26 June 2012

Pioneers return from Holiday

Yes the Maldon Pioneers holiday has been and gone and everyone had a fantastic time. Most Pioneers made their own way to where the coach was to set off from, The Backwater Liesure Centre in Maldon. The Pioneers minibus and the coach supplied by Fords of Althorne left at 10pm bound for Butlins, Minehead and a long journey ahead. On arrival we found our chalets and the Pioneers & helpers were shown which were theirs and who they were sharing with.Butlins Minehead

Helpers – Tony, Don, Gill, Trudy, Bobbie, Philipa, Jeff, Marie and Alex
Pioneers – Michael, Tracey, Tracey, Denise, Katie, Andrew, Michelle, Ben, Philip, David, David, Adam, Darren, Robert, Leo, Daphne, Jackie, Lynne, Ray, Jonathan, Martin, Roxane, Marion, Susan and Richard.

Chalets clean & adequate food was ok although the Pioneers who opted to upgrade all agreed the food in the Yacht-club was a far nicer experience! There was lots to do on the camp including Fair Ground rides, Petal Cars, Astro-turf football & Basketball, Bowling, Climbing wall etc etc. One of the most popular things the Pioneers enjoyed was the Swimming Pool which had various rapid river ride, dingy water flume and a wave motion that would come on about every fifteen mins or so. The Pioneers went swimming most days accompanied by those helpers who had agreed to help those who were less able swimmers.Noddy's car

The only thing that mared the holiday was the failed exhaust of the minibus which made a horrible noise and so put paid to any outings until it was fixed. This made Tuesday morning’s priority that of finding an exhaust repair centre. Don and I made some enquiries and arranged to have it mended. We pick it up Wednesday much quieter to drive which meant outings were back on the agenda. We went on a number of trips including the Exmoor Zoo, Sea-life Centre – Weston Super-mare. Minehead boasts a lovely steam railway which links coastal villages and provides a lovely mode of transport to visit attractions such as Dunster village, Dunster Castle and Watchet. crazy-fool

The evening entertainment was superb and the site had a number of venues to chose from bars to the bigger stage venues such as the Centre Stage and Reds which featured a selection of nightly show where we could gather, have a dring and be treated to a selection of tribute acts. The shows finished about 11.30pm and once everyone was ready to turn in we rounded up those who had drifted off to another venue and walked home together. Most evenings everyone was tiered and happy to turn in however one or two found Jumping Jaks the place for one last chance to have a bop before turning in.

The highlight for a number of Pioneers was the early evening Karaoke sessions in Jumping Jaks. We were astonished how brave the Pioneers were to stand up and give it a go. Fantastic!

The weather was quite unsettled and rained quite a lot I think we had couple of sunny days early in the week however the couds rolled in and the winds picked up as the week went on the rain took over until later on in the week it rained quite a lot. Sunday was a lovely sunny day an three of us wanted to attend church we were made welcome at the URC Church in Minehead. By complete accident we met up with another group of Pioneers who had walked along the sea front to the harbour on the western end of the town. We were in the minibus so we parked up there and many of us had lunch in, and outside, the cafe there before looking round the lifeboat house on the quay-side. We returned to the holiday camp were many Pioneers and helpers went swimming for the final time.

Sunday evening was spent watching the England / Italy football match in the ‘Reds’ club. The match was followed by the tribute the band Madness ‘Badness’ then a number of Pioneers wanted a last bop in Jumping Jaks before turning in.

We were up early Monday 25th to prepare for the return journey home. I think I speak for all the Pioneers and helpers that we all had a fantastic time. A big-big thank you to Stan & Dot for all their Planning and booking of the holiday this hear. Thank you to Mike, Angela & Peter for doing the pre-pickups from Pioneers homes and getting Pioneers home again after! A big-big thank you to the fantastic team of helpers who attended the holiday and were committed to caring for the Pioneers all week. Finally the Pioneers themselves who at times showed care and love towards each other at times of crisis!

Please visit our Facebook page for more and see some Photos!

By Tony Morrell (Holiday leader)

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