It seemed a good idea. Ian & Chrissie along with Geoff and ourselves meeting up for a weekend camp at Kettlewell for their annual Scarecrow Festival. we left home on Thursday morning August 6th and travelled to the scenic route to Kettlewell. That was a mistake. We had only just got past Leyburn on the A684 when we came across a road closed sign and we had to follow the diversion.
The diversion was no wider than a dirt track and with caravan on the back we took up most of the width of the road. That was okay until we met someone coming in the opposite direction. Once through the diversion we incidentally added an hour on the Journey. we got back on route and started to make good progress until we approached a 1 in 4 hill with two bends in it. we dropped down a gear and gave it full throttle. The bends slowed us down and in the last quarter of the hill we came to a stand still, It was too steep. Ian put on the handbrake only to find we were rolling backwards. Ian got the van into 1st gear and with full throttle managed to crawl up to the top of the hill. we finally got to the summit only to be met by an ambulance and air ambulance attending an accident. some poor fellow had fallen over the crevice and was being whisked away to hospital. we arrived at the campsite around 3 o,clock. The rally marshal showed us where to camp and we got set up. we were next to Geoff’s caravan but he was not to be seen. we found out on his return that he had been visiting the local hostelry. After some late lunch we wandered around the village to see what was on offer. The festival didn’t start until saturday but there were some scarecrows already out and in readiness for the big day.
Friday August 7th started off with brilliant sunshine. By 10 o,clock Ian & Chrissie arrived and were camped next to us in their faithful camper “Tilly” Geoff came over and asked us if we wanted a ride out to Leyburn. He was going over the top, a little road just wide enough for a car and with 1 in 3 inclines. we said yes and off we went leaving Ian and Chrissie to enjoy the mid morning sun. The market at Leyburn was in full swing doing a roaring trade with locals and visitors alike. We bought batteries for the torch and some loom bands for our adopted grand daughter. On our return to camp we ventured into the village with Ian & Chrissie whilst Geoff had his siesta. More scarecrows had been placed out for the festival. I took several photos of them. I took out a questionnaire from one of the local shops. It was a sheet of paper giving out clues on different scarecrows which you had to find and put the first letter of the answer in a certain order to spell out a word which described the event. After a few trips around the village I finally managed to get the answers and after putting in the letters I found that the word spelt out Wensleydale. I put the finished form back into the shop draw in th hope I wood win a prize but as yet I haven’t heard back from them.
Saturday arrived and so did hundreds of visitors in their cars and in coaches. Within a couple of hours the village was almost grid locked with people wandering around with sheets of paper in their hands looking for the clues to the questionnaire, the one that I had done the previous day. We soon left the village and went back to camp.There were far too many people walking around for my liking. I don’t like crowds. That evening we all sat out drinking and talking as it was Ian and Chrissie last day with us. They were going home tomorrow.
Sunday August 10th was rainy morning. Where had the warm sunny weather gone? Ian & Chrissie were gone by 9 o’clock and once Geoff got up and had his breakfast we went into Skipton for some provisions. We had hoped that the rain would stop so we could have a walk around the shops but it didn’t. we got what we wanted from Morrisons of course and set off back to camp to find that the marshal had closed the entrance to the site as it had become very clarty and wet, so we were directed into another entrance which was more firm. we felt really sorry for the day trippers walking around in the pouring rain looking at the bedraggled scarecrows. There had been a lot of hard work making the scarecrows and it was a real shame to see them falling apart because of the bad weather. That evening Geoff stayed in his caravan watching television whilst we listened to our radio before having an early night to bed.
Monday August 11th was another dismal dreary day. The rain was still falling and the wind had got a bit stronger. Ian hates towing the caravan in windy conditions. we got breakfast over then prepared the caravan to travel back home. This time we were going home the longer way along the A59 to the A1M. There are no steep hills to climb going this way. We did have an enjoyable time at Ketllewell with Geoff and Ian & Chrissie. It was a Camping & Caravanning Club THS and it was fun. I don’t see why the members of our club cannot do this again next year. It doesn’t have to be Kettlewell, it can be anywhere you fancy. Look in the Camping & caravanning club magazine and if you do see something of interest let Ian know and he can tell other members of our club who just maybe
interested in joining us. Besides, it gives Ian and me a little holiday,