Issue 38 – July 2010


EDITORS COLUMN

Well, another winter endured and now looking forward to some warm sunny weather (except in late April when it is time for Peterborough again). I have been reading through the early copies of the Club Magazines lately and was surprised at how many “Letters to the Editor” there were, typically 4 to 6 in each issue and on all sorts of topics. It would be nice to get back to a situation like that, so how about it? Surely there is something that you can share with the other members. I will be waiting.
Having said that I have about 7 letters this issue, including the ones requested by Alan. So let’s keep up the good work for the next issue.
I understand that the potential UK Benimar agents have been over to Spain to attend the Benimar Open Day. I have no news yet of how they got on, hopefully all will be revealed in the next issue.
I know that Alan has asked for ideas for the next AGM/Peterborough Rally, but I will remind you to think what we can do to make the 10th aniversary of the Club just that bit special. I am hoping that Steve and Sue Reynolds (who were responsible for it all by importing Benimars back in 1999) will be able to attend.
So, if you have any ideas please let Alan , Roy or myself know.
Judy and I have just returned home after the Quorn Rally, a super, if somewhat chilly weekend. You will have to wait until the next issue for a report on it as this issue is nicely full and ready to go to print.
So, enjoy the summer now that it has finally arrived and wherever you get to in your Motorhome think about writing something of your adventures for the next magazine
The next issue is due out by the End of September, Input to me by September 15th at the latest please.
Ron Smith

 

HAYFIELD CAMPING & CARAVAN CLUB SITE, PEAK DISTRICT

Catherine Simpson
Arriving at Hayfield Camping and Caravanning Club site in a motorhome is not for the faint hearted. The lovely village of Hayfield in the High Peak area of the Peak District, has to be painstakingly negotiated, through its narrow streets, inching past parked cars and gingerly round a hairpin bend, and up a steep narrow hill, before heaving a great sigh that you’ve done it, then taking a sharp right into the long approach lane to the campsite. For these reasons, this site only permits tents, trailer tents and motorhomes, although I would not want to attempt taking anything longer than our Benimar particularly round said hairpin.
Hayfield C&CC site is a “traditional” site located on a former printworks (donkey’s years ago) and is split into two distinctive and different camping fields. It is a fairly basic site, with no hook-ups, and an old but large heated toilet and shower block meticulously cleaned to C&CC standards. There are no laundry facilities as yet, but what’s wrong with wearing grubby clothes when you are camping – isn’t that half the fun? Tents and small camper vans tend to gravitate to the right hand field, and motorhomes and trailer tents head to the left, although you are can camp in whichever field you prefer
There are loads of things that are great about this site: the atmosphere, the scenery (located at the foot of Kinder Scout), the dozens of walks direct from the site, the pretty village with its 3 or 4 pubs (of particular note is the The Sportsman Inn ), 2 restaurants, a fish and chip shop and the Sett Valley Trail which is a 4 mile walking/cycling/bridal route to New Mills (although as the friendly staff at the George Hotel said “why would anyone want to go to New Mills!?” – A good question!) It also has the most wonderful adventure playground area for children, just 5 minutes walk from the site, so you can keep the little ones occupied.
This site is high on our “favourites” list, and we return whenever we can. As it’s a basic site, the cost is reasonable, even in high season, and it has lots of character, which, sadly, some Club sites lack. The Wardens are wonderfully friendly and cheerful and go out of their way to be as helpful as possible to make sure a good time is had by all. Definitely an excellent site for tents, cyclists and backpackers as well as motorhomers, and is a brilliant base for all the outdoor activities on offer.

 

IN & AROUND HAYFIELD

– Catherine Simpson
Hayfield Camping and Caravanning Club campsite is on our “favourite sites” list and one we keep going back to. The nicest thing about this site is its proximity to the village of Hayfield. The site is set at the side of the river (well, more of an ambitious stream really). This means that ducks and moorhens are regular visitors to the campsite, but it also unfortunately means there are midges in season.
From the campsite, follow the river for a short while, past the children’s adventure playground, and you are soon in the village itself. This is a typical Derbyshire village which is little changed from how it would have been in the good old days – charming houses and cottages set higgledy piggeldy on little lanes, more pubs than you can shake a stick at, friendly natives, lots of natural wells – at least eight, and a choice of places to stay – B&B and pub accommodation, all reasonably priced. No visitor goes hungry in Hayfield. Our favourite eating places are the tremendously friendly and olde worlde George Hotel and the equally welcoming and the more trendy Sportsman Inn.
These two pubs get our vote for three reasons: (1) They do affordably accommodation, which means non-camping family and friends can stay nearby (2) They allow dogs INSIDE (hooray and thank-you!) (3) The food and service is outstanding.
Now, the George Arms has the best Lamb Rojan Josh in the world, in fact all the food at the George is excellent – freshly cooked, generous portions, good value for money and served with a huge smile.
The Sportsman is located on the hill above the Hayfield C&CC campsite and is about a 10 minute walk up to it, and about 5 minutes back down, but take a torch as the route back is very dark once the evenings draw in. This is a very popular pub both with walkers and campers, and they even have somewhere to tie up your horse, should you find yourself in possession of one.

