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We are sad to report the death on the 14th of August of one of our long time members and Vice President Jim Perry.
His funeral is being held at st peters church, Didcot, Oxfordshire at 2pm on the Thursday 6th September.
An article sent in by one of our members of her recent holiday in Austria.
….visiting Austria…Good news, there are campsites.
My mum was Austrian, so I’ve visited Upper Austria and the area around Linz on the Danube many times as a child and adult.
In May this year I visited my cousin and her husband, (Annie and Wolfgang) who now live in Gmunden, Upper Austria. This small town is in the Austrian Lake District, Salzgammergut, close to Salzburg.
I travelled to Salzburg by plane, although this would also have been possible by rail. I took a train from Salzburg to Attnang-Puchheim (on the main Salzburg to Vienna line). There is a train connection from Attnang-Puchheim to Gmunden.
Gmunden is a tourist and Spa town on the lake Traunsee, one of more than ten lakes in Salzkammergut, It is stunning and it feels as if you are in a picture book framed by mountains The Gmunden area has two campsites, both on the west hand side of Traunsee, at ‘Camping Traunsee’, in Altmünster and ‘Strand Camping’ at Traunkirchen. The other site further north is for ‘Wohnwagen’ Caravans.
I stayed on the East side of the lake where there is a narrow road which runs for 3 miles following the lake and ends in a car park with a lakeside footpath leading into the forest. There is a pub (Gasthaus) near the car park.
Gmunden is popular with skiers, walkers, cyclists and water sports enthusiasts. Traunsee (25 square km). has several sailing clubs around the lake, and there are other small towns and villages along the shores of the lake.
I stayed in Gmunden for four days, during my stay of eight days altogether. I visited Vienna and Linz, with a morning and an evening in Salzburg.
This was the first time I’d stayed in Annie and Wolfgang’s Gmunden house, as it has been extended by adding an extra floor. This has taken several years of planning and building work. When I last visited five years ago, the floors were being made with under floor heating, a must as the winters are so cold for so long. Some of the work has been done by family and friends.
Sampling life in Gmunden
My alarm was set for 7.00 am or earlier during my holiday as there was so much to fit in. As you can imagine, it was the kind of holiday where you need another holiday afterwards. Luckily for me, I’d planned a camping trip soon afterwards, so was prepared. In Austria, the working hours normally start at 8.00 am or earlier so that people can get home sooner, by 3.30 to enjoy the sun or more likely work at their gardens. Sara works part time, 3 days a week, but her days can start at 7.45 am, in Linz which is over an hour’s drive away. On one of her workdays, I went along with her to and met up with some friends who live close to Linz.
As there was a national holiday during my stay, along with friends, we had a special holiday breakfast outside the Restaurant Brandl next to the shores of Traunsee. In Austria, these days are celebrated with a glasses of champagne, wine or beer along with your breakfast of several courses.
In the Gmunden district, there was a special cider making fortnight in the local farms. The cider is completely different from the British drink. The farmhouse cider is called ‘Most’ and I’ve tried it before, made by the farmers themselves. Each farm has its individual type. Some farmhouses open up a restaurant in a marquee and serve their own ‘Most’ plus other local produce. We went along to one of these evenings, a real treat.
I was sad to note that my favourite cake shop in Gmunden has closed down. In Austria, instead of cream cakes, many sweet dishes are made with ‘ Topfen’ (Quark). This is a low fat cheese made with a healthy culture. It’s starting to be possible to find Quark in British supermarkets. A favourite Austrian dish is ‘Topfen Strudel’ which Annie knows I love, so she made one whilst I was staying,
I had days out walking by lakes and took a ski lift up to a mountain path with fantastic views. The most challenging walk though was round the back of the house up the steep slopes to feed the cows, which belong to the family. The views from the top were wonderful, but how would I get down?
The house rests on the slopes of the mountain and there are fabulous view of Traunsee and the mountains.
