By Mike Peake
There is something about a fair that turns perfectly normal and sensible adults into 12 year old children again. So you can imagine what it did to our mob who aren’t any of those things. A great time was had by all with many a ride sampled. My favourite was when we all went on the bumper cars and took over the whole ride.
Rest assured, I did NOT return to the Waltzer. I think I’ve found the maximum level of excitement I can cope with now though.
Back at the campsite and Lyndsey, Gus’s new GIIIRRRRLLLLLLL FRIEEEEEND was still with us. It turns out that she was spending the night with Gus in Apollo. We were all very conscious that this was a new relationship and wanted the weekend to be a success for Gus and his new GIIIRRRRLLLLLLL FRIEEEEEND.
Therefore, we had all been very polite, respectful and doing our best to be welcoming and sensible. We even managed to refrain from ribaldry when the new couple announced that they were very tired and headed for an early night. We merely wished them a good night and bid them sleep well – honest! We did!
The rest of us continued socialising in the Coleman. About an hour later, a look of evil mischief descended onto Allison’s eyes. “wouldn’t it be hilarious” she said “if we all gathered around Apollo and rocked it vigorously side to side?”
Well of course we all thought this was a horrible and mean thing to do to such a nice new couple on their 1st night in Apollo and we tried to talk Allison out of it. However, once Allison has decided to do something, there is no stopping her. The rest of us looked on, shocked and appalled, as Allison soon had the van rocking so hard it almost tipped over. She’s surprisingly strong for such a petite lady. Allison continued the rocking until a loud thunk and a squeal was heard coming from the van. We all ran and hid in the Coleman.
We found out the next morning that the “thunk” was a full cup of tea flying off the counter and landing in Lyndsey’s boot. Well Allison, we hope you are ashamed of yourself! You’ve let the group down, you’ve let Tosh down, but most of all you’ve let yourself down.
Half an hour later, she did it again. We all looked on shocked and appalled, as Allison soon had the van rocking so hard it almost tipped over – again! Allison only stopped when a loud shout of “YER NOT FUNNY THA KNOWS!!” was heard from Apollo’s depths. We all rushed back into the Coleman where the tomfoolery continued. After some discussion amongst the group it was concluded that maybe Gus was wrong as it was, actually, quite funny.
Just in case Allison tries to wriggle out of her guilt and try to implicate others in her dastardly deeds, here is photographic evidence that she was indeed, solely responsible for this heinous act.
The night was still not over though. At about 12.30 AM, as we were chatting and drinking, a lovely Jack Russell dog came sniffing around under the tent wall before wandering off again. We thought no more of it and assumed she was just out for a walk with her owner we couldn’t see. 10 minutes later, an older chap popped up asking if we had seen a white dog around. We said we had seen her and pointed in the last direction we’d seen the dog heading and thought no more about it. 10 minutes later, an older lady popped up asking if anyone had seen her husband.
Some of us found this chain of events amusing but immediately felt bad about it as the lady went on to explain that they’d lost their dog who was a 19 year old stone deaf Jack Russell called Tilly. Of course, we couldn’t have that and all agreed to help look. Various light sources were produced, from regular torches to apps on phones to Windy Woodward’s multibillion watt battery powered floodlight. I pointed out that we were trying to find the dog - not burn it to a blackened crisp - but he wasn’t listening.
Imagine the scene if you will, as 12 drunken enthusiasts and 2 upset dog owners set off into the vast, pitch dark camping area, shouting for a deaf dog called Tilly at one o’clock in the morning.
Tilly was eventually found by Tosh, none the worse for wear and happily sniffing around the bottom field. Tilly was fine too. The trouble was, now we’d lost the owners. So, 12 drunken enthusiasts and a deaf dog called Tilly set off into the vast, pitch dark camping area, shouting for 2 upset dog owners at half past one o’clock in the morning.
The owners were eventually rediscovered back at their caravan where they were tearfully contemplating life without their beloved Tilly. So it was fantastic to be able to provide the happy reunion. All 3 were extremely pleased to see each other again and it was a rather emotional scene. Even Tosh was seen to be wiping his eyes.
Back at the Coleman we toasted our success and felt very proud of our good deed! Tilly was safely back in her caravan and we’d only woken up 80% of the vast camping area to do so. Job done, we went to bed.
For some strange reason, Lyndsey, Gus’s GIIIRRRRLLLLLLL FRIEEEEEND departed quite quickly on Sunday morning. I hope we didn’t do anything that upset her. I can’t imagine how we could have done that though. No. I’m sure everything was fine
Also, for some strange reason, everyone was just a little sluggish on Sunday morning and even bacon wasn’t showing its full restorative properties. This meant that it was almost 10am and the show about to open before we had finished setting up the stand. A bit of a squeeze today as we were joined by John Malley with his Piper and Two Pants Perman with his Blue VDP Allegro.
