The British Grand Prix, scene of many a late night camp fire sing alongs at Camp Gallagher.
Since the ripe old age of 14 I have attended all but one of the Silverstone Formula 1 Grand Prix, with 12 of these coming by way of 4 days and 3 nights camping. In this time I have yet to put my hand in my pocket for overzealous teenage gate keepers looking to pocket a few quid and hand the rest to farmers, who I imagine have a similar tax arrangement as Jimmy Carr.
Now at the age of 29 (and old man time creeping up on me) the novelty of walking for miles on end around the area, looking for holes in fences, gates to climb or ditches to scurry through or leap over has worn as thin as Alan Shearers hair line. This year was even more off putting as carrying an injured shoulder left me with neither the gumption, nor the ability, to climb anything I could not swing my leg over.
After much deliberation (and an hour of walking in the only sun I thought I was going to see for the weekend) we stopped for a couple of pints at the village pub whilst everyone else had long given up and paid their camping fee and were now setting up. As the sun beat down my friend and I decided to bite the bullet and pay the £50 for a bit of grass, 5 toilets and 2 shower cubicles. On our slow walk to the main gate we were still debating whether we should offer the teenage gate keepers £20 quid in their pockets in exchange for letting two out of shape and out of ideas old boys in to the camp site.
Luck it seems was on our side.
As we made our way up the long drive way to the entrance a convoy of 4x4's toeing caravans sped past us and joined the back of what was an already long line of eager petrol heads, so we strolled up to and through the gate without stopping.
Success was ours and all it took was a little patience...except we were in the wrong field and separated from Camp Gallagher by some impenetrable fencing.
With defeat snatched from the jaws of victory we turned on a dime and back out of the entrance and headed towards the correct gate. I could only put our mistake down to heat exhaustion, exasperated by the Corona consumption on the village pub wall.
Our excuses were set, in through the gate we went but it must have been a change of shift. An actor on his phone was all that stood between us and the mud bath awaiting us. He did not even give us a second look, such was the importance of his call. We were in and it was almost time for dinner. In the 2 hours it took us to get in the boys had already set up.
Every cloud has a silver lining.