Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Henley Four Oaks CMC site

Well this was just a couple of nights away at Henley. We were off up to Henley to see Jade, James, Jack and Josie. As it was a very short trip, only two nights we were traveling light, no awning and all the associated bits and pieces.
A quick run up the M4 and then the outskirts of Reading to Henley. Warning bells rang as we drove the Reading roads! It was the Reading Half Marathon on the Sunday and roads were closed, so we would need a different route home on the Sunday.

Found the site easily, arriving just after the site reopened for the season. Picked ourselves a nice hard standing well away from the main road.
 The site seems OK, although having stayed on Swiss Farm Camp Site next door is probably better as most pitches are serviced and there is a coffee shop on site!
We set up and then left the site to go and visit Jade and her family in Lower Early. They were all fine and Jack was really excited to see us.
We stayed there for a couple of hours and then returned to the caravan.
I popped into Henley and bought fish and chips for our supper and they were very good!  (JK'S Fish and Chips)

The site had filled up quite a lot!

On the Saturday, after a decent Brunch Lizzie and I went into Henley on Thames to have a wander round the shops! Lizzie bought herself a new bag ready for our forthcoming French trip.

Later in the day Jade and family came to join us and we went for an early dinner at The Catherine Wheel in Henley on Thames. Its a Whetherspoons, so relatively good food that is quiet inexpensive.

We started Sunday with a late breakfast, and fed the Bacon rinds to the red Kites! Really spectacular to see them swoop down, but really very difficult to photograph!

We cleared up and set off for home heading towards Oxford before heading down to Swindon where we joined the M4.
The journey down the M4 was heavy going with a very strong head wind!  Our fuel consuption dropped from a normal 29mpg to 21 mpg.

We were soon home and the caravan was back on the drive, ready to be prepared for our next trip in a few days time.

Burrs Country Park Caravan and Motorhome Site!

Only home for a few days and we were off again heading up north for the East Lancs Railway Steam Gala.
All went well as we sped up the M5, making good time. Then on the information board over the Motorway came the message 'M6 Closed'.  Warning bells begin ringing in our heads, but then the signs disappear, so the M6 is obviously open again!
We carry on, still doing well, and then the warnings started of slow traffic around junction 14,  we slow down, then we crawl, and eventually stop!  It took us about an hour to complete the next few miles.
All caused by a lorry fire and the motorway needed to be resurfaced.
We finally arrive at Burrs after a five and a half hour journey, two hours longer than usual.
We were able to set up on the corner pitch, our favourite as it gives an excellent view of the railway line.  We set up and then head up to Robert and Kathy's for dinner.
Amazingly Dennis the dog, just looked at us and then laid down, not a sound.

We spent Thursday shopping, as Bury has many shops that are not near us at home.

The Steam gala started on the Friday morning, so we settled down to watch the activity.

Although we could have  sat and watched trains going backwards and forwards all day, we set off for Bury Market, as we had a list of odds and ends we wanted. After a couple of hours wandering the market we headed back to the caravan to continue our train watching.

There is a new station at Burrs Country Park. one train in three stops at the station. This means that Engines heading North have to work really hard as they leave the station.

That evening all of us went to Toby Carvery for dinner. I have to say I thought it was pretty good.

On the Saturday morning Robert and I caught the first down train at Burrs Station, as we were going to enjoy a day on the railway.. Our aim was to try to travel behind each of the engines that were running. We went as far as Ramsbottom, then caught the up train to Bury.

Our first train of the day, which we caught at Burrs Country Park Station.

 We then traveled up and down the line, behind various different engines. A selection of photographs follow!

Burrs Country Park CMH site, with Lizzie outside the caravan

Lunch was taken at the Irwell Valley Brewery

City of Wells was the only Loco that we did not travel behind!  Have traveled behind it before though
We enjoyed traveling up and down the line, enjoying the on train bar ,when at 17.00, we got the last train that was stopping at Burrs Country park, and back to the caravan. Kathy collected, Robert Lizzie and myself and we went up to their house for dinner!
Then home for an early bed!

on Sunday we watched the trains for a while and then went to a shopping centre called Boundary Mill. Unfortunately I had forgotten to leave my credit cards at home, so Lizzie indulged in a lot of retail therapy at my expense!  I did however get refillable salt and pepper mills that I was after then it was back to Robert and Kathys for a sumptuous Sunday Dinner!

