Living the Dream: Caravan capers ahead of a trip to the sheep sales

Shaun and Wendy McKenna.  Pic: Lucy Oates.

Shaun and Wendy McKenna. Pic: Lucy Oates.

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This week we have been doing a bit of jiggery pokery with our caravan. In July last year we thought it would be a good idea to purchase a caravan to do up. The plan wasn’t that we would set out on adventurous caravanning holidays throughout the year, but that we would utilise the caravan around the farm.

When we first brought it home the interior of the caravan was transformed to look beautiful after lots of hard work on many parts, but due to time constraints the exterior just had a very quick lick of paint.

It was decided, by an unnamed person around these parts, that this week was when the exterior needed attending to. So we hitched her up to the Land Rover (the caravan, not the unnamed person) and brought her down the Green Mile so we had ready access to water and it was closer to home.

I had previously been trusted with purchasing some paint (I know, it was a shock to me too) and a few replacement bits and pieces that we required and before I knew it we were cracking on with the job.

Within minutes of starting to clean the outside of the caravan I had already started to day dream, as I often do. As I stood and looked at the caravan, it whisked me all the way back to summer 1978. You see, from 11-years-old I had grown up in Hull, the centre of the universe when it came to caravan building and for a number of years we lived on Sutton Park, with major manufacturers on our doorstep.

What I clearly remember more than anything was seeing fields and fields covered in caravans, all neatly lined up together, with barely any space between them. Well, there was a little space, in fact just enough for young teenage boys to squeeze down the alleys between the caravans, choose a caravan and then step inside and make ourselves comfortable to play cards.

How did you get into the locked vans, I hear you ask. Well, we established early on that each door key was taped under each doorstep, but that may have been insider information we had acquired through someone’s family member working for the company, but it’s all a bit hazy.

We used to have great fun back then spending time in our van whilst en route to our rope swing which was on the bank of the River Hull, at the back of Sutton Fields Industrial Estate, as it is today. It’s amazing how often very small things can whisk you away to times gone by and remind you of experiences from many years previous, or is it just me that happens to?

I know that I should have started looking earlier but my tup search started this week. The first decision was should we go down the Charollais route, as we did last year? The plan then was to get some bigger lambs for meat and it all worked an absolute treat, but living with all these women who won’t eat lamb, it’s a bit of a waste taking that route.

Instead I am thinking of heading back down the Shetland route once more, as most of our sheep are Shetlands anyway and they are very bonnie sheep too. So, at the weekend I’ll be heading over to the rare breeds sale at Murton to see to see if they have the young man we are looking for. Hopefully then we can get him all settled in ahead of starting work next month, fingers crossed.

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