Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Interviewed For The Camping and Caravanning Club Magazine

Three years ago I was interviewed by the then Club Reporter Laura Rainbow, for a feature on the people who voluntary help run their part of the Camping and Caravanning Club

Hello Alastair

Hello Laura, and thanks for considering me for this interview.

What do you do when you’re not volunteering (eg job or hobbies)?

I am a Self Employed Private Gardener, with  regular clients ranging from “little old ladies” at 2 hours per fortnight to what I call my “A list” which can be a full day a week.
One advantage of been Self Employed is that I can try to plan my work and be able to camp a lot. The big draw back of been a Gardener is the British weather!

I am forty-nine years old, married with 2 rescued Greyhounds, Holly and Trigger, both rescued by Tia Greyhound & Lurcher Rescue, which is My Company nominated charity.

How long have you been a PRO, why did you start?

My wife and I joined the “Club” after a try-before-you-buy week on a 5 Site and then thought we would see what this “Rally Camping” was like. Although, by postcode we were in Leeds DA. After looking in Out and About the first meet we went to was a Spen Valley DA. THS
A few more meets followed but we soon found that we were camping more and more with Spen.

Eventuality we were talked in to changing DA and then nagged into joining the committee. So at first Chris (My wife) joined, then we brought her a new car and I went to the next meeting to keep an eye on it in the car park However they (the committee) said I could sit in their room, but not join in the meeting ~”fair enough” I thought and had a few pints, Quite a few in fact ! At the end of the meeting they asked if I would join the committee and I asked if they wanted me to, it was unanimous and so I claim that I was “Shanghaied” onto the committee.

After my first year, when I became a full member I was told, “There was a nice little job” for me “All you have to do is send out about 3 letters a year”

What does your role entail? Why do you like it?  Best bit and worst bit?

It said in the PRO’s handbook at the time that a volunteer “could do as much or as little as they liked, however you always have your own standards and I cannot do half a job.
Back in the 1980’s I was involved in the local music scene and unknowingly gained a lot of experience in Promoting band etc. This was my starting point.

The first thing I started was a photo album called “Great Reasons To Camp With Spen” Next I started to write a column in the DA news letter~~ Spen ‘n’ Ink~ which I called “App’y Talking”  Then I tried unsuccessfully to get Spen in the Gunnies Book of Records. After which it was the Summer Solstices
There is still a bit of a Punk and a bit of a Hippy in me and I love the thrill of when you’ve done some thing and everybody as really enjoyed it
I like the challenge of tiring to get Spen in the press and local media.

What are the most important skills, qualifications or traits you need, and have you learned any new ones doing the job?

My biggest asset is my wife, she does all the running about with the Album and she is great talker. I like to do the emailing and the above.
Thank you

Thank you
First Published in Camping and Caravanning in June 2009

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