Whatever happened to the Coney Farm meet?

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Whatever happened to the Coney Farm meet?

Postby silverbullet » 29 Mar 2018, 08:13

This and others! The club calendar has become bare with the passsing years, admittedly a few folks have been preoccupied with long restoration projects and life in general but where have the annual fixtures gone?
Is syncronauts now just a touring and static display club?
Not everyone buys into #vanlife or wants to be a world traveller ;)
(All in jest, but you get my point and eventls like Camper Jam are of course a very good thing)

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Re: Whatever happened to the Coney Farm meet?

Postby bene » 29 Mar 2018, 08:49

ha ha ha...
The Kent green laning weekend was cool.
I think the trouble is they must be a complete pain in the bum to organise.
We would definitely be up for more green laning, especially in some nice open lanes (the kent ones were a little tight in places, especially for the hightops).
Maybe even a bit of a foreign jaunt?
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Re: Whatever happened to the Coney Farm meet?

Postby Aidan » 29 Mar 2018, 09:42

Basically Ian, Clive and Jenny made everything happen with a bit of help from the committee and a few others
but over time fewer and fewer people have wanted to get involved, fewer people post up on the forum, everyone expects the 'usual suspects' to arrange everything and make it happen but over 15 years peoples lives change, people have to work harder for longer to get by, kids grow up into teenagers and go to FE and need more support/money, parents get old and need support, people them selves get older and or have health issues and so the time and money people are able to commit changes and apart from coming on to ask questions and get help people come on here less and less and contribute less, don't even comment or add their 2p worth on a lot of posts so OPs don't feel its worth posting as noone seems interested, fewer people input into the agm or put themselves up for committee and so events have tailed off. 10 years ago we were doing 5 events a year, and different people were helping in arranging green laning events, doing the reccees and research but it was often still down to Clive and Jenny mostly to arrange the camping, run the bookings and admin and ensure the MSA paperwork got done.
Nowadays a lot of Syncro owners go to Busfest and that's it as far as events go for them and the Syncronauts aren't part of that for historic reasons, we've got in to going to AO because it's different, we are welcomed there, it's not too big and has become a really good social event for us, being a bit more central is good for a venue.
Geographically Coney Farm sort of ticked that box, and we looked at other sites similarly located but most of the pay and play sites are set up for big landrover groups and are either too expensive or too challenging/damaging for our vans, there are few members running off road toys most are family campers and the 'worth' of the vans so high now the emphasis has become more on overlanding and big family holidays or playing in the mud in the company of LRs for those who like to test themselves off road or do a small group weekend with their mates and post about it elsewhere

Only way things will change is if more people put a bit more effort in rather than just 'liking' stuff on FB
If people want to try and arrange events then the committee will support them and people will attend. The French Club get the members to do the work in their local area, the committee provide Official help and support and so they can arrange events across the country but I think they do fewer events now as the membership gets older

People go to Busfest because they know when it is, they know what they will get and how much it will cost and when they have to book it and who they have to pay and where it is and that Simon Holloway and his crew will attend to just about their every need. All they have to do is pay the money and turn up.

Since Kev Horler left (and MG got himself banned and then became SH's Syncro helper) other than David Wedgbury and Kirsty and Shaun and Fiona who were specifically asked to get involved because we thought they'd be up for it and Clive and Jenny needed a break, and Simon TMT making the Camperjam display happen again very few people have offered to help make things happen and I don't know how you change that
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Re: Whatever happened to the Coney Farm meet?

Postby bene » 29 Mar 2018, 09:58

Just for the record.... i would have gladly helped out but dont have the first clue about organising something like that.
All i know is that it takes a lot of preperation - you cant just turn up to a green lane with a queue of 10 vehicles hoping its passable.

Aidan hit the nail on the head with regards to how busy peoples lives are though. We now have a 2 year old daughter. I have forgotten how to relax.

Anyway, is anybody local to Adventure overland? Maybe there are some lanes around there that could be an outing for a couple of hours on each day if people wanted to? just a thought.

Also, unfortunately Fistbook has made it incredibly easy for people to forget about forums. I can guarantee you that 99.99% of people use that platform more than they use this platform. I agree this is a bad thing.
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Re: Whatever happened to the Coney Farm meet?

Postby bene » 29 Mar 2018, 10:01

p.s - i would like to thank Clive and Jenny again (and anybody else that organises anything). you are the best!
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Re: Whatever happened to the Coney Farm meet?

Postby syncropatrick » 29 Mar 2018, 12:14

I would happily stand down my committee position for someone else to take who has more commitment to organise and run events. Having co-run the Mendipidy event for 2 or 3 years, and now in the third year of the never-ending engine swap which means I haven't driven a Syncro for 3 years, and hellava busy time at work, I just haven't got the verve any more.
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Re: Whatever happened to the Coney Farm meet?

Postby jebiga41 » 29 Mar 2018, 12:31

So do we have any volunteers to organise events?
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Re: Whatever happened to the Coney Farm meet?

Postby silverbullet » 29 Mar 2018, 18:33

FWIW this was an observation put to me by a third party and once again I was fool enough to voice it...I think they need to pipe up ;)

As a phenomenally badly organized individual I wouldn't trust myself to make an event happen, so I do appreciate all that was done and continues to be done.
I can just about plan a route for a continental jolly; the non-booking camping ethos suits me just fine!

