Friday, 17 September 2010

Gathering Memories

I think we have just about caught up on our sleep. I've been waking up from deep, deep sleeps feeling pretty spaced out while Pete has had spasmodic sleeps disrupted by thoughts about last weekend and already planning for next year. And to think, this time last week a convoy of eight Airstreams appeared in this field, gradually followed by another twenty-one. As far as we have been able to ascertain, that is the largest gathering since the last caravan of American visitors of the Wally Byam club in the nineteen sixties. Certainly it's the largest collection of Brits with Airstreams, ever.

But as wonderful as that is, and as preoccupied I was about seeing Airstreams en masse, looking back on the weekend my memories are more clearly dominated by images of people getting to know each other, catching up with each other, hanging out together, and having a lot of fun and huge amounts of laughter. And that is very special indeed, most gratifying.

Of course we were too busy maintaining an illusion of effortless organisation to concentrate on getting great photos but here is a selection of what we've managed to cobble together between us.

The weekend included vintage and new trailers and motor homes, dating between a 1959 Tradewind and 2010 European Internationals; there was the arrival of a convoy of eight; drinks on Friday night under the shelter of the party tent as it chucked it down with rain outside; old friends and new, mingling and meeting; a bring-and-share barbecue; campfires; lanterns; late nights; Sunday breakfast in the sunshine; 'unhitch and stitch'; baseball; people becoming more and more relaxed as the weekend unfolded; children crying when it was time to leave. It rained some of the time but the sun shone for much of the weekend.

Unexpected hit of the gathering: the flush loo. We had expected something basic and chemical but Carl supplied us with a cute wooden hut, painted inside, with curtains made by Gaynor and photos of their 1959 Tradewind on the walls.


Carl and Gaynor, Connor, Jordan and Rory have all mucked in enthusiastically, and made so much happen just the way it should. From inviting us to their farm in the first place, to running in the water, putting up the party tent, supplying us with firewood, and so many extras that helped us to have the perfect weekend.

Many, many thanks to everyone who came and took part, and enjoyed themsleves and contributed to such a brilliant weekend. Shall we do it all again? It's already being planned.

There are more photographs on the UKAirstreamers Forum on the Meets Rallies And Gatherings thread. And there is more about the 'Unhitch and Stitch' on Notes From A Nomadic Knitter (Tracey's blog).

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The fourth UKAirstreamers Gathering

Back in March of last year, we posted here that we were going to be in a particular spot at a particular time and if you had an Airstream, come along and join us. I also posted on the US Airforums. It wasn't a particularly efficient way of getting in touch with Airstream owners in the UK, but we managed to get eleven together in a field in Wiltshire. Despite a hailstorm during the barbecue, a good time was had by all. You can read about it here.

Out of this was born UKAirstreamers.

What began as a means by which a handful of Airstreamers could keep in touch has grown into a resource-ridden, useful tool for dozens and dozens of UK Airstream owners to share knowledge, information and just chat.

A year and a half later, we're about to host our fourth UKAirstreamers Gathering. This one promises to be the largest ever collection of Airstreams in the UK! We have (at the last count) 28 Airstreams and their owners coming to spend the weekend of 10th - 12th September with us near Ludlow in Shropshire.

It isn't too late to join us! I'm sorry, but this isn't open to the public, but if you have an Airstream and would like to bring it along for the weekend, please email me at (you know the drill, replace the "-at-" with @).

Don't worry if you can't make it - we'll be posting pics here and doing it again (twice!) next year.