Northern England Meet 2013

Our first proper Brazilian Bay meet of the year was in Appletreewick, close to Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire. There were due to be 11 of us attending, with most arriving on Friday and a few more joining us on Saturday (it’s a long drive down from Falkirk for Skytiger).

It’s only about 90 minutes for us to drive to Masons Campsite so we had time to pick some things up from B & Q and have breakfast in Sainsbury’s before we set off. As usual, we were taking too much stuff, so we filled the trailer to the gunnels and threw everything else in the van. We’d bought a Coleman Shelter and it took up quite a bit of space, but it was very handy over the weekend.

We there by 2pm and soon had everything up – with some help from our friends, of course. Gradually more vans arrived and looked great parked together on the site. An evening meal in the Craven Arms seemed like a good idea – especially as Boris was allowed in. Fortunately, some of the gang had gone up earlier to book a table and we were given a whole rear room to ourselves. The fish and chips were great, as were the pints of Thwaites Wainwright…

We gathered in the Shelter for the evening but the rain was too heavy to even think about lighting the fire so after a few drinks we all settled down for the evening.

Saturday started wet but with some signs that it might clear after lunch. There was a slight air of despondency about and some possibility of even abandoning the event but the British spirit prevailed and sure enough, after pies and cake, things improved and we set off on a walk to the nearby village of Burnsall.

Along the way we passed a horse in a field and I asked if anyone had any Polos so I could feed it. The best we could do was some Settlers from Tony (lilyvdub). It seemed happy enough with them and I’m sure its stomach has never been so well. I gave it some grass on the way back and it certainly seemed very settled.

I’m not sure Tony is a natural horseman!
A bit more skittish on the way back

The Red Lion at Burnsall is a lovely (and very large) Yorkshire pub. They welcomed us all into a room at the back and a few more pints were consumed. A post-wedding bride was having some photos taken on the bridge across the River Wharfe – she must have been panicking in the morning when the rain was lashing down but hopefully the clearing of the weather was a good omen for her marriage.

The walk back was great although I didn’t spot the Dippers I’d seen on the way there. The sun was still shining although temperatures didn’t seem to be rising at all!

After a chill in the van and some food (Alison had made a chilli to bring with us and it was very tasty), we all gathered together and the fire was lit. There something a bit primeval about fire isn’t there?  It seems to be mainly a man thing although Mrs B definitely has a penchant for anything with flames (she has a theory that all insurance underwriters are secretly arsonists at heart).

It was a little warmer around the fire (although there were those who took the opportunity to slope off to the pub – you know who you are!) and we had the usual traditional Northern Meet additions of Bison Grass Vodka and Apple Juice from Connie and Pavol, and we’d brought some home made vodka. Mrs B had a slight head on Sunday morning – we’re not bringing any more vodka ever again apparently.

Sunday meant packing up and saying our goodbyes, before heading into Skipton for a coffee and a bite to eat. By then the rain had arrived again and we headed home about 3pm.

Despite the weather, I think we all had a good time. I’m going to grab a date in June for the 2014 Northern Meet – we must get sunshine and warmth one year, surely.

A big thanks to everyone who turned up, and special thanks to those who made the event extra special; to Tony for organising the site, to Marcus for the cookies (and for my hoodie), to Penny for her buns, to Harry for supplying the pies, to Alan for the height measuring devices (cans of Irn Bru!), to Geoff for the use of his excellent orange light, to Connie and Pavol for the Bison Grass and to everyone who’s photos I’ve “stolen” for this blog. Here’s to next year!

There are more pics here: Flickr Its worth keeping checking back as I steal more to add to my Flickr account!

It’s also worth looking here for two excellent Blogs: Simon’s Blog & Retro Runaways

I'd love to hear your thoughts, so grab a pew and I'll make you a brew - Hobnob or Bourbon?

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