amazed that a pub in such a touristy area can close at lunchtime but, hey, they’re their rules, I guess. There was even a sign in the beer garden saying no dogs (despite the presence of a dog bowl of water) but they granted us permission for Boris to be there. Just as well really, because Ian and Margaret arrived shortly after with their dog, too!
|Spot the llama|
Of course, as soon as we sat down, the heavens opened again – it’s only rain so no big deal.
We walked back to the site but it wasn’t long before really heavy rain set in and most of us headed to our vans to chill for a while. We went back to join everyone at the shelters about 7.45, but the rain really started to belt down and it was obvious that we wouldn’t be able to use the BBQ.
It was more drinking and singing then, plus some top ukelele playing from Josh and Edwardo, before falling into bed around midnight.
Sunday started a bit drier and we were able to pack everything up before leaving in convoy for the Crich Tramway Museum. We left the trailer on site and picked it up on the way back, which turned out to be a good move, as manoeuvring at the Museum would have been very difficult.
Of course, I could have used my tried and tested method:
|As seen on TV…|
Before we left, though, as is traditional, we had a line up of vans:
The Museum isn’t the most efficient, when it comes to arrangements. Alan had organised for us to drive though the cobbled streets at Noon, but in the end we had to wait until 2pm. Service in the pub was also a bit iffy – it took ages for us to get served our food.
We left after the drive through and went back to the campsite to pick up the trailer and head home after another brilliant weekend.
There’s a full set of photos here: FLICKR
Things we’ve learned:
It’s always great to welcome new members to the BraziBay meets
Southerners can travel north of Watford
Stroh is still a step too far, even for me
Coming 3rd in the Sleepover Karaoke competition seems to have gone to Alison’s head
Rain doesn’t stop play when the Forum gang are in town
There are plenty of talented people in the BraziBay family
Boris is feeling back to fighting (or barking) fitness