Friday 6th September 2019
After a couple of days with my Radiotherapy sessions in the late afternoon today it was earlier at 12.45 so we were able to get home by two o’clock. We had already got pretty much everything we needed for a weekend away packed into Voyager and Betty. Just a quick lunch before we set off to our chosen Rally.
Nigel had booked just after we got the schedule for my treatments and wasn’t sure if I was going to be fit enough to go – but I was – and I’m really glad we did.
It was a local C&MH Rally located, as the crow flies, only 6.5 miles from home – but by road double that – even so we arrived at the rally field of the Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum, Calne by 3.30.
We pitched up on the edge of the nicely mown field and although it was on rather a slope Nigel did his thing with the levelling rams and very quickly Voyager was, like her Star Trek namesake, flying high.
This became a bit of a discussion point around the camp – the general opinion being that most liked them but not their price. Beats having to use those wedge things anyway.
We do have a lovely view of the Cherhill White Horse and the Lansdowne Monument (known in my family as the Yatesbury Rocket – don’t know why).
After setup Nigel went to the Rally Caravan and paid our £23 dues for two nights and brought back our Rally pack. Info about the local area and social stuff and another quiz – this time appropriately about car manufacturers.
Our meal was a simple BBQ chicken rice dish – quickly assembled although it wasn’t as easy to swallow as I had hoped.
We made a start on the quiz – doing the ones we knew from memory first before watching a little TV before bed.
Saturday 7th September 2019
Today we awoke to a fine day – a bit of mist and a bit chilly but it looked good out the window – the hot air balloon in the mist made for a nice photo.
We had a leisurely breakfast and did the chores before setting off on the 2G’s for a trundle into Calne Town. You may remember we had motor issues with Gordon on our visit to Devizes – Nigel did a strip down clean-up of his motor and it appeared to work OK on a quick wiz around our village. However on a longer trundle over the Bank Holiday weekend he again failed (the motor got very hot and eventually seized up completely). The only answer was to buy a new one – expensive but for the miles we do on our scooters definitely worth it.
We were both surprised at how much we didn’t know about Calne (especially as Nigel had lived in the town for a couple of years in the early 90’s) but found the Heritage Quarter notice boards very helpful.
Industrially it began as a Wool town progressing on and now remembered most for the Harris’s Bacon Factory which produced pork products up until the 1980’s. I’m not sure I would have liked to live there then with the constant smell of bacon in the air.
There was a branch off the Wilts and Berks Canal from Chippenham which helped with the distribution and although it is un-navigable now a short section has been restored. The end lock has been fitted with an information area looking like a Narrowboat. They couldn’t restore it completely as a large pipe was laid across it to help with flood prevention.
A little higher, back from the tow path, we found that Calne had a Castle – not a big imposing one but enough to protect the little town perched as it was on the highest point. There is nothing left above ground but an archaeological dig back in 2010 found the foundations as well as many small items that are now displayed in Devizes Museum. This gleaned from another of the very useful notice boards.
Since the demolition of the factory the centre has been gradually rebuilt with a very modern bright Library and retail units as well as the usual coffee and Charity shops. A very nice community area by the river looked inviting and well maintained.
These new areas didn’t look out of place with the old Town Hall and the even older Lansdowne Strand Hotel just over the road.
We enjoyed our morning trundle about the town but we also like to stick to our SW friendly eating regime – having managed to resist all of the offerings at the Food Festival in Phelps Parade we set off back to Voyager for lunch. We did pop into the News Agent on London Road for a little tub of Marshfield Farms ice-cream – only a little ‘sinny’ and in my case ‘medicinal’ (helps with my throat).
After the washing up we went and explored the Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum at a discounted price for us ralleyers. It’s small and has a quirky but friendly feel.
Had a good look around – trying to find the answers to more of the quiz questions – not totally successfully unfortunately.
Then back to Voyager – me for my siesta and Nigel for more online research for the damnable quiz.
After our meal – a pesto mince pasta concoction lovingly created by Nigel – we joined a few of our neighbours in the Museum Tea Room for a social chat. It was the normal ‘bring your own’ evening of stories and banter which we are really enjoying. As this is now our third Rally with this group we are starting to feel at home with them.
Sunday 8th September 2019
During breakfast we were still pondering over the 4 or 5 answers we hadn’t found – quiz sheets had to be handed in by 10.00 so we made a few guesses and Nigel headed to the Rally Van with it. He came back with some raffle tickets – well we have to be lucky sometime.
Flag was at 11.00 so I went up on Grace with our mugs the sweeteners and some water. Nigel brought his chair. He went and made our coffee while I chatted.
We were brought to order by our Chairman Mark using his PA system and he did the usual Thankyou’s etc.
John our Marshal and quiz setter spoke without the aid of amplifier and told us the winner – it wasn’t us (no surprise) but when we got our sheet back we were only 1 point short of the winner which made us feel a lot better.
We did manage to win a couple of things in the raffle which was welcome (a bottle of red always is) and ‘Chip Buckets’ may come in useful.
Formalities completed we chatted for a bit longer before returning to Voyager. As others started the packing up process I had a snooze while Nigel loaded all the video and photos we have taken onto the laptop.
We didn’t rush – the official end time was 3.00pm so a leisurely lunch and a slow packing away of the outside stuff for Nigel – the same for me on the inside stuff.
The last thing was getting the levelling rams up before setting off for home at just after 2.30pm. The journey was fine and we were back before 3.00pm.
Not too much washing for a weekend so just chucked it in the laundry basket – bit slovenly but hey ho.