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Memories of a 1970s RV Sheffielder – basic amenities, DIY entertainment, and friendship UK News

Bill Betts purchased a touring trailer in 1969 for trips with his wife Barbara and their children Stephen and Alison.

He said: “In 1977 we joined the Camping & Caravanning Club South Yorkshire District Association. I have held many positions on the committee, ending with that of chair before resigning.

“The sites we camped at in most cases were farmers’ fields who had tap water for our use. We also used the occasional commercial caravan site which allowed us to use part of their site and make full use of all of their facilities. “The site stewards for all competitions were volunteer club members ready to give up their vacations. The flight attendant was to be the first on the scene. The site was always advertised in the monthly magazine, giving reference to the ammunition survey grid. Stewards then put up directional signs nearby, signaling the latest twists and turns to the site.

Barbara Betts taking travel reservations with friends at a South Yorkshire District Association Camping & Caravanning Club rally at Ingbirchworth Farm in 1986
Barbara Betts taking travel reservations with friends at a South Yorkshire District Association Camping & Caravanning Club rally at Ingbirchworth Farm in 1986

“When the tents, caravanners and converted vehicles started arriving, membership cards and car registrations had to be taken. Stewards would take orders for milk, eggs and papers, then direct them to a site for their unit.

The campers had toilet tents and the stewards dug a sump and filled it afterwards. Bill recalls: “During this time some trailers had the original gas lighting and two ring gas burners, others had just been upgraded with basic 12v lighting. Small portable TVs were on the market, with their own antennae and powered by an aftermarket 12v car battery. “

Entertainment included a game of home-made bingo and music: “One day there Arthur, a guitarist, Charlie and I decided to form a skiffle band, only to die on summer evenings.

Cars struggled with boggy ground at a campsite in Great Ouseburn near York in 1985

“The only musical instrument we had available was the guitar. So together with our partners and friends Charlie and Edna, Barrie and Sheila, we set out to make our own. Bass drum – made of a wooden tea box, handle of brush and string. Shingle- trample stick – made of wooden brush handle with bells and nailed caps. We also had a tambourine, maracas, spoons, Tommy talker (kazoo), scouring board and spoons.

“As you might expect, the only real melody was from the guitar, but it was enough for our friends to recognize the songs. Some new friends felt uncomfortable not knowing the songs. Barbara to print song sheets for everyone to join in, which made the evening more enjoyable. ”Club members collected fruit to make their own wine and had a taster judge of their efforts.

Bill said, “Not all cars during this time had the advanced mechanism of vehicles today.

The Bridlington South Shore Camper Skiffle Group in 1982 – Pictured: Brian, Charlie, Roy, Edna, Barrie, Arthur on guitar, Brenda, name unknown and Bill

“One of the safest ways for guys to get to know their fellow campmates was when a car broke down on the spot. You could always tell because there was always a group of guys around the car giving their advice on how best to fix the problem. and provide tools as needed. “

He concluded: “Today’s tents, caravans and motorhomes have undergone unimaginable improvements, but the freedom, friendships and camaraderie over the years never change. . “

In these confusing and disturbing times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thank you to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter when purchasing a digital subscription or purchasing an item. We are all fighting together. Nancy Fielder, editor

Barbara and Alison in the family’s tent trailer in 1976 at the Lane Side site near Hope
Barbara, Alison and Stephen catch the sun in front of their tent in 1970 at the Sparrow Pit site near Lowestoft

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This notice was published: 2021-04-21 14:37:13