Issue 45 – June 2012



Having endured the worst April and May that I can recall, I just hope that June and the rest of the Summer makes up for it. (It has just warmed up about 20 degrees since I wrote that).

The conditions at Peterborough were the worst yet, and there have been some bad ones.

For the AGM we had 2 plans: Plan A was to use 4 or 5 gazebos, If it was too wet and windy Plan B was to use the Speedway Grandstand. It was too wet & windy, but the grandstand was out of bounds to to renovation. Luckily we managed to acquire a room next to the Grandstand This proved to be ideal and hopefully we will be able to do the same next year.

The raffle after the AGM raised £75 (I think) – thanks to Carol Beach The Well Dressing rally had to be cancelled due to lack of interest, although we went & Graham & Chris joined us for a few days.

Ann and Andrew Sheldrake are organising a rally at Car Colston at the end of August, let’s hope they get more support. At the AGM a couple of members requested that we re-instate the issuing of Membership Cards. So with this issue you should receive your card.

(Let’s hope I put the right cards in the right envelopes).

This will eliminate the considerable cost of posting the cards individually.

Also with this issue will be the latest copy of the BOC Handbook. If you visit the Benimar website, beware that the English version is very out of date. The French and Spanish ones are OK

The next issue is due out by the end of September. Input to me by September 15th at the latest please

Ron Smith



The Club held it’s 11th AGM during The National Motorhome Show at Peterborough, but it was a close run thing. Plan A was to use a large gazebo owned by Colin Varley together with the two heavy duty ones owned by the Club, and one or two of the Club’s older lighter ones, tying them all together for stability. Plan B was to utilise the grandstand of the speedway track where we were camped within. The bad weather on Thursday turned even worse on Friday and there was no way we were going to risk putting up the gazebos – so Plan A was abandoned. Unfortunately the grandstand was barriered off for repainting and was out of bounds – Plan B scuppered.

We came up with Plan C which was to use the caravan awning belonging to Robin and Jean Asher (that was already erected) and risk putting up 2 of the club awnings adjoining it. I thought it was worth asking if there was a room or covered area somewhere we could use or hire, but they said “No”, so I found Kathy McKenna the Warners officer who first allowed us to rally as a Club before we were formed and use a room for our inaugural meeting, and asked her. And she came up trumps. She obtained the use of a room that was ideal and close to where we were camping – and it was free (the last time we did this some years ago it was £235.) Apart from a small hiccup when the key was mislaid it all went perfectly. I shall try to obtain the same room for next year. Now, on to the AGM itself. Numbers attending were down a little due to some members not arriving and some departing early.

We started with a minutes silence for Ian Johnston , a founder member, who had recently passed away. It was a pretty routine affair, with Roy speeding through the agenda only being slowed down by Chris who was trying heroically to minute the proposers and seconders for all the committee positions. Richard reported that the accounts showed a small excess of expenditure over income, which due to the extra expense of the 10th birthday celebrations, was really very good. The Club retains a healthy balance to carry forward.

No increase in Membership was recommended.



Ron Smith

I know a few members have electric bikes, and are others considering them, so I thought this would be of interest.

I was reading an article recently in the Cycling Touring Club’s magazine about a rider of an electric bike. He was involved in an accident at some traffic lights when a bus failed to stop on red lights and knocked him off. He was transported to hospital by ambulance and the police retrieved his bike and kept it as evidence.

The police inspected the bike and noticed that the motor was rated at 300 watts. Apparently the law in the UK is that electric bikes are limited to a 200 watts motor and must not power assist above 15 mph.

The limits for the rest of the EU are 250 watts and 25 kph (why do we always have to be different?.)

The outcome of this incident is that the cyclist is being charged with riding an unregistered, untaxed motorcycle without tax and insurance, for which he could be fined and have points on his licence

To add insult to injury the insurance company for the bus company are trying to avoid responsibility (and therefore compensation) by claiming that the vehicle they hit was being driven illegally.

The bike was bought from a reputable dealer in all good faith.

It is easy to buy electric bikes in the UK with motors up to 350 watts. In China where many of the bikes are manufactured you can get even more powerful ones which they are happy to export.



– Richard Edwards

New Members

A warm welcome to the following 2 new members;-

Andrew & Krisztina Payne from Kettering

We have lost one Member – Ian Johnston who sadly died.

Membership now stands at 67 units.



Charity Advert, CL Advert and Recipe)

Honor Hewitt

Well, what can one say/ What a washout

The weather was awful to say the least. Most of us left by Sunday and had to be tractored off. Ray and Carol were marshals and did a really good job considering the conditions.

