Tuesday, 19 June 2018

East Marden YHA....A Full Circle....

Last year I told you about my visit to a water mill near St Ives Huntingdon that had been a Youth Hostel that I had visited 55 years earlier while I was on a cycle ride with one of my childhood mates....
Well when we were staying near Chichester a few weeks ago I visited another of the Youth Hostels that I had visited as a youngster.....

This time it was the YHA at East Marden West Sussex.....
I remember the ride quite well...
Leaving home at Feltham Middx which is where we were living at the time the ride consisted of Milford YHA.... East Marden YHA.... Portsmouth YHA.... Southampton YHA.... Hindhead YHA and then back home.

This ride was really like a tester for the ride we did the following year when I visited the Water Mill near Huntingdon and although I remember all of the YHA's we visited on that earlier trip it was the one at East Marden that I remember the most....

I think the main reason for that was because we had met a couple of girls that happened to be staying at the youth hostel when we stayed there and Paul and I were a bit reluctant to have to move on.....
I remember taking a picture of my bike under the old thatched well in the village and also stopping at a bend in the road as we cycled away from the village and looking back at the Youth Hostel.... 

As Anne and I were reasonably close to the village when staying near Chichester I decided to cycle out there for a visit...this would me the first time that I had been back to the village since I was thirteen......

The House That Used To Be East Marden YHA
 The ride out to the village was really enjoyable and it seemed to have hardly changed....
Happily it doesn't seem to have grown at all... no new buildings and everything just as it was all those years ago....
Standing looking at the building that used to be the Youth Hostel that first visit all came flooding back to me.......
East Marden Village Church
 I remembered sitting outside the church eating a 'Fry's Five Boys' chocolate bar while we waited for the Youth Hostel to open on the evening of our arrival. The seat outside the church was still there......
East Marden Thatched Village Mill
 As I sat there eating that chocolate bar we could see the village mill opposite us.....
An image of the mill was used as an ink stamp that you had stamped in your YHA membership card when you visited the hostel.....
It was also used on a badge that you could buy to add to your collection of hostel badges and I remember buying one on the morning that we left the hostel......
Bike Lean Image at the Well...
As Paul and I sat there all those years ago we decided that it would be a good idea to take a photo of each of our bikes under the thatch of the village well.....
In those days the photos were of course in black and white......

On this my 2018 visit to the village I did the same thing..... my current bike is worlds away from the heavy bike that I was riding on that trip as a youngster but I stood it in the exact same spot for the colour shot taken on my phone....

I would never have thought as a thirteen year old all those years ago that I would be re-visiting the village as a seventy year old riding a bike and taking pictures in those same spots......
I really enjoyed my return visit and as I rode away I came to the bend in the road where I had stopped and looked back towards the hostel... I stopped and looked back... the only thing that had changed was that view...the trees have grown and now obscure the hostel...

I remounted my bike and headed back in the direction of Chichester.....

As I rode away the phrase 'Full Circle' entered my thoughts.... I thought of all the rides that I have done since that trip as a youngster and here I was again cycling that same route...In cycling terms it really was a 'Full Circle'

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Around Bosham.....

During our stay at the Osiers CScs site we chose to have a little wander around Bosham...
It was quite a few years since I had last been there and Anne had never visited the area ....

Bosham Quay
We walked down to Bosham quay where everyone is told not to leave their car due to how quickly the tide can come in....
The tide was actually out when we were there and as we had walked we had no problems with leaving a car parked on the quay.....
Bosham Mill
 We looked a Boham Mill House... This is a grade 2 listed building which was listed back in 1973.
The Mill is quite an attractive L-shaped building. Timber framed in the north end and largly re-faced with red bricks...
I really love old Mill houses and this one is in very nice condition....
Holy Trinity Church Bosham
We then carried on to view Holy Trinity Church..... The church has a long history dating back to the seventh century it is Saxon in origin.. it is even mentioned in the Bayeux Tapestry...
Anne and I took some time to sit in the churchyard and take in the peace and quiet..... A very tranquil place......

