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At Les Johnson’s Funeral:

Carol Pardoe writes: Quite a few of us went to Les’s funeral today in Pontefract. The sun shone, it was a lovely simple service at the crematorium, and we had good tricyclists’ natter afterwards. We thought this poem was worth sharing with everyone – Gazette? website? – it was read at the service and brought back many happy memories of Les to all of us.

The Caravaners’ Creed

As we travel down the highways with our caravan in tow,

We pray to the almighty that the forecast rains won’t show.

We ask that roads are solid, and roadworks nowhere near,

And with some luck by afternoon we’re settled with a beer.

Our camping site is not five star, not four or even one,

But we don’t care for such fine things, as long as there is sun.

As long as there is kindling close for our BBQ to fire,

To us, five star is not a room, but a lifestyle to desire.

The open air, the sun, the moon, the stars at night so bright,

The freedom that our travels bring, the worries all so light.

Except of course the dreaded curse of every travelling man,

When it’s time to park and rest the eyes – the backing of the van!

Now every Vanner knows that at each and every stay,

A “backing expert” waits and stalks for his new prey.

Like a hunter in the wild he will watch in silent wait .

At the moment of reversing he’ll shout- “I’ll do it for you mate”.

It’s hard to describe to others, the life of travelling in a van.

No clocks or phones or timetables, imagine if you can.

Just maps and charts to study for destinations new,

And at each place a drink is had, a quiet one or two!

The friends we meet along the road all tend to be like us,

With greying hair and glasses, and a lifestyle lacking fuss.

Some say that we are nomads, with no place to call our home,

But this is no offence to us, for it’s The Yorkshire Dales we roam.

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