A coffee morning was held for some who could get in an awning attached to a caravan and we thank them very much. Sorry don’t know your name (no offence) but many thanks. [They are Robin and Jean Asher – Ed ]

I flew from Spain and wish I hadn’t. Mary flew from France, and Graham and Chris looked after her for which I am sure she was very grateful. She stayed in luxury at the Marriot Hotel (wished I was there)

Deepest sympathy to Ray and Carol, Mel and Barbara , Colin and Francis who, within a matter of months lost their mums or mums in law.

We had a good day shopping in Peterborough. The bus service was really good and didn’t stop for lunch so you could get back whenever – really good value at £2 return.

26 ‘vans attended the rally. The AGM was held in a room which Ron managed to get, free of charge. Thanks.

Colin Varley’s birthday was on the Saturday – more cakes – a bugger when you are on a diet. He doesn’t look a day over 70.

The entertainment was very good, the free ones that is. Although we didn’t go on the Saturday evening, Jo Longford, not the supporting acts, was rubbish I was told.

One point brought up at the AGM was about membership cards, I suggested one per ‘van to reduce costs.

I really was a shame about the weather, the worst we ever had. We also left on Sunday, the ones who stayed made the most of it and some went to the Harvester for an evening meal. At least they managed to get together.

I would like to thank the Club for letting me buy the two heavy gazebos for £100. They weren’t used very much as you need an artic to transport them, so maybe we can get something lighter.

They really are for a good cause. They are going to Spain to a dog’s home to keep the sun off them. The charity is SATS and you can go on-line and see all the dogs. They never put a dog down. There is one that has been there 6 years, a lassie type but no one wants her.. Shawnee, the rottie, has been there 2 years and Tim and I are hopefully taking her. Mollie was 8 ½ , I fed her for 2 years. She had a hernia the size of a small football. 6 times the vet removed them, spayed and tagged her. She is now in Germany with 2 other dogs in a lovely home. So many sad stories, just thought I would give a few to fill the page.

`If anyone would like to donate, even £1 please send to Honor Hewit, Little Radfield Orchard, London Road, Tonge, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME9 9PS.

Tel: 01795 522239

Also, we are 40 mins from Dover on the A2. If anyone wants to do an overnight stop, we have plenty of space, you can fill up with water and the loo. We charge £8 which I give to SATS. They totally work on charity and have 135 dogs in care.

Well! Back to Peterborough. Not a lot to say, hope I haven’t offended anyone by not mentioning something. This will take Ron god knows how long to read and put my spelling right if he can read my writing. [It only took a few weeks – Ed]

I would like to thank Colin and Francesca for dinner last Monday (Bank Holiday). We went to pick up the second gazebo. She did a lovely lunch – Thank you.

Also I’d like to thank my dear friend Dawn for yet again another beautiful birthday cake They are not cheap to make but every year she comes up with one for my birthday (Tim doesn’t get one “ha ha”) and one for Christmas.

I am getting rather good at Victoria sponge. The other day I made one and the butter cream wasn’t quite stiff enough. The top slid off and I had jam and cream on my foot, but, what the hell – brush it off and put the top back on. He enjoyed it and didn’t know any difference and said that it was gorgeous.

“What they don’t know don’t hurt them”

And now for the recipe:-

Victoria Sponge

2 x 9” greased cake tins

30 mins about 170 degrees

10 oz self raising flour

10 oz castor sugar

10 oz stork

5 eggs

Put all ingredients in a bowl together and whisk.

Divide between 2 tins and bake.

When cool spread one half with jam one half buttercream (1 oz butter and 6 oz icing sugar).

When sandwiched together sprinkle top with icing sugar. Delicious !!

Well that’s all I can think of for now.

Love to all

Honor and Tim Hewitt








29th May 1934 – 12th April 2012




How many of us have a Cadac with a piece of plastic drain pipe on the shaft to stop the wind blowing the flame out. That simple, but what now seems obvious, solution was one of Ian’s inventions

He was always looking and trying to sort out things and solving problems big or small. We came home one day not only to find Ian on his hands and knees with our fire in bits saying it was assembled wrongly and true to form when he had finished replacing all the pieces it has never worked better.

He was a quietly spoken man, what with his tones and thick Scottish lilt you had to listen carefully to appreciate the full colour of his words and his unique sense of humour to say nothing of the glint in his eyes and cheeky smile was a treat to observe.

.His first love was his family his two sons Barry and Colin and their families, of whom he was so proud.