 

MORE ABOUT HAYFIELD

Catherine Simpson
The following information is courtesy of “PeakDistrictOnline”:
“Hayfield is a beautiful village with many fascinating buildings including Fox Hall on the Kinder road which is dated 1625. The original Hayfield parish church was built in 1386, but this structure was washed away in floods and rebuilt in 1818. The parish of Hayfield consists of Birch Vale, Little Hayfield, Rowarth and Hayfield Village
Hayfield was at one time a woollen centre. Before the numerous mills were built many houses operated as cottages industries, with a workshop in tall attic rooms where wool was woven on frames. Calico printing and paper making also provided employment locally in the 19th century when many of the cottages were built. On August 4th 1894 at the George Hotel in Hayfield the Peak District Footpath Society was established with a meeting of men from Manchester, Sheffield and Derby.
Besides holding an annual fair, a twice yearly gathering was held at Hayfield which was known as the ‘Shepherds Meeting’ when stray sheep from the moors were sifted out and given back to their owners. Hayfield has many customs and traditions including the annual well dressing festival in July and the Hayfield County Show and Sheepdog Trials. Also popular in the area are fell races which include The Hayfield Championship series. More unusually named races though include the Padfield Plum Fair Scamper, Tanky’s Trog and the Lamb’s Longer Leg!
The claim to fame for Hayfield is that it was the birthplace of Arthur Lowe (1915 – 1982), best remembered for playing the part of Captain Mainwaring in Dad’s Army.
Hayfield lies equidistant from Glossop which is four miles to the north and Chapel-en-le-Frith to the south. Hayfield is the gateway to Kinder which towers above it like a Lost World. Kinder Scout is retrogressive moorland where the soil is excessively acid and inhibits the growth of many varieties of plant life. Rainfall causes erosion of the peat to the underlying gritstone, developing deep groughs up to 12 feet wide with slimy sides which can suck the unwary into inky black bogs. Bilberry and Crowberry are the only tolerant species of plant, whilst in the cloughs you can find siliceous grasses and heathers on the gentler slopes. On the exposed bleak summit are many areas devoid of any plant life where either murky bogs, mounds of soggy peat or boulders of millstone and acres of exposed grit give the appearance of some desolate alien planet. Kinder was once described as a black morose platform of gritstone. It is interesting to note that depending just where rain falls on Kinder Plateau determines two totally different destinations. If rain starts to trickle east it will flow into the Derwent and on to the North Sea, but if it trickles west into the Sett, it joins the Mersey and then flows into the Irish Channel.
At one time Kinder and the surrounding moors were private, accessible only to the landed gentry who came to shoot grouse. Until the 1930’s it would only have been possible to follow a couple of recognised paths from Hayfield to the moors and not to venture from these. There were notice boards erected at several points, warning of the consequences of trespassing. The moors were privately owned and many keepers, often wielding guns, were employed to protect them from the casual walker who had not obtained a permit. Great lengths were followed to bring the trespassers to justice, even to the extent of publishing photographs in newspapers with a reward for identification.
JHB Ward, who was a staunch campaigner for permission for the public to walk the moors, argued that because old rights of way existed, the moors should allow public access. He organised the mass trespass which took place on 24th April 1932 onto Kinder Scout, when 400 ramblers set out from Bowden Bridge and walked up William Clough and onto the moors. Scuffles near the top with the keepers resulted in 6 ramblers being arrested and charged with riotous assembly and assault. 5 were sentenced to prison for between two and six months, but their efforts were well rewarded. In 1949 as a result of the ‘National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act’ the Peak District National Park was founded, and within a few years of its inception an agreement was made allowing free access to the moors apart from a few days during the grouse shooting season which runs from 12th August until December.
During 1982 the National Trust bought over 3,000 acres around Hayfield which included Kinder Scout, the Downfall and two farms, for £600,000. This set the seal on the area remaining open to the public.
One of the best ways of walking up onto Kinder and to The Downfall is to set off from Bowden Bridge at the back of Hayfield village and to walk up William Clough which rises to the left of Kinder Reservoir. On reaching the top of the clough there is a well walked path across the top of the escarpment to The Downfall where the infant river Sett drops 100 feet in the highest natural waterfall in the Peak District cascading over huge gritstone boulders. In winter the Downfall blows back in a plume of spray that can be seen as far away as Stockport. There are interesting rock climbs in the area including Pavlova and the Chinese Wall Quadrinnacle.
The view from The Downfall to Mermaids Pool and Kinder reservoir some 1,000 feet below are superb, whilst in the distance are the chimneys, high-rise stacks and buildings of our industrial north.
The Kinder reservoir above Hayfield nestles below the escarpment and is trapped in a moorland embrace. It was built in 1912 for the Stockport Corporation. Whilst set in woodland on the far side are the quadrangular buildings of Kinder Upper House which are mainly 20th century with parts dating from the 16th century. The Pennine Way which is a long distance walk of 250 miles from Edale to the Scottish border runs along the top of the Kinder escarpment above Hayfield. The route was first suggested in 1935 by T C Stephenson and was granted official approval in 1951.

