Despite having our Brazilian T2c, Absinthe, for nearly 8 years, we’d never got around to visiting CamperMart at the Telford International Centre, so, when we got the opportunity to display our van, along with those of some other Brazilian owners and friends, we jumped at it. There were six Brazilian Owners taking part in the display including one Last Edition which is converted into a wedding car.
The drive down to Telford on Saturday was uneventful, unlike the previous week, when we’d returned home from a few days abroad to be met with snow and fog and very little time to prepare Absinthe for the show. Alison had made new curtains and cushions and the van was just back from the workshop having had some bodywork repairs, so it was all a little fraught.
We got to the show site around 2.45pm and were the first of our group to arrive. A gritted motorway journey isn’t the best preparation for a shiny van, so we were soon at work polishing and dressing her for the crowds expected on Sunday. We were in the Ludlow Suite, hosted by Camper & Commercial Magazine and, thankfully, it was warm and dry, away from the icy conditions outside.
We stopped the night at the International Hotel next door and had dinner and a few beers with our fellow bus owners, which was a great start to the weekend.
We arrived back for the show at 9am on Sunday morning. We weren’t sure what to expect in terms of footfall to our area, but we were soon fielding questions and showing people our vans.The VW scene is a really friendly one and it’s always great to chat with other enthusiasts. I’d wondered whether we’d be busy in our display area because we were right at the back of the show, but I needn’t have worried, because there was such a steady stream of people that it was almost 3pm before I got a chance to have a look in the Traders Hall and to admire the other vans. At all VW shows, there’s always at least one bus I’d like to take home and this time it was a lovely orange Syncro – maybe one day…
The scene is small enough that you’re bound to bump into people you haven’t seen since the last event and that’s certainly true of CamperMart. As well as a great selection of stands, we bumped into Darth Vader and friends doing their rounds and collecting money for charity. There was also entertainment for the kids, both big and small, plus a choice of food and drinks, which is just as well as I managed to quickly grab a pasty for lunch.
We caught a couple of the talks on the stage in the Ludlow Suite, including one about travelling in Afghanistan and Iran – hearing about some of the hair-raising incidents they encountered have probably ruled the area out for this summer’s overseas trip – Spain and Portugal sound a lot safer!
The stream of visitors asking questions about our van continued throughout the afternoon, with the most interest being shown in our flip front seat. If I’d been selling them, I reckon I could have made a fortune. It is such a simple idea but, then, most of the best ideas usually are.
In the past, at other shows, we’ve encountered a few frowns and less than complimentary comments from some of the die-hard air-cooled fans about our Brazilian Bays, but I’m really pleased to say that we didn’t hear any of that at CamperMart. We like to think that our vehicles are future classics and that there’s room for all types in the VW scene. I’d really like to thank the organisers for allowing us to display our vans and wish CamperMart every success for the future.
Many thanks to those who’ve let me “borrow” their photos – there’s a full album set here: Flickr
Things We’ve Learned
It’s good to be at an inside show on such a cold day
The VW scene is still a really friendly one
There’s only so much someone can tell me about MIG welding before my eyes glaze over
Everyone wants a flip bench seat
Ian & Katie aren’t early risers…
Finding a fuse on a Last Edition isn’t easy