Viva Skeg Vegas is a calm and chilled show that takes place in Revesby, Lincolnshire. It’s a beautiful picturesque drive down to the site, with lots of opportunity to play roadside roulette with the prevalence of farm shops and small roadside stalls selling produce.
The show had a fancy dress theme of Day of the Dead, and all the usual traders, stalls and evening entertainment. Whilst there was no coffee stall (boo!) there was a stall selling fish singer sandwiches (genius!) and the Pop Top Kitchen, selling delicious cuisine out of an Eriba Puck.
Things were slow to kick off in the mornings, perhaps because everyone was still recovering from the night before, but there was a good selection of autojumble, Seaside Neil was available for pinstriping and had customised the trophies for the Rust and Prime show on the Saturday and the Show and Shine on the Sunday.
Camping was calm and chilled, not spoiled by the light rain we had, and we were very lucky that our neighbours had good taste in music – which saved us having to touch our stereo all weekend!
As I took a weekend off from taking photographs at VW Festival, I’ve decided instead to blog our weekend in the style of Caitlin Moran’s Celebrity Watch.
Custard’s Top 10 of VW Festival:
10. (Down) The weather.
It rained. It winded. It made puddles in the awning, it poured down the cargo doors (and ergo, round the cargo doors thanks to crappy seals), it filled up shoes and soaked into jeans. It could not make its mind up what it was doing. The wind also ripped the gutter rail pole for the awning out of my hand on Sunday, meaning it now has a slight kink to it. However, necessity is the mother of invention, so I now know that it is possible to peg the doors of the awning up to stop the rain pouring in, although I wish I hadn’t found that out during a torrential downpour. Also, I got to sit in the van (in my shorts, as I had only taken one pair of long trousers with me; my (sodden) jeans) with a pint and read my book for a couple of hours. Bliss.
9. (Down) Festival toilets.
These are never, ever good, to be honest. As I was heading to the loo on Sunday morning, a camper remarked to her friend “Oh, I really feel sorry for anyone who hasn’t been to the loo yet today!” So I asked if they were that bad. I’ve seen worse, but if the loos had been serviced during the weekend, this might have improved matter slightly. Still, you do know what you’re getting with a festival loo, and at least the proper loos at Harewood House itself were open.
8. (Down) Running out of cash.
Our own fault for not bringing enough with us. Meant that we couldn’t buy coffee on Sunday. Argh! A lot of the traders accepted card payments though, so we didn’t miss out on buying big stuff. Just coffee 😉
7. (Up) A varied collection of stalls, autojumble and displays.
Got to buy some great things, including this lovely necklace from Louis Edwards jewellery:
There was a good range of clothes, VW stuff, food, toys, cleaning gear and autojumble. The displays on both days were amazing – as well as club stands, there was a red, white, blue and black vehicle display on Saturday and a beautiful show and shine on Sunday, with a high standard of vehicle in both.
6. (Up) Sooty’s School Bus.
We have been following the progress of Sooty’s bus on the SSVC forum, so it was great to see it in the flesh! Also, his bus was featured in an article in the Daily Mail about the show, which also featured this fantastic video by Bright Lights Photography which to me, really sums up the feeling of going out in your VW and meeting fellow dub nuts:
5. (Up) The Green Bay Cafe.
Coffee. Real coffee. Also, handily placed in the main camping area, rather than the trade area, which meant less distance to stagger to get our caffeine fix. We love the Green Bay Cafe with their fairtrade, real coffee. Yum.
4. (Up) Gluten free food!
The Two Tarts, Lulabelle and Heck sausages all offered gluten free fayre, ideal for a hungry Custard. I’m used to not being able to sample things at shows, so for there to be lots of things I could eat was a good thing! Still having to carry my own soy milk in a hip flask for my coffee though…
3. (Up) Showing with Volksgirls.
We’ve not entered a show and shine before (although we did show with the SSVC at Stanford Hall as part of their massive line up) so when Volksgirls invited members to show with them, we jumped at the chance. Volksgirls is a friendly club and forum for ladies on the VW scene, and boasted a full stand at VW Festival. We were the only camper on their stand on Saturday, and our first show taught us one or two things;
Make sure that you either put your stuff for making food in the van, or in the awning. Don’t leave half in one, and half in the other. Of you’ll be very annoyed when you realise you can’t make lunch.