Scotland was the other, he was so proud to be a Scot. He went up home, as he put it, several times a year to meet up with his brothers, sisters, cousins and their families. Over 60 of them came down on 25th April, to join Agnes his boys, family and over 150 other mourners to say thanks for being the man we all new and loved and to say their good byes, at Grantham Crematorium.

Ian died 12 April 2012 in Leicester Hospital less than 24 hrs after being admitted.

We think that Ian was born with a steering wheel in his hands, from being a boy he was driving a tractor around the farm and kept the old thing maintained. His country called him up, to do his National Service and he even ended up driving there too, only this time in Germany. His C.O. recognised his skills and made him his personal driver much to the annoyance of the sergeant major who we gather had less glamorous plans for him. Then went driving buses back in Scotland and when Agnes became his Clippie they moved from Scotland to England and got married. Then his career lead him onto the Lorries driving all over Scotland and England. Before he retired..

The Benni was his last mode off transport and he enjoyed the last few years .travelling around meeting new people and still helping out when ever he was asked for help and advice if needed.

Their mobile phone was red hot some times because there was never anyone at home in Melton Mowbray to answer the land line.

Ian had a precious gift to get on with all ages, as we found out one evening. We arrived and parked up in a camp site near Edinburgh only to find Ian holding our granddaughters hand, together with my son and grandson chatting like mates that had known each other forever more.

I have only one criticism of Ian he was a brilliant guide and excellent company showing us around his beloved Scotland but he drove right past a Whisky factory, sorry distillery, afterwards claiming it was closed on a Sunday, all we got was a glimpse and a smell. Would you believe it?

Ian had many friends of which we are very proud to be included in that number. He was kind enough to invited us into his home to share his friendship his family life and most important his wonderful wife Agnes who we love dearly, and send our deep-felt condolences.

Cheers Ian we’ll have a wee dram for ye

Good night God bless you Ian xx


Ann Pool


Not only was Ian a founder member of the Club, but he and Agnes were the first to arrive at Peterborough when we organised the very first meeting to set up the Benimar Owners Club

So Judy and I had known Ian (and Agnes) longer than anyone else in the Club.

There were 8 Club members at Ian’s funeral where Agnes and her two sons Colin and Barry gave him a fitting send-off.

We send Agnes our love and condolences and hope that we will see her sometime in the future, perhaps as a day visitor to Peterborough?

Ron Smith



– Roy Gill

People travelling the M6 going to the Lake District normally take to the A590 at Junction 36 and thence to the Lakes. Why not vary your destination and stay on the A590 and travel to the South Lakes. There is plenty to see and do without travelling too far from the main routes. One word of warning, if you are in a Motorhome, satellite navigation systems can lead onto unsuitable roads, unless you have a model into which you can enter details of the Motorhome size. This journey involves going as far west as Ravenglass.

Your first stop after leaving the M6 is Sizerh Castle, a National Trust property to the right 3 miles after leaving the M6, after roundabout to keep to the A590. An interesting building with fine gardens. One mile after Sizerh is Levens Hall on the A6, an Elizabethan mansion, with topiary dating back to 1694. In the grounds is a mixed herd of deer and goats. There is also a collection of steam traction engines.

After leaving Levens Hall and back on the A590, one can take a diversion to Grange – over- Sands along the A5277, a pleasant small town, in which to spend an hour or two. There are quite a few good cafes. Parking is fine, turn right at the mini-roundabout by the Toyota garage. Having seen Grange you can turn right out of the car park and back to the A590.

Alternatively, turn left out of the car park and at the roundabout turn right along the A5277 calling at Holker Hall and/or Cartmel. Holker Hall is an interesting spot with good gardens a deer park and an interesting history. Cartmel has the Priory, founded in 1190, a racecourse and is the home of sticky toffee pudding. Beware of sat-nav when going to Cartmel. Parking at Cartmel, through the square to the racecourse. Good food in the local pubs.

Whether or not you go to Holker Hall/Cartmel, your next port of call is Backbarrow, just after Newby Bridge on the A590. Two reasons to stop at Backbarrow, one is the new Lakes Motor Museum with parking and a good café. Further along the A590 is the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway also with parking and a café. Here you can board a steam train to Lakeside, on Windermere, from where, if you wish catch a ferry to Bowness on Windermere or Ambleside. If that is not your scene, at Lakeside there is the Aquarium of the Lakes. A bus can be caught in Ulverston to Haverthwaite.

