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South Eastern Region

News and Views Page 2

If you have been out and about with your camping friends and would like to tell everyone where you were, what you did and how much you enjoyed the experience, why not take a couple of photos and write a short note? Simply send it, attached to an email, to <> and your story could be here too…

The Club’s AGM 2016 Grantham

Jenny and I joined a respectable number of fellow campers from the South Eastern Region to attend the Club’s Annual General Meeting in October, held at the Belton Woods Hotel, Grantham.

We took advantage of the option to arrive Friday and were warmly welcomed by many friends from all over the country. Booking the Friday evening meal proved a little hectic with so many of us wanting to dine in the Hotel restaurant. However the food was excellent and fully made up for the need for a dining rota to get everyone fed.

Saturday, some of us took a dip in the good sized swimming pool and a ‘relax’ in the sauna before preparing for the AGM in the afternoon. Somewhere in the middle of our dip the fire alarm sounded – it wasn’t a drill!! Everyone had to evacuate the Hotel.. We have to hand it to the Pool Staff for their very rapid response. Within moments the fire escape door was opened and a non-slip mat rolled out from the pool hall to the reception area. As we exited the pool an attendant handed large towels to everyone, to wrap up against the cold outside. Yes, we had to leave in what we were wearing and walk the red carpet to the exit. Thank goodness it turned out to be a false alarm and we didn’t actually leave the hotel lobby – that would have been a most uncomfortable experience, in bare feet out into the cold!

After lunch we made our way to the Conference Centre and signed in for the Club’s main event. The Club Chairman Anne Dearling welcomed us to the AGM and invited the Director General Robert Louden MBE to read a letter of good wishes from our Patron: HRH Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT, OM.

Anne went on to report her activities throughout the year. Steve Harris, Club Treasurer, following the new Companies Act guidelines, detailed the finances as published and explained some of the mysteries of the various ins & outs and of the various account balances, together with the Club’s future plans.

The AGM proper was quickly dealt with and results of the National Council Elections announced. Sadly the South Eastern Region once again failed to achieve an elected National Councillor.

Following the AGM, a presentation session followed with announcement of the Best Newsletter and Website Trophy winners. We all gave a really hearty applause for Harry Leach who, as Editor of the South Eastern Region Newsletter, was given the accolade “highly commended,” runner up for the Burnham Newsletter Trophy and presented with a framed certificate by Anne.

The afternoon passed with lots of catching up with our many friends and then to our room to dress for Dinner. The AGM function room was transformed into a banquet hall and we took our places for a super feast, with a glass, or three, of wine to assist the digestion…

The dinner included a short address from one the Club’s sponsors and was rounded off with a little bit of World War Two nostalgia in the form of a trio of Ladies dressed in military uniforms of the period, singing many hits of the war years. Song sheets were handed out and we were encouraged to sing along. Vera Lynne hits were very much the vogue and the set concluded with a rousing rendition of Land of Hope and Glory – where the Union Flag was given a good wave. (I’ve no idea where they came from but we all had a flag to wave when the time came!!)

Sunday breakfast was a much more ‘quiet’ affair (probably after the previous night’s excesses?). An amazing choice of food was on offer, from simple fruit, or cereals, to a full English breakfast. Having consumed our fill we decided to explore the area before making out way home. Grantham was past Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s home town and her connection to Belton Manor, just across the road from the Hotel, was sufficiently intriguing to attract us to visit this fine National Trust property.

We spent the morning and into the early afternoon exploring Belton Manor and the gardens. The numerous rooms above and below stairs, have been preserved or sympathetically restored to their former glory. The rooms are full of wonderful examples of the arts and crafts of the period. A story of the Belton Silver dinner service claims this very valuable collection was ‘borrowed’ by Margaret Thatcher when she was required to entertain foreign dignitaries at 10 Downing Street. This very valuable silver service collection was returned to Belton Manor, after the event but alas a silver Salt pot was missing. Who would have thought such powerful people would feel the need to pocket a piece of silver as a souvenir???

We eventually returned to the car par to collect our car and made our way home. It was, for us, an extremely good event, in great surroundings and we took away some great memories and lots of pictures to add to our collection of camping memorabilia.

Jenny & Dave