The majority of people show their vans with the beds folded up and their tables all set nicely. Our van is hardly period in the style, so it’s very hard to dress. Next year, I’ll be showing it with the bed made up, with nice cushions and things. It may also have a Custard-shaped accessory catching a few zzzz’s in it during the afternoon as…
I don’t do well at getting up early enough to get the van to the arena without the option of an afternoon nap 😉
Mark out the space next to the awning that the van goes in, or someone will park in it before you get back in the afternoon!
Make a sign telling people all about your van, or you’ll find yourself repeating a lot of stuff. We love talking to people about vans, but if they could read it too, that would be nice, and we could put some photos from the resto on the sign too.
2. (Up) Chilled, family friendly atmosphere.
There was a really nice vibe to the show, lots of things for children and adults to do, and everyone was friendly, having a good laugh and up for a chat about VWs, dogs or just life in general! The camping was generally quiet (well, it was where we were anyway!) and people didn’t seem to let the weather get them down.
1. (Up) Good friends.
We finally got to meet some fellow camper owners from the SSVC forum. Dubminx and Custard both tell lies to small children for a living, Roobarb and Carl both love watercooled and aircooled dubs. You know when you meet someone and think – “Yeah, I could camp with these guys and have a whale of a time!”
We’ve enjoyed our first year exploring the VW show scene, but what we’ve found is that, after a while, it all gets a bit same-y if there’s only the two of you, so being able to meet up with like-minded people and have a good chat makes the shows all the more worthwhile, and if you’re lucky, you get to meet someone lovely like Minx, who not only has a beautiful camper called Mabel (with the wonderful period set-dressing that Ruby lacks) but also sent us some bunting for Ruby before she’d ever met us for real. Which just tells you that she’s a nice person, and someone you’re going to enjoy being around.
We would definitely do VW Festival again – it has been one of the best shows we have visited this summer, and wasn’t a long drive for us, which is always a bonus. See you in 2014!
When we bought Ruby, she had been lovingly restored in around 1996. She is looking remarkable for a van nearly 20 years after restoration, her paintwork’s not bad and her interior still smart. Apart from her curtains. They were a bit sun faded and generally looking their age.
So we decide to spruce her up with new cushions and curtains. Custard spent lots of hours trawling fabric sites trying to find just the right pattern, but to no avail.
Eventually, we found Sarah of VW Camper Curtains and on browsing her site, found exactly the fabric we wanted – Clarke and Clarke’s Anja in the Summer colourway. It was a lovely bright, bold pattern, which I think is a must for camper curtains, and it complemented Ruby’s bold colours, whilst reminding us a bit of Roobarb and Custard:
I emailed Sarah, and she got straight back to me to confirm exactly what we wanted and prices. I rang her up to pay, and she got straight on with the curtains. We arranged to collect them at Camper Jam, but Sarah rang the week before to say that they were ready sooner and she could courier them over. We chose to collect them anyway, as we wouldn’t have a chance to put them in before the show.
We met up with Sarah when we arrived at Camper Jam (despite me losing all phone signal as soon as we got on site!) and collected our goods. I got the curtains hung really easily and they looked great. We opted for blackout lining, which worked really well to keep the inside of the van cool and dark.
You can catch up with Sarah at various shows across the country to see her goods for yourself. She has a real eye for fabrics and patterns, and her work is top quality and incredibly reasonably priced. We were originally going to make the curtains and cushions ourselves, but Sarah’s prices were so good compared to the price of the fabric by the metre on other sites, that we decided to leave the sewing to someone who does it for a living! Also, Sarah has made the cushions with removable covers, which is ideal when you are using them in a camper – there’s always the chance that they’re going to get mucky.
Sarah makes curtains for all sorts of VWs – Splitscreens, Bays, T25s, T4s and T5s. From a Samba to a panel van like ours, Sarah can meet your needs. She offers matching tiebacks, blackout linings and magnets to hold the curtain to the metal inside. Genius!
So get in touch with Sarah via her website, or go and visit her stand at a show. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Our new curtains and cushions have given Ruby’s interior a bright fresh look, and the service was superb. I highly recommend VW Camper Curtains!
All views are my own. I have not been paid for my review. I have written nice things about VW Campervan Curtains Ltd. because I bought curtains and cushions from them and they were brilliant, and I believe we should all support small businesses and help them flourish!