I’m sure you’ll agree, looking at the finished scooter below, that Pants Perman did a great job. The scooter was certainly a bit nippier round the field but only time will weather it’s range has been increased at all. It’s got to be better than Nelson’s though!
Another dry and warm day progressed with much chatting and laughter and walking miles and miles to try to squeeze in everything we hadn’t seen yet. I know I keep saying it but EVERYTHING is at this show including a great, friendly, family atmosphere.
Here is just a small selection of the things I enjoyed.
Sadly, the end of the show came round far too quickly and sad goodbyes were said to those traveling home on the Sunday, leaving an intrepid few for the final night. The Allins, Little Paul Cheetham, Gar, Jason and I settled for a very chilled and relaxed evening spent polishing off Phil and Lorraine’s leftover food which was jolly nice with interesting “smoky” notes of flavour showing through.
Yes, a very chilled and relaxed evening. Of course, Darren Williamson’s evening was anything but chilled and relaxed. Karen and Carl had abandoned him in the middle of the field and taken the working Ital home. Darren was trying to herd his recovery company into getting his CF back to the chap who rebuilt his engine. Apparently, they didn’t believe Darren when he told them it was beyond roadside repair and needed recovery. They had to send someone out to verify this – from Cardiff!!!
Two hours later, the chap arrived, started the engine, turned off the engine and pronounced it “broken”. “I’ll book a recovery truck" said the chap before abandoning Darren in the field again. 2 hours later and it hadn’t arrived yet so we all went to bed, abandoning Darren in the field.
We didn’t completely abandon him though. We made little Paul Cheetham stay up with strict instructions to take photos of the recovery for the blog. The gods know what we’ll end up with though. Probably frogs frolicking in a pond or something, certainly not pictures of the recovery if past history is anything to go by!
Sorry, I take some of that back! Little Paul has almost redeemed himself it would appear! Not completely though. WHERE’S THE PIC OF THE CF ON THE TRUCK?? Idiot!
Monday morning and no one was in any rush. We were all pleased to see that Darren and his CF were gone and that we had a message in the group chat to say he had arrived home safely at 1.30AM.
Lazy breakfasts were had before we started packing up. The Coleman was first to go and was all packed away properly and it, and everything else, was packed into the tiny Holivan with Tardis-like tendencies.
Next it was time to pack Gar’s car. We had the Wolseley trailer and Jaguchair to get into the Zafira and I have to say, we had our doubts. The first problem came when we tried getting the WD8 Generator in. The two bits of old skirting board that Gar insisted made perfect ramps weren’t - they snapped under the weight almost instantly.
Which as it turned out was probably just as well because we’d have only had to get the damn thing back out again. Phil cleverly confirmed what all eyes except Gar’s were telling us. The car, whilst being wide enough to accommodate the trailer, was far too short. There was nothing else for it but to admit defeat. So Gar towed the engine trailer for temporary storage in my lock up. I followed with my caravan in case the engine didn’t tow well. However, this was not necessary as it towed beautifully, but “Gar’s gonna need a bigger car!”
Well, that concludes our wonderful ……. No. Wait. News coming in as I write … ”Tuesday Morning rush hour and traffic chaos on the M1”, I’m hearing on the national news. Apparently, some idiot in a yellow MG Midget has broken down in the live lanes in a section with no hard shoulder. Motorway closed while the idiot in the yellow MG Midget is towed by the highways officer the wrong way down the carriageway to the nearby services as unsafe to leave the idiot where he was. Miles-long queues on the motorway causing gridlock in all the local towns.
And who was this idiot I hear you ask as if you didn’t already know? Yes, our very own little Paul Cheetham attempting to return the Yellow Peril back to Tosh. And what caused this breakdown? I hear you ask as if you didn’t already know.... yes, he’d run out of petrol!
And why didn’t he simply top up from the can in the back, I hear you ask as if you didn’t already know? Yes, he couldn’t get the filler cap off. Talk about history repeating. Does he never learn?
I guess we have to make allowances for not being strong enough to get the filler cap off. Little Paul is only 7 stone soaking wet.
Tosh took pity and recovered him with the trailer. Then told EVERYONE!
Now that really does conclude our weekend adventures. So, massive thanks for the fun, laughs, commitment and achieving downright stupid stupidity levels required to furnish so much material for the blogs.
Most of all though, huge thanks to the organisers of the whole event SVTEC and their army of volunteers for putting on yet another fantastic show.
They’ve already announced next year’s show date, 31st July to 2nd August 2020. Mark it in your diaries and keep an eye on our events section for details of our stand. (if they let us back in!)
Thanks for reading and see you again soon. I’ve still got to finish Poppy.
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