Having been caravanners for 26 years we had never attended a rally before. As we have now joined the Vanmaster Association we booked to attend the first main event of 2016 at Lucksall Caravan Park in Herefordshire.

With some uncertainty as to whether this would be suitable for us, our fears were soon put aside. We were warmly welcomed by the event organisers on arrival and throughout the week by the other members. Although it is not compulsory to take part in the organised activities, we did, and thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. The atmosphere was so happy all of the time. This experience has encouraged us to book several more events this year.

Michael & Valerie

With a little anticipation, we headed to Herefordshire for our first Vanmaster Event, Will we fit in? Will we like it?

Just some of the questions on our minds as we travelled down. The first surprise was checking in at reception and being told, straight on down as Tom, Jack and Bill are waiting for you, and no mention of paying site fees! Thank you Lucksall, a refreshing approach, to say, when you have pitched up come and see us.

We turned into the allotted Vanmaster area and were greeted by warm welcomes and pleased to meet yous’, assistance in pitching, (no one volunteered to put the awning up though) and an invitation for a cuppa! What more could anyone ask for?

An enjoyable week was enjoyed with a couple of walks, (we only joined the one to the pub!), an arranged visit to a cider mill and a farewell meal, the icing on the cake was assistance taking the awning down, thank you Edward. More importantly, thank you Susan, the coffee and flapjacks were lovely.

Initial thoughts of 'we'll give this one a go and see how we get on’ have developed into leaving our name on the members register for the September event in Nottinghamshire and seeing if we can fit The Peak District event in June into our schedule.

Thank you VA for making us welcome, we look forward to meeting up again soon.
With some uncertainty as to whether this would be suitable for us, our fears were soon put aside. We were warmly welcomed by the event organisers on arrival and throughout the week by the other members. Although it is not compulsory to take part in the organised activities, we did, and thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. The atmosphere was so happy all of the time. This experience has encouraged us to book several more events this year.

Martin & Sandra

Having never caravanned with a group before we decided to try when we bought our Vanmaster. We were a little apprehensive but were made so welcome by everyone we loved it and try to attend as many events as we can. There was so much to do but we can pick and choose what we want to take part in.

The Association is gathering new members - adding to our list of caravanning friends - GREAT. Each event has been more hilarious than the last. Relaxed events, full of fun and interesting places to visit. Well done - keep it going.

We have been caravanning since the early 60s and have never been on a rally until 12 months ago when we joined the Vanmaster Association. Our first casual event was thoroughly enjoyed and we look forward to more in the future. Strangers became instant friends and all were welcoming. The thing that I recall most was how much we laughed something most of us don’t do enough of. As you know laughing keeps us young - so join the young ones.

A well-informed professional members only website together with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere makes this association excellent value for money.

We like the format of the association, it is casual and friendly and no one is under any pressure to join in activities. The committee should be congratulated. They have brought running into the 21st century.

The Association gives the opportunity to both meet like minded people and to enjoy their caravans. It provides a wide variety of touring and caravan related information. It maintains a very active website with regular updates and everyone shares experience and information. A must if you own a Vanmaster.

We have just attended our first main event for this year this was a very enjoyable event with lots of events well organised. You are not obliged to go to all events. Everything is friendly easy-going and a good mix of people from around the country if you’re interested join us.

This is a very friendly group of people who all enjoy caravanning Visits and activities may be organised when they meet but everyone is free to do as they please. There is no pressure to take part. Fun and enjoyment is the key to this association.

We joined the Association last September as new owners of a Vanmaster 580 Applause and virgin caravanners to boot, even though we did have a couple of Motorhomes 20 years ago!!

We received the newsletters on the web and navigated our way around the different articles with the links and found that we were becoming more interested in the various aspects that the Vanmaster Association were offering.

Paul was particularly interested in the technical info and the technology sections. There were some apps that appeared to be quite useful that we could use whilst we were out enjoying our Vanmaster.

We ventured onto the 'Events' link and decided that we would attend one, to see what it was like and talk with other Vanmaster owners, who had more experience than us!

Saying that we were apprehensive was an understatement as we had various concerns .... would it be cliquey as some 'member' style clubs are?

How would we fit in as new members with the existing group?

As it turned out our fears were not realised; our biggest problem was remembering all the names of the friendly people we met!

We arrived just after the start of the 'Event'; it's not called a 'Rally' apparently, as this is too formal a term for a friendly meet up of people who all have a passion for their Vanmasters'. We were greeted by the events hosts; Edward and Susan Sellars who showed us the area that was allocated to the group where we chose our pitch........they even made us coffee and biscuits whilst we were getting set up. This was an excellent precursor and set the tone for the rest of the time we spent there, everyone we met being very friendly and welcoming. We were provided with some written information about the 'Event' and what was available to attend if we wanted to. Another useful bit of info was a list of those attending and their vans so we could start put names to vans.

There was a Meet and Greet on the first evening where we met several other couples but it started before then as we had a heating problem and Linda was getting cold. A couple of members came to our help and it was soon sorted and the van started to warm up. This made us a little late for the Meet and Greet but not to worry as other members soon filled us in on what we had missed. The group were very welcoming and friendly without being 'in your face'. The week ahead had some planned events but it was made very clear to us that there were no expectations on attending; we could opt in or out as it suited us. This was music to our ears as we have heard stories about other clubs doing things where all were expected to attend - not our scene.

Spontaneity seems to be a key theme of the Association - someone would have an impromptu coffee or get together and others were welcome to join in if they wanted.

