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Surrey DA’s 95th Birthday Celebration at Maplehurst Farm

Strawberry Tea Week End.


We arrived at Maplehurst Farm just after 2pm, Ruby and Chris were still setting their caravan, after putting the Red Hands out for directions to the field.  Frank and Eve had just arrived before us.


The farmer was still working in the bottom of the field getting the last of the hay bails out of the field. The recent bad weather had delayed cutting of the grass for silage.


By Thursday evening only four units were on site. The stewards were hoping more would arrive on Friday. By Friday evening only another five had arrived, making just nine units in all.  It was such a shame as the site is really secluded,  well hidden amongst fields of deer.  


At 6.30pm Friday evening, the farmer invited George to came along with him on his quad- bike, with a trailer attached full of feed for his deer.  We all went over to see what was happening and watched the deer running after the farmer on his bike.  Next he came up to the gate and asked if we would like to feed the deer, everyone wanted to, he then opened the gate for us. Once we all through, we closed the gate and he called out to the family’s pet deer ‘Daisy’. The deer all came over to us and with hands full of pellets, the deer fed from our hands.


The farmer asked if Joseph and Leela would like to see a one day old fawn.  With permission from their parents, he placed the children on the quad bike and carefully drove down to where the fawn was. He asked us not to follow as too much noise might disturb the fawn. The children were over the moon to see such a tiny fawn. Every evening after he let campers feed his deer.


On Saturday afternoon we had four families arrive, visiting us for our Strawberry tea.  The strawberries were large and juicy and the scones were really buttery and all topped with lashings of cream all washed down with quantity of tea.


Saturday evening the weather brightened up so a few of us got the BBQ’s out and sat outside to have our evening meal.


Sunday we awoke to a drizzly fine rain so the coffee morning was held under our awning.  To every one’s surprize, a 95th Birthday cake was on the table to be cut and handed out, I said a few words explaining that it was tradition for Surrey DA to celebrate the DA’s Birthdays at Strawberry tea weekends, which is why I had made the cake for the DA.  


Carol our chairman thanked the stewards, Ruby and Chris, George and I, also thanks to all who had helped with the Strawberry teas and again me for the cake.  She said “I didn’t realise it was Surrey DA’s 95th Birthday year!”


Summing up, the new site was very peaceful, well sheltered and I would very much hope we can camp there again next year.


Sue Moore

Surrey’s 95th Birthday with Strawberries and Cake

Paddock Wood Farm, nr Henfield July 2016

Paddock Wood Wineham


What a fantastic extended weekend with the weather being very kind to us all.  Many campers did a spot of fishing plus our grandson Joseph managed to catch over 60 fish, he is becoming a very good angler.


Saturday for lunch we all enjoyed a Ploughman’s Lunch with a glass of Cider. We followed this with a game of Horseshoes and everyone took part. The final was held with the stewards of the weekend Robert and Sharon playing against each other! Robert was the eventual winner.


The weather remained very warm so many campers got together in a group and had an evening joint Barbecue. There were four families in a group with us, including one couple who were old camping friends of ours, Steve and Kay Anning. He used to camp with us when we were in our late teens. During the afternoon Dave went home to collect a couple of his guitars, and we sat up until around 10.45 pm listing and joining in with the songs they played.


Sunday was a laid back affair, after coffee morning George, Joseph & Robert went fishing for the rest of the day, while Mylo and Leela played together.  Enya was not camping with us this weekend as she was at Ardingly with her Cub group. Some campers left quite late on Sunday, leaving just a few of the lucky ones to stay on for another night.


This year we did not have use of the whole field. Due to bad weather the farmer had been unable to cut the grass used for horse feed. As the weather was dry this weekend, the farmer started cutting on Saturday, returning to turning it over on Sunday. So, by Monday it was “all tractors go,” to bail and collect the hay, before the rain returned. Luckily they just managed it before the heavy rain came down again.


Our thanks to Robert and Sharon for a relaxing weekend with all our friends.


Sue Moore


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