This was our second visit to Busfest and equally as good as the first. It didn’t matter to us that the traders were the same as last year and even some of the bands were the same. Indeed we really like the Ska band that plays the Sheep Shed nearest our T4 Forum pitch. With Fred in tow we couldn’t spend so much time amongst the crowds and we had to leave him in the van for a while when we went for a walk around in the evening. Steve who we drove top with and who pitched up next to us had to come and find us because Fred was setting the alarm off.
Although we haven’t been for a few years this was our 21st trip to “La Sarthe”. In the past we have camped both at the circuit and with organised groups a way from the circuit. Our last few trips were spent sleeping in the car. The previous couple of trips were from our house in Brittany so an easy Saturday morning drive and home in time to BBQ on Sunday.
This time we were on the circuit near the Porsche Curves for 5 days. We bought a generator to take with us as few would be off grid for the whole time. Our push bikes went with us and came in very handy to get from the camp site to the village and the heart of the circuit.
For the first time we caught the tram into the city for lunch and to see the divers parade to the streets. Unfortunately it was wet and cold and not much fun.
The VW van forum we subscribe to has an annual get together at Beaulieu Motor Museum. It is a relatively quiet layer back fair with a lot of games for the kids, a smattering of traders and a fancy dress event.
This year’s fancy dress event was a drive out to Sammy Millers motorcycle museum where there was a large gathering of strongly dressed folk having morning coffee. Sue went as Cruella De Ville complete with a spotty dog pup, I thought she looked convincing, and I went as Kojak because it didn’t need too much dressing up and I got a lolly to suck.
We had a walk around the estate and visited the museum included in the event entry. Its a while since we had been there and it was interesting to see some of the new stuff . I was particularly amused by the Outspan mini. My friend, who’s father was the accountant there at the time, spent a summer with several young ladies touring the seaside resorts with this promotional motor.
I bought a set of pressed registration plates from Duflecta and another trader was selling Vango Kella drive away tents for a good price. We spent couple of days considering it and decided to buy one. I will write about it once we have used it a few times.
In the 70’s and 80’s we were heavily involved in organising drag racing. Over the winter of 79 / 80 our group developed Long Marston Airfield into permanent facility with new tarmac, armco crash barriers and the like. It is the best part of 30 years since we were last there or even at a drag race but my brother, Duncan, is still involved crewing for the Moor family. Things have moved on a lot in that time and we had a great weeked. Now they call the place Shakespeare County Raceway or “Shakey” and it is touching to see that the strip is named Wigmore Way in honour of our late freind Alan who did so much for UK drag racing.
This was our first taste of VW Van events, a trip to Bustypes near Oswestry. Not sure what to expect and early in the year for it to be warm and sunny. When we arrived on Friday there was plenty of space and no organisation about where to pitch. We chose a spot in the middle of the field and over the course of the afternoon and following morning we were surrounded by others.
Saturday was by far the best for cruising the few trade stalls and the show and shine. Of course we had to spend so we came away with a VW awning mat. We were able to wander around the camp areas and see what others had done. There were vans of all ages with a large contingent of classic split window and bay window vans several of which graced the show and shine.
We are thinking of getting a pup when we move to Hailsham next year and had several conversations with dog owners. We are rather taken with the idea of a Schnauzer and had a long chat with a couple of owners.
We tried the bar and band on Friday night but it wasn’t for us. Too loud to think, not particularly wonderful beer and not a band I would pay money to listen to.
On the whole it wasn’t bad for a first experience. The weather could have been kinder, it rained a bit and it was cold. The toilet facilities were dreadful, the plastic cabins are fine but they weren’t serviced and even by Saturday they were suffering. I don’t think we will be going back to that one.