2019 – April Adventure Overlander Show – Stratford upon Avon.

Let’s be honest, if this was the weekend previous, people would be complaining about getting sun stroke, but this is the UK and it’s the time of year when the MET office put out yellow and red warnings about anything more than a small breeze so the weather wasn’t the best – think occasionally wet, but with wind all the time.

The weather however did give you the opportunity to look round the campsites to see which contraptions, modifications and tents stood up to the best that the edges of Storm Hannah could provide. Happy to note that all tentage in the Boobs sleeping areas survived intact, not all others elsewhere did. I’m sure some of those who had roof tents didn’t enjoy a comfortable nights sleep; I’m sure that quite a few of them were convinced they were on a very rough ferry crossing due to the amount of movement the wind was putting on their trucks with the tent erection above.

There may be trouble ahead…

We repeatedly come to this show, for several reasons. It allows us Beardies to meet up, it’s great to network with like-minded folks and it’s good to mooch round the stands to see what’s on offer (assuming we can keep Andy out of the army surplus store long enough).

This is what it’s all about.

A couple of us turned a day or so before the show to setup base camp BOOBS and soon settled into what would be our regular schedule for the show. Sit down, have a chat, possibly have a drink, something to eat and have a good laugh.

On the food front we had plenty to eat, from little table nibbles to full on prepared meals all of which were cooked on either the smoker or camp stove number 1.

Coffee, as always was almost on tap, provided this year by Chard’s replacement Espresso maker and cheapy gas stove – it did a sterling job.

As every year; we’ve got lots of visitors dropping in by for our ‘Free, not necessarily good advice service’ as well as previous visitors who return to catch up; the likes of Mike, who camped adjacent to us last year, returned this year with his wife and a dog Jess in tow. Wooluf the BOOBS security dog kept an eye on everyone when he was awake which wasn’t much of the time.

There’s nothing like a V8 to get men stirred up. Ben Coombs turns up to camp beside and join us in his TVR Chimaera and it had the men flocking to it like alcoholics to a free bar.
Pub2Pub and more importantly Kermit (for that is it’s name) took him from the most northerly bar in the the planet to the most southerly. Short distance of about 20,000 miles in between. For someone who had planned a long distance pub trip fairly well you would have thought he would have taken more than 10 cans of lager to join us for a few days, most of which were drunk by himself in the first night. By the second night he’d got into the swing of things.

Other notable visitors to Camp BOOBS were the Top Hat Explorers , camped right next door had been visitors previous events so they knew they were onto a good thing. Their little Micra’s had been abused to within an inch of their life’s and were still taking them places most other people still dream about.

Novel way of arriving at the show.

As for the show itself; there are always the normal characters – one in particular falls into the Walt brigade. No other than MED 1C. Flashing ambers, high speed acceleration and use of sirens whenever he can for no real apparent reason apart from self importance. Here he is as he passed our camp for the umpteenth time that day. We were actually amazed that the P38 Range Rover was able to keep running all weekend.

Even David was in awe of his amber flashing, so much so that he tricked out his own truck which had to be captured in slow mo goodness for all the Walts out there.

The wider show; lots of interesting trucks, campers etc; key ones we’ve listed here due to A: I liked them or B: Since I’m the one writing this these are the ones that were a little bit special for me. The Fire Brigade tender was popular for quite a few of us.

There may have been some good humoured interaction with Glass , All Terrain UK which also saw Jim of ATUK after imbibing in several drams/drinkies and nibbles almost sacrifice his little dog to the great fire god of Sputnik.

Someone would always take a hat and this year it was the hat of Gandalf – which sadly given that most of us have beards we tend to suit it.

So to finish off, a cracking weekend again despite the relatively bad weather. Here’s hoping the Sept show will be better weather. If you’ve never done it before; do consider it. If you make it to the show; do pop in for some ‘Free, not necessarily good advice’ You’ll see our sign outside our camp area.

Now let’s see if we can get Andy through his Camping Anonymous course by Sept so he can walk past an Army surplus or charity store where they may be selling rucksacks without him getting all excited like a kid the night before Christmas. It was really sad to see him hand over his last £10 to the stall next to us, having said that the Kettle of plenty that he came back with did get used a lot over the weekend. The rucksack/tent/stove/cooking/sleeping bag purchasing approach he has is a habit he really must kick – I mean Andy – how many rucksacks do you now have ?
Sadly it wasn’t only Andy who was compelled to spend some dosh – Even David opted to purchase two ‘ultimate packages’ of shite; Two new spotlights for his truck; comically they don’t fit so I guess that’s his bumper being reworked so they do fit.

That’s it until Sept. See you there, with that we’ll leave you this little ditty which seems to have become our goto song.