It was with trepidation that we approached this Rally, as the week prior suffered from some terrible weather. Attendees were asked to keep an eye on the Facebook/Whatsapp links and check the hotline before setting off. It was thought the rally field would not be capable of taking the weight of our vans. Thanks to Mick Mead and Martin Borrill – who formed a recce party – the green light was given and pitches were found on each side of the gravel access road, meaning everyone had a good parking spot. Once positioned our hosts, Ros and Alan Burstein, welcomed us.
The Rally venue is a large conference and meeting centre for youth groups belonging to the Boys Brigade. Despite other groups staying in the main building we were allocated sole use of a large lawn area which had a three metre fire pit! With so much room we were spoilt for choice as to where we put the shelters.
At 1900 we gathered around the fire pit and those that like playing with fires, relished the lighting of the bonfire and keeping it well stocked throughout the evening. Their efforts were greatly appreciated as the temperatures seemed to change from mild to freezing within a few minutes. Martin also kept us entertained with his musical
On Saturday we gathered at 1030 for a gentle walk down the hill towards the town of Hemel Hempstead. Local knowledge meant we made good use of the footpaths and had a pleasant outing to the Fishery Wharf Cafe, giving them a pleasant surprise when about twenty motorhomers descended upon them.. An even more pleasant surprise was Bett and Derek Gosling were able to join us for refreshments and later at the rally site.
Saturday evening was once again spent around the splendid bonfire – and to make it a most convivial evening, Ros Burstein had precooked a large amount of sausages and beans and Julie Noakes had scrubbed and wrapped loads of potatoes for the fire, more than enough for everyone, so thank you to them both. This was followed by a quiz on the topic of foods and the raffle which was well supported by extra donations of prizes.
Sunday morning had the usual 1030 gathering, unfortunately Ros and Alan had to leave early so the address was started by Martin Borrill and wound up by Mick Mead. Despite the limitations on pitching we did manage fourteen vans including one visitor from Sussex Group. A new venue which was appreciated by all so definitely one for the future.