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News and Views 2022

Surrey DA Members Achieve 75 Years of Club Membership

2022 is the year a Surrey DA couple Mr and Mrs B Preston achieve

 75 years of Membership with the Camping and Caravanning Club.

Also more Surrey DA Members reach 50 Years of Club Membership

2022 is the year even more Surrey DA members are to be congratulated

on achieving 50 years of Membership with the Camping and Caravanning Club.

Mr W, Archer

Mrs V. Hudson

Mrs W, Barney

Dr. N Steiner

Mr N. Stevens   

Congratulations to everyone from Surrey DA.

Brian Harvey

It is with great sadness that we record the passing on the 24th January of Brian Harvey.

Brian was 83 years old and he and his late wife Hazel started camping with the Surrey’s around 15 years ago. Recently Brian was diagnosed with multiple Cancers and after just a short stay in Hospital succumbed to pneumonia.

He leaves no successors and bequeathed his estate to be divided amongst 5 charities. We will miss his friendly nature and cheeky sense of humour. May he rest in peace.

Rosemary Lucas

It with great sadness we announce the passing of Rosemary Lucas on Tuesday 15th February 2022. Rosemary suffered a massive stroke and passed away soon after. Rosemary was a long standing member of Surrey DA and in 1984 joined the committee. Rosemary served on the committee for 5 years and during that time held the post of Vice-Chair, whilst her late Husband Colin was Hon. Treasurer to the DA.

Rosemary’s funeral was held at the Surrey and Sussex Crematorium on 11th March 2022. At the families wish,  only close family and friends attended the celebration of Rosemary’s life. Our thoughts and prayers go to Rosemary’s family at this very sad time.

Graffham Club Site - Pre-season Clear up March 2022

11 units attended with Surrey DA at the pre-season clear up weekend, enjoying glorious weather at Graffham Club Site. Despite the recent gales, there was only one tree that had fallen across a pitch, and Nick, Daniel and Peter made short work of cutting into lengths that could be rolled to the edge of the pitch.

There was a lot of smaller debris but by the end of the day, all pitches, paths and roads had been cleared.

Peter and Irene provided refreshments at regular intervals and Sunday we had a relaxing coffee morning, joined by the new site managers and assistant. A big thank you to all that attended and helped.

We all had a very enjoyable weekend.

Allen Russell.

        Chris Swan

It is with considerable sadness that we record the passing of long-standing member and friend, Christopher Swan.

Chris and Ruby Swan have been members of the Camping Club, and specifically the Surrey DA, since the 1970's. To find the reason for their interest in camping, and subsequent membership of the Surrey DA, you have only to recall several miserable (weatherwise) summers in the mid 70's.

At a winter evening get together in 1974, where Chris and Ruby were dining with Shirley and Vince Buxton and Maureen and Laurie Francis alternatives to a soggy B&B in the UK were discussed. I can't remember how the idea of taking tents to the continent first came up but by the end of that evening, the decision had been taken for us to give that a try.

Tents were acquired and practise in erecting them took place, in one case, in the lounge of one house. As complete novices, we took advice from friends on what extra equipment we needed to acquire, to make this idea work. We also realised that we needed to have some dummy runs to practise this new (to us) art of camping. Our first venture, at Easter 1975, was to a small site behind a pub, near Stelling Minnis in Kent. When we awoke to a freezing morning, with the ground white with frost, there were some trepidations about what we were intending for that summer.

We had a second trial at a site in the New Forest. Both these trials went better than perhaps we had expected and many lessons were learned. We felt ready for the venture to foreign parts. Little did we know!!!!!

Following that initial trip to Spain, we all agreed that camping had its attractions, in good and bad weather and so began a long association with Surrey DA. Over the years, Chris and Ruby graduated from a tent to a trailer tent and eventually to a caravan. They were both active members of the DA, taking their turn as Stewards and supporting enthusiastically many other DA activities. In recent years, they would usually steward the annual Strawberry Meet.

Chris never spoke much about his past, so it is not common knowledge that he is a decorated veteran of the Korean war. He served there as part of his National Service in the Army and was awarded the Korean Medal and the United Nations medal. This only came to light during a Far Eastern cruise when his cruise ship was unexpectedly diverted to visit Busan in South Korea, instead of a Japanese port. When he heard this, Chris said, with his usual modesty, “I've been there!”.

Chris spent most of his working life installing high voltage electric cables, from pylon to pylon, high above the ground but his true love was more down to earth and agricultural. If ever a man could be described as green fingered, then Chris Swan was that man. His allotment was a prolific producer of excellent fruit and vegetables year after year.

Chris will be sorely missed by family and friends, and by Surrey DA.

Chris’s funeral was held at St Philip’s Church, Nutley Lane, Reigate. RH2 9HA, on Thursday 28th April. Donations to St Catherine’s Hospice, Crawley, please.

Laurie and Maureen Francis

( Picture above from the SDA Gallery - Oakside Farm 2019)

Chris and Ruby’s 55th Anniversary

Janet Matthews

It is with great regret that we learned on Wednesday (23rd March) that Janet Mathews had passed away on 18th March. She had been in a home for more than 6 years where they have cared for her as her dementia deteriorated.

Janet first joined the Surrey DA committee in 1965 as Album Keeper, the post she held until 1973. Janet’s partner Barbara Bilton took on the role of Album Keeper in 1974. Janet remained on the committee until 1980, when she stood down to become joint Auditor with Kay Pitfield. A year later Janet continued as joint auditor with P Phipps until 1983.

In 1984 Janet re-joined the committee and held the post of assistant Sites Secretary with her partner Barbara, finally standing down from the committee in 1986. A total of 21 years of dedicated service to the Surrey DA. Her funeral was held in Morden on 28th April 2022.

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