Valentine's - February 19th - 21st 2015

This meet was held at Chelmer Valley High School for the bargain unit fee of just £20. We arrived about 10 minutes early and started the Q outside the gate. The school had strict entry rules in force which initially seemed frustrating. On the stroke of 5pm we all processed through the gates, in 10 minutes the whole queue was sited.

From this point on the weekend sprang into life. It was so nice to see so many old friends after the winter break. We made our way to the canteen for a good old evening of catch up. The warm camper’s smiles and the school heating say it all.

Saturday started dry, Eric and I were fortunate to be offered a lift into town from our lovely EEDA Granddaughter. Thanks. We got all our shopping needs satisfied, then made our way for a relaxing lunch at Wetherspoon’s. Guess who followed us in.

While we had our PM rest a team of volunteers transformed the school hall to an upmarket restaurant. We were greeted with a complimentary Valentine's drink. We made our way into the hall, it looked magnificent, decorated tables tastefully arranged around the dance floor. We were invited to join a number of old friends. Jojo not only gave us a very romantic disco but used her new remote control. Campers were soon up and dancing. Half way through the evening we joined the queue for the mouth-watering buffet. The evening was so lively we were tempted to stay till 11pm and had more dances than for several years.

I should also mention the raffle. Our contribution was to sell the tickets. People were very generous. When it came to the draw Chuckles worked his magic and all the prizes were allocated till the final one was drawn and won by Mike Hayes. Unknown to most of us, he was the amazed winner of the write up. His look of panic resulted in prizes being exchanged. You now just have a quote from him.

“30 years ago he belonged to EEDA youth under Rob Daniels. Many years passed till this last Xmas he purchased a Motorhome and rejoined CCC. Looking in his new magazine he was delighted to learn EEDA unlike so many D.A’s was still up and running. So he drove over from his home near Oxford to join in the fun. Not knowing anyone when he arrived he told me everyone was so friendly he was pleased he came.” When asked if we will see him again he said “not very often because of the distance but, Yes certainly, if and when he could”

I cannot close without adding a heartfelt appeal to all campers to do their bit to lend a hand where they can. We do not want EEDA to join Mike’s list of closed D.A’s.

I do not know how much power our DA has to split jobs but for example stewards for DA meets are always needed. We can all help do little bits, like taking and putting up signs, opening up, offered an evenings entertainment or a walk or pub visit etc. We can also mind the site for a few hours while stewards get out and have a little fun too. At halls tables and chairs need to go out and back, floors swept coffee morning drinks made etc.

Many will say yes we do that, and evidence is there large and clear, so I will end by saying a big THANK YOU especially to our stewards for a wonderful, memorable, high class weekend. Thank you to the huge band of volunteers who lifted chairs, placed and set tables, brought along and set amazing decorations, donated raffle prizes, purchased, cooked and served our great meal, the brave souls who were first to get up and dance, and the band of even more praiseworthy volunteers who were up at crack of sparrows to clean, and rearrange the hall for coffee morning, the drinks makers and last of all everyone for coming. Without support we are in danger of losing something that is greatly prized.

Come to the AGM and have your say as well as another great weekend.

Ann and Eric McLaren