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

From Ray & Carol Beach
Dear Editor
I have to say that Carol and I were rather concerned to discover that we had upset several of the group at our recent rally at Peterborough by leaving our generator running later than 2200 hrs , for which we express our sincere apologies.
However what has upset us most of all is that no one approached Carol or myself directly during the weekend even though we attended all the meetings.
The situation arose in the first place due to the unusual circumstances we found ourselves in, namely Carol having both her feet in plaster following an operation. This meant that Carol did not attend the evenings entertainment when she would have normally followed on later joining me around 2030 hrs and switching off the generator after locking the van.
Carol was in the van on the evenings concerned and would have appreciated if someone had brought it to her attention and perhaps even offered to switch off the generator for her given the situation that Carol was in she could not do safely in the dark.
Carol and I hope that you would all be aware that we try always to be considerate to our fellow campers but on this occasion an oversight occurred due unusual circumstances.
Finally I am pleased to inform you that Carol’s is progressing well and is out of her plasters, however she still has to take easy on her feet for a few more weeks.
Best wishes, Ray Beach.

 

Apologies to Chris and Graham Baines who sent in the following topical poem in time for the last issue of the magazine but I somehow overlooked it.
If you read it again next winter it will be topical again.

A WINTERS TALE

Chris & Graham Baines
We hate the Winter’s Cold and Wet
So head off for some sun
Now the roads are closed, the Chunnel blocked
This is going to be some fun.
TV says the M11 is ice
The M25, don’t even try
Listening to the News readers
Was enough to make us cry.
We said “Oh heck, let’s go for it”
In case it gets much colder
And if the police say “sorry chaps”
Christmas Dinner’s on the hard shoulder.
So we set off bright and early
And on to the A1
The road is clear ” there’s no one here”
Are we the only one?
We complete the M11
And then, the M25
The roads were virtually empty
Is there anyone else alive?
The M2 down to Maidstone
Was joyous to behold
Then, “take the A2 you’ll be OK”
By the policeman, we were told.
We joined a stream of traffic
Going steady for 30 miles
Arrived at Ashford 2 hrs early
We were met with greeting smiles.
What are the ‘News People’ saying?
Said the lady at the gate
You can go straight on, problem is
We’re running two hours late.
So we arrived on time at Sangatte
With no worries, fuss or farce
The roads were clear, all the way
To our next stop, Pont De l’arch.
Next morning was a worry
The roads a sheet of ice
Traffic slipping everywhere
It wasn’t very nice.
After an hour the gritter came
So, released from Winter’s grip
Set off once more, down to Bordeaux
Without another slip.
That night at Verteuil, an ‘aire’
Ian Tilley, had said was good
It did look nice when we were there
Just a pity about the flood!
Next day, to Zaragoza
Was a very pleasant run
On past Teruel and Segunta
Then out did come the sun.
The Orange groves past Valencia
Brought, to our eyes, a tear
Sun shining across the valley
And we knew, that we were there.

 

PETERBOROUGH SHOW, A.G.M. and 9th BIRTHDAY RALLY REPORT

Andrew Sheldrake
I rashly volunteered to write a report and now I am reaping the reward by having to sit down and write it! (It’s a pleasure really, honest!) I arrived home at 12.15pm had some lunch and came to the computer. Some of you will know that I am a technophobe and using a computer is a longwinded one finger exercise requiring vast amounts of mental and physical stamina, not to mention perseverance. Back to the report.
Ann and I arrived early Thursday afternoon to find 15 or so units already there. We went round greeting mainly old (!) friends but also we were pleased to meet some new members of B.O.C. A welcome to new members should appear elsewhere in this newsletter but we hope all our new people felt welcome and not too intimidated by the somewhat eccentric behaviour of some/all B.O.C. members. At least they should have an idea of what they are joining by now.
Friday started with the chairman’s chat at 10am. Even more than usual he bumbled and bungled his way through a welcome and diverse comments relating to the club. We were all impressed with the new large gazebo which had taken three hours to erect. At 6.30 ish we were all back for the St. George’s day get together with drinks and food. I am amazed what a superb affair we always get at times like this. There were St. George’s flags everywhere and we owe a big thank you to the (mainly) ladies and men who do the preparations.
Saturday at 2pm we attended the all important B.O.C. A.G.M. We were told that 27 vans were at the rally. This was one of the highest proportions of the current membership in the club’s history. I understand that one couple came 100 miles just for the meeting—well done! Later in the afternoon there was a 60th birthday B.B.Q. with a birthday cake as well.
Sunday morning saw the usual coffee morning. This incorporates the customary quiz marking and raffle draw, again with the usual accusations of fixing! As always there was lots of informal chat and leg pulling.(no one is immune)
Sunday evening saw 19 members going to the nearby Harvester for a meal with lots of banter and laughter (obligatory at any B.O.C. meet)
Monday morning saw everyone in more reflective mood as we packed up and said our farewells, before leaving for our respective homes.
FOOTNOTE
I have purposely omitted putting any names in this report, but this does not diminish the work and effort put in by our committee members and others, and the debt of gratitude we all owe them. May I also finish by saying welcome to our new members and hope they will continue to come to our events.
oooooxxxxxooooo
This is a reminder about our rally at Car Colston (just off the A46 a few miles south west of Newark on Trent Notts) It is in a field behind the Royal Oak pub. We enjoy a lovely rural setting, good pub food, skittle alley and nearby Indian restaurant. I can give tours of Newark Town Hall (A grade 1 listed building) town, castle or riversde walks etc.—all free and on request. There is also a good air museum at Newark. There is a local bus service to Newark so bring your pass. The dates are Thurs 26th — Tues 31st August. This is the Bank Holiday weekend. There are only six electric hook-ups but room for plenty of vans. The cost is £7.50 per night (elec. extra) If you have not done so already please let us know as soon as possible if you intend to come. We would love to see you.
Ann and Andrew Sheldrake (Tel 01636 702007, email ann.sheldrake@ntlworld.com

