2023 Northern Chapter gathering

A new event for us, and new for everyone as it was the first year of running.

Some of us had went to Nash Oakland the previous weekend for camping but as you can see there’s no writeup nor pictures from them as the Southern lot are lazy, that and one of the beardies was in hospital but that’s really no excuse.

So we visited the Castlewood 4×4 show which was held near Halkyn in North Wales literally just off the A55. https://www.castlewood4x4.co.uk/

Running Friday to Sunday it was a cracking weekend, nice setting albeit a tad close to the A55 if you’re looking for wilderness camping and peace and quiet. The background drone from the A55 exists but it didn’t seem to bother us, might be different if you’re closer to the road.

Facilities at the event were very good; proper shower/toilet block and as an added bonus there were trade stands. There wasn’t much there but slowly slowly, catchy monkey; test how it goes and expand next year if it works (it did).

From our point of view; there were six of us, sadly Keith was just too busy to have a weekend off; understandable but he was missed; especially by Team A (more on that later).

So, as usual, we almost arrived en-masse and pitched our tents, all of them in the shadow of Roy’s magnificent erection, (new tent, happy camper). Cameron who usually camps in something akin to a travelling circus tent went poverty spec and was in his old army tent which has seen plenty of use. Andy chose to bed down in his passion wagon whilst his Lordship Mark, brought his mobile penthouse enabling him as usual to look down on us ground dwellers. Craig was in his bell tent and Paul was in one of those unzip twisty popup tents that you can’t initially put back in the bag; and that’s exactly what happened on the Sunday.

Roy did a sterling job of being camp chef as witnessed by his own bacon and sausages for brekkie along with the obligatory black pudding and criossants. His cassoulet was excellent. Andy as Andy does was an excellent commissary supplying snack after snack and keeping the kettle boiling all weekend.

Cider was drunk, as was whisky. Welsh cakes were scoffed (thanks Lynne) and we generally ate and drunk our way through the weekend with the occasional stroll or walk about to provide a bit of exercise.

Roy went an brought back ice-cream for everyone; amazingly Craig didn’t get any change which was no surprise as he hadn’t funded it this time.

Purchases of the cooking variety were made from one of the stalls in the trade section and both buyers seemed pleased with their coveted possessions.

Quizmaster Andy had the official quiz on Saturday evening just before we went down to watch the band. It was a bit lopsided with just five of us to be split into two teams so Team A consisted of His Lordship, Cameron and Paul. Team B was Roy and Craig. Despite being out manned Team B was fair and didn’t let Team get beaten by too many points; but for the record Team B beat Team by 3 points. 28 – 25. Not that we’re keeping score; oh no.

I have some random thoughts in my head from the weekend and cannot recall what attribution they go against.
Andy the sword swallower.
I know there was a split in the Northern Chapter to what a roll is called.
I do recall a discussion over Wigan pie munchers and lobby gobblers (folk from Leigh).

Overall; a cracking weekend with cracking weather. Would we do it next year; yes, and ideally keep the same pitches in the corner. Take your shovel as they’d obviously had sheep in the field until fairly recently so a game of sheep poop golf was in order to clear the ground.