Accrington Beetles and Campers

Custard has been a busy bee!

As you may well be aware from previous posts, Dave at Accrington Beetles and Campers is a good friend to Ruby and Rufus (and to Rooobarb and Custard!) and keeps them maintained, fixes them when they go wrong and is only ever a phone call or text away when we need a bit of advice.

Unfortunately, at the end of last year, Dave’s website was hacked and had to be shut down. As he was very busy with moving to a fab new unit and doing lots of restorations, Custard stepped in and built a nice shiny new website for him.

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Please go and have a read and a look at the photos and the stories there – there will be lots of updates from the new bigger unit, including lots of work on Ruby, as 2015 is The Year of The New Engine.

You can also keep up to date with Accrington Beetles and Campers on Facebook.

Please let us know what you think of the new site in the comments below!

I have not been paid to promote Dave’s new website. I have created it for him in exchange for spannering hours on our dubs. Bartering is good. Play to your strengths – I’m better with words than I am with tools!

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Bus Types 2014

We set off bright and early to pick Ruby up. The sun was shining, so we paused for a quick “Make Love not War” photo at the Leyland tank, before heading down to Oswestry Show Ground for Bus Types.

Bus Types 2014

We did a Pindy on the way:

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And arrived to find a very busy showground, but found just enough space to squeeze Ruby into, to get set up in order to enjoy a relaxed evening:

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

Whilst the show was overcast and breezy for much of the weekend, there were lots of traders with a good variety of clothes, handcrafted goods, autojumble and food to enjoy, and some excellent Volkswagens in the Show and Shine field:

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

We set off on Sunday shortly before the heavens opened, and Custard managed to drive Ruby back and get her under cover before she got all wet and dirty.

Bus Types 2014
Bus Types 2014

Bank holiday Monday provided ample opportunity for Rooobarb to get down and dirty with Rufus’s rear hubs, which are going to need some different castle nuts in order to fit on properly. Fun and games!
Bus Types 2014

See you at our next show – Stanford Hall!

Spring Dub 2014

I forgot to post my photos from Spring Dub, what with all the excitement of breaking down, but here they are.

We liked the fact that the show was indoors, what with all the rain and all that, but there were still some good cars to see outdoors too.

There were mixed messages about bringing dogs to the show, which caused problems for some owners.

A mixture of air and water-cooled vehicles, and a few traders, and it was good fun to meet up with some Twitter friends.

Just a bit of a bugger that we broke down on the way home, but that wasn’t the show’s fault! Thanks to all the veedubbers who stopped on the way home to see if we were alright!

There was lots to see:

Spring Dub Bay crew cab rust is not a crime

Spring Dub Yurt Glamping

Spring Dub Caddy

There were Mystery Machines:

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Spring Dub Mystery Machine

Spring Dub Mystery Machine

Spring Dub Mystery Machine

And Golfs of all ages:

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Spring Dub Golf

Including Mrs Doyle, Mk 1 Swallowtail Golf, belonging to our friends Carl and Claire:

Spring Dub Mk1 Golf Mrs Doyle

Spring Dub Mk1 Golf Mrs Doyle

Spring Dub Mk1 Golf Mrs Doyle

Spring Dub Golf

And Splitties of varying types:

Spring Dub Splitscreen VW

Spring Dub Splitscreen VW Loved all these cases:

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Spring Dub Splitscreen VW

Spring Dub BMX

Spring Dub Split screen twin cab

Spring Dub Splitscreen

The Pacha bus, built by the dad of one of my ex-pupils, who sadly passed away recently. RIP Craig.

Spring Dub Splitscreen Pacha Van

And many, many Beetles:

Spring Dub Beetle

Loved everything about this one!

Spring Dub Beetle Rat Look Patina

Spring Dub Beetle Rat Look Patina

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Spring Dub Beetle Rat Look Patina

Spring Dub Beetle Rat Look Patina

Spring Dub VolksRod

Spring Dub VolksRod

Spring Dub Beetle

Spring Dub Beetle
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Spring Dub Beetle

Including badly behaved ones:

Spring Dub Beetle slammed patina Rufus

See you next time, at Bus Types!

