Brassknocker Basin

Friday 14th June 2019

We were in two minds about actually going to the Caravan and Motorhome (Wiltshire Centre) Rally this weekend. The rain overnight had worried us a bit – parking our five tonne unit on a soggy field has that effect.

We had chosen this Rally for its location near Bath and because there is easy access to a Canal towpath as well as a cycleway, but as it’s not far from home we decided to check it out beforehand. A quick visit in the car and a walk around the field may appear to be over the top but after our experience in Bakewell we felt it was the right thing to do.

We agreed to risk it so after a quick lunch we set forth in Voyager. When we arrived at the site we found a nice gathering of both Caravans and Motorhomes all nicely pitched up. The marshal’s gave us several options for where to pitch up. We chose one near the hardcore path at the side of the field – just in case there was more rain to come.

brasskn 2

We got set up then after doing the financial stuff had a bit of a trundle around the field finding the water and Elsan points then checked the route to the canal tow path. All the people we met were very friendly and welcoming so we had great hopes for a good weekend.

brasskn 3

One told us that there would be a steam train passing on the line next to the Rally field on Sunday morning. We do love steam trains. Only diesels today though.

brasskn 1

Saturday 15th June 2019

We met a nice couple last evening and joined them at the social Brunch at 11.00. Four gazebos had been setup together to give some shelter but the rain held off – in fact there were a few lengthy sunny periods. We had a lovely time chatting and laughing and the food was OK as well (only SW stuff for us though).

After getting things together we went for a trundle – our first thought was to explore the Two Tunnels Greenway (NCN244) but we encountered a path which was too narrow for us on NCN24. A shame but maybe next time we will find a way around it (a later explore of Google maps suggested there might be a detour available) but for today we opted to head to the Canal and explore the tow path toward Bath.

We explored the Dundas Aqueduct and watched a group of novice boaters dressed as pirates make a spectacularly inept attempt to steer around the corner. Good job narrowboats are resilient and not easily dented.

Dundas aq 2

Dundas aq 4

We crossed over a couple of bridges

canal 5

and carried on the path for a couple of miles,

enjoying the sun as we passed many moored boats. Some were well maintained but quite a few looked more like storage areas for assorted collectables (junk).

We saw a sign for Claverton Pumping Station saying it was open today – so detoured and spent a good hour getting a tour of it.

Pumphs 1

We had a lovely man tell us how it worked along with all the technical stuff about it – most went over my head but it was very impressive watching the water powered wheel moving the big beam pump. I must say that those engineers in the early 1800’s got in early with the environmentally friendly design – using the power of the river Avon to pump water from it up nearly 50ft to the Kennet and Avon Canal. Using no fuel and making no waste.

Later, after returning to Voyager and having some food we had another social event in the gazebos – a quiz night with Bingo. It turned out to be lovely – games and more chatting along with a little drink (bring your own) and cheese toasties as well – this is more like what we are looking for in a Rally.

Back to Voyager about 10.00 (just as the rain started hammering down).

Sunday 16th June 2019

Well the steam train did pass by this morning but I missed it. I didn’t get a lot of sleep mostly because starting about 1AM a team of rail workers were doing their night shift track maintenance on the bit next to our field – banging, shouting and laughing all illuminated by floodlights went on until 5.30. Nigel (who could sleep on a washing line) tossed and turned a bit but mostly slept through it.

Today is the last of the Rally so we attended the final meeting (called Flag) – the Chairman thanked the Marshals and we were welcomed (officially) and announcements about upcoming events etc. Then it was back to Voyager, get all packed up and set forth to our overnight stop.

A layby on the way for our lunch then on to Cheddar Mendip Heights C&CC site.

So electric hook up to fully recharge the 2G’s and a disabled shower facility as well.


Monday 17th June 2019

Moving on today – but first a good shower and clean of the van. Then we are off. A stop on route at Morrisons Bridgewater to top up the fridge and pantry.

A layby on the A39 was our chosen venue for a little tapas. It was lovely to sit in the warm and eat lunch.

We arrived at the Minehead Caravan & Motorhome Club site about three. It is slightly unusual with no one way system. Nigel managed to overshoot our turning and had to reverse about 50 yards on the narrow road (he is getting better at it though). When we eventually found our pitch we did the basics (positioning Betty and levelling Voyager). While Nigel did the outside stuff I tried to get a little snooze – should have known better really – the doors opening and closing as Nigel fitted the silver screen etc. and then he thought he would get his book for a quiet read. Trouble was when he opened the cupboard it was in other things fell out – onto my head.

So we went into town – finding a route on Google maps – before getting the call from my Brother saying the family had arrived at Butlins. We planned to meet them there later, but didn’t realise that visitors can only get in between 10am & 6pm and as it was 5.30 we decided it was best that they meet us at the gate and we had a short catch up and stroll on the prom.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We agreed to make a day of it tomorrow and after a bit of a chin wag we headed back to Voyager.

I made a lovely dinner of fillet steak, homemade chips (SW way) with mushrooms – I’ve mastered the cooking in the limited kitchen a little too well as I’m not getting taken out enough now.

Churchill Classic Car Weekend

AKA ‘Dicing with death on the A361’

Saturday 9th June 2018

We are off on our travels again – this time to deepest Oxfordshire to a small place named Chipping Norton. We are staying at the Caravan & Camping site a couple of miles south of the town.

It’s a smallish site but well maintained and very clean.

