Roma AGM Rally 2023
I have to admit that I wasn’t too keen to attend the AGM rally remembering those awkward silences at the meeting when the chair asks for volunteers to take on various responsibilities of the organising committee and even less keen put off by the venue location at a racecourse campsite envisaging worn out tatty facilities and mucky smelly toilets. It was Jenny in the end that made the decision to attend and so the booking was made.
Traveling up from Hatfield we took the M40 north remarking at the enormous amount of commercial development and housing around the Bicester junction. Turning onto the A422 we enjoyed the ride in the sunshine through Cotswold villages and a stop on route at the NT Upton House Pavilion Café for a bowl of something and a coffee and cake.
Arrival at Stratford racecourse could not have been less encouraging as the heavens opened with the crack of thunder the heavy rain beating on the windshield and drumming on the bonnet. Rain abated and assisted to our pitch we found that stepping out of the back door was into a soggy puddle. Much shunting too and frow drew a compromise on a slight hump within a cables distance of the EHU.
That afternoon we were invited to make a crown creation to wear at the viewing of the “Coronation of Charles iii.“ the following day. I opted out to sleep off my Walnut and Coffee cake.
Next morning my fears about the campsite facilities were blown away on entering the bathroom to discover a bright heated and pristine environment. I will add however, accepting the need to hold back on energy costs, would have appreciated a little more water volume emanating from the fixed head shower.
Grumbles aside we dodged the occasional showers and with our mugs in hand joined the assembled crown wearing throng in the hall to watch the “Coronation service”. Thoughtfully a large screen had been set up by the committee so that history could be witnessed and celebrated in the company of our Roma friends.
Later in the afternoon Jenny joined the needlecraft session whilst others gathered to chat or judge the photo or craft competition submission. That evening I’m afraid we were wilting violets opting to stay in our van and so cannot comment on the evening entertainment.
Whilst Jenny attended the “Songs of Praise” I remained to service and recharge the “goes under”. Later joining fellow Romahomers the 36th [Youtube streamed] AGM proceeded briskly with the various officers’ reports [ as published in the AGM guide booklet] were taken as read and accepted together with new appointments, AOBs and technical queries that are reported elsewhere.
There followed a talk given by the Roma Secretary Jac Norton on her volunteering work in HM Prisons under the title “Art in Prison”. Activities and performance arts in its widest interpretation the intriguing talk covered the frustrations as well as the rewarding aspects and beneficial aspects of her work.
In the afternoon OUT CAME THE SUN AND DRIED UP ALL THE RAIN so Incey and wincey did nothing but sat out dozing in the welcome warmth.
Reluctant to leave the sun we were late to the Potluck supper but found more than enough to fill our wobbly cardboard plates and were well fed for the following quiz which I’m afraid the quizmaster again failed to ask the right questions leaving our team a middling score.
In these turbulent times we joined the workers in striking! camp that is, packing up and getting Cosy Van 2ty road ready before the next shower. Relieved that the ground had stayed firm on departing we made a brief detour to visit Ann Hathaway’s Cottage before finding our way to the NT Charlecote Park for tour of the house. Finding another Romahome in the car park we made a bee line to park adjacent. On discovering that they were not Roma members we took some delight in haranguing them with stories of the great time we had had at our Roma Club Rally. Note to secretary. Be advised of an enquiry to join the club with a query about their dodgy fridge!
Suggestion to Committee; For such occasions it would be nice to have a credit card sized “Roma Invitation card” with generic contact information, to hand or place under windscreen wiper blade. It could carry detail of the presenter’s name and membership number.
Our many thanks for the great efforts in bringing to fruition an excellent rally under difficult conditions and going the extra mile setting up the Coronation presentation.
The Cromer Meet. 31st May—5th June 2023.
We have been in the club for many years but have done very few rallies and meets, being sidetracked with other things and hobbies. When we saw the Cromer meet advertised we thought we would go as we had nothing on. We arrived on the Wednesday it was nice to see some other vans and Roma club members already there and received a nice welcome. Although being in the club for many years it is like being a newcomer and soon met with other members including some of the committee. Unfortunately, the cold northerly wind did not allow us a get-together though we met most of them.
It was a nice site with Cromer and East Runton within walking distance where there are plenty of shops, restaurants etc. It had nice new and clean toilet blocks and being a massive farm, plenty of walks to keep you fit. The site has a Thai food trailer which we sampled (would be rude not to) and I we saw some people waiting . absolutely freezing and the woman in front of us had sandals on and her feet were blue! Back at the van it was nice to use the diesel heater which hasn’t been used much.
Luckily we had hats and gloves in the van and were told by a few people
that they wished they had brought theirs, bearing in mind this was ‘flaming June’! At night we have three layer sleeping bags and have never had two layers on top until now. Lovely and toastie warm.
We saw that there was a market in Cromer and walked in to find it. We did but if you blinked, you would miss it!
There were a grand total of 3 stalls so walked around the town, down the front, then had a meal and went to the Amazona Zoo which was very enjoyable.
The Puma and Jaguar were very impressive.
On the Saturday, we went into Wroxham for an organised boat trip around the broads which we had never done. It was very good and we must go back for more.
Had the almost obligatory fish and chips.
Tip: for two people. - order the large fish and large chips.I It is a lot cheaper than buying two meals.
Sunday morning, it was a case of putting everything away, saying our goodbyes and heading home. We found out that the cold wind persisted in Kent and were told that it was cold here as well (North Kent coast) which made us feel better. Hope to meet more of you another time.
Dave & Yvonne Johnson