Issue 34 – July 2009



Well, Peterborough has been and gone, meaning another year of the Club has passed. This year the weather was great, a little windy but sunny most of the time. Well we were due for a good one.
Rally numbers were a little down and there were only 8 Benimars out of a total of 21 ‘vans. It was the old faithful again with only one new member, John Cliffard, in attendance. It would be nice to see more, much more , of the newer members.
It was nice to see Nichol (and Lorna) after his recent problems.
The two new marquees and the remains of the two old ones were put to good use for the AGM and various eating and drinking activities.
It is now late June and the nights are drawing in ! Unfortunately Judy and I had to miss the Quorn Rally as we both had a sickness bug that laid us low for a week or more. We did manage to drive over on the Saturday to meet up with them – and a very nice spot Helen & Roger had found.
Quite a full mag. this time – thank you to all the contributors. I even received 2 reports for the Quorn rally and Jo’s Puzzle corner hopefully will be a regular spot
I had an e-mail from Alan that a new member had joined us – Malcolm Taylor. A few days later I heard from Alan again saying that his wife Wendy had also joined, apparently he forgot to include her on the application form !!
An easy mistake to make, could happen to anyone – welcome to the Senior Moments Club
With this issue is a new Handbook and a Membership Form – please keep it in your ‘van ready to give to any Benimar owner you may come across.
As I go to press I hear that Ian Tilley was taken ill in Scotland, requiring a few days in hospital. He is home now and improving but still very grumpy. Hurry up and get better Ian.
Enjoy the Summer in your Motorhomes
The next issue is due out early in October Input to me by Sept 23rd at the latest please
Ron Smith



Winter camping at it’s best has to be at Chatsworth Caravan Club site, near Bakewell, Derbyshire. Camping in November in minus temperatures isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, but as long as you are not in a tent, what’s the problem?
This site was closed last year for a re-vamp, and as far as we can tell, the only change is a brand new shower/toilet block, which is FANTASTIC, the reassuringly high standard of facilities you always get with the Caravan Club.
This site is incredibly popular, and bookings need to be made months in advance. It’s open all year round, (all pitches are hard-standing with hook-up) and was fully booked in the middle of November. Not a spare pitch to be had. And no wonder. The location is just amazing. Set in a walled garden, find the secret gate and you are straight in the grounds of Chatsworth House. From there a 10 minute stroll, slightly uphill, takes you to the house, shops, courtyard and gardens. A 25 minute flat walk alongside the river takes you to the Carlton Lees Garden Centre, and there are many more walks available on the estate and surrounding villages. The village of Baslow is a 15 minute flat walk, with pubs and a great restaurant (take a torch for walking back and remember your key to the secret gate!)
Points to be aware of: the children’s play area is pretty small, bikes are not allowed on the Chatsworth Estate, and the entrance road to the site is very long and narrow (with passing places). The wardens are VERY STRICT about access times, which, out of necessity, has to be properly managed. Strictly no arrivals are permitted before 1 pm and pitches have to be vacated by 12 noon. No exceptions. But this makes sense, as we would not want to meet another ‘van on entry or exit.
To stay on this site, book early, pack your Barbour and Hunter wellies and live like a Lord or Lady for the few days you are there.
Article by Catherine Simpson, (



What other campers get up to on camp sites never ceases to amaze and amuse, and can provide an ongoing source of entertainment and amusement if you keep your eyes open
Picture the scene: Brighton Caravan Club Site, early evening in September 2008, gale force winds and persistent torrential rain. Not a time to be outside.
A large motorhome drives slowly up the access road to the very top tier of the site. On the roof is a HUGE satellite dish set at an unusually jaunty angle. What’s happening here? Has he travelled here like that, or is just he moving from a lower pitch in search of a good signal?
Dusk is falling now, we don’t switch the motorhome lights on, so they can’t see us watching. Motorhome slowly pulls into the empty pitch opposite. With the engine still running, the Heki roof-light is flung open, (it’s pouring with rain and a howling gale, remember,) the driver exits the cab, jacket-less, walks to the back of the ‘van and climbs onto motorhome roof via the ladder at the back (the roof must have been like a skating rink) and shouts instructions down through the open sunroof to the poor unfortunate occupant inside. What these instruction were we will never know. After 10 minutes of rain, roof and shouted instructions, roof-light is closed, ladder is descended and, with the engine still running, said motorhome drives slowly off in search of – ?? Another pitch with a better signal? Another campsite where no-one is watching??
What’s wrong with a nice game of Scrabble, a good book or even, if all else fails, having a conversation with each other?
Article by Catherine Simpson, (



