Pig in Cotes at Easter

Aston & Cote Village Hall, Oxfordshire

1st - 5th April 2010

It takes a special kind of marshal to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat but there is no doubt we have one or two in our club. A case in point was the Easter rally at Aston & Cote Village Hall in Oxfordshire. When the marshals arrived on the Wednesday evening their four wheel drive outfits sank into the mud as they attempted to get onto the field. By coupling up tow cars the vans were eventually sited but one promptly sank up to its axle.

With thirty vans to get on the field it was looking like a lost cause. Then the hall caretaker suggested an alternative way onto the field. It was still very soft but not quite so bad. With dryish weather the following day and the help of 4x4’s every van was eventually sited but the new entrance began to get very muddy. This forced two wheel drive vehicles to stay on the car park. And then it rained and rained and rained. All non-essential car movements had to be stopped. Would we ever get off?

In the hall changing rooms there was a photograph that showed the field as a lake. There was no date on it but it was a bit worrying. There were still a couple of days to go before the end of the rally so we stopped worrying and just enjoyed ourselves.

We had the use of the lovely village hall during the day as well as each evening. On the Saturday night we were due to have a pig roast but the rain was torrential. You can’t have a pig roast in torrential rain can you? Oh yes you can and we did. Master butcher Gordy is no stranger to the Club having done two previous pig roasts, so nothing was going to stop this one. He arrived with the pig 95% cooked and set up his spit under a large gazebo just outside some double doors on the side of the hall.

In no time he was carving succulent meat and crispy crackling. The marshals, ably assisted by Pete and Margaret Coppenhall, provided roast potatoes and veg with sweets to follow. What a fantastic meal we had. The evening also saw Mike & Jeanette Cartwright celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary so there was wine and music as well.

On Sunday the rains eased and the field began to dry up a little. Out of the wind and in the sun it was almost warm but not many braved sitting out.  It was not a problem for the kids though as they set about the traditional Easter egg hunt.  With all the big shops shut it was a perfect day for sightseeing. Local attractions included the beautiful villages of Minster Lovell and Bourton-on-the Water, the National Trust property at Buckland and, of course Blenheim Palace. In the evening we enjoyed an American supper with more music provided by Mike Cartwright.

When Monday came it was sadly time to leave. Overnight rain did not help the state of the field but it was 4x4 driveable with care so everyone managed to get off without a problem - well almost everyone.  A certain person (who shall remain nameless) did get stuck with his Disco and Eccles Ruby.

All in all it was a great way to spend Easter. Many thanks to the marshals - Steve & Sharon Horn and Dave & Vonnie Hopkins.


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