One of the main dates in any split screen van owner’s calendar has to be Victoria Farm. Vicky Farm hosts the AGM of the Split Screen Van Club, where hundreds of members get together to camp, eat, drink, be merry and admire each other’s vans over the May Day bank holiday weekend.
One of the highlights of the weekend has to be the convoy to Stanford Hall VW Show on Sunday morning, where splitty owners line up and drive a few miles down the road to take part in the club display.
Vicky Farm was our first weekend away in the van. It nearly didn’t happen for us, as when we arranged to pick up Ruby from storage, we found out that she wouldn’t start. The guy storing her offered to charge her battery, but then had his power cut off due to work on the local substation! After some tinkering, panicked phone calls to our mechanic, precise hitting of things with hammers and a visit from the RAC, it turned out that Ruby’s starter motor was borked, so after getting her started, the RAC man waved Rooobarb on his way with a cheery “Don’t stall – you won’t get started again!” as he headed off to Accrington Beetles and Campers where Dave examined the offending starter motor, diagnosed it as buggered, and fitted one on loan whilst he had ours reconditioned – what a star!
Following that, Rooobarb then picked me up from work – having not had a chance to wash the van or even grab a bite of lunch, and we quickly loaded the van and set off on our way.
As we approached Vicky Farm, we were joined by some fellow splitties on the motorway (apologies for poor quality pics – bit of camera shake from looking out the back window of the van):
And had a very small convoy, until we had to pull off to refuel all three of us (Ruby with unleaded, us with coffee!) but caught up with them at Vicky Farm later:
We arrived at the campsite, chose a place to call home for the next couple of days, tried and failed to put up our gazebo to cook in, decided we had far too much stuff in the van, stacked it all in the cab, put the bed up and then went for an explore. Please note: never let the person who has decided to start drinking be the only one to wear a head torch, as you will be trying to see where you are going, and the torch beam will be swinging wildly up to the sky as Custard imbibes her first cider of the evening 😉
The next morning we woke up to this lovely view from Ruby’s back window:
And had another wrestle with the gazebo, in between downpours of rain. It turned out all the poles were mislabeled, so after a bit of swapping, we got it up – but the wind then blew the rain through the sides, making the chairs inside a little soggy. I decide to remedy this by drinking more cider, and sitting in my chair, trying to enjoy the sunshine. We then realised that we needed more fuel before the convoy on Sunday, and to pick up a lighter for the gas stove (we’d not used it for a few years, and forgotten that it didn’t have a piezo lighter) so we went off site for a “splash and dash” and came back on to find… a collapsed gazebo, smashed by the wind. We were very relieved that it had just fallen down where it stood, and hadn’t blown away and hit a van. It was unceremoniously dumped in the bin, and we vowed to buy an awning at Stanford Hall.
Thankfully in the afternoon, the sun came out, so we had a stroll around the site, meeting the other vans, before heading up to the AGM itself to see who had won awards for their vans.
After the day’s adventures, we enjoyed the sunset, then had an early night ready for the convoy: