Forest of Dean March 18

Photo from Sheephouse site Facebook page

Easter weekend this year is over the weekend of 30th March to 2nd April.

Our Easter meet this year is at Sheephouse farm campsite (Facebook page) close to the Forest of Dean between Chepstow and Lydney on the A48.

The site doesn’t usually open until the next weekend but is opening up specially for us. Great area for walking in the forest and for visiting the old town of Chepstow.

 

Report write up by Mary and David Searle

The previous weekend we were out at Blackmore to attend the Sections
Forum, a meet where 2 or 3 members from ‘The Sections’ get
together with a few headquarters staff to discuss matters regarding
the Sections. Kevan, one of our ALC Council members and a dedicated
cyclist joined us for the Saturday night.

Anyway back to the matter in hand, I looked at the Forecast for the
following weekend and it said SNOW. Bother I thought another Easter
Meet cancelled because of the weather. (Although there was one,
in 1998 in Kidderminster where some of us arrived at the site only
to be greeted by a heavy snowfall during the night. We had to contact
those who had not arrived, telling them not to come because of
the ‘boggy’ ground.) But during the weekend the snow forecast was
changed to rain and cold, so we decided to make the journey of 108
miles.

Thursday
It rained on the way to the site and it was still raining, though not
so heavy when we arrived. We actually went past the site and had
to double back, we found a couple of phone numbers on the back
door and were soon made welcome by Tim the site owner, who I
think was surprised to see us. We explained that we were not often
put off by the weather.
We were shown the toilet block and kitchen and the recreation
room, before driving onto the camping field and as no-one else was
there and he did not expect any other campers, except us, we could
pitch where we liked. We pitched our Airbeam Tent, well we were
going to stay for more than 2 days and were soon set up. The view,
from our tent was of the River Severn and we were close enough to
see some boats and as to whether the tide was in or not.
We, as usual brought enough food for a couple of days so we did not venture
far, actually we did not go off site till the Saturday and that was to get some
Easter Meet Report by Mary and David Searle
Spring 2018 © ALC 2018 Page 13
fuel. The rain was annoying for most of the day and night. Miriam,
who managed the site came and said hello and said to use the kettle
in the washing up place, this proved very useful for the ‘real lightweights’
for drinks and heating up package foods.

Friday
We awoke to the sound of rain and dark clouds.
Rita arrived first, by car, she came from Colchester and had spent
the previous night at a bed and breakfast and had found a pub with
a roaring fire. She did not know whether to stay as it was still raining
and she had bought a new wigwam tent. In the end a decision
was made and the tent was erected, then had to be moped up inside
as it was an inner pitching first. Nice tent though with a porch.
The site had wifi and I was watching with interest at a conversation
between Rich and Susan, who were both coming by train. Rich
found that Susan’s train was about an hour and a half after his and
as Susan had booked a taxi they agreed to meet up and share the
ride. Despite the continued rain both Susan’s and Rich’s tents were
soon erected, making a total of 4 units.
In the evening we spent a few hours socialising in the recreation
room, which had a heater above the door and some comfortable
seats. The rain eased a bit but returned during the night with some
heavy showers. Although it was very cold due to the bitterly cold
wind.
When I looked out over the valley in front of the house I could see
the River Severn Bridge illuminated, very pretty. I had noticed down
the field from our tent there was a small light, on investigation I discovered
a small mushroom shaped light which bleeped at me. Later,
I was told it was a mole alarm. Actually the only mole hill I found
was only a short distance away.

Saturday
Rita and Susan drove into Chepstow and David, Rich & I went the
opposite direction to Lydney a total of 5 miles, to get some fuel and
Spring 2018 © ALC 2018 Page 14
provisions. We then went back to site, leaving Rich to catch a bus
back after going on a steam train ride and other things.
Kevan from Yorkshire arrived by cycle during the evening and we
became 5 units.
We again used the recreation room, unfortunately the lighting went
off leaving us in darkness, but that was soon rectified by a lantern.
A very interesting evening, talking about universities and life in general.

Sunday
We had made a decision to leave as we had heard that there was
more heavy rain coming in the evening. The tent was dry and would
only need airing when we got home.
Kevan was also off, he had left himself a couple of days to make it
home. Rich decided to walk to the train station at Lydney and set off
across the fields, looking at the photos I think he found some very
muddy patches.
That left Rita & Susan, who later told us that the rain returned later
in the evening but stopped 8am the next morning, giving them a
chance to pack up in the dry and time to visit the River Severn .

Mary and David Searle.