 

Annual General Meeting Peterborough 2010

– Roy Gill
The weather at Peterborough this year behaved itself in the main. The only rain we had was on the Sunday morning, enough to wet the grass, but not create mud. At least it enabled us to put away the gazebos without too much trouble on Sunday once the rain stopped. Talking of gazebos, thank you Colin and Francesca Varley for the loan of your large gazebo. Normally at Peterborough we are huddled against the wind and rain in the gazebos. This year when we had plenty of gazebo space, the weather behaved itself. It is not often the weather is so good at Peterborough, for our Annual General Meeting.
Attending the meeting were 28 units, which is quite a high percentage of the membership. It was pleasing to see a few new faces at the meeting, I hope you were happy with the proceedings and not too intimidated. It is always difficult being a newcomer to a crowd who know each other quite well. I am sure it will be much easier for you next time.
There is one thing about attending these “get togethers”, people with problems with their motorhomes are able to discuss their problems with like minded people. There is always someone in the Benimar Club who can point you in the right direction if they are unable to help you themselves.
Thank you to Honor for putting on a birthday bash, very enjoyable.
Thank you also to Mary and Michael, Judy and Ron for marshalling us all into position.
Hope to see you all at the Annual General Meeting in 2011, the 10th Anniversary of The Benimar Owners Club

 

Peterborough Snippets

Colin Varley came with this huge erection – actually it was a triple sized white gazebo. This, together with the Club’s 2 new and one old gazebo were used to form a large area for the AGM providing protection from the elements. This was the first time we have been able to provide adequate shelter from the normal wind and rain for the whole of the audience, and of course, this was the first year we did not need it. In fact it was so warm that, at the start of the AGM, I had to open a side wall to let in some fresh air. We put up the 4 adjoining gazebos and felt very proud with ourselves and went for some lunch. A gust of wind came through the open front and blew the large gazebo over onto it’s roof. We had failed to peg down the legs, or tied them together, needless to say after we had finished Katrina would have had a hard job repeating the incident.
PS. Don’t tell Colin about any of this. A quarter of the couples who attended the rally were first timers with us, 7 out of the 28. This was very good to see but afterwards I realised that I had probably not spoken to some of them, for which I apologise. I hope you enjoyed being with us and hope to see you again at future events.

 

THE AGM

Ron Smith
The 9th AGM of the Benimar Owners’ Club was held on Saturday 24th April.
There was a very good turn out with several day visitors supplementing the 28 ‘vans worth of members.

The meeting was preceded by Alan Williams introducing Andrew Scott from Scott Leisure. He explained what his company was about and what his hopes were in becoming an importer of
Benimar Motorhomes. Unfortunately we were not given the chance to ask any questions of him
The committee members’ reports held no surprises. Much praise was given to Alan Williams for all his hard work during the last year and I am so pleased that he is continuing for another year. However this will definitely be the last one.
The outgoing committee members were all voted in for this year.
There were no resolutions to consider.
The membership subscription remains the same for another year.
There was a mention for Colin and Meryl for their help given to Ian & Sylvia Tilley when Ian was taken ill whilst in Scotland. Another example of the true “Spirit of the Club”.
After the meeting was closed we all partook of some Spanish Bubbly and a piece of the Club Birthday Cake.

