This month would have been the start of our third year of membership to the Camping and Caravan Club. Today we received our renewal notice, along with out membership cards for the forthcoming 12 months.
However, back in March we had booked in to Braithwaite Fold C & CC site at Bowness for three nights starting on Saturday 23rd through to 26th. The weather at the start of the week was not good and by Thursday there were travel advisories out for Friday and the Weekend with winds forecast 50+ MPH and on checking again on Friday, the advisories were still in place for the weekend and our friends that we were due to meet at Braithwaite Fold also had similar weather problems with gusting winds over 50 MPH in the Yorkshire Moors where they live and there was no way they could get across to the Lakes.
Although a late call, we decided early Friday morning that it would be silly to even attempt taking the van out when Thelwall and Barton high level bridges reportedly closed to high sided vehicles and on a couple of exposed stretches of the M6 gusts were reaching 65 MPH according to the local weather. So a quick phone call to the Camping & Caravan Club was made to cancel our booking (I did originally post about it in “Our first weather cancellation…” )
I was a bit surprised when I phoned to cancel to be told that we would lose the £25 deposit. I did query this when I explained that as there was a travel advisory issued by the police that the club could not make allowances. After a bit of “Hmmm” from the person I spoke to, She put me on hold and spoke to her supervisor ( I think) and said we could book in again at Braithwaite Fold and use the deposit on the new booking. Great I thought. There was one fly in the ointment, the booking would have to be before a date in June. Right what about…. and I gave her a date….. “Sorry it’s fully booked”. OK what about…. “Sorry it’s fully booked” OK try…… “Sorry it’s fully booked”.
Those were toe only three dates that we had free between then and June and they were fully booked. So that was that, we lost our £25 deposit.
Sue made the remark at the time “There is no point in booking sites that need a deposit when the weather is so unpredictable“
The story doesn’t end there though. Our friends P & J were also in a similar situation and wrote to the club… and received a written reply… which I’d love to be able to publish here, but I’d probably end up in trouble. The tone of the letter was something I would not expect from “The Friendly Club” and one important fact was wrong…. the date they quoted as being “OK for travel and lots of other members made it there” was actually the wrong weekend!
P & J wrote back pointing out this error…. but in a reply from “The Friendly Club” they considered the matter closed.
So, all that said, I rang the Camping & Caravan Club today spoke to the membership department to cancel our membership. Which is a bit of a shame really as the C & CC was the first club we joined and six months later we joined the Caravan Club (mainly to spread the cost of memberships over the year) but we always felt as we joined the C & CC first, we had more of an allegiance to them… I guess it’s like your first car or your first caravan… it always has that ‘something’ by being your first.
So I now have to start the search for caravan insurance as that was through “The Friendly Club”….. I wonder how much the Caravan Club charge?
One thing that did cross my mind when I just re-read what I’d written. It made me think that it’s not a club anymore… it’s the Camping & Caravanning Company.
PS…. At least with the membership fee saved we can have an extra couple of nights in the van somewhere! Every cloud etc…… right, our next adventure is to Old Oaks at Glastonbury then back to Warwick Racecourse!