On Monday we ahd not expected to see any trains, but there was a photographic charter running!
The Goods Train Photographic charter!

This was a little mixed goods unit running up and down in front of us for an hour!  it ran past us, then reversed back beyond the station, and did it again and again!  All for the benefit of photographers who were paying £50.00 each for the privilege! On our side of the fence there was no charge!

We then cleared up and were home in three and a half hours!  Better run home than coming up!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Moreton in the Marsh CC Site.20th February.

Well it has been a long time since our last Caravan trip, over two months in fact. Christmas, family birthdays and a major revamp of the living rooms of our house necessitated us being at home. Jade, Jack and Josie stayed with us over half term week and as soon as they returned home to Reading we were off.
Moreton in the Marsh is a place we have driven through many times, but never stopped at.  After a very pleasant run up through Tetbury, Cirencester and Stow on the Wold we reached the site.
Now Moreton in the Marsh CC site is very big, about 180 pitches, and it was shown as full on the web site so it was very fortunate that we had booked.

Set up on site

We soon set up on pitch 49, which I chose faced South . In view of the predicted storm 'Doris' was a wise choice.. The awning was soon up and the caravan was ready for our weeks stay.
As we were driving up Lizzie unfortunately had a phone call to say that her step father, Roy, had unfortunately passed away.
As her mum was surrounded by Lizzie's two sister and four step brothers there was no real reason for us to return immediately.
Supper was cooked, and then the discovery was made!!!  My pills had been forgotten. So it was off to bed, so I could make a trip home early in the morning to collect them.
I was up early, breakfasted, and on the road by 8:15, and home by 9:25. Grabbed my pills, and back on the road and back at the caravan by 10.45.
Later that day I wandered down to have a look at the town.
An image of Moreton in the Marsh from the 1960's. If you put modern cars in, it could be today.

About 9.00 am on the Tuesday we were having breakfast when there was a knock at the caravan door. It was one of the wardens, who duly presented us with a goody bag, and she told us that we were now staying on Moreton in the Marsh Caravan and Motorhome Club Site. The CC had rebranded itself to create a more modern image.  Then the wardens started changing all, and I mean all of the signs on the site to ones that had the new name and colours on. They even were changing all of the pitch numbers!

Tuesday was a nice bright, albeit cold day, so we wrapped up warm and set of for Moreton in the Marsh as it was Market day. We parked straight outside a little cafe so coffee was the order of the day. Then off round the Market. Interesting, but nothing was bought apart from some vegetables for supper.  Lizzie enjoyed the independence of having her very own mobility scooter!

We decided that we would go down to see Lizzie's mum on the Wednesday, so it was another trip back home. We met up with Lizzie's mum, as well as Coral and Robyn, Lizzie's two sisters.
A couple of hours there and we returned via home to the caravan.

I needed to return to Bristol yet again on the Thursday for the will reading at 12 noon. As the weather was expected to be very rough I checked the caravan, and double pegged the awning before leaving. I went a different way back, heading towards Gloucester and down the M5. It certainly was very windy.
I met Lizzie's mum, Coral, Robyn and Andy at the solicitors. The solicitor read the will, and as expected everything went to Lizzie's mum. Andy and I had been told that we were to be the executors, but that had still been in the process of being sorted so Lizzie's mum was the executor.
The journey back was a bit of a nightmare with many trees down, blocking roads. Also a lorry had lost its load of straw on to a car.
Eventually I got back to the caravan, and was met with a pale faced Lizzie.  Apparently the caravan had rocked back and forth in the wind. Anyway all was safe.  All except for the small drip we were getting from the roof seam, so the caravan was booked in to Chipping Sodbury Caravans on the Monday morning.

Friday was a really lovely day so we went down to Bourton on the water for a good look round!We then went on to Stow on the Wold, but parking was impossible, so it was back to the caravan to enjoy the afternoon sun.

Bourton on the Water

Bourton on the Water

Bourton on the Water war memorial!

I was collecting some bits and pieces for Robert, that he had bought on E Bay. As this was in the direction of Reading we collected the bits and then dove on to meet James, Jade, Jack and Josie for lunch at the Retreat in Early.

Sunday was clear up day, so the awning was packed away, almost dry and then we headed for home.
As we left the site the heavens opened, so we were really lucky to clear up in the dry.

Home safely and the Caravan was emptied and delivered to the dealers first thing on Monday morning, and we got it back all fixed on the Tuesday afternoon!