5-7th August 2005



Tom Marshall
What a weekend!

Firstly, a big “thank-you” to Paddy and everyone else at Oakwood for yet again welcoming a mad bunch of coaster enthusiasts into their park!

This year was a bit different for me, as I wasn’t involved in the build-up and pack-up for the trip – in the last few years for me, the Oakwood trip has started at around 4pm on the Thursday, with Justin and Marin arriving at my house, then a crack-of-dawn drive down to the park for about 9am on the Friday morning – this year I wasn’t able to do this and as a result I think I enjoyed the trip a lot more as I wasn’t totally exhausted before we started. Anyway, this year I arrived at Oakwood at around 7pm on Friday, and got myself unpacked and settled fairly fast – spent the evening just socialising and chatting, before watching the fireworks from the field. 3am came too fast and it was time to catch some sleep…

Saturday started slightly damp and overcast – for the majority of those on the trip it got a lot wetter thanks to the Hydro ERS (I missed out this year due to not actually fitting in the new restraints) – the day went quickly, thanks to the early lunch, bowling, maze, and the BBQ.

As always, thanks go to those who did spend days planning and setting things up, the new lights worked really well, and the barbeque was it’s usual superb self.

Highlights for me – the ‘Fobia ERS (well, what else!) – as always she’s flying by 11pm and this year was no exception. Introducing a few Oakwood “virgins” to the delights of the back-left seat on ‘Fobia, and the utter strangeness of “Brer Rabbit’s Burrow” – and of course, staying up till 3am relaxing and chatting – something we don’t get to do often on trips, and something I’m often too tired to enjoy on the Oakwood trip.

Roll on August 2006, for a very special tenth birthday party…

James Lloyd
What a weekend. This trip just gets better and better each year.

A big “well done” has to go to Justin, Jim L, Marin, Terry & co who worked hard to put the water & lighting into the field. I helped out on the Friday morning setup last year and saw how much we did / did not get done then – some serious work has gone into the infrastructure in that field – the benefits of which will be reaped in future years for sure.

The Friday afternoon / evening was good “on park” – took in most of the rides, as well as a visit to a certain island where, strangely enough, other ECC members were to be found. Ended the evening on park with the show & fireworks, which were good. (Oakwood have spent quite a bit on improving the water effects part of the show). Following the show we returned to the campsite for the normal beverage or two (OK, maybe more) and general socialising. A new “feature” this year was “fire jumping” which a few people tried – some with more success than Mr Riley.

Saturday started dry & overcast – but things quickly got much wetter thanks to the return of the Hydro ERS. The remainder of the day on Saturday panned out quite well, with the brunch being a welcome alternative to the “breakfast [which, admittedly was optional] then lunch a few hours later” which we had in previous years. Crystal Maze was good fun, but the less said about out team score the better! Bowling was more successful, thankfully.

I thought the BBQ was much better than last year – well done to Jim for organizing it all & also “Chef” [name forgotten, sorry] for keeping all the cooks, of which I was one, on the move. I still cannot feel the very ends of 2 of my fingers that got a bit singed when turning food on the grills. I missed out on the quiz as myself & Nathan (one of the other cooks) went onto Hydro to freshen up / cool down following the cooking – we did wave from the lift hill though.

Following the “refreshment” of Hydro, the normal end to the Saturday followed – namely back on park, another visit to an island, then a show, fireworks, Treetops then Megafobia. Treetops was great in the dark, Megafobia was insane.

Of course, the biggest thanks has to go to Paddy & his team at Oakwood. I think it’s fair to say there is not another park in the UK that would extend the level of hospitality to us that Oakwood does. Which other park would let us camp within the park & let us have a fairly free reign to do whatever on the campsite (including “unconventional” methods of campfire ignition?) It was also good to see some of the Oakwood staff [ride staff, not managers] dropping by on the campsite after the park had closed on Friday for a drink & chat. Oakwood has to go down as one of the friendliest parks in this country!