Dubs at the Castle July 2013

On Friday 19th July, Custard graduated from Edge Hill University with a Postgraduate Certificate in Specialist Primary Mathematics. Smarty pants. I also decided that I would like to travel to my graduation in Ruby, and then go to a VW show afterwards.

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We had a choice of two – CumbriaVAG or Dubs at the Castle. I chose DATC, because it was in Wales, and we were starting from near Liverpool, so I figured it wasn’t so far. Please note that my qualification was in Maths, not Geography. When we were 25 miles from Bristol, I realised how far south South Wales actually is.

Coupled with a two hour standstill on the motorway near Stoke, discovering that the heater is jammed open and pumping scorching hot air into the cab now that Rooobarb has replaced a missing piece of heater pipe in a bid to keep the starter motor cooler – oh yeah, the starter is still overheating, meaning that we daren’t turn the engine off whilst sitting still on the M6, as we know it won’t start again. Air-cooled engines don’t like not moving – the air-cooling bit doesn’t work so well.

By the time we stopped at Michael Wood Services 5 hours later, we could actually wring our clothes out, but decided a nice iced coffee from Starbucks would keep us awake enough for the remainder of the journey, and cool us down. The news that the ice machine was broken was actually met with an audible whimper from me (dairy intolerant, can’t drink the canned coffee from the fridge) and it was two very dejected campers who trudged back to the van to continue on our journey.

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The view from the Severn Bridge was pretty epic at sunset, but that did then mean we were trying to find Caldicot Castle in the dark. And the Sat Nav took us to the middle of a housing estate. And then I couldn’t get mobile phone signal to try and look for better directions. Rooobarb threatened to turn round and drive home at this point. We found the castle at around 10pm – I’d had a frantic Facebook conversation with the organisers the night before about what time we could turn up until, and they kindly said they’d keep the gate open until 11pm if needs be.

We were waved onto site, and told to follow the other vans, and that there would be marshalls around to point us in the right direction. Yeah, there weren’t. And in the dark, it was really hard to find a pitch that the van could actually fit into. And driving a lowered van around wobbly rough fields is no fun. I was now using my special “talking to children who have got very upset and are about to completely lose the plot” voice, perfected during many years of teaching, to placate Rooobarb. We stuck the van next to someone else’s pitch and hoped for the best, gave up on any notion of putting the awning up, stuffed all our crap in the front of the van and went to bed.

We woke up in the morning to this view:

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And were mightily relieved to find that we hadn’t actually parked in a dog toilet the night before.

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Although we did have to roll the van forward 6 feet to avoid a giant hole in the ground right next to the cargo doors.

Before our neighbours woke up, we had got the awning up and cooked breakfast. Marvellous. Things were looking a lot rosier after a good night’s sleep and a cooked brekkie!

We went off for a wander around the show – and were very pleased to find that despite driving for 73 gajillion miles* after getting on site, we were actually reasonably close to the main arena, having gone around in a bit of a circle.

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Splitscreen icecream – utterly delicious!

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Camper Coffee Co. – Rooobarb declared this the best coffee he’d ever tasted.

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Early Bay display.

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Autojumble.

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Tempting!

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And if there weren’t enough things to look at in the show and trade fields, there was the superb setting of the castle to explore.

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The Saturday night entertainment was superb, with great bands, and ample refreshment provided by the Welsh Cider Wagon.

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Sunday morning brought the Show and Shine:

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And then we had a quiet and sunny journey back, with a brief stop near home for coffee and fuel, involving a “jack it and whack it” starter motor related pit stop, and we met some people with a Bay, who were similarly chuffed to get their van restarted after filling up!

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It was a great weekend, and a good show, although a show guide given out at the gate would have meant we would have had a better idea of what was going on. Also, it was a very long way away, but that can only be blamed on my appalling geography! Definitely worth a visit if you are nearby.

