Monthly Archives: May 2014

South View Campsite – Nr Church Stretton Shropshire

We’ve spent the Whit break in a very wet South Shropshire, a couple of miles east of Church Stretton at a Camping & Caravanning CS called “South View”.

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The site owned by Mervyn and his family is immaculate, tucked off a quiet country road. There is some occasional traffic noise from a nearby B road, but nothing drastic, at night…pure silence. The site is well equipped with 8 x HS pitches, each fitted with EHU/Water. There is also separate modern ladies/gents toilets, each incorporating a coin operated shower.  The site is seriously under priced at £12pn. Phone coverage is adequate, I can pick up a 3g Signal on the MIFI, additionally i’m also sucking the life out of Mervyns BT Broadband, via my BT WIFI account…Ssshhhhhhh 🙂

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Toilet block to the right

Toilet block to the right

Currently we are on our jack!, so we have the whole site to ourselves…His n Hers toilets….Heaven!

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My Toilet…Happy Days!

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Her Toilet!….Seems adequate, don’t you think?

Church Stretton is a magnet for walkers of all abilities, within a couple of miles of the site is Cardingmill Valley and access onto the Long Mynds.The local area directly off the site is criss-crossed with public footpaths, however some landowners are better that others at maintaining the signage and stiles etc, so either a decent map or an OS app on your phone is a must…..Yesterday I was knee high in pigs@£$, trying to negotiate a public path over a field, which the farmer obviously wanted to deter walkers from. But not me sir, i’m British and made of sterner stuff, so I came of the exercise, lacking any dignity, smelling of pigs@£$, but ultimately triumphant, until my bubble was burst by the sounds of hysterical laughter emanating from “The Other Half” across the field. I don’t like her anymore!

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The Other Half & Mutts, searching out another pile of pigS@£$ for me to fall in.

We also found the locals “Secret Place” just off the beaten track in the middle of a wood…a glorious place.

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The Secret Place!

So to summarise, a really nice site, cheap, peaceful, well equipped and on a nice day, not a finer place to be.

Highly recommended. We will be back, once the sun has put his hat on!

That is all.

 

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The Breidden Hills – Shropshire/Montgomeryshire Border

A wet days walking up the Breiddens, on the Shropshire/Montgomery border. Middletown Hill is allegedly were the Ancient Britons took a last stand against the Roman Conquest.

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We never have British battles in nice places…, somewhere sheltered, no sideways rain, wind and mud….

Lets have a fight…Where?… Oh! errrmmmm…at the top of that exposed, bare-arsed hill!!!!

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The summit of Middletown Hill

We are parked up on a small holding CL called Mountain View at Builthy, halfway between Shrewsbury and Welshpool.

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Grass only pitches, but with EHU/Grey/Fresh. very quiet, with virtually no passing traffic and very well organised by the owner Peter and his wife. Its rained all weekend, so we think we will return in a few weeks and enjoy it when the sun is out. Excellent TV/Mob phone signal….Plus WIFI included in the price £15Pn. Also an enclosed, secure dog walk, in which I spent 40 minutes yesterday in the rain, trying to get our four legged little monster back on the lead….Oh I laughed!! It’s times like that I wish I had a taser!

Anyway about 1/2 a mile up the road is the 4×4/Quad off road centre, with lots of other outdoor activities available such as Clay Shooting…..Me?..outdoor activities? I think not!!

The ground is pretty sodden at the moment, so we’re located in a paddock, (Quarantined like a kid with measles!) with Peters Land Rover ready to pull us off tomorrow if required!…..For the spotters…Its a 1958 version.

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That is all

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Burma Star Veterans AGM 2014 – National Memorial Arboretum

Sometimes you have days you know that you’ll never forget. Yesterday was one such day for me.

The Welshpool Branch of The RWF Comrades Association, escorted two of their Burma Star Veterans; Harold Jones & Ted Jones MM to the Burma Star AGM, held at the National Memorial at the Arboretum, Stafford. Seven of us in total, all from different eras of the regiments history. On arrival our two boys were immediately approached by Viscount Slim and Lady Slim. The lads were so pleased and they all happily had a picture taken together.

