Better late than never? Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that after you’ve read it - as this is my blog of the second Twittercamp of 2014 held at the Caravan Clubs’ Warwick site a couple of weeks ago. For the uninitiated this is where a bunch of Twittering caravanners - or maybe caravanning twits - I’m not sure - meet up and talk remarkably little about Twitter or caravanning.
We we first to arrive as per usual, taking advantage of the schools extended half-term break to travel up on the Wednesday. The straightforward journey up the A24, around the M25 and up the M40 was trouble free and we were on site around 12:30pm with our tug Rosie acquitting herself well and returning nearly 31mpg. She’s learning. More MPG equals more beer vouchers - or leather coats. More of that later.
The site sits on the inside of Warwick racecourse so you have to cross the track to get to it. Large plastic traction boards help ingress and egress but a missing one ensured one of Patsy’s wheels got submerged in mud and wood chippings.
We picked a pitch near the entrance, because it was close to the facilities and also because we’re basically nosey and could see all the comings and going. More importantly, we’d be able to pounce on our friends when they arrived.
First up - and the only other arrivals of the day were my cousin Andy and his wife Janet who arrived mid afternoon having travelled up from Colchester. It’s at least partially my fault that they got in to caravanning but I’m so glad they did as we now have something in common and spend much more time together than we ever did before.
Some research was needed - clearly - but we played safe (and cheap) and hit the local Wetherspoons for grub, planning to check out some of the local hostelries later on. The beer was so good though - and even cheaper thanks to my last sheet of CAMRA vouchers that we emerged in to the mild damp night a little later than planned. A couple of other establishments were the recipients of our custom on the way back. I should point out that the town is in easy walking distance of the site. Very convenient but I’m not sure my liver or wallet would agree.
It’s fair to say, we were a little sluggish Thursday morning. Andy & Janet had the right idea and feasted on bacon rolls whilst we forced down cereals and toast. Mind you - they were off to the Caravan Show at the NEC and would need all the help they could get. We took the opportunity to stroll in to town, me sporting my new coat. Black leather (obviously) and extremely long and moreover and absolute steal off eBay. I’m sure that’s what the guy though who sold it too. No pictures exist yet as I’m no good at selfies and having been before during our visits to the Cotswolds in February 2013 we didn’t bother to bring the ‘big’ camera.
We were back at the site in time to welcome Sam & Andy (aka Hubster) to their second Twitercamp and had a good chinwag and catch up whilst enjoying a cuppa and the fruits of Sam’s labours in the kitchen.
Next up was ‘Boss’ aka David with Gary and famous tweeting Caravan Elvis the Elddis, travelling up from Dorset where they had been holidaying. This was Boss’s third twittercamp but Gary’s first although we hope not the last. We got caught up with a few beers later on before hooking up with my cousin for a meal at the Vine - scoped out earlier in the day. The food was good and we were just finishing up as Sam & Andy joined us for a drink - and then another in the Old Fourpenny Shop Hotel on the way back to the site.
Friday was to be our day at the caravan show. David, Sam & Andy joined us in Rosie for the half hour trip up the road to the NEC. It was mercifully quiet compared to our past weekend visits and we even picked up a couple of bits and bobs. We didn’t really look at many caravans, save for Coachman to see what they were doing and Hobby to see why the pik- sorry, travellers like them so much.
The principle reason - for our visit anyway - was Twitter beer o’clock. It was nice to at last put faces to Tranquil Camper and David Bird and we hope to get a chance to meet up for longer soon. Andrew - owner of ‘The Shiny One’ also joined us and would be coming to the site in Warwick on Saturday once his commitments at the show had finished.
Back at the site Alison had arrived with Sid Smiley and so too had Amanda & Allison with their ‘van Gertie. The herd were gathered, we convened by Gertie and fuelled by a beer or two and more cake, this time from Amanda as well, commenced the quiz put together by Sam & Hubster. Myself and Trev somehow came joint first with David & Garry and fluked the tiebreaker to secure the trophy.
With it not being warm enough to gather for a BBQ, we met again for the evening meal back at the Vine Inn, this time with Alison's son and his partner joining us along with a friend who was staying at the temporary site at the NEC. Whilst the company was good the food got a mixed reception sadly - some enjoyed it but others didn’t. We adjourned back to the Old Fourpenny Shop Hotel for a de-brief only to find that the ale of choice was on it’s last legs. A swap to the IPA brought some relief, but regardless it was great for us all to be together.
The Saturday was by necessity pretty relaxed. Alison joined me and Trev for breakfast in town and we got the chance for our first good catch up of the weekend. Later on Andrew arrived with ‘The Shiny One’ and Patsy’s pitch was this time the host for more beer and cake.
Six of us dined at the local chippy later on whilst others done their own thing but we all met up again later on in the Four Penny. A place that always seems fairy busy until we arrive when it empties out. How odd! To be fair the fair (sorry!) was in town though but no-one seemed enthused about going so we stayed put. Andrew & David joined us in Patsy for a nightcap later on.
No sooner than had everyone arrived than it was time to start saying goodbye. On the Sunday, Sam & Hubster were the first to leave for their drive back to Dorset. It was great to catch up again and also to get the chance to enjoy Sam’s baking. My cousin was next, heading back to Colchester, then David & Gary for their run north to Leeds.
We met with Amanda & Allison for lunch than had a relaxing afternoon in the ‘van before saying goodbye to Andrew and his gorgeous dog Dougal in the evening. A quiet night in front of the telly and Downton Abbey beckoned, at least until we discovered that we couldn’t get ITV! No amount of repositioning of the aerial would work. Oh well, hardly the end of the world!
Last to leave with their ‘van Gertie was Amanda & Allison. They missed out on the spring Twittercamp in Rutland so it was especially great to see them again.
And that, sadly was it. No sooner had our second Twittercamp of the year started and it was over. Thanks to everyone that came and made it another great weekend. In no particular order: Andy, Janet, Sam, Andy, Gary, David, Alison, Amanda, Allison, Andrew. And Dougal. Adam & Jamie couldn’t get booked on the site but it was great to see you both again. Thanks everyone and we’re already looking forward to the next one. Keep Tweeting!