Wednesday, 4 September 2013

"Mrs Beeton and Me"

This August Bank Holiday weekend was our first birthday celebration here at Secret HQ. And as part of the celebrations, we were invited to host a vintage shopping marquee up at Folk East Music Festival, for 3 days, where we got the chance to enjoy the fantatsic split screen VW campervan "Mrs Beeton".  Both Lucy and I LOVED the whole weekend and the gorgeous Mrs Beeton, Lucy however formed the strongest bond with her as she is the driver of the two of us and so here she shares her experiences and feelings on the lovely lady...

Being invited to host a vintage marquee at Folk East Festival for our first year birthday celebrations- was brilliant! However, not being such a great fan of camping, I decided to introduce a bit of glamping to the proceedings, which is where the idea of hiring a camper van came in, so that we would have somewhere warm dry and comfortable over the weekend to sleep

When I first laid eyes on Mrs Beeton I knew I was in love. Her beautiful headlamps gazed straight back at me, and I was instantly smitten. For as you can see, Mrs Beeton is a most beautiful, and well cared for vehicle.

A little bit spellbound, I was given a tour of her cream and blue chassis, and the lovely Kerry from Custard Campers explained her likes and dislikes, the fact she drinks normal unleaded, and how to handle her in the best way. Mrs Beeton is no spring chicken, an original 1967 Split Screen camper, she must be handled carefully and sensitively, not exceeding 50mph, and certainly not forgetting to check her oil! But that is part of the joy of handling a vintage beauty queen camper van like Mrs B.

And so it was with a slight anticipation that I set off on my first ever journey in a classic VW Split Screen Camper, from a farm in Chelmsford, to Glenham Hall for Folk East. Once I was used to the Left hand drive (don’t worry not all Custard Campers are Left Handed if you don’t like the sound of that- Floyd and Delia are both Right hand drive versions) I settled down to enjoy the journey.

And what a journey, with a huge amount of waves and smiles coming at me from other road passengers, clearly very enamored with Mrs B too.

As I drove, I marvelled over her large cream steering wheel, the ultimate in sophistication for a steering wheel!  I also loved the clever use of decoupage on the front door interiors, showcasing original recipes from Mrs Beeton Cookbooks.

I arrived back on Site at Glemham Hall mid afternoon to get stuck into manning the Secret Vintage Fair marquee and instantly, crowds flocked around the parked up Mrs Beeton. And indeed over the entire weekend we answered many questions from people who admitted to being very envious of 'our' camper van, and many were overjoyed when we explained that we didn’t own it, and that she could be hired from CustardCampers!

The first night’s sleep was great, after a full days work in the marquee, and after watching some sword dancing live on stage from the Demon Barbers, we were ready to drop. As we let down the colourful stripy blinds, got out the thermal mats to put in the windows, we pulled out the rock n roll bed and got cosy...sleeping soundly til 6.30am the next morning. Zzzzzz

Waking up in Mrs Beeton, I noticed a beautiful floral array which I hadn’t fully appreciated the day before! What a joy that there are beautiful flowers adoring her interior all year round!

And she has plenty of storage too- there were cupboards galore, making it easier to tidy things away to have her looking spick and span again ready for another busy day at the festival.

Mrs Beeton had fun over the rest of the weekend, chatting to customers, and meeting the VintageMobile Cinema, and Margo the mini from My Mini Moment!  The vintage Mobile cinema requires a separate blog post to do it justice, but suffice to say if you haven’t experience a film aboard it yet and it’s in your area- you MUST check it out! It’s the only surviving vehicle left of it’s kind!

The rest of the festival went brilliantly for us- it was great combining our love of vintage with a world and folk music festival, and we got to enjoy an excellent line up including the Penguin Café, ElizaCarthy and some more up and coming bands on the line up such as Ahab who totally rocked the stage.

It was with great sadness that I handed back Mrs Beeton on the Monday morning to Custard Campers, but what a brilliant weekend.  And you too can have a brilliant weekend at the end of this month in Mrs Beeton- all your need to do is enter our competition – and there’s multiple chances to win too!

(Prize is to win a weekend in Mrs Beeton 21st and 22nd September 2013- please see terms and conditions before entering and good luck!)

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