Drive Slowly...Ducks Crossing....
On another walk we headed across the fields to Funtingdon....
On the way we passed a sign warning drivers to go slowly due to Ducks crossing the road..... Not something that you see everyday.... 
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Funtingdon Church
The route took us through yet another churchyard...this time it was Funtingdon Church....
It was a blazing hot day and we were headed for a pub/restaurant for lunch.....
We had a very nice meal plus a couple of pints of beer for me (Anne just has soft drinks) and then we headed back the way that we had come.....

It's funny how it is always a bit harder walking back after a couple of pints and a meal but we did eventually arrive back at the site where I spent the rest of the afternoon taking in the sun....

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

A Real Gem......

For the past two weeks we have been staying at The Osiers CS near Chichester.....
We decided to try this little site because the C&CC site at Chichester has building work nearby and this has been causing both noise and dust so that meant we crossed the site off this years list......

The little Osiers Site has won the C&CC best CS as well as the best Hideaway site for a number of years so with the C&CC Chichester site crossed off our list it seemed the obvious choice for us in this area.
I also wanted to try a small CS as although I have stayed on them whilst cycle touring and backpacking I have never taken Eva the Eriba to one......
The middle weekend and following week of our two week stay was a Bank Holiday and half term holiday so we were hoping that the little site would be a haven of peace and quiet and not crammed full as a lot of the larger sites are over the bank and school holidays....

Hideaway can mean tucked away and this site is although it was not difficult to find....

Looking down the Drive to the Entrance from the Road.
 There is a small entrance off the road with an automatic five bar gate and a long narrow drive from the road to the site itself.......
The owners John and Jackie are a really lovely and friendly couple and Jackie was waiting at the end of the drive to see us on to our pitch.......

The little Facilities Block....
 The facilities were situated in a small and attractive building at one end of the site......
There are a couple of toilets and a shower and as this is a five van site these facilities seemed perfectly adequate..... 
There is a small washing up area set into the building as well....

At no time during our stay were the facilities overwhelmed and we never had to wait to use them......
The rear view of an old stable block...Eva and Awning is just to the left.
 The little site is well looked after and John and Jackie have done lots of things to encourage wild life and during our stay we saw many types of birds.....We spent hours watching the birds going in and out of the numerous bird boxes scattered around the site and the swallows swooping around the site gave us hours of pleasure.... 
In the evening the birds were replaced with bats swooping around.....

At the far end of the site there is a small meadow where Jackie keeps the grasses long in order to encourage insects and small creatures like field mice etc......

As well as the pitches for caravans/motorhomes and tents there are also a couple of Yurts setup in a small area of their own.....

This site was a Real Gem of a find and we really enjoyed our stay there.....
As for our desire for a quiet and tranquil site over the bank holiday and school half term break.... well it could not have been better....

It was quiet......
It was tranquil....
It was perfect......
Just see the image below of how uncluttered and quiet the site was.......
Perfect...!!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Sunshine..A Rasberry and on the Road Again......

Well the past 28 days have flown by....
It doesn't seem possible that we have been here at the Verwood C&CC site for almost a month....

In the main we have enjoyed some very nice weather although our first week here was a little bit 'iffy' with some sudden bursts of very heavy rain... Since then though it has been pretty well perfect camping weather.... It's probably too much to hope that this good weather will continue throughout the summer but it would be great if it did.......

This weekend Peter Calcutt and his wife Alison came over to join us on site and show us their new caravan....
It is a Freedom Caravan......Alison bought it and also chose the colour hence the rasberry red metallic finish.

My other mate Gideon showed Peter & Ali to their pitch and then came up to my caravan to let me know that they had arrived.
I made my way down to their pitch and this is what I saw..........

Peter &Ali errecting the awning...
 Peter and Ali were in the middle of errecting their awning..... Literally in the middle of errecting it...actually in the middle of the awning. All I could see was the awning seemingly moving around on it's own... Every so often one of the panels would stick out and then another one and then the whole structure seemed to collapse in on itself before rising up again.....
Peter and Ali were both inside it and I must admit that the whole thing was very funny to watch....... 
Awning up and attached to the 'Rasberry'
 Eventually everything was sorted and I was treated to a walk through of the new van.....
The colour certainly attracts attention and I don't think that it would ever be lost amongst all the other caravans on a busy site.......

