Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Crashed Caravans And The Pink Nightie

Which relatively harmless industry in the UK, which puts £6 Billion annually into the local economy, is often the butt of jokes, derisory comments and general sneering. Well it's caravaning, naturally.

I can't put a precise finger on why they make bus drivers feel uncomfortable. Perhaps it is the general unease along the motorway when they start swerving violently making you wonder about either the stability or the concentration of the driver. Now that the days of 50 m.p.h speed restrictions for caravans have gone, many seemed to be towed by 3 litre 4x4's which seem to take great delight in slowing down then putting the foot down as if it was all a game.

Top Gear humiliated the caravan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgRXi2svWPU , Skegness Crash Derby track sometimes have a caravan race as the last race http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgtAvPbVHy8 and people make fools of themselves and put it on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPo53-zRKV4 .

I even saw, during the bad floods in Carlisle several years ago a sizeable group of people standing and cheering at intervals. They were not delighted at the dramatic flood waters or the fast flowing river. They were transfixed at the sight of some caravans which were swept down the river upstream and when they hcame to a temporary halt by a stone bridge. The cheering started when, one by one, the caravans disintegrated as the current forced them under the arch.

There are of course exceptions to the image portrayed in the Carry On films such as Carry On Behind. Romany caravans are works of art. The Caravan Gallery  http://www.thecaravangallery.co.uk/shop2/index.php/postcards/general-postcards-1.html   produces original and funny material. and these Winnebago type vehicles now seen on the roads are like mobile luxury hotels.

But the story I feel epitomises the caravan is one which a policeman once told me when he had been forced to smother his giggles when attending a crash on the motorway: -

A family had started their journey for their annual holiday, taking their caravan to the seaside. The husband and children had got into the car, but the wife was tired, and wearing her pink nightie had got into the bed in the caravan. She woke up when the car stopped at a motorway service station for fuel. She wanted the loo and viewing the Ladies sign out of the window, she decided to run across the forecourt.

When she came out the car, caravan and her family were gone. She was in a terrible state at being abandoned and looking a fool. The kindly garage supervisor told her not to worry and that he would drive her in his car up the motorway until they caught up with her husband.

They did.

But the husband, hearing frantic hooting on the horn, looked across to see his wife, in a pink nightie, in a strange car with a stranger at the wheel. He was so surprised that he drove off the road and crashed his car and caravan, without injuring anyone.

No wonder caravans make people smile.   

No comments:

Post a Comment