Our second camp of the 2019 season, once again at Rough Close, our favourite venue in the Midlands carried an optional “Goldrush” theme to allow people to be in touch with their inner 49ers, Gamblers, Outlaws or Showgirls if they liked but as always we just want people to come along and join into the spirit of things.
A relatively small camp again with a nice relaxed feel.
Of course, much of the main camp remains the same whatever the theme, People are hardly going to change their whole set-up just because we are doing something with a more Western theme and because we are not a living history or re-enactment group that is completely fine.
It tends to be the details that vary and that is part of the fun, spotting little projects or gags that people have put together for the camp.
There was plenty of Dynamite to be seen but only Steve thought to bring along a detonator.
Good food is always an important feature of our encampments but this meeting definitely required Canned Peaches of course so that a portion of Peach Cobbler could chase down a hearty meal of sausages and mash.
It was generally felt by all that the Western / Goldrush theme fitted in well with what we normally do and was certainly a rich seam of ideas. Definitely something we will explore again in the future I think.
Most of us had other ideas that we hadn’t quite had time to complete before this camp and I was still finishing some of the leather work I wanted to do while sat around the fire on Saturday.
For me, crafts and camping are a perfect mix, although I enjoy relaxing around camp I tend to want something to do with my hands and this weekend I leathered the stock of my Winchester replica with a built in bullet rack and used the six rounds I had spare to make a classic gun belt as well.
I had also offered to teach anyone that was interested some of the basics of the craft which was eagerly taken up by Josie who proved to be an excellent student and fast learner.
Colin was in charge of the assay office and seemed to run an even set of scales.
Steve (Mesquite) the Texan on the other hand ran a most disorderly saloon.
The Utilitent seemed perfectly in keeping with a mining operation. while providing a space for tools, stores and anything that needed tidying away.
There was a good selection of vintage stoves and cookware on hand with the main communal fire rig available as usual for all to use.
As midsummer approaches the days get longer and the evenings lighter.
This means we can get much more done before dark of course but many of us feel that the evening is the most magical time when out camping and the Steam Tent Co-operative encampments certainly develop a wonderful atmosphere when the lights are lit.
Summer is a busy time for most of us with Meet Ups, Moots and Festivals to go to and discussion around the camp fire soon falls to “when shall we do this again?”. With the success of last years Halloween Camp we all agreed we should do that again which left just one date that most of us felt we could make so perhaps surprisingly for a group working on the fringes of Steampunk we decided to go for a camp on the August Bank Holiday weekend. While most British Steampunks are descending on Lincoln for the Asylum Steampunk Festival, we enjoyed a Craft and Skills based camp here at Rough Close.
I guess we just like to do things a bit differently.