There is no Motorhome service point on the site so filling and emptying is not as easy as usual – but we have had a chance to test the ‘wild camping’ solution Nigel has come up with. Two collapsible 20 litre water carriers and an electric pump to get the contents into Voyager’s filling hole. He’s hopeful that 40 litres per day should be sufficient for our needs most days.

The journey was uneventful other than Nigel ignoring the Sat Nav and taking us the wrong way. He’s not confident in it anymore – but this time it was right and he was wrong. A quick detour on a B road and we were back on track and arrived onsite only half an hour after our original guestimate of 1 PM.

After a quick spot of lunch we got out the 2 G’s and set forth for a trundle around the site – checking the facilities and points we can exit.

There is a pedestrian gate onto the main road with a sign indicating a Bridleway to Churchill (our destination tomorrow) so that looks promising. We checked out the rest of the site, stopping to chat with some of the other campers as we do – they mostly comment on the size of our scooters and the headsets we chat to each other with – breaks the ice nicely.

Nigel thought that would be it but as it was still pretty early (about 4ish) I decided that after the ice-cream from the Reception shop (expensive)


we needed to explore more so we headed off in the direction of a Café & Shop sign that was just over from the site entrance.

To Chad

To Chad View

A couple of miles down the road we found the village of Chadlington – not the most picturesque we ever seen but nice and friendly. We did manage to find the Café which seemed to double as a general store as well – bit Arkwright like – where although we couldn’t get a post card we did find a locally produced greeting card – with village views.

The 2 G’s were very good as there were some taxing hills to go up and down on the route and both our Power meters where down a little by the time we got back to site – evening meal of Sweet chilli rice and prawns then a good relax in front of the TV.

Sunday 10th June 2018

Today is the Classic car Show – the reason for our weekend here. Our first look out of the window showed a cloudy start with quite a wind – oh well – but at least it’s not too cold.

The show started at noon so we left site just after 11.00 crossed the main road and through the gate onto the Bridleway.

Bridleway L

The path was OK at the start – just a little lumpy with tree roots – but as we progressed deeper into the woods we encountered a few very muddy patches. Most we could pass with a little forethought and positioning but one required Nigel to clear some tree debris from the edge and get through on virgin ground.

Shortly after that we emerged from the woodland as the path progressed alongside a farm field – and the sun had managed to burn through the cloud – so the rest of the path was much better – still lumpy though.

We only met one couple walking their dogs and a couple of chaps riding horses. Apparently they had never met Mobility Scooters before and were a bit spooked – we just sat quietly and let them pass in their own time.

Now onto a road we descended a bit of a hill before starting the climb up to Churchill. The 2 G’s did there thing and got us to the village admirably. It was starting to get busy with cars heading for the marked parking and folk making their way to the entrances.

We negotiated the former and queued with the latter to get into the show ground.

It was well worth the entrance fee (£7 each) and we spent a good few hours looking around the vehicles and exhibits.

We bought sandwiches for lunch which we ate sitting under a large tree on the edge of the show ground – idyllic (although a glass of white would have made it perfect). Sadly the ice-cream we had later was not so good – small scoop of ‘Supermarket Value’ product – Oh well they can’t get everything right.

It seemed to be getting more crowded by the time we decided we had seen enough (all of it).

We found that there were still loads of people coming in as we left the site and that the roads of the village were gridlocked with even more trying to get into the full car park. All possible parking places on the roadside were taken (and a few people had made bad decisions as usual). It’s the only time we have been in a traffic jam on our scooters with both the road and any pavements blocked.

Eventually we progressed although it did take a women passenger of one car getting out and turning into a traffic cop. We decided to return to Voyager using the main road (avoiding the bridleway mud). I told Nigel we should rename this blog as ‘Dicing with death on the A361’ as it was busy – but not as bad as yesterday.

Back at the campsite we got out the leisure chairs & I sat sewing while Nigel did his camera stuff.

We had a Tapas style alfresco meal with a glass of vino as the early evening sun shone down on us – very Mediterranean. After which I had a late siesta.

Monday 11th June 2018

Well today we were meant to be going home but the weather was glorious and we didn’t want to leave. Over breakfast we decided to stay another day and go for a trundle into Chipping Norton. Nigel went and sorted it with Reception and I made a packed lunch (so avoiding the need to buy shop sandwiches) although we would need to get a few things we had run out of.

We expected to have to stay on the A361 road all the way


but after a couple of hundred yards we found a roadside path

it was a bit overgrown with grass and nettles which because we were wearing shorts led to us being stung a few times – but overall it was safer than the road.

Chipping Norton is a small town with a few shops (mostly independents) and Antique centres. The Town Hall, Museum and Theatre are notable buildings but other than that there was nothing remarkable.

We did our bit of shopping in a small Sainsbury’s and found the local Recreation ground where we had our luncheon.

After making use of the disabled facilities in the car park Nigel spotted a local map which showed an outdoor swimming pool – I quite fancied having a bit of a paddle –

Lido Closed

but it was closed for maintenance. I did get chatted up by one of the workmen though so it was worth a visit.

The trip back was uneventful and we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the sun.

For tea I fried up chicken bits with spices and made a Mary Salad (that’s with anything I’ve got thrown in) – Lovely.

Tuesday 12th June 2018

We are definitely going home today as the weather is on the turn – Cloudy and cool with a touch of drizzle in the air.

Looking forward to next time – only a couple of weeks away!!