During my visit, one of the latest projects took shape. Instead of hiring a specialist and expensive mowing machine to cut the grass on the very steep part of their ground, there was a return to the traditional ways of ‘sheep acting as nature’s grass mowers’.
On a few evenings, the electric fence was put up around part of the meadow. On the next evening we all went (with a trailer) to fetch the four sheep from a nearby farm. Getting the animals from the trailer to the field was interesting. Once the boldest sheep saw the juicy grass put out in the field for them, he (or her) ventured out, followed by the others.
The big question was ‘which of the sheep should be named Shaun?’ Shaun the Sheep is popular in Austria too. Our favourite pastime over the next few days was using the binoculars to do some sheep watching from the kitchen window. Margarita was making sure they were drinking their water and licking their salt stone. The sheep have been getting treats of bread.
It was a busy week as the Sailing Club needed volunteers for an event they were planning and there was an evening meeting. A few weeks after my visit the boat was taken by trailer to be moored at Traunsee marina.
The next project was ‘painting the hen coop’. That job has now been finished and the hens have a new home in the garden.
The three cows we visited up the slope are also a part of the ‘smallholding’, and these belong to the other part of the family living in the lower, original part of the house. This means that all the family can take turns in feeding the animals.
In similar way to other more rural countries, the family house is often made larger so that the different generations can share and live together. In Gmunden, as the land is steep, it’s not possible to extend outwards. Instead, the roof was removed and extra space was added to make a three storey house. Each part occupied by a different part of the family. The council planning permission took over a year to be approved.
Annie explained that the sailing club is going to mount a petition to the council because a new tourist attraction has been built at the top of the new Gmunden ski lift. However, the car park is still the same size. There will be a big problem for parking for the sailing club which relies on boat owners being able to park their cars. Yes, we’ve heard it all before……Gmunden, although appearing like a fairytale place, can be just as frustrating as Colchester at times!
I’ve seen the photos over the years and the trip in May this year meant I could see the reality of the big changes to daily life in the Gmunden house and family.
The meets list for 2019 is looking good so far. We are trying to get around the country a bit more and the rough areas are listed below.
Also I have created a map of meets showing where previous meets since 2014 have been (It will be updated with older meets as I go through old Bulletins). This also shows us the areas where we’ve not been to lately and where we need to plan future meets.
The map link is here but can also be found on the previous meets tab on the site menu.
2019 Meets List (sites info to be added when confirmed)
Jan 12th/13th – Blackmore C+CC site
Feb 9th/10th – ?
March 9th/10th- Cottage of content Alcester
April (Easter) 18th/19th/20th/21st/22nd – Niffany Campsite Skipton
May 10th/11th – AGM Kingsbury C+CC site
June 6th/7th/8th/9th – North East?
June 21st/22nd/23rd – York Cycle Rally (Unofficial meet)
July 12th/13th – Derbyshire/Notts?
August 3rd/4th/5th/6th/7th – Watlington Birthday Meet (White Mark Farm)
August 23rd/24th/25th/26th – Mildenhall Cycle Rally (Unofficial meet)
Sept 19th/20th/21st/22nd/23rd – NFOL Shaftesbury
Oct 12th/13th – Bala C+CC site
Nov 16th/17th – Winchcombe C+CC site
As some of you know, Hazel-Ann passed away peacefully last week having spent sometime in the care of Hospiscare, Exeter.
Members of a small section such as our ALC are encouraged to play a part (however small)
in the success of our various activities. For some this is just by joining in, but for a select few such as Hazel-Ann the support, involvement and dedication are outstanding.
She joined the section as a solo lightweight camper and her organising ability, honed by her business background, was soon in evidence. She needed little persuasion to join our
Committee in 1998 and since then has provided a very effective service for the last twenty
years in a number of different roles.
Her distinctive headgear (clearly seen on the front cover of the Club magazine in July 2001) soon earned her the nickname of Hazel the Hat which has stuck for evermore!
