At this time of year, as in the heart of summer where BBQ weather increases the chances of drink/ driving, the police put out great campaigns highlighting the risks of drinking and then getting behind the wheel. The stories of people who have lost loved ones due to people drinking and then getting into their car are awful to hear because of the completely unnecessary nature of them. There is no need for any one to drink and drive and no excuse for it, ever.
One of the biggest dangers, which is continuously highlighted is that of being just over the limit – the people who have 2 or 3 pints and set off home because they feel they can make it. This is often heightened in rural areas where people believe the risks are less, both of an accident and of getting caught.
When we spoke with local landlady Liz Jennings, at the Drum & Monkey, a pub in a very rural area, we discussed giving patrons an option when they came to the pub to sleep in a nice warm OLPRO tent. This option is there whether they drink or not. Most people who arrive at the pub are there to eat, as the Drum & Monkey offers fantastic food. So, with a group of 4-6 people people who all meet up for a meal they may share a couple of bottles of wine or all feel like they want to drink – and this is where we came in.
We would pitch 4 large OLPRO tents as temporary overnight accommodation over the festive period so that people can stay overnight and leave in the morning – all free of charge. The idea being that those that enjoyed 2 or 3 pints and so couldn’t drive home and shouldn’t drive home can stay until the morning when their blood/ alcohol level would have dropped to a safe amount.
Anyone who drinks more can only be driven home – and driving in the morning is just as dangerous. But this offers an option to sensible drinkers who would never drink and drive. Have a great evening, have a few drinks and then stay over night with no impact on their wallet.
Last night we went to the Drum & Monkey and each had three pints (very good, too) and then at 11 went out to the tents. We stayed in the 8 berth Wichenford tent and used Berrow Hill Sleeping Bags. Outside was a barmy 6 degrees! – so not tropical but not cold and so we didn’t need heaters.
Once inside the tent it was already a lot warmer than outside and inside the inner tents warmer still, so once in the sleeping bag it was extremely snug. On an airbed which rested on top of the sewn in inner I was far from the ground and warm.
The surroundings were very quiet and when i awoke at seven this morning I’d had an excellent nights sleep. We had a cup of coffee in the morning and at half eight spoke to BBC Hereford & Worcetser about the scheme. Then at nine we were on our way.
OLPRO Offer five tents:
The Knightwick – 3 Berth – http://www.olproshop.com/products/the-knightwick-3-berth-tent
The Martley – 6 Berth – http://www.olproshop.com/collections/technical-family-tents/products/the-martley-tent
The Wichenford – 8 Berth – http://www.olproshop.com/collections/technical-family-tents/products/the-wichenford-tent
and new for 2014:
Cocoon 4 – 4 Berth
Cocoon 8 – 8 Berth
All of these, with the exception of the Cocoon 8 are on display and set up ready to camp in at the Drum & Monkey until the end of the year.
All of the tents are designed in Worcestershire and so another aspect of working with the Drum & Monkey was that it was two local businesses working together. We are talking with the Drum & Monkey about doing a similar scheme in summer when I’m sure it will be even more popular.
All OLPRO tents have sewn in groundsheets and inner tents which can be packed away as one. They are completely sealed tents with 5000 H/H Outers which means they will hold 5 metres of water before leaking and the groundsheet 10 metres. They also have extra draught skirt protection around the edges and nylon inner tents for keeping in warmth.
If it does get too warm, though, there is round the head ventilation around the top of the Wichenford tent and the fabric itself is fully breathable. All windows also have ventilation above them on all tents. All in all very adaptable tents and perfect for camping in Winter.
I think camping out finishes off a great night at the pub, regardless of the time of year.
The scheme has been heavily covered in the press, including:
On Free Radio (3rd and 4th Dec, 2013)
On BBC Hereford & Worcester (3rd and 4th Dec, 2013)
On BBC Midlands Today (3rd Dec, 2013)
On ITV Central News (3rd Dec, 2013 – 2 minute piece)
On Heart FM (4th Dec, 2013)
We were the Most Read news story on BBC Online on the morning of the 4th Dec
and the following online, to name a few:
and in several national newspapers including: