MCC Rally

Thursday 11th April 2019

Today is the start of our Motorhome trips for this year. We have spent the last few days getting Voyager and Betty sorted – hopefully we haven’t forgotten anything.

We decided to have a go at Rallying this year so we can make some friends as well as picking up tips etc. To that end we have joined the ‘Motor Caravanners Club’ who have rallies all over the country on most weekends of the year as well as a few in Europe.

Our first is near Banbury – so not too far – but an area we have only previously driven through. So we found ourselves in the rally field of Barnstones Caravan Park in Great Bourton at just after 3PM.

VoyagerRally 1

We did the usual explore finding water and the Recycling area and got chatting to a couple sitting at a picnic table near where we were pitched. We were joined by another couple shortly after and spent a good half hour chewing the fat. In the first few minutes I decided that if all rallies were like this we would be attending many more.

We retired to Voyager for our dinner (my famous sweet chilli prawns) followed by a bit of TV. There was a lovely sunset and we did venture out into the cold to take a few pics but they weren’t the best – still never mind there will be more.

Sunset 2Sunset 3

Friday 12th April 2019

We woke to a lovely spring morning – a hoar frost on the grass but the sun soon burned that away although it did remain chilly in the shade. Nigel was out and about doing his outside chores while I cleared away the breakfast things.

We then set off on our planned trundle to the next village. On the way we wanted to find the Village Hall where we were all to meet up later. We missed it and were out into the countryside in no time.

Country View

After a mile we found Cropredy which turned out to be a sleepy old place but well looked after.

CropredyCropredy 2

We needed to find a shop to get those few things we had forgotten. Luckily we found a tourist map on a notice board which showed where it was.

Cop map

Bridge Stores was right next to the North Oxford Canal so after completing our shop we headed down the slope (a bit steep) to the tow path – heading back in the general direction of Bourton.

We met one man fishing – he said he hadn’t caught anything – but that was all. I must admit I prefer doing Canals on week days as there is usually less people than at weekends.

Getting off the path at School Lane wasn’t so easy due to a step – I got off Grace and let Nigel take both scooters up it – but he managed OK so maybe I should have had a go.

So we headed back – stopping to take a few pics of flowers

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

and inquisitive sheep


as well as asking a local where the Village Hall was – getting back to a nice warm Voyager just in time for lunch.

Then a siesta and chill until an early tea so we could trundle to the hall to meet with our fellow campers.

We trundled down to the Hall at about 7 o’clock – finding the path to the disabled entrance at the back easily from the instructions supplied by the Rally Marshall. The doorway was well lit and ramped and led via a short corridor to an old style hall with two rows of tables and the usual pretty uncomfortable chairs.

We met some lovely people and were made to feel very welcome – the wine and nibbles flowed a plenty and many a laugh was had when recalling the mishaps and stories of trips away. There was also a quiz which was great fun – not that we did very well. All in all a great night.

We were back at Voyager just after ten so a bit of TV and off to bed.

Saturday 13th April 2019

Another hoar frost this morning but the sun has got his hat on and although still a bit chilly it looks lovely and spring like – what’s left of the daffodils are holding their heads up.

Today we are trundling into Banbury by way of some back lanes as there is no pavement on the busy main road for the first mile or so. This was a good idea as only a few cars passed us – we joined the main road at Chapel Lane and used the path into the town centre – took about an hour all together.

We found Banbury very nice – a mix of old and new like most towns. The cross (per the nursery rhyme) is now a roundabout

Banbury crs

but there is a lovely statue of the ‘fine lady upon a horse’.

Banbury lady

We had got cold on our journey so spent some time in the ‘Castle Quay shopping mall’ – not too many vacant units (a bit unusual these days) and a good mix of shops and department stores.

Banbury 9

We found a relatively quiet spot where we ate our packed lunch while people watching – with a brief chat with some of our fellow campers who had come to town on the local bus.

After a little more window shopping we heading back – stopping at the large Tesco on the way for a few things – and then retracing our earlier route. A good run with no problems saw us back within the hour.

Time for an afternoon nap before getting ready for our second evening in the Village Hall – no tea tonight as we put our fish super order in yesterday.

Now used to the arrangements we arrived in good time for our second enjoyable social evening. Even when the fish supper was a little late and our hosts started to look worried I don’t think many of the group noticed as they were all chatting and having a good laugh. The wine continued to flow and the stories became a little more elaborate but again we had a really good time. The quiz was a little obscure but it did bring much hilarity – didn’t do too well again!

We made it back to Voyager just before eleven watched a bit of TV then zonked out.

Sunday 14th April 2019

Last day of the rally – a final get together on the field with a cup of coffee (which was bring your own)

Rally end

– thankyou speech and general chat about what a good time we all had. We have really enjoyed ourselves and have even agreed to meet one of our new friends at another Rally on the first May Day weekend. It’s in Bakewell – so a bit of planning to do.

So we got everything stowed and set forth on our short trip to Winchcombe Camping & Caravan Club site – but we can’t get there until after 1PM so will be stopping on route for a leisurely Tapas lunch in a lay bye.

American Museum Bath

Wednesday 27th March 2019

Today, after a long drab winter, we are off to the American Museum near Bath. I have recently taken up patchwork quilting and there is a large display of antique ones there, as well as other things American.

The weather was good so after making up our packed lunch we set forth. Today we are using Dobby as the old manor house has access to all floors using a small lift. Nigel checked out their website access statement which showed the G’s are too big for the lift.

There is a lot of road closures around the area at the moment which meant a bit of a circuitous route but we made good time arriving shortly after they opened at 10.00. We found parking was very good and using the wheelchair for the quilt exhibition as well as the museum itself was best (even ‘Little Rascal’ would have been too big for some of it).

The Kaffe Fassett Exhibition where the original eighteenth century quilts were hung near the modern ones they had inspired was well worth the visit and gave me as a relatively new quilter many ideas for future projects.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The three floors of the actual museum are all accessible (very unusual in a listed building) and show everything from the early settlers through to the modern age with many interactive exhibits. There were many very knowledgeable guides about the place who were only too happy to pass on extra information in a friendly way.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After spending quite a while looking around and at their display of probably 50 odd quilts Nigel left me outside on a bench in the warm sun while he swapped the wheelchair for the scooter. We had our lunch – the only disappointment of the day was that the allocated picnic area was entirely in the shade and a bit chilly.

Then on for an explore of the gardens


before calling it a day and fighting the traffic again on our return home.