28 May 2013

Butlins Holiday 2013

The Maldon Pioneer’s 2013 holiday to Butlins – Minehead is over for another year, returning back to a warm welcome by those who had turned out to wave us all back to Maldon. coach
Everyone who went had a lovely time despite the disappointing weather but it takes a lot to get the Pioneers down and most Pioneers I spoke to said they enjoyed themselves. There is always much to do in and around Minehead. Many Pioneers went for a day trip on the Steam train which took us up the coast and back again. Pioneers were able to buy refreshments from the buffet car washed down with authentic Westcountry Cider.
Other trips included a drive to Lynmouth in Devon which involved a breathtaking drive over the Exmoor coastal path, dropping down the steep winding road into the picturesque fishing village where Pioneers were able to wander round the souvenir shops and art galeries and buy a little something to take home. Many Pioneers braved the funicular Railway which ferried us all up the steep cliff to the other village of Lynton purched on the cliff-top. Unfortunately the new Pioneers minibus which we had hoped would serve us better for this year’s holiday went and let us down and was returned to Maldon on the back of a low-loader but we made the best of things and managed to enjoy Minehead and the Butlins camp where we were staying. The food was a great improvement on last year’s holiday, as everyone upgraded to ‘Premium Dining’. Evenings, and most Pioneers headed out one of the live music venues to listen to the selection of tribute acts. Which were on the whole very good!
Butlins staff were again fantastic and welcoming and very professional. Even when we had a little crisis, the Butlins staff always know what to do and fill you with confidence. Can’t praise them enough!
A big-big thank you to everyone who help make the holiday a success. Just a few names. Ellen for all the organising and booking which went on for months leading up to the holiday! Thanks also to Gill, Trudy, Lesley, Philipa, Jeff, Marie and Alex for supporting the holiday on the ground. Thank you also to those of you who took time out to help with transport getting Pioneers to the coach. More and more Pioneers are doing much to help and watch out for one another, thank you, you know who you are, fantastic. Adam well done for organising the luggage trollies for everyone and reading the bus timetable! Richard thanks for my cups of coffees!
We did have a laugh!, but on a serious note, for those who think its one big jolly? Well it is, but there are times when what we are getting up to has a serious side and helps the Pioneers with valuable ‘life-skills’, developing independence, team working, social interaction etc. Then there are the times when the Pioneers are encouraged to read and study a bus or train time-table. Pioneers have to consider personal hygiene, personal safety and management of their spending money. You can’t beat having to cope for real under the guidance of friends and people you trust who can take a little time out to guide you through things which can, at times, seem very daunting, scary and sometimes impossible.
Please visit the Maldon Pioneers Facebook page where you can see more photos and leave comments!
Here’s to the 2014 holiday!?

By Tony Morrell (Holiday leader)
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