“What is a Caravan Rally?”
It always surprises the members of the Committee when a member asks us “what is a rally?”
They say things like “I’ve been a member of the Centre for some time but I’ve never been on a rally and I don’t understand what goes on”. So as the Rally Secretary (event organiser) I will attempt to unravel the mystery.
Firstly it’s got nothing to do with racing caravans around a field.
A rally is a coming together of Caravan and Motorhome Club members who enjoy weekends or holidays away, with fun and friendship thrown in.
We always try and negotiate the best possible price per night, whether the rally is on a Commercial site or a farmer’s field. You can be certain it will always be much cheaper than going alone to a Caravan Club or similar site.
Your Rally Officers will be the people who have organised the weekend and will be the friendly faces that greet you when you arrive.
The rallies are listed on the website, each with a “more info” button, this will take you to the rally details with the booking form at the bottom of the details.
To book any rally, fill in one of the on-line booking forms on the website under the Rallies tab and then click the submit button. It will automatically be emailed to the appropriate rally officer. When the rally officer receives your booking he will email you an acknowledgement with a welcome letter and details of how to pay by Bank Transfer.
Don't forget to fill in all the details requested on the form before submitting it. If you have to cancel for any reason please do contact the Rally Officer and inform them as early as possible. Occasionally some of the bigger events may have a special booking form and a deposit may be required.
Travel and Arrival
When your Rally weekend or holiday arrives, follow the directions in the Rally write-up, these will guide you to the vicinity of the Rally. When you are close to the site you will see the blue or yellow East Dorset signs (EDCC) at the side of the road. These will guide you to and into the site. On arrival you will find the Rally Officers waiting for you at the Rally Office.
This will normally be the first unit inside the site and will be marked with a "Rally Officer" sign. It will be noted that you have arrived. The Rally Officer will show you to your pitch where you will be requested to park with the front offside corner of your caravan on the marker and to park your car on the offside of your caravan. You will be shown where the fresh water tap is and the chemical disposal point. Normally these days no paperwork or money will change hands on the field.
The Rally may include a social on the Saturday night, which is a family event. This may be a dance, a fancy dress or in the summer a BBQ. This will normally be stated in the Rally write-up. Your weekend may also include competitions or games for children and adults alike. All these activities are entirely optional but are always good fun.
Usually on the Sunday morning a meeting (Flagpole) will be held. This is a meeting of all the Ralliers to hear the results of the competitions, to welcome you as a new Rallier and any visitors, to announce forthcoming events and Rallies, to hold the weekend Raffle and most importantly to thank the Rally Officers for organising and running the weekend. During the Coronavirus crisis raffles and flagpole meetings have been suspended.
What You Need
To be a Rallier you will require all the usual camping equipment plus a few extras. You must have your own toilet facilities, which must never be taken near the water tap. You will also require a few blocks of wood for levelling your van on sloping fields and a dustbin liner to take your dry waste home with you.
Please do not arrive any earlier than the time stated in the Rally Handbook. There is always a good reason for the opening time stated by the Rally Officer. Always take a look at a map against the location details provided in the Rally Book. This can save you a lot of time and frustration later on, especially if you are arriving in the dark.
This was written at the time of the Covid 19 crisis and it may not be possible to operate normal social events at this time.
Mike Tuck (Rally Secretary)