Ninety-four years ago a Welsh couple turned up at Glenlough Farm in Marown. They had come for the TT and they were looking for a place to pitch their tent.

‘Could we camp in your orchard? We’ve only got a little tent, we won’t take up much room,’ they said.

Farmer Tom Quayle and his wife Kitty thought about it and said: ‘Well, we haven’t had campers before but there is an outside toilet and we’ve got milk and vegetables.’

The arrangement worked. The couple said they really enjoyed themselves and asked if they could come back the following year, which they did, with four more people.

‘And then my grandparents were devastated to receive in the post, two or three months later, some wedding cake from the first couple. To think that they’d stayed in that tent two years and not married!

‘It might have stopped the whole thing,’ says Peter Quayle.

Well it was nearly 100 years ago.

It did continue, though, and today Glenlough Campsite is a large site which, because of its location, has become one of the most popular TT accommodation providers on the island.

It is still run by the Quayle family. Tom’s sons, George and Henry, farmed together at Glenlough and ran the campsite, then Peter, John and their families took over.

John and Gwen now farm Glenlough with their family, while Peter and Sheila run Glenlough Campsite with their families and live at their family farm in St Mark’s.

When it comes to TT their whole family pitches in to help on the campsite. Their four daughters, and their respective partners, are all involved.

The campsite extends to around 10 acres and they also rent another few acres from John and Gwen. The well-kept, grassy fields looking over the Marown valley, sheltered by mature trees, provide a stunning location.

Peter says: ‘We meet amazing people from all over the world: German, French, Swiss, and then all of the UK and Ireland, so many nationalities, and they all just get on. It’s amazing how they keep coming back and they go to the same spot, the same pitches.

‘Some of the tents, and the vans and motorhomes are getting much bigger, which causes us some concern in wet weather but this year is amazing, because they can get on and off at any stage. I think we’re one of the few campsites that allow vans and cars to actually park alongside the tents.’

Running the campsite during TT and dealing with all the visitors is, literally a 24-hour job. Although the visitors are generally well behaved there is night security to make sure everything is in order.

And every time the boat lands in Douglas, the Quayles know there will be another influx of people arriving and leaving and they try to make sure that someone will be there to meet and greet them, no matter what time of the day or night it is.

As Peter says: ‘It takes a big team to keep on top of everything. But sometimes it’s the weather that makes or breaks their holidays.’

Graeme holds the record for the most visits

The longest-running visitor to Glenlough Campsite is undoubtedly Graeme Crate, who has been coming here for the TT since 1978.

‘He’s been coming for 43 years – on the same bike. It’s a record that will never be beaten,’ says Peter.

Graeme used to ride all the way from his home in North Cheam, in Surrey, but these days the bike is transported to Warrington for him and he rides to Liverpool from there, to catch the ferry. Well, he is 86 after all.

The bike in question is an exquisitely maintained BMW R69 with a Stive sidecar attached.

It’s sitting proudly outside his tent, which is always erected for him, ready for when he arrives, by Peter’s son-in-law, Darren.

Peter says: ‘Graeme believes that Darren puts the tent pegs in the same holes every year, in exactly the same spot.’

Graeme is an engineer, a man who can turn his hand to anything, from building motorbikes to, more recently, lawn mowers and sewing machines.

A former army fitness instructor, he can still swing his leg over the bike to pose for a photograph. But he has had some serious health issues to contend with in recent years, including open heart surgery and problems with his sight.

Following a cataract operation that went wrong, he was given a new cornea a few years ago.

‘Yeah, they put someone else’s in. I think it was a Chinese one.

‘Because I never liked Chinese food before but I do now and I can’t stop looking at Chinese menus,’ he jokes.

He has brought with him pictures of some of the bikes he has worked on. One of them, he remembers, belonged to a good friend. He recalls: ‘I had a friend, he’s dead now, he was 95 when he died and he owned the bike that broke the world record in 1961. He averaged 109 miles an hour for 24 hours on a bike with an engine like mine. Then he came back and won the Thruxton 500, then he went to Barcelona and won the Barcelona 24 hours. BMW gave him a gold Rolex. He gave it to me because he was a good friend of mine and he was impressed with what I did. Sadly someone pinched it!’

I tell him he must really like the TT to keep coming back every year.

He says: ‘I don’t like it. Oh, no – I love it. The atmosphere is wonderful.

‘And they mother me here at Glenlough: they really do look after me. I’ll be back here next year, if I’m still breathing.’