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Harold & Ted MM with Viscount and Lady Slim

A short time later the boys attended the AGM escorted by myself and another “younger” veteran, looking around there was about 50 people in the hall, with about 10-15 of them actual holders of The Burma Star….Years ago, the Association would have in excess of 3000 men sitting down for the AGM!! Today the meeting was addressed by Viscount Slim, son of “Uncle Bill”, himself a soldier of pedigree, Gurkhas, SAS etc . You can see that Lord & Lady Slim thoroughly enjoy meeting up with these old soldiers.

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Viscount Slim addresses the Burma Star AGM 2014

We then attended a short service at the Burma Grove, whereupon Harold laid a wreath in remembrance of ALL Royal Welchman who never returned from the Far East conflict. Later as a Branch, we gathered together at the RWF Memorial Tree, as Ted MM laid a wreath in remembrance of all the Welshpool men of the regiment who never returned.

The Welshpool Branch

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Ted MM & Harold at the Burma War Memorial

Ted and Harold were brilliant company, two old soldiers, who speak the same language as us more modern versions, the same jokes and punchlines, knowing nods as we pass a pretty girl, plenty of mickey-taking and a genuine expression of happiness of being around other Royal Welchman. They are impressive men and on days like this you get a glimpse into their characters. Priceless.

That is all.

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May 22, 2014 · 10:23 am

Vango Kela(Tall) Airbeam Driveaway Awning

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With a 3 week trip to Germany looming, we finally stumped up the cash and bought the Vango Kela Tall. After lots of price checking, I bought online from John Cross in Sussex. http://www.johnscross.co.uk I have a Defence Privilege Discount Card, & JC as supporter of veterans, offers 10% for all purchases, which at a RRP of £379 is potentially a decent amount with over £30 off the purchase price.  Additionally its free delivery. Anyway…all good, and an excellent delivery process. I would be surprised if you can source it cheaper?

You’re right though, it ain’t cheap, but it is really well made, and the air system means there’s no metal poles to lug about, or try and thread through interminably small holes. With practice, I reckon I’ll be able to assemble in under 10 mins!!!

This weekend we went off to Tan House Farm CL at Frampton on Severn, meeting up with Aussie Relatives. So fully equipped, we excitedly deployed the Vango! and thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful weekend, on a fantastically peaceful CL, with the bit of extra space to chill out in.

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I’m not the world best tent erector, but this product was quite easy and the “air beams” are very solid. The only issue is making the shroud that joins to the van, fit snugly to the van exterior, lots of gaps for midges and rain to get in!! Maybe I can improve on that as we gain experience. We also like the fact that the living space, can be sealed from both ends with a midge net. This might be useful in Southern Germany, I suspect we will sleep some nights in the awning, as the van lacks aircon.

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The packing away was no big issue either, you just need a system in place, that suits you, to get the job done.

Overall very happy thus far.

That is all.

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The Battle of Kohima – 70yrs On

The Battle of Kohima: Sitrep 1RWF(Royal Welch Fusiliers) 2 May 1944 – 2200hrs

At 1800hrs yesterday evening 2 x Hurribombers (Converted Hurricanes), bombed and strafed Kukis Piquet. 2 x Bombs landed on the RWF positions on Garrison Hill, additionally C Company and Bn HQ were subjected to friendly fire strafing! 1 x 250lb UXB later detonated by the Royal Engineers.

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Note:

Harold Jones, a current member of Welshpool RWF Comrades Association was at the latrine when the bombing run started. I had a drink with him last night 70yrs on, he’s in good spirits and very healthy for his age. He remembers this night very clearly.

Looking through his written account of the 2nd May 1944 he recalls that the guys had been briefed that anyone above ground after dark that evening should be considered enemy and shot. So just before dark, he visited the latrine and was making his way to his dugout when the earth in front of him started ripping up. He was spun around and thrown to the ground.

Harold was wounded in the arm. The Padre helped him to the dressing station where he was bandaged up and then placed in a trench, without his weapon, his arm in a sling, to await evacuation in the morning.

During the night the enemy breached Garrison Hill by the cookhouse and although the Fusiliers managed to fight them off. Harold still recalls how scared he was, sat in the bottom of the trench, watching the enemy running past his trench. He describes it as the longest night of his life.

Harold was a signaller with B Company, that wound almost certainly saved his life, over the next three days many of Harold’s friends would die on Kohima Ridge.

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