We started jotting some thoughts and ideas down and it turned in to a diary of our year (2016) and whilst recalling some of our previous holiday travels and adventures, we realised we have been to many different and exciting places, experienced some superb times with lovely memories and we have got some fantastic traveller’s tales to tell you over a drink or two!!
In our early married life and with a young family we tried to be adventurous with our children on holiday and our weekends away. Choices of family holidays were limited (due to limited time off work, fitting in with school holidays and money) after all this was the mid 80’s when the coolest and latest things were front loading VCR’s and Matsui TV’s with remote controls! microwaves that took up a whole kitchen work space were considered to be dangerous by our parents! our first car was an old Rover 2200 TC with a reserve petrol tank; it needed a reserve because a full tank lasted about 2 days on our 7 mile daily commute !
Living in Leicester in 1991 after owning a Jamet trailer tent, we bought a caravan on a small loan for the first time, a Swift Danette with aluminium windows, it was a really cold and misty caravan! you had to use your foot and push the top of a pump on the floor to pump water, cold water! No such thing as hot water or blown hot air heating! The toilet was one of those Portable Elsan blue types & you had to put the lid back on before you travelled to keep it sealed! Joined the Caravan Club and we must have been their youngest members; well it felt like we were. We tried rallies and club sites but it wasn’t for us. Loved touring the UK and staying on Certified Locations which were normally farmers fields or land with maximum 5 caravans and no facilities other than water in those days, the kids were happy with frisbees and cricket sets, we have always been the outside type on holiday, enjoyed walking and travelling around the UK, the Lake District is still one of our favourite places. We towed with a gas guzzling Volvo 244 DL and had to have the engine rebuilt by Dad as it blew up after 1 hour of buying it! Ran it for a while then we changed it for a Vauxhall Carlton.
Bought another caravan in 1993, an Elddis Shamal, again with a loan, this was a step up for us, now we had two taps, flushing loo and not a foot pump in sight! It had tinted plastic windows as well! Plus an awning and a few extras, we were so chuffed.
In 1994 we moved to Bolton and upgraded to an even more modern caravan a Bailey Limousin and it was luxurious compared to all the others and it had the best layout for us at the time. We pulled this with a Vectra company car but it was a long unit at about 37 ft! It was time to take some caravan manoeuvring lessons, so glad I did, as we or should say I got stuck a few times following those Caravan Club handbook directions down narrow lanes & farm tracks to the Certified Locations, there was no such thing as sat navs or google maps then! and Cathy doesn’t do map reading whilst travelling!
The kids were growing up and in their late teens by now, we sold the caravan as they didn’t want to come with us anymore. We started to fly to European countries and cities for sunny holidays or week long breaks. We bought a 2nd hand Honda ST1100 Pan European, so touring on motorcycles started once again!
For those motorcycle enthusiasts out there, here’s my time line on bikes, Yamaha FS1E 50cc, Honda C90, Honda 200TL, Yamaha TY175, Bultaco 350, Honda CB250 Silver Dream, Honda CX500 then a gap until a Yamaha Fazer 600, Honda ST1100, (4 weeks in Europe with Cathy as pillion) Honda VFR800, and finally my last bike was a Yamaha FJR1300……ahhhh that brings some memories back.
I started thinking about the cars we have owned also, if you’re interested in a trip down memory lane here’s the list; Wolsley 18/85, Ford Capri 1.6 in banana yellow with a vinyl roof (I had loads of hair back then!), Rover TC 2200, Vauxhall Viva 1300, Ford Escort estate, Austin Allegro, Astra estate, Volvo 244DL, Vauxhall Carlton 2.0 GLS, Astra Estate, Cavalier Auto 1.8GL, Cavalier, Vectra, Corsa, Yaris, Vectra and lastly a Passat.
Career progression involved us moving house several times, I really don’t know how Cathy kept putting up with it, Cathy was very supportive and never complained. We have lived in Liverpool, Edgbaston, Solihull, Redditch, Leicester and Bolton.
Dave and Cathy