Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Stanford Hall or was it "Bug Freeze" ?

Fancy a Caravan to match your Camper?

On Duty!
Stanford Hall with sprinkling of Campers!

OK, so I don't have a "bug", but I was so cold that the freeze part was absolutely true!. In traditional English Bank holiday style the proceeding 48 hours had been "not bad", but come Sunday the rain clouds had gathered and the temperature had dropped to between 4-7 degrees...not ideal conditions for a day sitting out in a field in Worcestershire!. Anyway, as you probably guessed we made it across (down?) to Stanford Park at 08:35. having left Sleaford at approx 07:00 am that morning.The drive down was pretty uneventful, although I was a little concerned about the rate the car was consuming fuel!. I had put £15 of standard unleaded in the previous evening and by the time we got to the venue I was down to a needle width of a fuel guage of being empty!.Of course towing the rear section of a Scirocco loaded with all manner of "spares" (2 alloys,spring sets,dampers,tool box, tents etc) I guess that the economy was probably around the 34-35 Mpg mark during a lot of the trip.

After arriving at the gate (which we missed on the first attempt!) we were ushered over to pitch 178 (and 179 as no one turned up to take it!) and after a quick coffee and a cold bacon sandwich, we set up shop.This comprised of 2 collection jars,2 tubs of "gizzits" (key rings,trolley coins etc) a couple of LLR brochures and a large LLR tablecloth type thing which we spread on the floor just in front of the car.

After a while myself and mini me headed off to find the loo's as both of us need to go quite urgently.We located the bogs without much fuss only to be confronted by a locked door....oh bliss!. After a delay of perhaps 10 Min's someone came to unlock the doors and we managed not to wet ourselves!.

This is the first time that I have attended Stanford as a participant, and indeed it is the first time I have attended the show since 1990. The location is a very English Manor house set in beautiful parkland, and has a couple of lakes on the site which looked very nice, but made me very vigilant every time Andy jr got near them as they are not fenced off at all.

The size of this show was quite amazing, and the range of VW vehicles on display was fantastic. If you needed spares there were literally dozens of vendors selling anything from a replacement bulb through to complete camper van chassis!. I particularly liked the stall which was selling camper van "caravans".The basic concept was that Matt (the owner of the company) had taken 2 written off camper rear ends, turned then in on each other to form a double rear ended body, then made a glass fibre moulding of the resulting frame and fixed it to an "A" frame.It looked terrific as a finished article, and I was told that prices started from as little as £5500....if you have a spare £5500...I don't sadly! :-(.

We saw rows upon rows of pristine vehicles lined up in the concourse area, these ranged from split screen beetles and campers through to much more up to date water cooled Volkswagen types, all seemed to be getting a lot of TLC from their proud owners as they prepared for the judging of their pride and joys some time later in the day.

Food was passable but not entirely satisfying, the hot dog that I bought for mini me bore no resemblance at all to the glossy picture on the side of the food vendors van...in fact the sausage that was supposed to nestle within the finger roll appeared to have shrunk at some point and was now almost lost within its bread cocoon...Andy asked me to "eat the boring bits" so he could get at the sausage inside!. We did not have another one of those!.

As is usual at these sort of events we met up with several chaps (not chavs!) from the Scirocco Register who had pitched up on the club stands area, and a couple more were parked in the concours area busily polishing their cars in preparation for the judges arrival.We met up with the people whoi are organising an event named Van Jamboree at Newark showground on the 21-23 May, and they gave us a few flyers to put up around the hospital .

The day went quite well, we managed to collect a few quid for LLR, had a good look around the show, and set off to head home at around 3:30 PM.

A great day out only slightly dulled by the rather cool weather, but hey, this is the UK and what else would we expect on a abank holiday ?



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