Caen Hill Locks

Devizes, wiltshire

1st - 5th June 2011

We arrived on site on Thursday pm to be greeted by a group already trying the local beers accompanied by a jug of Pimms or two, the rally had been running from the Wednesday lunchtime so most people were already set up and enjoying the sunshine. We quickly relaxed and sat down for our dinner in the sunshine in the usual Swift communal fashion.

Friday morning we woke up bright and early to gorgeous sunshine and set off for the Bath and West Show where we saw lots of animals and trade stands, in particular a nice butchers where we bought our meat for the Saturday night communal BBQ.
Friday evening I did a quiz (I hope everyone enjoyed it!) and we heard 3 presentations for rally milestones, Ron and Jo Schofield 50 rallies,

Steve and Sharon Horn 150 rallies and Mike and Jeanette Cartwright 250 rallies. We celebrated the evening with wine provided by the three couples and judging by the amount left the following morning this was enjoyed!

Saturday we woke to another sunny day, some of the ralliers went on a tour around Wadworth Brewery which I know they really enjoyed from what they have said the tour guide was quite a character and with free beer what wouldn’t they enjoy about it!

On Saturday we went for a walk around Devizes which is a lovely small town with some different shops to look in and then Saturday afternoon we walked along the canal past some of the locks to the lock keeper’s cafe and had some Marshfield Ice Cream which was very nice. We then walked back to the site which was on the canal and halfway down the locks (a fantastic location which I hope to return to!).

Saturday evening was party time with Tom and Beryl Chamberlain celebrating their Diamond wedding anniversary (not something we get to celebrate very often on the rally field) we toasted their celebration with a champagne toast and a few words from Geoff Rowe who has known them for 33 years, Tom and Beryl then cut a cake and we continued to celebrate with cheese and wine for the rest of the evening! A good night was had by all!

Sunday morning was not so sunny but in true Swift style we all gathered in the marquees for flag and after a show of hands it was confirmed we did have someone on the rally from every area which i’m sure we don’t get very often, a good rally run by Mike and Jeanette Cartwright and assisted by Steve and Sharon Horn. Thank you all for a great rally.

Laura Parsons


We arrived on site on Tuesday ready to set up for the start of the rally on Wednesday.  As this was a follow on from Castle Combe, we knew that we faced a convoy of vans arriving together.  The Owens and the Phillips also joined us on Tuesday, as Paul and Lyn’s fridge was playing up and Terry had the spares to do the repair.  Paul kindly pegged out the field while Michael and Steve went to get the second marquee from Castle Combe.  While this was being erected, the vans, who had been asked to leave  “after midday” descended.  Paul sited 17 vans in 10 minutes, is this a record??

Fortunately, the weather was very kind to us for most of the time and people were able to walk up the flight of locks into the town.  The café on route served ice-creams and cream teas.  Some took advantage of a trip round Wadworth Brewery and sampled the beer.  Most went into Devizes for the local market on Thursday and bought from the excellent cheese stalls.

On Friday evening Laura gave us a short quiz and during the interval presentations were made to Sharon and Steve Horn, celebrating 150 Rallies, and to Ron and Jo Schofield, celebrating 50 Rallies.  After the quiz David Morphey did a presentation to Jeanette and Michael Cartwright for their 250th rally.

Saturday night was due to have a communal bbq, but the Cartwright curse returned to haunt.  It was too chilly to sit outside, so some ate in the marquee, then most joined afterwards to toast Tom and Beryl Chamberlain on their Diamond (60th) Wedding Anniversary.  A cake was provided by Laura Parsons, champagne from Tom and Beryl.  Cheese and biscuits from the local market were provided, together with the wine left over from the night before.

A quick flag was held on Sunday morning, as most had far to travel.  A sincere thanks for all the cards and good wishes given to us over the weekend.

Jeanette Cartwright


More details and photos of Tom & Beryl's celebration can be found in the members' section of this website

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