At least three camping, caravanning or motorhome groups hold private rallies on the big Baynes Field at Bridge End, during the clement months.
For example, the Dunelm Caravan Association were there during this year’s May Fair, as shown in the image above, duly noted on their website. The Northumberland Centre district of the Caravan and Motorhome Club held a three day rally on the 19th to 22nd of July, while the Northumbria District Association of the Camping and Caravanning Club held its rally from the 2nd to 7th May. It must be confusing figuring out which group is which!
Camping, informal or otherwise, on Nigel’s beloved field, probably began about the time his dad, Dennis Baynes, purchased a Dormobile which he used in the off-season as a supplementary income generator, ferrying folks from Allendale around the houses. It’s also fortunate that the camping season doesn’t really extend into November, else where would the big Bonfire Night be held?
You’d have thought there would be a big brown patch in the centre of the field, about where the long central tent is in the picture above, from the remains of years and years of Guy Fawke’s Nights over the years. Fortunately, Nigel has had a plan, which is to take a large bonfire-sized square of turf up with a special cutter and roller, to store it carefully off to the side by the little stream, a tiny tributary of the River East Allen, and then after the fiery festivities, to clean up the site and restore the turf to pride of place once more, all ready for next year’s happy campers! Or, to be more honest, so that he can happily mow it neat and trim when the loose turves are all settled back in again.
The camping field is felicitous for the village in other ways too, of course, since visiting campers do venture about from pub to pub, enjoying the village ambience. Some even make their way into the Museum of Classic Sci-Fi on the Peth, or have a gander around the art displayed at The Forge Studios. And it’s so convenient too, to have Allendale Co-operative Society Ltd, probably the best of the very few fully independent Co-ops in the country on the field’s doorstep. The crucial services of both Chemist and Health Centre are much appreciated by these visitors too, if the need should arise.
So it’s really much more than a grassy field, all in all, more like a little field of gold. Say, that sounds like a song! Over to you Sting.