 

Report of the 1st Annual Canine BOC AGM

-Luna
Present:- Taffy, Harvey, Maggie May, Sherry, Basil, Buzz, Ben, Zak, Luna, Milly and Poppy.
The Chairdog, Ms Luna Williams, opened the meeting at 14.07hrs after weeing under the table and nibbling an itch on her back.
We were much encouraged by the turnout for this meeting and hope to continue to expand in numbers. A big thank you to all the four-legged members who were in attendance at the rally, and who put a lot of effort into making the ‘pooper scoopers’ laugh and smile. They all deserve a mention as, on the whole, they were much better behaved than the two-legged members! We still, however, have the following committee positions currently available, and would encourage all members to apply and subsequently report back for the magazine.
Chief Leg Cocker
Bone Counter
Paw Secretary
Woof Master
W-A-L-K-I-E-S Co-ordinator
Any other business:- A special mention concerning the behaviour of 2 of our members. Zak – Table legs are meant to be upright as they hold tables horizontal, thus in turn bowls of pasta stay on the said table and not all over the floor! Two legged members do not like to share their food. Buzz – Collars are to be worn around the neck at all times and not left in the hands of the human trying to catch you! You make a great Houdini but perhaps keep the escape trick for more appropriate situations.
Meeting closed at 14.08hrs, as the after meeting refreshments proved way too tempting for most of the members.

 

NEWBURY RALLY REPORT

– Ray Beach
Colin and Frances were the Marshalls for this year’s rally at Newbury. As only eight vans were booked to attend this event Colin left his home very early Thursday morning in order to have the area pegged out before the arrival of the first vans. I would like to point out that having eight vans attending a Newbury rally was quite exceptional I’ve not known this before and I would like to pass on my thanks to everyone who attended. During the rally we were joined by members Dave & Evelyn they were unaware that Benimar had a site at the Newbury show and were pitched up with Caravan & Camping.
The site of the Benimar plot was very convenient for both access to the show ground and the entertainment marquee. Other facilities such as water and waste disposal paladins were just yards away; there was even a porter loo close by which came in handy. The main toilet block was a three minute walk away.
By Thursday evening five vans had arrived and pitched up, the weather was warm and dry. Some people had wondered over to the show ground only to find that it closed till Friday morning.
Thursdays evening’s entertainment was given by Danny Landon’s Band playing country, followed by the Legendary Ivy League with their usual brand of music and comedy finishing the night off in party spirit.
Friday saw the arrival of the last three vans and of course the opening of the show. Again the weather was lovely warm and dry a bit cloudy from time to time. Colin was joined by Frances as she was unable to come with him the previous day due work commitments.
The show appeared to be a bit smaller than other events, having said that there was still plenty to see and lots of motor homes to inspect and tempt you to part with your money.
Friday evening’s entertainment was a combination of rock-n-roll and line dancing provided by two groups The Jets, Jesse Garron and The Wrecking Crew. A brilliant evening for working off any surplus energy.
Saturday started with beautiful blue skies the sun was out and stayed with us all day. Some of the members took advantage of the special bus service in to Newbury at the cost £1-50p return. While others of us either pottered around our vans or went around the show.
Later in the afternoon we got our tables and chairs together and sat down and had dinner. Everyone had provided their own food and drink and it was all very genial with much laughter joviality.
Saturday night’s entertainment was provided by Jackson Live a tribute to the late Michael Jackson. The music spanned from his early days with the Jackson Five right up to his death. This was followed by the one and only and the greatest of all Comedians Ken Dodd.
Sunday the weather was even hotter with the sun shining and blazing down. Frances & Colin organised a coffee morning and we all gathered in to a circle, biscuits and cake were provided. We were joined by Edwin & Sharon who were made welcome as new members to the club. The meeting concluded after Ray gave a speech welcoming the new members and thanking Colin & Frances for marshalling the rally.
Some of the club members were unable to stay till the Monday due to other commitments. For those who stopped over there was an evening of entertainment by a 60’s group known as The Cufflinks.
The weekend turned out to be one the best Rally’s ever. The weather was lovely even in the evening it remained warm. Let’s hope we have a repeat of this weather at the rest of the rallies. See you all then.

 