That evening Ali prepared a very nice meal which we all enjoyed together..... it was a warm evening so we were able to eat our meal sat out in front of the awning.....

Over the past three years Anne and I have seen a number of 'Freedom Caravans' on various sites but this is the first red one that we have seen. 
Apparently it is a Limited Edition for the 2018 model year and next year another colour will be introduced....

Peter and Ali ordered it at last year's Caravan and Motorhome show and I believe that theirs was the first to be delivered in the UK.....
Peter... Ali...& the Rasberry leaving the site.
Sunday lunch time came around all too quickly....
All too soon it was time for Peter & Ali to head off back home....

It had been a quick one night visit but nonetheless enjoyable.....

The next time that we hope to meet up again will be in August when we will be pitched at an Adult only site in Suffolk.........
What better place to be during the school summer holidays than pitched on an Adults only caravan site..Lol.

After Peter and Ali had left the site Anne and I started to pack kit away and take down our own awning........  Tomorrow we are on the road again. 

This time we are heading for a small Certificated five caravan site near Chichester West Sussex...... We are booked in for two weeks.
With another Bank Holiday next weekend we decided that we fancied being on a small 'Hideaway' site as we hope that it will be quieter than being on one of the Clubs main sites.....

Apparently i-net connection is not good there so there could be a bit of a delay in replying to comments and also making my next blog post.......

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Tenth Birthday and Good Weather.....

Yesterday was the tenth birthday of this Blog.....
Over the past ten years 'The Original PurpleTraveller' has covered lots of different subjects such as saddle comfort.... favourite tents for backpacking....the pain endured on long distance bike rides against the clock.... caravan life and lots more.....

When it was first started I had thought that it might be a platform for friends to follow what was going on and keep in touch when I was away on some hair brained challenge either on the bike or backpacking or something else......
The truth is that has not really been the case.....

In the main friends don't drop in on the blog all that often but new internet friends have been made and some of those have been regular followers for many years and in turn I have followed their blogs with interest......

I have always made a point of answering any comments left on the blog because I feel that if people have made the effort to read my ramblings and then made the extra effort to leave a comment then the least that I can do is acknowledge that fact.....

How many more years will I continue to make posts on this blog?
That is a difficult one to answer....... 
i suppose I might wake up one morning and decide enough is enough and stop posting entries for good.....

I do go through periods of not having much to say and during those periods obviously make fewer posts and then something happens and I think to myself that I must put that on the blog.....

Anyway..... I would like to say to all those readers out there who drop by on a regular basis "Thanks you are what it is all about"

Since my last post the weather has improved no end and like almost everywhere else in the country we had a stunning Bank Holiday weekend.......

The site was quite busy over the weekend.....
The lower field was the busiest as can be seen in the first picture below.......

The busy lower field...
 By Monday afternoon the lower field was almost empty..... They had come...camped....and gone again!!
Monday afternoon and most campers had gone.....
 So what did we do over the Bank Holiday.......
We kept off the roads.....took the front panel of the awning down and sat around in the sun enjoying all the nice weather....
Good enough weather to take the awnings front panel down....
Oh..! One last thing......
I have now brought Fiona the Felt out of her winter hibernation and am now enjoying the wonders of Full Carbon & Dura-Ace rides.......
Fiona the Felt....My summer ride now out on the road......

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Back to a Favourite......

Last Monday we re-located to one of our regular and favourite sites-Verwood.
Since we have been here the weather has deteriorated again....
The bright sunny weather that we had during part of our 14 night stay at Moreton has changed to dull..wet..and pretty dismal.

All the grass pitches on the site seem to be quite squelchy underfoot however none of the grass pitches are occupied only the hardstandings.....
Tonight strong to gale force winds are forecast.......
Given our dealings with the gale force winds we experienced when we were wintering down in Devon my negative anticipation levels are running high.... I just hope that we are pitched in the right spot to avoid a head on confrontation with the powers of nature.....

Since we have been here we have taken Eva the Eriba over to Automotive Leisure for her annual service and water ingress test... 
Happy to say that she sailed through with no problems.