We weren't the only Newbies on this Event (that helped too). There were others there to ask who was who, etc, etc.

Previously, we had only seen one other Vanmaster on our travels and that was on the CL site close to the factory. So to see 20+ vans all in one place was exciting for us especially as people were keen to share layouts of their vans. It seems that no 2 vans are the same even if it is the same model, as layouts and extras varied considerably. It was great to have discussions with the other owners about their layouts and experiences which were shared during the week.

All our earlier apprehension faded away as the week progressed and we came away having made some new friends exchanging emails/phone numbers etc.

On the way home I asked Paul ``Well was the event what you thought it would be like?`` With a small chuckle he replied ``No, not at all, it was much more friendly and inclusive than I thought it would be``

Well, that sums up our first Event with the Vanmaster Association; we have already signed up for the event in June at Milford-on-Sea and will look to see what else we can attend and will certainly try to meet up with others at a casual event soon.

So for all those members who haven't been to an Event why not give it a try, we can guarantee that you will find everyone friendly and welcoming.

This was our first main event with the Vanmaster Association. We had attended our first casual one at the end of last year, at Godrevy Park, in Cornwall, when there were only 2 other vans. This meeting was promising 20 plus units. We were both, if honest, a bit apprehensive to say the least, probably just like some of the other 35% of Newbie’s. Nothing could be further from the truth, we were met by Susan and Edward Sellars at the edge of the site, and offered a choice of pitches, and a lovely cuppa also most gratefully received. We chose a pitch, and set about getting ourselves sorted out. That’s when we met Glynis, who informed us that we and all the other 35% of Newbies were on probation, so no pressure then eh!!!

Later that evening there was a Meet and Greet to get to know each other, in the marquee, it was good to start putting a few faces to the names from the website.

Next day was the brewery trip, for the folks who fancied sampling their fine products first hand.

Friday brought another lovely sunny day, just perfect for sitting outside Bill and Glynis van, having a cuppa and all the lovely nibbles, that people brought with them, my own personal favourite was Aubyn’s lovely chocolate cake.

We both really liked the informal atmosphere at the get together at peoples vans, nothing too much planned, a great formula. Just bring your chairs, cups, and your offering.

Later in the evening, we all had lovely Fish and chips in the marquee. We then all played a beetle drive. If I’m totally honest, I’d never done one before, but by the end I loved it, what a laugh. Saturday was a free day, so we went shopping, and used the internet while sat outside Barclays bank in Chipping Norton, thanks Barclays.

Sunday brought another sunny, but cooler day for us all, so Tom’s walk was done without getting wet. As some of you knew we had taken delivery of a new V640. Many people had requested a viewing, so Sheila and I thought that we would combine an Open Awning afternoon with tea and nibbles. It was good to see everybody turn up and have a good natter. We must both say a big thank you to Linda, Wendy, for all their help, we couldn’t have managed without you, and to Glynis also, for getting me all the tea and coffee orders, I will try harder next time to keep up with your pace. And they say that MEN can’t multi task eh!!

Later on in the evening, in the marquee the group Good Intent where booked to entertain us, and what a job they did for us all. They played loads of songs that we all knew, which got people out of their seats, dancing the night away. I know that Sheila certainly enjoyed herself. (See Ian’s video on the site)

We were greeted with another sunny day on Monday, due to the big numbers wanting to go on Ian’s Oxford guided tours, he had to split the numbers into 2 groups, we were on the afternoon one, we both really enjoyed it lots, many thanks Ian.

Tuesday was another fine and sunny day, perfect for getting the awning down, nice and dry. David and Margaret invited us over to their pitch for a mid morning cuppa and a chin wag, so we put the awning on hold. I’ve never being known to refuse a brew, and lovely it was too. We got chance to say our goodbyes to Linda, Paul and Gordon since they were leaving that morning. Then it was back to take the awning down, ready for leaving tomorrow.

We had just nicely got everything packed away, when Edward and Susan kindly asked us across to their van for a cuppa. I must make a note to double the amount of tea and coffee we bring to future VA events.

To round off a great week, an evening meal had been organized for everybody at the Falkland Arms, a few miles down the road, very nice food, good company, and a surprise card and chocolate for Tom and Angela’s 21st wedding anniversary.

Wednesday came around really quickly, time to get hitched up and say all our goodbyes. What a great time Sheila and I had, we met so many friendly people and we are really looking forward to the next one at Milford on Sea. Great news, just before we left the site Glynis came over and told us both that we were no longer Newbies, what a result eh. We both want to say a huge thank you to Edward and Susan for all their efforts with the organizing of the event, and to everybody else who pitched in making it the success that it was.

This was our first main Vanmaster meet and we were a little apprehensive, we needn't have been. We received a very warm welcome and a much needed cup of tea. Susan and Edward did a great job as hosts everyone was very friendly and we certainly had some good laughs.

The fish and chip supper followed by the beetle drive was a good way to get to get to know fellow members. The balance between organised events and free time was just right but no pressure was put on to join in everything. The walk Tom and Angela took was lovely, a leisurely pace in beautiful countryside. Ian was very knowledgeable on Oxford very interesting. The band Sunday night brought back memories of our younger days, great evening.

Edward sorted out our problem with our battery and Glynis supplied glue and tape to mend the broken arm of one of our chairs.

For all newcomers don't worry if you have a problem there's bound to be someone who can fix it. We know we've left out lots but all we can say is Thanks for a great week and the weather couldn't have been better. That was the first of hopefully many meets.