First I remember we would 'weather' the tents. That means that mom would get them out and put them up in the back garden for a day or two. When we were old enough she would let us have some friends over to sleep in them. I don't think we ever lasted a whole night in the garden though.
The tents were frame tents and took forever to put together. They were huge, or they seemed to be so when we were young. They would have at least two bedroom areas and a living area. We would have air beds and sleeping bags to sleep in.
Holidays were a family affair. I don't remember much before my Dad passed away, I don't think he was a 'camper' although he did like caravans. So it would have been me, mom and my little brother. We would go with my nan and my cousin who lived mostly with her, my aunt and uncle and their four children, my grown-up cousin and her husband and twin daughters who were the same age as my little brother. My uncle would hire a mini bus so we could all travel together with all our equipment. We would take over a fair chunk of the camping field once all set up together.
I remember one time we went to Weymouth and set up in the corner of a field. Overnight we had the most awful storm and woke up in the morning in the middle of a huge muddy puddle. It was a pain to dismantle the tents and put them up somewhere else, so we un-pegged them then all got inside and grabbed a pole and 'walked' them to another part of the field. It must have been a sight seeing our tents walking across the field. Obviously not a sight we saw as we were all inside them! I'm happy to report the rest of the holiday was storm free and sunny.
|me and my cousins|
We did a lot of cooking on our calor gas cooker back at the tents. There was so many of us it was too expensive to eat out often, although we did enjoy the occasional fish and chips by the sea front.
We started these camping holidays in the mid 1970's and I believe the last one was in 1982. By this time most of the children were growing up and the older family members wanting more comfort from their holidays.
They were such happy times.
|My lovely nan (who left this earth nearly 20 years ago now) my auntie and one of my smaller cousins.|