Thanks, dogs, campsite and thanks

Just got round to writing “Thank you so much” to all for my presents for my 60th birthday, they were lovely. Well what a weekend, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the weather seemed to hold.
Thanks to Colin and Frances for their marquee, we would have been lost without it. Dawn’s birthday cake was lovely and allhad some. Thanks to everyone who helped, as I’ve said in the past without your help it is impossible to do.
Tim and I were just saying how it seemed weird without our Jessie who died 4 weeks before, everyone including Ray and Carol seemed to have a dog. If anyone knows anybody who could care for 2 dogs together, 1 a dalmation and 1 part greyhound, their owners are paying a lot of money for them to be in kennels. They haven’t seen them for 6 months as one is very ill, and they can’t afford to keep paying the kennel fees. If so please contact me on my mobile 07793584101.
We now have permission for campervans to stay overnight for up to 2 weeks on our land on your way to Dover, Folkestone or the tunnel or if you are just coming to Kent. The cost is £8 per night plus £2 for electric if required. Same phone no. as above. We have water, elsan point and some electric hookups. It is on the main A2 at Teynham near Sittingbourne and is ¾ hour from the above.
You can walk into the village in about 10 minutes. There are fish & chips, pubs, Dover Castle serves excellent food, Chinese takeaway, hairdresser, dentist, vets, co-op open 6:30am to 10pm, 8 to 6 Sunday. There is a bus stop each side of the road. Canterbury is 30 mins, Sittingbourne 10 mins and the station is 20 mins walk. The address is Little Radfield Orchard, London Rd., Teymham, Sittingbourne, Kent ME9 9PS
Dogs welcome, please make sure you close the gates as busy road, and pick up poo.
Once again thanks for all my birthday and a special thanks to Yvonne who knitted me a skarf. I wasn’t going to say anything but there was a hole in it Ha Ha. Also by the time you read this I hope that Helen has received her new spatula that I left on the BBQ and melted
I was pleased to see Mary with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye. I wonder what she has been up to; I love her to bits. Ron & Judy did their bit as usual, thank you again. Also Julia & Alex bought me a huge box of chocolates, Thorntons, sorry didn’t share but it was my birthday . I do hope you all had full bellies and plenty to drink. A huge welcome to all new members and not to forget how hard Alan Jo, Roy & Sylvia who keep the club running – you all know who you are. Thanks to the men for cooking the BBQ, my Tim always ends up cooking or burning.
Love to all Honor & Tim Hewitt

Michelin Tyres

The tyres on our motorhome are coming up to 6 years old and I intended to change them before we visit Spain again. Costco are offering 20% discount off their already competetive price for 4 Michelin tyres (they only deal in Michelin). Just the job, so I went down to arrange for 4 to be fitted, only to be told that Michelin have no stock in the UK at present and have no date when they may have some. The size I require is 21/75/R16. Camping.
So I contacted Michelin to ask them why this was. I remember that there was a similar situation a few years back with their X Camping Tyres.
This is the reply I received:-
Thank you for your recent e-mail.
Unfortunately we would advise that the Michelin XC Camping has been discontinued as of December 2007, with the Michelin Agilis Camping superseding it. However, it is an out of stock item at this moment in time, with no delivery dates, sorry. We therefore recommend that you stay in contact with your local Tyre dealer/distributor, for any change in this situation. Alternatively you could always contact the Michelin Customer Call Centre on telephone Number 0845 366 1520, to see if they can offer any information on future availability.
Once again thank you for your interest in Michelin.
Yours sincerely
Michelin Tyre Public Limited Company
I shall be fitting Continental Vanco Camping Tyres now, assuming thy are available. They come out better than the Michelins in independent tests anyway.
I’ll let you know how I get on. Ron

 

