Culm Vale Forest Glade 2017

 Martyn visited Upottery Heritage Centre

“Smoke me a Kipper, I’ll be there for breakfast”


by Roy and Chris

Arriving at Forest Glade campsite Chris and I pulled up near the reception to be greeted by a cry of “You’re getting the next round in”!! This was from a group of friends sitting outside the office and shop door enjoying a beer. What could be better? I collected the key to our tin tent and we went off to offload the provisions, after which I nipped back to join the lads, who were discussing the different beers which were for sale. What a good way to start a rally!!

For those who have not been here, this is a very nice campsite; the swimming pool has recently had updated changing rooms and amenities. This building is clad in cedar wood and it looks very impressive. The old roof covering the pool has been replaced with a metal canopy and plastic windows. Nice to see improvements taking place; this looks very smart now. The pool is fully operational; however, the grassed area near the pool needs to be completed, which should not take that long.

Later on Friday saw me wandering up to the top field where the rally takes place. It was nice to meet up with old friends again. This is a safe campsite for children, and it was nice to see them running around enjoying themselves. Some of them were chasing around on a pushbike / sidecar outfit – future outfit owners in training!!

Saturday we woke up to “liquid sunshine”. I was told this is another term for rain; however it did not last long. I wandered up to the field and signed in; 35 units were already in the book by this time, which was good. Dave Nash had organised a ride out to “Beer Quarry Caves”. Whilst the riders were getting ready a chap turned up in a MG sports car. He said that he had recently purchased a motorcycle and a sidecar; however these two were not joined up as yet, and he said that once they were he wanted to join the club (apparently he lives locally); he then wandered around the field taking photos of the various outfits. Before he left he was given a current Club Newsletter, a membership form and a warm welcome to join the club when he gets his outfit sorted out.

A dozen outfits and a few solos took part in the ride out. I managed to get a lift with Mike Priestly this time. On some of the narrow leafy lanes the long line of bikes caused a little chaos with the oncoming traffic, but luckily this did not happen very often. The ride through the lanes and villages was pleasant.

The caves are very old. The Romans started quarrying here 2,000 years ago and quarrying only stopped in 1920. The stone was much sought-after and used in many famous buildings, including The Tower of London and Windsor Castle, and even as far afield as Christ Church in St Louis, Missouri. The tour of the caves was scheduled to last about one hour and I was told that it was very interesting; most on the ride out went into the caves. However there was a tea shop which did a nice selection of cakes and drinks and a few of us stopped there. One bird, a robin, knew that the tables were a possible source of food and kept picking up crumbs and taking them back to its nest.

Later we headed back to the campsite in time for the BBQ; this was excellent again – well done to the Culm Vale crew. There was a nice selection of burgers, sausages and salad stuff, cakes and cider.

After the BBQ Keith presented three awards; two went to the Dutch couples who attended the rally, and the other one went to a couple from Bristol who had attended their first rally riding an outfit. Well done to them all.

Next came the raffle. There was a nice selection of prizes, including one of a couple of nights’ free camping at Forest Glade, and there were also plenty of prizes for the younger rallyists to enjoy. Martyn provided the voice – he is good at this and he soon had the raffle going well. Later Dave Nash raffled a bottle of whiskey in aid of “The Devon Air Ambulance”, and £29 was raised for the charity. The evening was very enjoyable. People gradually moved into the marquee as the night drew in, where there was plenty of chat and the craic was good.

Another excellent rally organised by the Culm Vale Sidecar Club, which has been meeting here for many years. Well done to all.

Vliegende Banana

All the very best of lightweight camping gear

A little Fettling required, one point to remember is, on the MOT inspection “Toe-Out” of the sidecar wheel is / should / considered to; be a fail.

Toe -in and vertical alignment it just states “Excessive” “which adversely effects the handling”, so basically in respect of toe-in and vertical alignment, if you can ride it there and back, the examiner will probably pass in most cases at worst with an advisory, as excessive is simply to open to opinion. What one person thinks is excessive another may not.

Download a PDF copy of the MOT inspection manual here

A few more pictures from the Upottery Heritage Centre

The run out awaits its leader, where could he be…..

Cor, blimey Charlie, he’s gone for a pee!

On Friday “The Three Amigos” walked to Broadhembury for a pint at

Lastly, apart for spotting a 4 leaf clover on the walk back, we spotted this symbol on a stone on the side of the road (sorry it’s a little out of focus) and the oldest “Amigo” claimed he didn’t know what is was. So just for him This symbol is used by the Ordnance Survey and other surveyors to pin point an exact height above sea level, which is denoted by the horizontal line above the arrow. This provides the standard, “Benchmark,” from which all other heights are measured. You will find other types here