Annual Newsletter

Magic Cove News 2023

All good things must come to an end......???

Welcome to the latest newsletter for all things Magic Cove. I am sure you have all been waiting with bated breath for this to hit your doormats and have torn open the envelope in a desperate rush to see what is going to happen next season. No doubt, this may be the keenest you have been to read the newsletter. Well, we are happy to confirm that we will be opening Magic Cove next year. However, unless something drastic changes, 2024 will be the last season of Magic Cove as a campsite. We appreciate this may be upsetting to many of you, but hopefully the majority respect our decision. We are sure that most of you know what I am talking about here, but for those of you that have been living under a rock, or those who came very early in the season, who may be completely oblivious, here is what is happening. We have made the decision to retire. This was not a snap decision, but things going on in our lives made us realise that life is way too short. We want to do lots of things while we are still well enough to do them. We made the decision nearly three years ago and the observant ones among you, will have noticed that I have thrown enough hints in the last few newsletters. Lesley has now done 21 seasons and I have done a few less. After next season, Lesley will have done the same number of seasons as her dad Stan.  Our daughters do not wish to take up the mantle, with Lauren having enough on her plate already, bringing up our beautiful granddaughter Freya and Katie is too young. She prefers animals to humans anyway, so don’t think a career in tourism is on her radar. Her future lies working with animals and trying to save the planet. So next up, we needed to decide what we do with the site? After lots of sleepless nights and conversations, we decided that while we could sell Magic Cove as a going concern, we wanted to look at how we could secure our retirement most wisely. This meant looking to develop the site, which we have done. While we appreciate that this may have angered a few of you, we had to put our own interests first. More than likely, if we sold it as a campsite, the new owners would have developed it anyway. Why should they make the profits from a development, when we have worked bloody hard over the last 20 odd years, so deserve to have a crack at it ourselves. The plan is for eight four-bedroom holiday units, one of which we hope to keep for ourselves as a retirement income.  We felt that the vast majority of you were very supportive when we explained it, but there was an uncomfortable atmosphere with some which was disappointing. We do apologise for not sharing the news at an earlier juncture in the process, but we were asked not to by the developer and had to respect his wishes, so unfortunately it was beyond our control. This was very difficult for us, as we care about you all so much. We have made some amazing friendships over the years and hope those friendships remain. Our original plan was to send out a letter to you all before the season started, not that that would have made you more pleased about it. Lesley had even done the envelopes ready for this, but sadly it didn’t work out that way with the timings of the process. So, there you have it, after this coming season we will be signing off, so let’s make 2024 a season to remember. On the plus side, for all your sanity and indeed mine this could be my last ever newsletter. That’s getting close to nearly a whole page on this matter and I think I have said enough about it now. However, unfortunately the sadness continues…

Betty Marshall R.I.P We very sadly lost Lesley’s Mum in early June. Those regulars among you knew her well as she used to come down to the site at every opportunity. She loved spending time with the customers having a cuppa, or preferably a sneaky glass or two of red wine wherever it was offered. She also loved the Macmillan coffee morning, for which she would be busy baking scrummy cakes and sponges. Alan Wickens always looked forward to her Lemon Drizzle cake, his eyes out on stalks, when on occasions she would make him one to keep for himself. The end of season party was also one of her favourites. Betty, along with Stan the Magic man, started Magic Cove from scratch back in 1981 and although Stan would say that he done it all, there is truth behind the saying that behind every great man, there is an even greater woman. We would like to say a special thanks to everyone for their condolences at the time and for all those who helped out with the running of the site for us. Especially Linda and Ray, who have been there for us on many occasions through the traumatic times of the last two years. Betty is the third parent we have lost in that time, following the deaths of my mum and dad. She died suddenly after a short illness and has left a big hole in our lives. She is now back with Stan, their ashes are spread together on the clifftop overlooking the beach. Sleep well dear Mum 💔  

Prices We are not greedy bas***ds, so for next season at Magic Cove we have made the decision that as a parting gift, the prices will remain the same as this year across the board. We have once again been hit with a drastic increase in energy prices, along with another hike in rubbish and recycling rates. However, we do appreciate that you all no doubt have been hit with the same hikes in energy prices and are all in this together. While I am on the subject of the big red bins, it’s a copy and paste.

Recycling   You guessed it?? In the words of Vigo Venn, the winner of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent “one more time” A bit like seasons at Magic Cove I suppose!! Oops, I wasn’t going to mention that again. The signs are clear, but we still constantly get glass in the recycling and recycling in the general waste. Also, it would be helpful if you could empty/wash out plastic bottles and even squash them down before recycling them. Removing half full containers of stale milk is not our favourite task. Sorry for banging on about this, but please make Lesley happy by proving that you sometimes listen.  

