Dear Centre members
For those that don’t know me I'm David Bolland and I’ve been a member of the Yorkshire Dales Centre since it was founded in 1975 and I’ve been on the organising committee for nearly 40 years. My family were one of the first families in my area to get a caravan and actively use it back in the 1960s. Back then there were no such things as rallies but if my memory serves me correctly, we did have many adventures in our little caravan. Today caravanning has changed beyond all recognition from those early days, caravans have grown both in size and sophistication, with hot and cold running water, in built WC’s and even showers. How things have changed!!
As caravans and motorhomes become more akin to mobile luxury homes, the venues we go to and the sites we favour have also changed. The growth in caravan and motorhomes as a leisure industry is unprecedented and we now see a wide variety of places to pitch our camp from Fields to Certified Locations and from simple sites to holiday villages. Electric hook ups and serviced pitches with hardstanding can easily be accessed on most sites and all over the UK and Europe.
Clubs have evolved and there are now lots of different clubs where you could enjoy a few nights away or a longer holiday in a place you haven’t been before. The choice is now greater than ever, but it is important to remember that caravanning is not just about the car, the caravan, the motorhome, or the venues, whether you have electric, a service pitch or if there’s a kid’s park or a pool. For me it’s about something far simpler: people, places and above all friendships. Caravanning and being a member of a club such as the Yorkshire Dales, that organises regular rallies throughout the year gives you the opportunity to make friends with like-minded people whilst doing something you all enjoy. Today we have many more choices than when I was a lad but ultimately owning a caravan and rallying gives you a certain freedom, an escape from the everyday. A chance to get out into the countryside and enjoy it with your family.
I feel the Yorkshire Dales like many other Caravan and Motorhome club centres both locally and nationally is under increasing amounts of pressure to offer a wide and varied rally programme with well organised events that bring people together. Whilst I don’t think this has changed much over time, we now live in the age of the internet and social media, where things happen far quicker than they ever used to. It is important to remember the past, learn from it and respect it but we also need embrace new technology, new ways of doing things and ultimately, we need to change and adapt for the centre to survive.
With the help of my modest committee I am committed to moving the Yorkshire Dales forward, developing our rally calendar, improving communication with our members, investigating new ideas and establishing a centre that is robust and ready for the challenges ahead both structurally and financially.
I hope to see you over the course of the year, and I look forward to hearing how you think we can improve the Yorkshire Dales Centre. In the meantime, if you do have any suggestions please don’t hesitate to contact me or a member of the committee.