MEMBERSHIP NEWS & OTHER THINGS

– Alan Williams
Membership News
New Members
A warm welcome to our new members who joined at the AGM:-
Bob & Anne Hemmings and to
Edwin & Sharon Edwards from Essex
Membership now stands at 80 units.
59 Benimar Owners
21 Associate Members
Please, I repeat what I said at the AGM for those that had not attended, out of the 79 units we only have 26 paying by standing order. There are always the same 25-30 members that do nothing until I take time out of my holiday after working all year to phone you and ask for membership funds. It does take up a lot of time contacting so many members together with costing me call charges and the club postage. PLEASE, the more that complete the standing order forms the better so please print your form now from the boc website or let me know and I will post one to you. All you need to do is fill out the standing order form, send one portion to me and the other to your bank. That’s it! Standing orders can be cancelled at any time so you have no fear of it going on forever.
Benimar News
The new UK dealers and dealers across Europe are to meet in Spain for the Benimar dealer’s convention on the Thursday 10th June 2011 – I hope to update more in the next magazine.
Remember your BOC
– Benimar Owners Club applications forms can be kept in your Benimar, then, if you see another Benimar on a campsite or car park etc, you can introduce yourselves or leave an application form on their windscreen
– Only if you own a Benimar can you introduce other Motorhome friends that do not own a Benimar as an associate member.
– Continue to be a BOC member, even if you sell your Benimar you can still remain as an associate member enjoying the benefits and discounts
BOC Merchandise
Orders are now being taken for our club merchandise, to order yours simply complete an order form clearly stating which of the two logos you would like embroidered on your garment. For colours, please refer to the club website.
**NEW** Base ball cap 3D wording of “Benimar” £9.50 Black or Navy Blue
**NEW** Sweat Shirt £15.00 Black, Navy, Royal Red, Bottle Green, Heather Grey or Maroon
Classic Polo £15.00
Sporting Polo strip sleeve £15.00
Knitted Beanie £7.95
Hoodie £17.50
Reversible Fleece £23.00
¼” Zip Fleece £20.00
Full Zip Fleece £20.00
Order forms can be printed directly from the club website or you can request one from me. Please complete the order form and post with your remittance to Alan Williams – Please allow up to 28 days for delivery, due to the nature of ordering.
10th AGM – April 2011
I’ve had no suggestions yet for the 10th Anniversary party, it’s your club and your party so please, anyone have any suggestions for our 10th AGM in April 2011??? Let’s make it a special one!!
AGM – New member’s letters
Having had our 9th AGM and a record number of new members attending our rally (7) I wanted to know how they got on and for those new members that have never been to a rally, what to expect. Thank you so much for your replies which I attach below.
Dear Alan,
Thank you for your letter inviting new members to comment on how we found our first Rally. We would respond as follows. What a fantastic spot to park our van, it was so easy to go to the exhibitions etc. However, we fully realize that such a location is not guaranteed at every show!
It was lovely to meet other Members but we would suggest, that at the drinks gathering on the Friday night, if the new Members were introduced when we all got together it would have been easier for everyone to know who the “newbie’s” were. We enjoyed the whole weekend and special thanks go to John and Jean Porter who let me “Lin”, tag along with them to the entertainment on the Saturday night .
We look forward to hopefully meeting up again in August at the Malvern “do”.
PS. Thank you, Alan and all, for inviting us to join you on Sunday evening, we appreciated the gesture, and thoroughly enjoyed your company
Lin and Richard Edwards
Dear Alan,
It was nice to receive your letter following the AGM and rally
From the moment we arrived on site and were greeted and told what was likely to happen during the weekend, the apprehension soon disappeared, from the start people came up to us and incorporated us into the rally. I was also concerned how people would react to Wendy’s memory problems and as it happened I need not have worried at all and in fact she was included in everything as everyone was. As a newbie to clubs of any description, I felt welcome throughout the rally to join in or not and under no pressure to do either. In fact I wanted to join in everything in case I missed a laugh. Some of the members are mad in the nicest of ways.
As for the AGM a comic scriptwriter could not have come near to the script that the participants were using or not as the case may be. And as for “not my fault” Honor, I haven’t laughed so much for a long time, and didn’t she do well with all that food.
How to improve the reception of new members: well I’m at a loss to suggest anything really. It helps to be an easy going person to join the club and the club members could do no more to make anyone more welcome.
I also noticed that when someone had a problem with their van others gathered round to help in any way they can, which was nice to see.
I hope to go to the Quorn rally but I’ve got a problem, the Bennie is about a foot shorter than when we left the rally, it is not a case of Honor’s “not my fault” as he stopped and I didn’t. Well such is life, no one hurt that is the main thing and piggyback on an AA truck is very cheap on diesel.
Well Alan I don’t know how much of this you can use but as far as I am concerned there was enough time to see the show, socialize and privacy which made a good mix and a good club.
It would be a shame to see the club die through the lack of Benimar vans in this country and all the effort that people put in to make the club work.
Yours sincerely Malcolm T
Dear Alan
And members of the boc, just to say a big thank you to you all for making us so welcome at the Peterborough rally as we really did enjoy ourselves. We didn’t know what to expect being our first rally but everyone was so nice and helpful and we will certainly be attending more rallies. Can’t say there is any way you can improve anything as you could not have made us more welcome. We enjoyed the togetherness of everyone.
Yours sincerely,
Fred & Sheila Kenney

Dear Alan
It was with some apprehension I agreed to go to the Benimar rally and AGM, but when we got there we were made welcome and the majority of people spoke to us and made us very welcome.
I went saying that if I didn’t like it we don’t have to go again but we will defiantly be going again. It was very friendly and the weather helped so thanks to everybody. We will be at the AGM next year and hopefully a rally later in the summer.
p.s. I attach a booklet for rallies at the Petruth Paddocks site, Cheddar, Somerset if you can pass this on to the Rally Co-coordinator.
Take Care. Jackie & Bob Turner
So you see, if you have not been to one of our rallies, at least make our big rally and AGM in April 2011 – This will be our 10th Anniversary and I believe we may be having our largest number of members attending yet. So why not come along, you have nothing to lose only friendships to gain! As the letters have said, if you don’t enjoy you don’t come again but I am hopeful you will return time and time again…. We look forward to meeting you all soon.
National Showground Peterborough 14th to 18th April 2011
Benimar Owners club 10th Anniversary
Booking is made with Warner’s at www.outandaboutlive.co.uk or telephone 01778 391123
Booking on line is open between Jan 2011 and closes 1st April 2011
When you book you only pay the days your camping between the Thursday and Monday and you need to click on the Club – Benimar to ensure you camp with us, otherwise you will be camping in the general camping areas.
Exhibition and trading is open Fri – Sun
The AGM and 10th Anniversary party will be on the Saturday 16th April 2011
Job Search – making the right career move……

 

