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The Wessex Weekender, 2006
Meets, Shows and Events
The Wessex Weekender is always one of my favorites, as after the show we stay on for the rest of the week and make a mini holiday of it. This year myself and Rich Roberts tried a new format - we took our caravans down on the Thursday night behind our daily cars and stayed overnight, making the trip home Friday morning to get our rods. The trip to Sandford is only about 70 miles, but with no motorway it’s A or B roads all the way - still, the Dorset country side makes up for it.
At Sandford we were once again greeted by Richard Black, who allocated our spaces - his efforts to keep clubs and friends together always making life easier. The Wessex Weekender is not a show, just a good pre-booked laid back affair with a Friday cruise, Saturday treasure hunt, and huge communal BBQ and Sunday chill out. The site is excellent, with indoor and outdoor pools, restaurants, golf, tennis, two entertainment venues and best of all, good toilet and shower blocks. Each camping plot has mains electricity laid on, and is included in the entry price.
Poole (if you haven't visited before) boasts a millionaire’s mile with glorious houses along Sandbanks, all overlooking what is Europe's second largest natural harbour. In the centre of Poole Harbour is the boatbuilders yard where Sunseeker luxury yachts are made, and just opposite, on the harbourside, the tourism organisation holds different theme nights just about every night of the week. During our stay we had a bike night, fireworks, and a Volkswagen night. You can chill, drink and take in the displays in safety.

Friday was spent meeting old friends and waiting for the rest of the Bristol contingent to turn up. There is always a strong delegation from Cornwall each year, and Mike Callan always drives up in his Outlaw Anglia race car with trailer in tow.
By late afternoon Dr Bob, Andy House, Rod Rich, Mike Taylor and their wives had arrived and put their tents up. That night the Poole cruise took place, and as is usual, everyone ends up going different ways - mainly because of the amount of vehicles taking part, the town traffic light system, and the distance covered.
After the regulation stop at Sandbanks, I drove off to Poole Harbour car park, left the car, and walked the remaining distance to the quayside's drinking establishments. One shandy, followed by a bag of chips, then the drive back to the campsite to start the nights serious drinking.

Saturday started with the Tesco top-up run, followed by a walk around the harbourside shops, allowing the missus to be in charge for a while, which makes for a smooth time.

Back at camp later on it was chill out time, which moved on to the Saturday communal BBQ.
Laid on by the Wessex crowd, you supply your own meat, and the salads, burners etc are all supplied. Nice to see all the men cooking whilst the better halves sit down drinking.
Here Mr House decided to do his impression of a well known Rodding figure. The picture should tell the story, but if in doubt ask Andy at any run, when he'll be pleased to tell you!
The rest of Saturday was spent sat in Rich Roberts' awning, talking and drinking. By now, Oily Neil had also driven down to join us.
On Sunday, Dr Bob, Rich and myself drove our cars to Swanage Steam Railway, parked our cars up, and took an enjoyable train ride into the town centre. More fish and chips, a walk along the front, ice creams, and later the return leg of our steam journey.

For most, Sunday is packing up day, but the three of us stayed on into the following week and made a holiday of it, while Andy, Rod, Mike and Neil all returned home.

Our thanks to Richard Black and his small team of helpers who put so much effort into making sure all participants have a great time.

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