Mr and Mrs Camper

When we went camping, every summer, we weren’t always the only people in the area. Quite near the water supply we often encountered Mr and Mrs Camper as we called them. They seemed a happy and cheerful couple with a VW Beetle car and quite a small tent and they seemed happy to be called Mr and Mrs Camper by us.

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That looks like Mr Camper looking in the boot of the car. Mrs Camper is just behind the vehicle. I know we children were quite fascinated by the car – well we didn’t have one so cars were generally fascinating, but of course, the Beetle had a rear engine. I recall us kids used to share a joke about a VW Beetle which broke down. The owner got out and opened the bonnet.

‘Goodness,’ he said. ‘No wonder it won’t go. The engine has gone’.
At his point another VW drew up and the driver asked if he could help.
‘I doubt it,’ said the said the driver of the broken down car. ‘I seem to have lost my engine.’
‘You’re in luck,’ replied the helper. ‘Would you believe it? I have a spare engine in my boot’.

I’m sure Mr and Mrs Camper were not so stupid.

Above the tent we can see the tail end of Mount Caburn, ranging its way towards Ringmer. That helps me fix location and people. This is a photo for which I only have a rather poor negative – one my dad didn’t think was worth printing. I think I have just got away with it. The picture dates from the mid-1950s.

It was years later that I learned our Mr and Mrs Camper were in fact Mr Somebody and Mrs Somebody else. When it became possible they married but they always remained Mr and Mrs Camper for me.

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