This may not appear relevant but it made sure she stood out from the crowd which was essential when she took on the role of Section PRO for seven years from 2006 to 2013.
In 2011 she took on the additional role of Editor of our Section magazine, the “Bulletin”
which she has held continuously since then. She also introduced a colour version to all
members willing to receive it electronically while retaining our normal printed non-colour
version for those unwilling or unable to use the newer technology. That helped to earn a
“Highly Recommended” in the 2014 Burnham Trophy awards. Unfortunately, in April of this year we were told that Hazel-Ann was too unwell to continue as Editor of our “Bulletin” but would help out as long as she was able. This really highlights her dedication to the Section despite her own problems.
As we moved with the times she also took on the role of Webmaster in 2012 and developed
our member website with updated information and pictures (another talent) until she
handed over that role after four years.
Always keen to be involved with other aspects of the section, she acted as Minutes
Secretary for a year and for two years as Deputy Advisory Officer to National Council until
she moved home. Once settled in she volunteered to be our representative on the South
West Region, an area which previously we had difficulties in covering.
All of the above gives a feel for the roles, involvement and dedication of a talented lady in
her selfless service to the Section, but this is just a limited view. Her work for us has
contributed in so many ways to improving the Section and how it operates, and that in turn has been of great benefit to our Members. We believe that the innovation and creativity described above has been long lasting in its effect on our service to our members.
What is difficult to put in words is the personality, an excellent sense of humour, ability to put a clear and strong case for much needed change, clarity in presentation, hardworking, dedicated, helpful, kind hearted and above all a real friend to all.
The section sends their condolences and best wishes to Graham and the family.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE
The Association of Lightweight Campers are holding their
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
At 2.00 pm on Saturday 19th May 2018
At Aston & Cote Village Hall, Cote Road, Aston, OX18 2DU
Map Ref. 164/342030
The rules of the Club require a MINIMUM of 15 voting members to
attend before the meeting can proceed. Less than 15, then an
E.G.M. has to be arranged with the possibility the Section will
close. We currently have over 900 voting members but at the
2016, and 2017 AGM we only just reached the required 15.
Please make every effort to attend this year and support your
Council. The official meeting usually lasts less than an hour, but
there is plenty of time afterwards to meet the Council members
Notices of motions and nominations for Council must be sent to
Hon Sec, Mary Searle, 20 Combe Rise, High Wycombe, HP12 4JE
Camping is available from Friday 18th May behind the
Village Hall, and we have use of the hall for the weekend.
We camped there for our AGM in 2016 and were made very welcome.
Our editor has the unenviable task of trying to put together the club magazine, for you all to enjoy.
The section decided to reduce the amount of issues per year to try and help the issue but this month she has not had much sent in for inclusion so far.
Do you have any stories about the club or writeups from any meets you have been too?
Any contributions can be emailed to Hazel-Ann on the email editor @ lightweightcampers .org .uk (remove spaces)
No submission of material may mean the Bulletin has to cease to be made, which would be a sad thing.
Here is the list of the camping meets for this year
Full details, pitch fees etc to follow.
We currently do not have a standardised logo that we can use on anything electronically. the one used here and on other websites is just a photo I took of the tablecloth we use at the AGM. We need one that we can use on all websites, all correspondence and any new merchandise we decide to get in the future.
Looking at previous versions of the old metal badges we have, there is a difference in the colours on all of them. Kim has copied the logo and created 2 versions of it (file on members download page). We need your input before we can start using it.
Have a look at the file and let me know which you prefer, the 1st or 2nd pictures. You can comment here, via the contacts page or email me email@example.com
The last meet of our programme this year is at Canterbury C+CC site next weekend Friday 27/10/17 (2 nights).
Come and join us, take a walk around the shops for some early Christmas shopping or visit the cathedral. And camping at the great price of £6 per unit per night.