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Thursday, 23 August 2012

Tillie's first VW festival

Due to winning the preloved VW competition (thanks to those who voted) it was a bit daunting to find I have won the tickets to a VW Leeds

After working out on google map it was a 136 miles to the festy I ummed and aahed until the last minute as to whether it was such a wise decision to go.

Throwing caution to the wind, charging the phone and sticking AA on speed dial, I set off Friday night and arrived at Leeds for 8pm (about 4 hours - not entirely Tillie's reluctancy to going over 50mph, the motorway traffic was crap)

All pitched and a cold beer, I then sat and waited for Steve to join me - He was planning to get there 11pm, after finishing work at 7:30pm. Sitting outside in the humid evening with a chilled beer and gazing at the clear sky, what could possibly go wrong?

Well quite a lot actually....

11pm I get a phone call....'I am stuck at the entrance and they wont let me in. No car access after 9pm'. Bggr. So after his dramatic squeals of 'I'm driving straight back home, this is hopeless, no where to put the car etc'...I get the dogs leads on and walk a mile up the entrance to try and sort something out.

Speaking to the security there is indeed no way he is getting in, but he can park across the road and get the car in the morning.

After faffing for half hour while he gets his bag, wine and god knows what else (but was an absolute necessity for that night), we start to walk back, much to Homer and Barleys delight, as they are knackered

Half way back I can hear mumbling, and then he drops the next little bombshell...'FFS I have got the camping pass in my hand but I must have dropped my wristband'...

Blummin great. Pitch black, miles from the tent and the dogs legs are like casters now

So we search all the path, amble back to the car again, have a chat with the security guards. They say to speak to the organisers in the morning as they are sure they will be able to sort something out

Carrying Homer on my head we eventually get back to the campsite, forget the tea and ham sandwich planned, instead we down a large amount of alcohol in 5 mins flat

Next morning all is sunny and happy again and the stress of the night before over

We go to the cash desks, get pointed to the main entrance ticket sales who have ran out of wristbands, who point us to security who only have a Saturday wristband, who send us back to the campsite entrance to speak to the organisers to get a weekend one (keep up)

Happily the organisers couldn't do enough after explaining our predicament. So Steve armed with his Saturday wristband, then gets given his Weekend wristband. Plus altho the site is on lockdown again till 5pm for vehicle access, they decide to give us VIP treatment and radio for a buggy to take us to the main entrance to collect the car.

We then proceeded to tell every security guard on the entire site it was fine to let us through as 'Adey said so'. It was like Moses and the Red Sea, as the gates all parted to give us personal access (would have been less embarrasing if we werent in a bloody Renault Clio)

So car collected, we empty out the chairs and he faffs about a bit getting his stuff together to go in the show. Going through his bag he finds....THE BLOODY WEEKEND WRISTBAND!!!!

Overjoyed (I want to slap him with a golf club) we can finally go into the actual show, with Steve wearing his new designer bracelets

(I'm sure this goes a long way to explaining why i like to 'solo' camp)

Enjoyable day walking round the festival with the dogs, I managed to coup a few cushions (again) and some other oddments of junk. Some nice conversions to stands as well...

The cake VW

Excellent use of a Coleman Event Shelter

The UV Bar which looked stunning at night...

but i must admit I thought it looked very attractive during the day as well....

In fact I zoomed in to get a better look at the 'paintwork'...

until i got 'rumbled'...

Hastily moving on I got the dogs some nice Lei's so they could feel part of the whole hippy vibe

Homer having never been to a festy before loved the free food side of things. He managed to hoover his way through every delicacy available by just truffling through the grass. At one embarrasing stage he did just stand and stare at a couple who had just purchased cheesy chips and mayo. They did comment 'he's a bit forward isn't he?'...

He was soon appeased with a nice bag of sugary doughnuts though, wearing the bag on his nose for 5 minutes until the last trace of sugar was gone

Back to the tent for a siesta, then I settled the dogs in Tillie and we went down for the evening entertainment. Large amounts of beer later (bring your own was allowed, love these Northerners for a cheap do) we headed to the main tent - singing at full voice to covers from the Killers, Stereophonics, and a whole host of indie classics

It was supposed to be a beach theme weekend and a few had made the effort - loved this lobster

Not quite sure where Scooby fitted in the beach theme but he was cute

So a load of kopperberg, gaymers and a pork and stuffing baguette all contributed to a great night

The following morning we walked round the show again then visited some of the attractions in the grounds - the bird gardens and Harewood House. After an argument with Lurch on the door about whether it was supposed to be free entrance or not we stumped up a concessionary £5 and looked round the house.

Quick walk round the grounds as well, highlight being the statue of the man with huge bllx

The penguins may as well have been stuffed as they didnt move

We had 'Afternoon Tea' in the house. Declining the £33 afternoon special of 2 sandwiches and a pot of Earl Grey, we settled for breakfast tea and a Yorkshire Fat Rascal (same as a normal scone with an almond on it)

Another walk round the event looking at the show and shine

Maybe not so shiny but cute...

Have no idea how this even moves as its so low

More interesting were the various dogs....Homer was a bit jealous of this ones trolley..(after his midnight walk with the wristband farce I think he is saving his gravy bones to buy one)

Not sure if the dog was weirder in the pants or the owner (who was very weird - sort of like Susan Boyle but worse)

Another dog trying the 'Why cant I have a trolley' routine?

Walking round...

The Graffiti tent in action (in hindsight I should have secretly volunteered the Clio for this)

In keeping with the VW speed theme...donkey rides

Ambled back to the van to unpitch the tent to go home...

Some of the vans on the site were nicer than the show and shines

A little teardrop van

Just time to take the dogs a last the corner of the campsite we were spoilt for choice on where to go..

there was either the fields round the corner...

the woods

or what for some reason was their favourite the church and graveyard

The graveyard also had a secret passage - my brave and fearless dogs...sent Steve down to check it out

Once they were happy he wasnt molested and left for dead they went down as well

Steve had a fascination for the gravestones and I appear to have about 20 pics of these....

Just as well really, as if he loses his wristband next year he will be under one....

Happily Tillie made it home in one piece too!!!

Thank you Tillie!

And finally...

I have just noticed that the blog has been going for a year now - over 42000 views so I may as well keep it going! Thanks to all that read it, it makes it more worthwhile if someone else is interested in my rantings


  1. Fab rantings Val. Looks good fun, glad you enjoyed some Northern hospitality. We let most people in......... Whether we let you out again is a different matter ;)
    Tillies looks lovely and I bet the bell got some attention too.

  2. Thank you Val, I've enjoyed reading of your travels with gorgeous Labs, fantastic tents and now Tilly, looking forward to more in the future. Best Wishes.

  3. Interesting, humourous, and great pics as always Val - love the 'paintwork' in the UV bar! lol


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