Roy Gill

The marshals for the rally this year were Mary Pennington, Helen and Roger Foster. If nothing else they had their prayer mats set correctly, for the weather was very good, just a cool breeze occasionally but no rain until the day of departure on the Monday. Once again Benimar were allocated part of the arena, unlike the previous couple of years, we had enough space and unlike last year the track around the grass was dry.
Most members arrived on the Thursday, shown where to pitch by the marshals. Having set up our vans, the next job was to set up the gazebos, luckily this year the wind was from a southerly direction and was forecast to stay that way.
Mary, Helen and Roger had set out a schedule of events for the weekend, including an “easy quiz”, so we were reliably informed, I just hope they never give us a difficult one.
Friday started with the Chairman’s Chat at 10-00 hours, thence the members made for the showground to search out the bargains. Friday evening was a communal eating of a meal prepared by Mary and Helen. The options for the main course were Chilli Con Carne and “Tatie ‘Ash”. Some of our southern brethren attending had to be instructed that “tatie ‘ash” was potato hash. What ever the name given, all the food on offer was excellent. The evening continued after the eating to putting the world to rights ably assisted with the help of liquid refreshment.
Each evening there was entertainment in the entertainment hall, or shed as Brian Conley called it at the Saturday evening show.
Saturday at 14-00 hours was the Annual General Meeting of the Benimar Club. With the gazebos in place, it was quite snug. After the meeting the raffle was drawn. A multitude of prizes to be won, whilst the raffle was being drawn the Club Birthday Cake was shared out, with the “champagne” to wash it down.
Sunday morning was the wind down meeting, check the quiz, Nichol and Lorna Thomson won. Following the checking of the quiz, there were some announcements – Helen and Roger Foster are hosting a rally at Barrow upon Soar between Leicester and Loughborough, June 18th to 22nd 2009. Ray Beach asked for names of members wishing to go to the Glenn Miller Festival at Twinwood Clapton near Bedford, on the weekend of August Bank Holiday. The afternoon was spent in dismantling the gazebos and allocating them to members for future use. Two of the older ones need a little repair work doing to them. This task was taken on by Graham and Roger.
Monday our last day, the weather changed, a cold wind and some light rain, it did not hinder the packing and the fond farewells.
The weekend went well, but I would have liked a few more members there, to take part in the Annual General Meeting. If nothing else, one can share ones problems and queries with other like minded persons. There is a font of motorhome knowledge and the like, at the rallies. Please put a note in your diary for the next Peterborough Show, we will be pleased to meet you and put a face to a name.



Harry & Shirley Lord
Ten vans gathered for the rally near Loughborough organised by Helen and Roger. There should have been twelve, but Ron and Judy Smith had to pull out as Ron had a virus. We were pleased to see Ron looking better when they came to visit on Saturday. Graham and Christine Baines could not come, as Christine was ill. Hope she is soon on the mend.
The rest of us had a nice big field all to ourselves, next to the Great Central Steam Railway. The trains ran regularly all weekend, Jasper, our dog tried to catch the 09-47, 10-32, 11-15, and 1-10, missed them all, but had great fun trying. A few had a trip on the train to Loughborough and enjoyed it. Others went by bus from the gate to Loughborough.

On Thursday night Helen produced a wonderful “Buffet Supper”, so we all ate, drank and chatted the night away.
On Friday night we all walked along the canal tow-path to a pub at Barrow-on Soar for a meal. Some walked back after the meal. Most were too full of pub food and waited and waited for the bus, which eventually arrived. After much argument with the driver we eventually arrived back safely.
Some of the “lads”walked to the Marina for a huge cooked breakfast and did a Roger mile or two on the way back to make room for the Jacob’s Supper in the evening. It sounds as if we did nothing but eat, there were a few tight waist bands at the end of the weekend.
Sunday saw a couple of vans leave, the rest of us had the usual quiz and raffle, plus a barbecue in the evening (more eating).
The weather was kind to us with no rain but rather cool.
Thanks Helen and Roger for a great weekend.


Andrew Sheldrake

On Thursday 18th we arrived. There were ten vans in total and there were even a few Benimars! We were greeted warmly by Roger and Helen and the first evening we had a get-together and amazing buffet put on by Helen. There was so much food that we all had another go at it for lunch the next day, and there was still some left. How Helen found room for it in her van I don’t know. The first morning the men folk walked the mile(ish, see later) to the marina for a very filling breakfast while the girls (!) slept/chatted/coffeed. The men’s walk was a lovely country route on a wonderful morning. The fact that we had to cleave a way through shoulder high vegetation for part of the way added to the walk’s interest.
The next evening it was suggested we go to a restaurant which Roger assured us was the same distance as the marina It was another good country route which went along the canal towpath. The only problem was it was all of two and a half miles so by the time we arrived we were famished and fuming in equal measure, or at least some people were. Roger’s fan club took a temporary drop in numbers! For the return there was widespread revolt so we hailed a bus. The poor driver didn’t know what hit him. It took about 7 minutes for everyone to offer bus passes, fares and even euros in my (unsuccessful) case. He raced off muttering about loosing his tea break.
The site was next to the Great Central Railway so on Saturday a select group set off on foot for the nearest station, reassured again by Roger “It is not far – about a mile” Once again it was a pleasant ramble, mainly traffic free—but more than a mile. We had a memorable journey to Leicester North then back to Loughborough where we had lunch and shopped before returning to our starting point, having waved furiously to our `mates` on the site, