Thursday, 26 May 2011

That went well!

The Gathering, that is, not the plan to blog about it every day. We were too busy having fun to summon up the energy to tell the blogosphere about it daily. Sorry if we disappointed you.

So, how did it go? Very well, I think! Wednesday and Thursday were filled with preparations and shopping during the day and drinks and laughs in the evenings. There were only a small handful of early-birds, but great company.

This is Eric and Bill arriving on Thursday, after pushing their 300 motorhome all the way with a bubble!

Friday was the big day, with almost everyone else arriving.

There were some really nice outfits...

including this one, which belonged to the site owners, Eddy & jackie.

We had some lovely trailers and 'vans, including this combo of a 1961 and a 2009 Bambi...

And FIVE Airstream motorhomes!

There were some smashing old British, European and American caravans too, thanks to some new friends from the My Cool Caravan Facebook page.

The weather was, shall we say, challenging at times. I managed to get a bit of a tan, but it could just be windburn. Strong gusts and the occasional horizontal rain made us run for the barn at times, but I think spirits were generally high, even for the poor souls under canvas!

This was our fifth Gathering and a bit of a departure for us. For the first time, we joined up with other caravanners and I think the result was spectacular. Everyone seemed particularly excited about the "open house" on the Saturday afternoon and the chance to have a nose around all these fantastic machines was taken up by almost everyone. Altogether we got 25 Airstreams and 11 cool caravans and motorhomes together, and they all looked amazing!

I don't know what it is that makes Airstreamers click, but they share a trait or two with vintage caravan owners. Everyone who came was a pleasure to meet, and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank them all for coming and sharing their pride and joys. And I'd especially like to thank Eddy & Jackie of Victoria Farm for being so helpful and accommodating.

I can't speak for everyone else, but we had a great time.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Countdowns and Launches

It's only one day until the Fifth UKAirstreamers Gathering!

The fifth! I can't believe it's only just over two years since we put the word out on this blog, calling up any Airstreamers who were watching and getting them to join us. We had nine Airstreams that weekend. This time we have twenty five coming from all over the country to join us in Leicestershire.

It was from that first get-together that UKAirstreamers was born. We needed a way for UK owners to keep in touch, so I made a website, added a forum and, in the process, learned more about web programming language than is healthy. The UKAirstreamers Forum now has nearly 200 members while the website gets around three thousand page-loads a month! I must admit, I'm quite chuffed.

Here's what we achieved last September (photo courtesy of Skylens Aerial Photography and Airstream Europe)

So, we arrived onsite a couple of days ago and we'll be spending today shopping, prepping and otherwise arranging things so that (we hope) everyone has a good time. People often ask me why we do it. To be honest, it isn't hugely different from my old job, and who doesn't like putting on a party?

We'll try to blog throughout this one, just to see if we can. One day to go. Stay tuned...

Meanwhile, last week we popped up to Tebay to see the launch of Airstream Europe's new Series 2 684. And very nice it was too!

Wally Byam, the founder of Airstream, once said "We don't make changes, we just make improvements." Or something like that. And I can see that philosophy in the new Series 2. The layout is more-or-less the same with some changes in the furniture to allow a larger bathroom, more space in the bedroom, bigger lounge and (I think most importantly), improved systems (water and electrics).

There is another launch event over the first weekend in June. This'll give you Southeners a chance to see the new Series 2 and have a shufty at Airstream Europe's new Southern Service and Repair centre near Cheltenham. Details, as they say, can be found on their website.

If you can't make it to that, here are some pics of the new Series 2.

Spoiler alert!