While she was there for the service they also replaced the shock cord that runs around the middle of the pop top canvas... Over the past three years it had lost some of it's elasticity.
It's important to have a reasonable amount of tension on this so that when you lower the roof  it pulls in the canvas all the way around so it doesn't get caught in either of the scissor hinges at either end or get caught up between the pop top roof and the fixed roof.....

Also while she was being serviced they replaced the 230v element on the refrigerator.
Over the winter we were able to use a domestic fridge in our awning which one of the other caravanners had stored in his own awning.....after the night of the 'Beast from the East' which destroyed everyone's awnings we switched it over to gas which we have continued to use since we left Devon. Now the element has been replaced we have gone back to using the fridge on electric as it works out cheaper than running it on gas plus it is more convenient....

We have also caught up with our friends Gideon and Angie who are working here as Holiday Site Assistants for the season...
We had a great evening on Friday over at their motorhome while we chatted and shared a few beers and a few bottles of wine while demolishing a take away Chinese meal...

They had spent their winter driving around the Iberian Peninsula and had a few tales to tell but both seemed to feel that five months of moving on almost every few days for that length of time was too much and probably longer stays and less travelling over a shorter period would have been a better idea...
It will be interesting though to see what they end up doing next winter.
Like us they are free spirits and can do whatever they fancy..... 

Just touching on our stay at Moreton again.....
While we were their my friend Jon Joynes who was part of the '10in10' cycling team came over for a visit and we enjoyed coffee and 'doorstep' sandwiches at the Moreton Tea Rooms...

Another visitor was my old buddy Peter Calcutt.... He brought one of his bikes with him and we managed to get a ride together over part of the Purbeck area..
He and his wife Allison have recently taken delivery of a caravan of their own so hopefully we will be able to meet up now and again at various sites.....

As promised in my last post below are some images taken in and around Moreton including the Moreton Gardens......






 Now as you probably realise we don't indulge in selfies on the Purpletraveller but we do like the iconic leaning bike shot....
This one taken on my ride with Peter Calcutt.....

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Social Event........

Last Saturday we attended the Annual Social Event put on by Automotive Leisure the suppliers of Eva the Eriba....
It is always good to pop along and meet up with other owners and also see the latest models and gadgets for the Eriba range of touring vans.....


Eriba Owners at the Social Event....

Another view at the Social Event.....
We have attended the last three events in order to keep us up todate with everything Eriba....
This year my main interest was in a prototype of a new inflatable awning that is based on the awning that was destroyed in the recent storms.....

This new awning is made from the same material that our previous awning was made from... this was a material that we really liked as it was easy to keep clean with just a quick wipe over with a damp cloth and it also didn't fade.

Our current summer awning made by Kampa fades really badly and it is also not very easy to keep clean.....
The roof being made from a white material shows every mark .... it looks fine from the outside but from the inside you can see every mark....not really a very sensible colour when you think about it.....

The protoype awning which we viewed at Automotive Leisure seems to tick all the boxes for us and it also seems to have avoided a number of the errors in design that Kampa made with our current awning......

Unfortunately the new awning won't be available until after June this year.....
Our plan is to continue with the Kampa awning for this summer season and then buy one of these new awnings in September/October......
The Grave of T.E.Lawrence
 One interesting thing to be found in the village of Moreton is the grave of T.E.Lawrence known as Lawrence of Arabia......
His cottage 'Clouds Hill' is just a couple of miles away from the village and is well woth a visit if you are ever in the area.....
Lawrence once described Clouds Hill as his 'Earthly Paradise'.
He finished writing his account of the Arab Revolt 'The Seven Pillars of Wisdom'here, and he made friends with Thomas Hardy who was then living at Max Gate in Dorchester......
For all you Post Box fans......
Another thing to be seen in the village is something that will be of interest to all you Post Box enthusiasts out there.....
This post box can be found on the outside of the old post office.....

It has been a while since I have posted an image of a post box so I thought that I would share this one with you....

Something else of interest in the village are the Moreton Gardens.... more or less opposite the Moreton Tea Rooms... but you will have to wait until my next post to see a few images of that......