Paul and I set off after work on the Thursday to pick up the caravan and drive up to Rotherham for the night.Â Â We always break the journey to Ripon there as it is too far in one go after a day at work. The weather had been atrocious during the weeks leading up to Easter and we had kept an open mind about whether we would be going or not right up to the Thursday morning.Â Â We decided to go even though we still had snow in Telford as we had heard that there was no snow at Ripon and the ground was firm enough to put the caravan on.Â Â There was very little traffic on the roads â€“ other people must have decided to stay at home for Easter due to the weather â€“ so we made the Rotherham site in record time.Â Â Although it was freezing outside we were lovely and snug in the caravan with the gas fire only just on.
Hamish the dog woke us early next morning so we were packed up by 9.30 and on the road by 10.Â Â There was still hardly any traffic on the roads so we had another easy journey to Ripon where we were met by Trevor and Ruth who were well wrapped up against the cold but very pleased to see us.
We set up again then went shopping for the weekends food and drink in Ripon.Â Â The afternoon was spent relaxing and catching up with old friends who had also braved the weather.
As there is no heating in the room we wrapped up warm for the evening.Â Â I had luckily taken a hot water bottle with me which came in very handy!Â Â Weâ€d also taken an electric heater which we could plug in to keep our feet warm.Â Â North East branch made sausage and mash for anyone who wanted it and we had a game of bingo and a quiz before bed time.
We woke to beautiful sunshine on Saturday. As there was an important football match on (Manchester United v Sunderland) Paul and Trevor decided to go to the pub to watch it while Ruth and I did the shopping for the free buffet they were providing during Saturday evening.Â Â I helped Ruth, Caroline, Shaun and Trevor to make sandwiches and to lay out the buffet for the evening before wrapping up and joining everyone else for the eveningâ€s games etc.
Easter Sunday dawned sunny and bright again but still very cold.Â Â Hamish had a lay in for once so Paul and I had one too.Â Â We had a full English breakfast to set us up for the day then, while Paul did the washing up, I joined in the egg decorating competition in the room before the rally was declared open and the games started. The games were inside as it was bitter cold outside.Â Â I had a go on most things â€“ bowls, skittles, tombola etc but without much success.Â
Prize giving was in the evening and I was totally taken by surprise when the winner of the egg decorating was read out â€“ it was me!Â Â I won a shiny silver cup and an Easter egg.Â Â Paul and I also won the quiz on Friday night which again, was a surprise.
Next day we packed up ready for the trip back to Rotherham.Â Â It had been one of the best Easter rallyâ€s I have ever attended â€“ nice and relaxing with plenty of time to chat to friends but with plenty of activities laid on too.Â Â I think attendance was down on previous years, but given the appalling weather weâ€ve had, there was a decent turn out of maybe 15 units.
by Celia Devey Telford Branch