Improvements Not a great deal to get excited about. Well, I am sure you will appreciate that under the circumstances we did not plan on doing anything major and in fact we didn’t do anything minor either. Just a lick of paint and a new toilet seat. More on that later. Obviously, we still keep Magic Cove looking as clean and tidy as ever and keep things running like clockwork as we always have… 😀

Weather Figures Temperature figures show the monthly high average in centigrade. Rainfall figures show monthly total in millimetres. Bloody hell, look at that rainfall in July, it’s not been beaten yet!!

Temp March April May June July August Sept October

2021 12 14 15 19 22 20 19 16

2022 13 14 17 19 23 24 19 18

2023 12 14 18 22 21 21 22 18

Rain March April May June July August Sept October

2021 34 4 106 62 80 21 70 158

2022 55 31 45 57 8 43 112 90

2023 107 69 41 48 118 54 60 112

Heatwave We had a heatwave at the end of May which pleased the spring bank crew immensely. The poor souls don’t normally get their share of the blue skies!! In fact, we had zero rain between 15th May and the 15th June, much to everyone’s delight and then very little for the rest of June. Was it ever going to rain again I was asking. We were still under a hosepipe ban from the previous year and our patio, driveway and guttering was in desperate need of the pressure washer, but July then came along with vengeance which saw the wettest month since October 2021. Of course, the site was flooded out, with the grass being so hard and brown, there was little chance of the rainwater disappearing very quickly. It did allow for the 2023 debut appearance of Fiona Rhind-Tutt’s ducks 🦆

Storm The 18th of August brought the forecast of a bad storm with high winds and plenty of rain predicted for 24 hours. It was time for everyone to put on their storm straps and peg everything down. This one was given a name, something they like to do these days. When did this country turn into the USA?? Rather appropriately however, they decided to call it Storm Betty. Think it was Mum having one final laugh at you all and also giving you a not so gentle reminder that you should pitch your awnings away from the sea. Something we suggest to everyone, especially the new ones, you regulars should know better. However, some of you don’t. We always get the stubborn ones that don’t take the advice. Despite all the rain in July and August, they did not lift the hosepipe ban. I had to wait until the end of September for that to happen. The rain was falling in the wrong place apparently!

Well Stone the Crows Is it me, or are the crows getting noisier? Apparently, a group of crows are called a murder. Well, isn’t that appropriate. I am sure many of you would love to 😆 It sounds as if the flock have swelled their numbers and are now roosting in all the trees on site. It used to be just the trees at the end of the site next to The Park. They are meant to fly off in the morning in search of grub. All that cawing you hear is a meet-and-greet before taking off to hunt. Just a pity that happens to be at 5am in the morning. April and May is also nesting season which adds to the tension.

May Bugs While I am going on about nature, this is another creature that some of you see a lot of at Magic Cove. Particularly those who visit in May, hence the name. Their proper name is the Cockchafer. Sounds like something you may get if you wear your jeans too tight and going commando!! They are often seen in the toilets on their backs and are one of many little creatures that scare the hell out of Stuart Milnes 😆 Apparently, the reason they are on their backs is because they are dying. As the Maybug nears death, normal blood flow ceases, causing the legs to contract inwardly. Without the support of the legs, the body becomes top-heavy and usually falls upside-down.

Red Red Wine The season didn’t get off to the best of starts for me, when I managed to cause chaos in someone’s motorhome. Paula Herron & her partner had only picked up their pride and joy two weeks previous. Although not brand new, it was pretty immaculate and even still had protective plastic on the carpet. They were having problems with their TV signal, so I offered my services as I always do. They were in the middle of their dinner, but said it was fine. Unfortunately, the problem wasn’t an easy fix and I ended crawling around under the table. To my horror, I knocked the table and managed to knock over a glass of red wine. Not only did I manage to stain parts of their Motorhome, I managed to give their dinners a red wine sauce! My first words were to say “do you have some white wine we can throw over it” which did not go down too well either! I was mortified and thankfully they were able to do a very good job of cleaning it up. I am really sorry guys, for ruining your van and your dinner.

Calamity Ray Jones turned up in June, who usually brings with him enough stories for an entire newsletter. Apologies Ray, but as I am struggling to fill the four pages, I am going to use a few…

Health and Safety On arrival with his Motorhome, he decided to design his own step, as once levelled, it was a fair old climb up to the door. This was constructed using his own step propped on top of many bricks and blocks and then some more bricks tied on the top. It did the trick, but it sure looked a bugger. We nearly considered making him sign a disclaimer, as we weren’t going to be responsible. 😆

Pedal Power Ray also turned up with an electric bike. Maybe not for purposes of getting to the Merrymoor and back, but really handy for nipping to Newquay to get some shopping? This was his intention, but unfortunately, we all know how hot June was. On the way back from Newquay, he ran out of electric meaning he had to negotiate the hill out of Watergate with a heavy bike and a load of shopping. He eventually made it back despite the intense heat and was sure grateful for a few beers.

