The 10th Tandem Club Family Camping Weekend was hosted by the Davies Family at Top End Farm in Little Staughton in Bedfordshire. On Saturday the ride was into Bedford via Great Barford and Willington, where a very late elevenses stop was made at the play park by the Village Hall. After the play stop the ride went off road for a ride along the Ouse following cycle route 51 to Russell Park for a late lunch stop by the swings. As we were near the river in Russell Park and also in Willington, it was no surprise that the sound of several Dragonflies could be heard.
The return to the campsite was via a direct route, with an interesting start, navigating the cycle routes and alleys of Bedford to get out to the north side of Bedford avoiding problem roads. A small group left a bit early and took a âDeeTourâ back to Top End.
Evening entertainment was provided for the kids in the form of a quiz requiring them to find people who had broken their left leg, had 2 goldfish or anyone who had been to Spain etc. We helped out by dividing our 8 fish unevenly between the 3 of us âº. In addition there was a crisp tasting session won by the Moore family.
Whilst at Grafham Water
The weekend had a nice casual feel to it with all rides planned to ensure kids were catered for with play parks and there were options on picnicking or making use of cafes or even chippies. Unusually most of the family units rode together, at the start at least, as a couple had a few minor breakdowns, however they were ably assisted by David Holman wielding an allen key and rejoined the main group at the breaks.
The numbers attending the weekend were on the low side which was due to the late confirmation of the weekend but for the 10th Family Camping Weekend the organising families of the previous 9 were there to join in the fun: The Moore Family who organised Bletchingdon 2007, the Cunninghamâs who organised Broome 2006, The Bowenâs who organised Moulton 2005 and Cosgrave 2003, we the Dee family who organised 4 events at Market Bosworth in 2004, 2002, 2000 and 1998, and most importantly the Jefferys who organised the first one at Charlbury in 1996.
So for all the families out there, if you want a family camping weekend organised, please volunteer and let the Tandem Club Committee know â the earlier it is organised the easier it is.
One last thing, Ann, Ceri-SiÃ¢n and I are the only family that can make the claim â âTandem Club Family Camping Weekendsâ â weâve been to them all!
For the uninformed â Dragonfly is a type of petrol stove used by lightweight campers which makes a loud noise.
STEPHEN, ANN AND CERI-SIÃN DEE
This article first appeared in the Tandem Club Journal - Aug/Sep 08