Mini on recovery truck

We left on a Saturday for what was going to be a camping holiday round Europe. About 50 miles from Calais our transport, a mini, broke down.




We then learned we had chosen to start our holiday to coincide with the start of the Belgium National Holiday (at least for garages). All garages were closed for at least a week. Tent on camp site


We ended up leaving the mini parked inside a garage and carried the tent and whatever we could handle to a camp site.



At this point we discovered that we had no food, only had a few francs between us and the banks were all closed until Tuesday. We were stuck on a camp site in hot weather on a near starvation diet. Just to add a little spice to the proceedings on the Sunday the camp toilets became blocked. Given our current circumstance, this was no big deal, yet. The weather was hot. We were reduced to cutting up pieces of paper to form games to keep ourselves amused.

Tuesday came and we raced down to the local bank, got money and then proceeded to pig out on food. Inevitably, this proved too much for our stomachs resulting in a certain looseness. Yes, the camp toilets were still blocked.

Mike waiting for the train

Over the next few days we went on trips to Gent and Brussels via train supposedly for sight seeing but mainly so we could use the various rest rooms.






Tram at Crich


By the following weekend we had had enough and so arranged for both us and the car to be returned home. We spent an uneventful second week of our holiday in Derbyshire with trips to Crich Tram Museum, etc.


Souvenir from Gent

Postcard Gent 22-7-1976
Postcard Gent 22-7-1976 - reverse

Came across this post card I sent home during the holiday. The post mark indicates it was posted in Gent on 22nd July 1977.

Text reads:

“Car broke down on Saturday on E5 around Gent. Arranged to have car repatriated and we will be back either next monday or tuesday (26/27) probably. In mean time using train to see Belgium. Had no money when we broke down and it was a bank holiday on Monday so we starved till Tuesday (the food was in the car & we could only carry essentials). All garage workshops are closed for at least a week, most two weeks, hence why we wait till next week.
We timed it quite well.     Jeff”

[1977 Euro Holiday]


06 April, 2010 


Fri 28 Sep 2007

Wed 12 Sep 2007

  • Reworked for Family Only Area.
  • Various corrections.