Haircut Ray also arrived at Magic Cove in 2023 in bad need of a haircut. As always at Magic Cove, some friendly camper will come to the rescue. While Ray was contemplating heading off on his electric bike to get a trim, Julie Underwood offered her services. One look at husband Denis will tell you that she keeps the men’s hair short. In my opinion he ended up looking like an escaped convict. Ray was delighted, however and extremely grateful. Anyone else fancy a trim next June, Julie is available again next year. Think I have picked on you enough now Ray. You do make us laugh 😆

Ticks Heat was more than likely responsible for another first this year. Our furry friends are always in danger of getting ticks attached to them, but I have never known the little blighters could attach themselves to humans as well. This seemed to affect the evening dog walking gang when they travelled up the valley to the stream. Annette, Chris and Mo, all had Ticks attached in June, when the heat was at its hottest. Obviously, they were all very tasty ladies who the ticks were attracted to. I was not sure if they needed a vet or a nurse, but fortunately paramedic Barry was staying in June as well, so was called upon to assist. Well done Barry, bet you never learnt that at med school!!!

Magic Cove Mob An event in August just shows how friendships grow at Magic Cove, when most of the site united together for a pub crawl in Newquay. This was to celebrate regular Ian Yates’ birthday and they all wore t-shirts with Magic Cove written on them. The t-shirts and the organising were done by Sandra Preece. Thanks for the free advertising, guys. The alcohol flowed freely and after a long day, they finished back at the Merrymoor with entertainment from Newquay Rowing Club singers.

Toilet Seat After lasting from the very beginning, with 42 seasons of loyal service and accommodating arses of various shapes and sizes, it was sad that one of our toilet seats broke in the ladies. Not quite sure how this happened, but probably a case of everyone being used to soft close seats these days. I am a great believer in the phrase “you get what you pay for” as my wife will testify Unbelievably, the seats cost around £200, but £4.75 a year isn’t bad when you think how long they last. Unfortunately, we were unable to source a white one quickly so you ended up with a blue one 😀

Baywatch September saw drama on the beach with one of our customers involved. Ian Brown and his partner Donna had just arrived and having set up, they had an evening at the Merrymoor. They decided to finish the night off watching the sunset on the beach. They had not been there long, when they noticed someone struggling to stand up in the incoming tide. Ian, without hesitation kicked off his flip flops and ran to help along with some other people. The man had been hit by a freak wave and had broken his thumb and his leg. Everyone carried him back to the seat near the entrance of the beach. By the time they got there, an ambulance had been called, but as it was not life threatening, it could be a few hours wait. Ian stayed with the man while his wife sorted their children. A decision was made to drive him to hospital and Ian helped carry and carefully get him in the back of the car. They heard the next day that the man had to have two operations, but thankfully everything went well. This goes to show how powerful the sea can be. His leg and thumb were broken by just the power of the waves and no surfboard was involved. Well done Ian and everyone else involved.

Flowers When our hanging basket provider announced her retirement at the end of 2022, Lesley decided she would have a go herself this season. Wow what a result! Don’t know why we paid to have them done every year. In my opinion they looked beautiful and equally as impressive as always, if not better. Another skill Lesley inherited from her mum, along with her amazing cooking skills 😍

Bowling This year’s Magic Cove champion at the end of season bowling was Shaun Westlake, who takes the trophy home. A worthy winner on the night, but don’t get too cocky Shaun. The score of 133 was way off the usual winning score. In second place with 125 points was Geoff Staniforth, who said he hadn’t played for years apparently. I have heard that old chestnut before!! Tony Witham came third with a score of 124. Wooden spoon went to Sue Brook for the second year in a row with a score of 42

Water Leaks In our final week, I was sad to see another damp patch appear in the road. Having had two leaks last year, I was expecting the worse this year what with the old deteriorating black pipe and fittings, but having got to September without one, I was beginning to think I had gotten away with it. But unfortunately not. So, I will be getting my shovel out over the winter to repair the offending leak. Will we survive 2024 without any more, or will I be recruiting staff again next year? Gloves and tools provided of course. Being the last year, there is little point in replacing it all now.

Macmillan Coffee Morning Thank you as always to everyone who provided cakes and raffle prizes for our annual coffee morning and to everyone who helped with the organising. 🍰 We managed to raise the respectable sum of £320. Funnily enough, this was the exact same amount that we raised in 2022

And finally…This will be the last newsletter where I spout rubbish, moan and generally take the piss. We are planning something a little different next year which will be a lasting memory of 44 years at Magic Cove. This is just a small thought in my head at the moment. There isn’t room for big ones. As I write this newsletter, Lesley is struggling with a bad chest infection so my mind is elsewhere.

And finally-finally See you all at Magic Cove in 2024. Let’s make it a season to remember and go out with a bang. Well not literally, I know the developer will be trashing the place, but don’t plan on doing it for him. However, we could be tempted to sell a few things off if you want anything. Can’t think what you could possibly want off the top of my head at the moment, although someone has shown an interest in the main entrance sign. All monies received going to Macmillan of course!! 

We look forward to hopefully seeing you all at Magic Cove in 2024

Lesley, Brian, Katie & Mawgan xx