I fully understand that the syncro ownership demographic has changed and our activities will reflect that, if SP is enough to introduce new members to the capabilities of their vehicles then thats fine by me. Long may it continue.
One day I may actually drive ours up the hill!
I dont like "fluffy" laning, I dont think anyone really does if they are honest about it; Aidan's observation about the p&p sites being potentially too damaging is a valid one, old Land Rovers etc are almost disposable, our vans are not.

PS I for one have had it with the T3 fb scene, almost everything T3 or syncro seems to be controlled by one prominent individual (personal differences aside, I am amazed that anyone goes to Busfest now, its dreadful) and on top of that fb is just another distraction I can well do without.

Maybe I'll just retreat to the garage/shed/workshop for a bit and be one of those individuals who turns up at meets without warning :D

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Re: Whatever happened to the Coney Farm meet?

Postby jes*b » 29 Mar 2018, 18:38

East Kent had a go. It's slim pickings lane wise in these parts but never less this is my patch and we make the best. It's was poorly attended it the bigger scheme , that might have been due to our sketchy prep and delivery but nonetheless it was a chance to meet , drive , chat . Great campsite and some top attendees . However people showed little interest in coming . I think Aidan is correct . Off the peg VW / overland shows are more popular and I think is a bit underwhelming.
I've said it before but the irony of attending an overland show that entails sitting around with your 4x4 vehicle parked up , looking at other overland rigs , also parked up is not lost on me .
Times marches on , things change . The forum is dying on its a*** . And I for one think that it's a real shame .
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Re: Whatever happened to the Coney Farm meet?

Postby silverbullet » 29 Mar 2018, 19:11

So what to do about it?
The times they are a-changing, nothing we can do about that.
For a lot of us, its economically tough going so all road miles have to be minimized or be value-packed and interesting.
I second Jes on the matter of "drive to an event just to be parked up and look at parked vehicles" Its getting into cara van fancying territory.
When our syncro is road worthy again and useable, it's going on a pilgrimage to Graz. Friends welcome to tag along. I want to bag the Grossglockner en route too, see a few castles, drop in on some friends etc etc
If you fancy Hockenheim Bus Treffen at the start of July, its a good social event and basically a 5-day long weekend with both long amd short driving days. Tourist potential or just unwind. For me in Surrey, its a 1000 mile round trip.

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Re: Whatever happened to the Coney Farm meet?

Postby jebiga41 » 29 Mar 2018, 19:18

I would agree Eire Syncro didnt happen last year due to lack of numbers although could try again this year if peeps could commit. Personally I dont get the going to shows thing although its good to meet peeps and see whats in the auto jumble but I would far more be inclined to play in a muddy field as that for me is part of what the Syncro scene is about if I wanted to park up a shiny bus at a meet I would have bought a bay!! As someone who lives in a country with a very small syncro ownership (theres probably more in Kent) and with no green lanes I envy you guys and your ability to go and explore offroad, I think its quite shocking that laning is not more popular with a lot of syncronauts, for us to go offroad over here you have to join a club which costs or be creative :wink: . Whilst I understand that life gets in the way there are supposedly active 189 syncros in the UK (according to the thread) yet I have only seen max 30 or so vans at Syncropendence ! Anyhow the good news is I may be in residence in North wales before Syncropendence so would be on for a play in the mud or some laning if anybody wants to play :wink:
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Re: Whatever happened to the Coney Farm meet?

Postby bene » 29 Mar 2018, 19:21

I don't know what to suggest.
Forums generally are falling away. How the feck you will ever find any technical information on fistbook is beyond me. It's not what it was built for.
Forums need to be kept alive so the wealth of information can be stored for future idiots like me.
Anyway, that is slightly off topic.
Ian, they both sound like good suggestions... Maybe start a Facebook group??!! Ha ha! I'm kidding, I'm kidding.
I know you guys keep blathering on about going somewhere in your 4x4 and sitting next to it for a weekend, but for me it's not all about the cars, it's possibly more about the people. I have made some great friends through VWs and we met, sat in a field next to our cars. A good mix of the two sounds good to me.
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Re: Whatever happened to the Coney Farm meet?

Postby silverbullet » 29 Mar 2018, 19:59

I agree, the social element is the real attraction, the shared experience is what makes the memories. But for that, we have to come together and actually do something! Getting together for a weekend parked-up pi$$up in a field/campsite/showground and paying handsomely for the privilege is not my idea of syncro ownership.
Otherwise its regional curry nights and boring each other with the same old technical blah blah (you can have too much of a good thing)
There are regional groups forming naturally, I can think of the Shropshire enclave for one.

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Re: Whatever happened to the Coney Farm meet?

Postby jebiga41 » 29 Mar 2018, 20:15

So guys what about it lets go back to basics and do some local small scale events ? Its up to us we can either let the club die and moan about it or do something and keep it going plus we have access to additional help if needed :ok
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Re: Whatever happened to the Coney Farm meet?

Postby Benjdaben » 29 Mar 2018, 20:23

We are happy to have a Devon meet where everyone is welcome to camp free of charge at our farm but we really have no knowledge of the green lanes. I will have a word with Roger And Julia and see if we can scout some lanes that don’t include tank traps or require a snorkel haha. Is there interest in a Devon meet?
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