JOB VACANCY

“BOC” Membership Secretary & Treasurer
A perfect job for any retired member!
Job position – combined post for a “Membership Secretary & Treasurer” for the Benimar Owners Club
Salary £nil (perfect for the tax man, earn nothing pay nothing!!!)
Hours to suit most retired couples with little time on there hands:
Education not required, just common sense although a PC will help!
Job description: –
Membership Secretary: receive membership application forms and renewals and send membership cards on a yearly basis.
Treasurers Position: to pay throughout the year a dozen invoices, summarize income and expenses for club auditors. Banking of membership funds and rally donations.
To send prepared accounts to the club auditors to be checked and verified annually.
To attend club AGM (April) to report to members the years expenditure and membership numbers.
The boc handbook states you need to be a member to hold the position but it does not state you need to own a benimar!! Anyone who would like to know more please contact Alan Williams – 07778 453668 to discuss further.
*** Please note that candidates will need to be elected on the committee at the AGM 2011 ***
Benimar Service / Spares & Warranty (UK)
All offering 10% Discount available upon proof of membership card
Scott Medical UK
Contact Andrew Scott Managing Director
Scarborough, North Yorkshire,YO12 4HA
Telephone 01723 363225
RDH Services Ltd
Contact Chris Parnill Managing Director
Derbyshire, S44 5TA
Telephone 01246 230778
Choose Leisure Motorhome Sales
Contact Paul Santos Managing Director
Canterbury, Kent. CT4 7HH
01227 733557

 

ODDS & ENDS

UPGRADE – Ron Smith

Rather than spending many thousands of pounds on changing our motorhome for something we probably wouldn’t like as much, Judy and I decided to spend a bit on our 5 year old Compass.
At the Peterborough Show I took the plunge of having the engine tuned for more torque. Having talked to all the stands selling such devices I plumped for Wow Tuning. I was impressed with this company who are the market leaders and who offer a remapping service for hundreds of different engines from cars, vans, trucks and tractors.
So, on the Sunday morning a chap arrived armed with a laptop and a magic box. He sat in the drivers seat, plugged his laptop, via the magic box into the engine control unit. This extracted all the parameters that govern the engine performance. This data is then sent via the internet to their base computer, where someone compares my parameters with the ideal parameters for extra torque, extra power and improved economy. These ideal parameters are sent back to the laptop and then installed into my ecu. And that’s it – takes about 20 minutes. You don’t pay for 7 days giving one chance to decide not to go ahead, in which case they put the parameters back.
I have only tried it on the short journey back home from Peterborough, about 75 miles and a 350 miles round trip to Abersoch.. The engine felt instantly smoother and seemed quieter. The pulling power in 5th at lowish speeds uphill was most impressive. Previously I would have had to change down
So far so good, economy will take much longer to establish, but I will let you know.l
Our carpet was looking a bit faded and worse for wear so we decided that a new one would be nice. It is a 2 part carpet of most intricate shape. We bought a piece of suitable carpet, chosen for colour, hard wearing and non-fray. Using the old pieces I cut out the 2 new ones adjusting the new ones to give a better fit. Where they meet and at 2 other points they needed binding and I managed to find a local company doing this at reasonable cost. They made a very good job while I waited.
If you want some carpet binding doing then you could do a lot worse. They can make a complete set of carpets for a motorhome including the cab area with rubber mat inserts. Phone Graham of Graham’s Carpets on 01332 602773
or 07984 769476.
He also now has a website :– www.whippedcarpets.co.uk
Another addition we decided on was a Remis windscreen blind (the concertina type that slide back into a cassette in the a pillar. I got one at a good price on Ebay. Fitting was very fiddly in places , but eventually it all slotted into place and looks good. We didn’t get the side window blinds because they are fiddly to operate, apparently rattle while travelling and are very expensive. Instead I have cut some roller blind material (non-fray) to shape and velcroed it into place so that it is easy to put up and take down.

Car Colston Rally August 26th – 30th

Ann Sheldake – has heard from the site near Newark and they have plenty of pitches for a Benimar rally over August Bank Holiday. They have six pitches with electrics.
She has provisionally booked ten pitches. Charges are £7.50 per night and £2.50 for electric hook-up
We stayed at the site last year at that time and loved the site and the pub. You can get more information on the pub at www.brilliantpubs.co.uk/royaloaknotts The meals are very good and I am told the beer is good too. There is also an Indian restaurant nearby which delivers meals to the site.
Contact Ann on 01636 702007 or ann.sheldrake@ntlworld.com

Dickensian Weekend

Dickensian Weekend is once again the last weekend of November 2010 in Ulverston Cumbria.
As per last year, I will not be booking a position on the field, as it rather muddy if the weather is poor. We have been known to have rain in Cumbria.
If you are interested in coming, there is a good campsite a mile from town with all hard standings. There is a bus a quarter of a mile from the campsite into Ulverston. The bus stop is near to a pub and a co-op shop.
The campsite is busy for that weekend, so if you wish to book, the details are;
Bardsea Leisure Park
Ulverston
Cumbria LA12 9QE.
Telephone number 01229 584712
You are more than welcome to dress in Dickensian clothes for the weekend, quite a few people do so to enjoy the atmosphere.
Look forward to seeing you
Roy Gill

 

DIARY DATES

Please see the Diary Page.

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