Your next place of interest is Ulverston, as you enter the town, on the hill you will see a replica of Eddystone lighthouse. If you are feeling energetic, there is a path up to the monument, refurbished in 2010. It is open to visitors when the flag is flying. The monument was erected in 1851 in memory of Sir John Barrow, born in Ulverston and was secretary to the Admiralty and behind the formation of the modern British Navy thus having a huge effect for the future of Britain. He also put in place expeditions to find a passage around the north of Canada and thence to the Pacific. Barrow Straits and Barrow Island were named after him. The cottage in which he was born and lived, is on the road you take to the campsite.

Ulverston also has the shortest, deepest and straightest canal in the UK, built in 1796 to give Ulverston access to the sea. In its day, sea going boats were built on the canal. There is a pleasant mile walk alongside the canal to the sea.

George Fox who founded the Quaker Movement, lived at Swarthmoor Hall, not far from the town centre. The Meeting House is close by the Hall.

Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy fame was born in Ulverston, Argyle Street, the house has the blue plaque, a statue of them both plus Laughing Gravy their dog stands outside the Tourist Information Centre situated in the Coronation Hall. The Laurel and Hardy Museum, the only one in the world is behind the Roxy Cinema. The beers brewed in the local micro-brewery, 200 yards from the statue, are all named after Laurel and Hardy themes.

Not far from the camp-site in Ulverton, by the Morecambe Bay coast is a Buddhist Temple at Conishead Priory which is open to visitors.

Another claim to fame was that in 1843 at the Ulverston Cricket and Football Club, the first pole-vault (height) competition took place.

Ulverston has restaurants to suit every taste, English, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Italian and Mexican. There are also good pub meals.

From Ulverston buses can be caught to Ambleside, Barrow in Furness, Bowness on Windermere, Broughton in Furness, Coniston, Dalton in Furness, Haverthwaite and Windermere. Trains also run to the main line (London to Glasgow) or around the coast to Carlisle.

The 6 or 6A bus from town centre will take you to Dalton in Furness, the ancient capital of Furness, also birthplace to George Romney, the famous portrait painter in the 18th century. There is also the Wild Life Park, always worth a visit. Dalton Castle is on the main road through town.

Between Dalton and Barrow in Furness is Furness Abbey, reputed to be the wealthiest Cistercian Abbey in England, which in its heyday controlled large swathes of what was once Westmorland and Cumberland, that is until Henry V111 came along.

Barrow in Furness has the Boat Museum dedicated to shipbuilding and the history of Barrow. It is also where the British Navy’s submarines are built. Across the Walney Channel is Walney Island, where is situated a large seabird colony, plus kite-surfing is popular off the west of the island.

, Another Island off Barrow is Piel Island, where Lambert Simnel landed with his followers to try to overthrow Henry V11. The remains of the castle are still there. Piel Island also has a “King”, selected by Barrow in Furness Council, the King is also the landlord of the Ship Inn on the island.

Once you have seen the delights of Furness, one can travel west along the A595. At Chappels Farm in the Whicham Valley, where, if you are into horse riding they have heavy horses, Shires and Clydesdales, for visitors to ride.

Continuing along the A595, to the A5093 and thence to Millom. There they have a Heritage Museum and Visitor Centre. Norman Nicholson, the poet was born and lived in Millom. Complete the loop on the A5093 back to the A595 and on to Ravenglass.

Whichever way you travel to Ravenglass, do not follow your sat-nav, it will take you over the fell roads, not suitable for motorhomes. Ravenglass was once a Roman port and still has the remains of a Roman bath house. Close to Ravenglass is Muncaster Castle, a mass of rhododendrons in spring, it also has an owl sanctuary. Muncaster castle is also the home of Ravenglass, on A595, just after Muncaster Castle.



Alan and Jo Williams have a tiny, little dog called Luna. Luna recently had 4 (I think) puppies. All together now – aaaaaahhh.



The Royal Oak Car Colston Newark Notts NG13 8JE

23rd– 27th August 2012

We are holding a rally at the camp site behind the Royal Oak pub in the beautiful, typical Nottinghamshire village of Car Colston, with its enormous village green with cricket pitch. The village is between Newark and Bingham and there is public transport to both with a bus stop on the village green. The pub serves meals at lunchtime and evenings and also has a garden room and skittle alley that we can use, subject to their conditions. We have arranged a group meal for one evening and can also collect Indian takeaways from a local Indian restaurant or Chinese takeaways from Bingham. On Thursday 23rd August the local cricket is hosting a charity cricket match

So there is no food served that evening, but you could take your chairs over to watch the match. The local area is fairly flat and good for cycling and walking. A walk will be arranged.

For more information please contact us either by phone 01636 702007, 07834315500 or by e-mail ann.sheldrake @



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