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Rally Report Viking and Holy Isle Rally 3th – 10th June 2019.
Travelled down from home to Belford in sunshine to attend Sara and Scott’s Viking and Holy Island Rally in South Meadows Caravan Park, the two-hour journey was undertaken at a leisurely pace on quiet roads which meant us arriving at twelve noon. Meeting up with some old friends and the other rally team members before being shown to our allocated pitch, which was perfectly flat so the setting up was easily accomplished and quick.
A first glance at the well layout site, with large pitch spacing, a very new toilet block, a handy simple arrangement for the water supply and grey waste disposal and short grass with little cuttings so you were not trailing the cuttings into the caravan every time you entered the caravan. After settling in, booking in, where we got the rally envelope and the folder showing a lot of information about the area local to the site and also the beautiful county of Northumberland. Sara had obviously taken care to ensure that all the ralliers were well equipped to enjoy their stay at Belford.
On the Tuesday evening, after a brief opening speech from the opener, Kenny Robertson with Elaine breaking the flag, we enjoyed a glass of mead or wine and got the opportunity to talk to all the other people who were at the rally before calling it a day and retiring to our caravans.
The following day was free to let anybody who wished to visit the local area or travel a bit further visiting any of the places that were highlighted in the tourist information pack given out when we booked in. We chose to visit the seaside town of Seahouses and Beadnell Bay and had a little run down the coast road to Embleton and Newton-by-the-Sea, places we spent several Holiday Rallies with Northumberland Centre when our children were young.
After we went into Alnwick on Thursday morning, stocked up with groceries and had a lovely walk around the town we made our way back to Belford and had lunch before exploring the South Meadows site with Iain and Margaret Devine. We were amazed at the size of the site with an area set aside for seasonal pitches and the exceptionally well laid out separate areas for static caravans, each area was landscaped and very well maintained. The highlight of the afternoon was the Woodland walk carefully arranged round the perimeter and the top end of the site, with defined paths that ensured no mud or tricky manoeuvring round the woodland and trees. We saw bug hotels, interesting wood storage areas providing shelter for small animals and boxes with nuts to feed the red squirrels, unfortunately for us, we were unable to spot any red squirrels during our enjoyable walk. We finally left the forest and found other areas with static caravans all the static vans were maintained to a high degree as were the surrounds and we also found the residents very friendly and talkative.
By the time we got back to our caravans it was time to get the food prepared for the communal Bar-B-Q that the Marshalls had arranged along with games and quizzes etc. The hardier individuals were reluctant to leave and it was quite late when the last of them decided to turn in and removed their windbreaks. What a lovely day and evening the Thursday turned out to be.
Friday was another free day for folk to enjoy either relaxing on the site, or visiting the many interesting places in the surrounding area. After the full day the previous day, we settled for a lazy day and after lunch went to the café and shop located next to the site.
When the ladies returned to the site Iain and I went for a walk round Belford which was a staging post for the carriages that went from Scotland down all the way to London. After walking to the far end of the town we noted the local hostelry, The Black Swan, where we had a taste of Guinness which helped to quench our thirst. After returning to the site and having our dinner it was a quiet evening with friends.
The weather on the Saturday was showery but luckily for us the rain stopped and the sun emerged just in time for the Viking themed social evening, where we had a cooked meal together with wine and beer, followed by a selection of cup cakes. The evening progressed with a get together with stories, jokes and singing. All in all, it was a brilliant evening and some people remarked that it reminded them of the socials of yesteryear.
On Sunday morning we had the closing ceremony in the sun, tea and coffee with warmed croissants, prizegiving for the games and other activities, followed by lucky van prizes and presentation of Rally plaques to the team. Unfortunately for some people including the Chairman and Iain, had to leave due to other commitments like work and a Mexican holiday.
Our final social activity took place on Sunday evening with a get together Bar-B-Q.
Monday morning it was time for the remaining outfits to disperse and say cheerio to fellow ralliers.
Our thanks are due to Anne Hadley, John and Helen Bullions and Sara Brown and Scott Donald for a fantastic Rally. Looking forward to 2020 when hopefully we can have another stay at Belford.
George & Pat Lallaway