Here’s to 2006 and a special “10th Birthday” Trip.

John Livesey
All thanks for organising the trip should be aimed at Justin. It’s the only UK trip where I do nothing, which is probably why it’s so good! 😉

Everyone also seems to forget that Liz FK and Rich Davis also play their parts with collecting the forms together and printing/distributing the badges and confirmations. I’d just like to say thanks to them both, not just for this trip but for their efforts in the past too.

Was a fantastic weekend and the campsite was superb. A total credit to the Oakwood wizards ie set-up team, chefs and the others that make it all run like clockwork

All we need now is a huge hot-tub and I think it’d be perfect!

I don’t have any photos to offer this time as I was too busy riding, drinking or jumping fires.

Just a few comments…

– Eve Clarke – we will get you on the evening take-over of Hydro next year (which should be a regular thing BTW)

– Steve Brett – your ponytails were the funniest thing i’ve seen for a long time! (he’s balding and loaned Crystal’s hair!)

– Watching Tom Mumford doing the “crawl” on the Waterfall’s water section brought tears to my eyes.

– The Pirate Ship takeover was fantastic. The public tried to copy us but failed miserably.

– Kay Elliott (and the rest of the non-campers), camp next year! You won’t regret it!

‘Fobia was running like a demon and I have the bruises to prove it!

Thanks again for a great trip and that’s down to all the people who attend and make the atmosphere so brilliant.

Terry Lyon
Another great trip and I for one was glad to see that all our hard work had paid off. With a few teaks the infrastructure in the field will be second to none and should last us a good number of years, I hope so, fun though it is, it is a very labour and time consuming effort for all involved and not something that I would care to repeat on a too regular basis, it’s just to darn tiring!

Can I say a BIG Thank You to all the members present who did not throw their bottles & cans into the fire, and for placing all their litter & bottle caps in the, rather large and obvious, bin. This effort saved us an immense amount of time on the Sunday morning clean up.

For those who didn’t, we know who you are and where you live!

Many thanks to John L. and the rest of the team for a great trip and a big thank you to Paddy and the rest of the staff at Oakwood, who, without their goodwill and generosity would not see this trip happen in the way it does. I don’t think I know of another park who go out of their way so much to help us, it would seem that no request is too small or too large.

‘Fobia as always was riding absolutely wonderfully; I don’t think I could ever tire of riding it.

I am looking forward to next year and a very special Oakwood weekend, 10th birthdays and all.

Better start planning I suppose, no wait started doing that at Blackpool!

Richard Foster
Fantastic wasn’t it? 😀 😀

Highlights for me were

-seeing the big kids being allowed to play with a bonfire (in a safe, controlled way of course…) I actually heard Marin (Justin’s brother), Terry, Jim and Rich Davis all giggle a number of times. V funny!

-the great atmosphere at the Hydro ERS – that scream when the boat goes over the edge is just brilliant.

– trying to get people on Hydro to shout on the lift hill during the quiz.  excellent fun…

-back left seat on ‘Fobia. oh my god I had forgotten what that was like 🙂 😀

Hello to everyone Donna and I spoke to, and goodbye if we didn’t see you on sunday morning (we left early)

Here’s to next year 🙂

John Wilkes
Yes indeed it was fantastic. Made me realise how much I have missed club trips over the last year. Thanks to everyone there for making it what it was.

Bob Clark
A big Thank You from Eve, Roger and myself to all the “Oakwood Team” and to Paddy and the Park Staff for a fantastic weekend.

Megafobia is a superb coaster and at night in the dark is extra special but an ERS in the dark – wow – something else again.

I had forgotten how good it was.

However, Oakwood is about more than riding.

It is the Club’s big social event – one of the few chances you get to relax and chat to other members.

So thanks again to everyone for all the hard work put in to making Oakwood so special.

Look forward to seeing everyone at AT/DMP


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