The Camping and Caravaning Club

The Camping and Caravanning Club

Glasgow & West of Scotland DA

GWSDA History

GWSDA Vintage Pennan

Glasgow & West of Scotland District Asociation was formed in 1909 and has been going strong ever since. As such we have seen many changes and had many fun events. In this section is a brief background of our DA as written by one of our long serving members.

As was the Camping Club, as it was then, the DA's were formed by like minded people from the cycling, hillwalking/rambling and other outdoor people from a variety of backgrounds. They formed local groups and eventually amalgamated under the umbrella of the Camping Club of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Caravans didn't get a look in due to their rarity and often the type of person who could afford same. The club allowed for like-minded people to gather and use/share facilities under common rules and safeguards.

At that time DA's were the main driving force within the club in particular at local levels as most local decisions were made locally and the local DA' s were largely responsible for identifying and negotiating the lease of or purchase of fields, which were deemed suitable for permanent camping venues and also their development to be used as sites. The DA's would maintain and develop and modernise the bits of land into the sites we know today. Such sites as Millarochy, Luss and Ardgarton, the later of two unfortunately are no longer club sites due circumstances out with the clubs control. Each DA would have it's own sites within its own designated area and had its own committee, who were all volunteers and from very different backgrounds. They would give up their own time and energy to seek out suitable venues, take on the financial development and accounts for site wardens, as they were. Together they would personally maintain and build the necessary infrastructure to ensure the site was suitable for purpose. This would often involve many hours of hard physical manual work and generally during their hard earned very short weekend. As I said early campers came from a BB road spectrum of life. Initially these locations required to have easy access as most users were limited to much free time. Weekends started on Saturday afternoons if you were lucky so access to public transport was essential. The members came from all walks of life some were walkers, some cyclists, some had motorbikes and even cars. It didn't matter your background you were all the same on site and obeyed the same simple rules. There was an elderly lady who regularly attended Ardgarton site but didn't have a tent. She would sleep in her Bentley car at night and sit with the other campers in her fur coat cooking her meals during the day. No easy meals back then still had to have a three courser for your man!!!

GWSDA Work Party

With the availability of motorised transportation further opportunities arose, with the capability of reaching areas formerly out of reach for normal weekends as did the advent of a two day weekend. DA's were able to develop additional places to visit and would be able to include those of us who had leisure time and didn't want to necessarily spend all weekend up a hill. Meets became more social. Over time with the development of communications and transport capacity the Camping Club became more central and eventually the DA's gave up responsibility for individual sites and these became centrally run. Following this the DA's migrated to what is generally accepted as the modern DA. Weekend meets and THS's and most certainly mainly focused on the social aspect however retains the active outlook on life. Glasgow DA covers Glasgow and the West of Scotland and is one of the earliest DA's. There are now a lot more within the Scottish region area several of which appear to have overlapping areas of operations. This is due in particular to the increased membership and mobility which brought about different priorities or preferences which resulted in new DA's being developed.

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