Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Catton Place Sealed Knot Event

Well, all Knots as we call them are different, and we kind of expected this one to be as well. Mainly because we were there to do admin stuff, go to meetings, catch up with the our Regiment, the Kings Guard, get problems sorted. We arrived to a packed camp site at lunchtime Friday before the Bank Holiday, got set up with help from Knotters in our regiment. It was a squeeze but we were in.

Not being able to get our cats into the cattery as it was fully booked, we left them on 48 hour feeders with biscuits and loads of water due to the predicted heat of the weekend.

We had a frustrating and fun time chasing people around to get stuff done, and eventually we had time to go to Traders, beer tent, friends and relative's tents, then we went to the SK AGM, the Leven's Company AGM, The King's Guard AGM, and on Sunday about 11.00 we set off home. The caravan was packed up ready to go, hitched to the car, the hitch tested as we always do on a Knot (uneven fields) and off we went, a bit reluctant to miss the big party that evening - but our animals come first.

We got about half a mile away from the campsite when we felt the car judder, and turned our heads to see our caravan cross the carriageway of the A513 and head dive into a hedge.   At that time there was no one around.

I went into must do something mode, and phoned my sister as she has a 4x4 and I thought with some Knotters to push we could get it out.  I looked at the time. They were all on the battlefield now! 

I called the Automobile Association accident line, our caravan had applied the brake on it's towbar and broken away from our car and careered into a hedge blocking the A513 to Catton Park and the National Arboretum.

After frustratingly pressing the Number 1 seven times we got to a call centre advisor, and after going through the necessary ID's I asked for help, she asked if we had AA insurance, I said yes, and the next thing I know is that I am talking to an insurance assessor asking me numerous questions, and when I said I am on pay as you go on my phone, he said he didn't have my number, but would ask the call centre to get back to me. I had almost run out of credit on my phone. But they still didn't send an AA Recovery Van.

In the meantime we suddenly had a queue of traffic in both directons as our caravan was halfway across the A513 which was very busy due to a dog show, horse trials, and a Sealed Knot event, all taking place within half a mile of where we broke down.  The AA Emergency Breakdown still did not respond, or call us back, and my husband and myself were left alone to try and manage the situation.

Luckily a gentleman called Eddie Hammond from the horse trials brought a tow rope to enable us to pull the caravan more in line with the direction of traffic, thus opening one lane of the road, and then stayed to direct traffic.

A group of  about 12 cyclists helped lift the side of the van that was embedded in a gulley, so that we could get chocks under the wheels, which meant that the caravan was no longer grounded and sat on it's frame.

A lady from the dog show Jacky Motts - pulled us out of the ditch  with her vehicle and got us back on the road.  What an Angel!

We called the AA after 12.03 to ask advice if it would get us back 50 miles to our van storage and all we got was a recorded message yet again. We drove to the caravan storage site in Warwicks. Very very slowly as we didn't have any advice on whether the tow bar would hold, we kept stopping in laybys to check if it was all right.

Luckily for us we met with some fantastic people who need not have helped us but DID.  

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU Really can't thank you enough!!
To all the Lovely People who literally got us out of the mud - thank you all.

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