Limebug Open Day July 2013

Those lovely people at Limebug had an open day, with hot dogs, a show and shine and, of course, the opportunity to peruse and buy from the Limebug shop. The sun was shining, so it would have been rude not to. It was also Ruby’s first appearance in a show and shine line up, and it was nice to stand back and listen to people saying nice things about her, and in some instances pose to have their photos taken with her!

The pictures speak for themselves really:

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Camper Jam 2013

When going through the VW show calendar for the year, we saw Camper Jam and figured it might be good for a laugh, and wasn’t too far away. I can safely say that the show was the highlight of our summer so far. I’m hoping another show will top it, just because if something can be better than that, I will be a very happy camper!

Rooobarb picked me up from work on Friday afternoon, everyone cooed over the van (apart from 9 year old boy who hadn’t been collected yet. 9 year old boys are hard to impress.) and we set off, stereo blaring, sunshine blazing. All good. We were most amused that the blue and white split that I’d taken to stalking along the M65 was two cars ahead of us as we left Accrington, but he left us for dust on the motorway!

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We got to Sandbach services, and decided to stop for a comfort break. I wander back out to the van, considerably more comfortable, Rooobarb goes to turn the engine over, and nowt. Nada, zip, zilch. I experience a wave of panic, given that our last starter motor induced troubles involved a call out for the RAC and a fraught journey to Accrington but Rooobarb kept his cool, jacked the van up and used the conveniently stashed lump hammer to give the starter motor a wee tap whilst I turned the key. One tap, and success! We were on our way again, after about 20 minutes spent fannying about with the jack.

We could tell when we were getting closer to Weston Park, as we began to join in impromptu convoys:

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We arrived in good time, found a place to camp, met up with Sarah from VW Camper Curtains to collect our lovely new cushions and curtains (more on those later) and the nice man from Lightning Leisure who had some replacement awning clips for us, ours having been put in a really safe place. I put the new curtains up, whilst Rooobarb got the awning clips and somehow managed to come back with some Mooneyes dust caps from Limebug as well and then we put the awning up. This was our first go of the awning for real, and it went up a treat. I decide to celebrate:2013-07-05 19.57.04

Whilst laying in the awning celebrating, I hear a voice say “There’s stalking, and there’s stalking, this is getting daft!” and lo and behold, I finally meet Sean, the driver of the blue splitty, who has pitched up about 20 feet away from us! We had a bit of a chat about the buses, and no mention of a restraining order was made. All good.

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If nothing else, this was great, because someone in that group had put up a Lancashire Rose flag, which gave us something to aim towards when we were trying to find Ruby!

Dinner was cooked (already we’re faring better than we did at Vicky Farm, as we have an awning, hot food and have not had to bugger about in the dark trying to get stuff sorted) and then it was off to bed, whilst listening to the Grease tribute band sing through their set. Twice.

We awoke the next morning to bright blue skies again (seriously, I ended up putting my sunglasses on to go wandering in search of a loo) and after a cooked breakfast, we ambled off to the ukulele workshop, led by the Bridgnorth Ukulele Band. This was brilliant fun! Lots of people playing simple tunes on ukes together:

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They ran several workshops during the weekend, culminating in a huge performance on the Sunday. Their site has lots of easy to play songs available to download, for free. Hurrah!

After that, it was off for a wander round the food stalls:

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The Green Bay Cafe

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Chilli Gone Barmy

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Lulabelles

And then a mooch around the copious amounts of traders – the website proudly boasted over a mile of trading stands!

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Slightly Sheepish

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Panels

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Spray paint and airbrush artists

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CoolFlo Vintage

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Busmeister VW restorations. That hi-top shell was getting a lot of attention, but it’s not a for sale, it’s a current resto for a client.

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Yes, yes we were!

Sunday was the Show and Shine, and there were plenty of wonderful things to look at:

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Now that’s patina!

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI loved everything about this van.

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This Devon Moonraker was all original.

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Betty Blue made another appearance.

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAWe like stickers. Everyone knows that each sticker adds 1BHP.

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A Dirty Weekender Adventure Van

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See you next year Camper Jam!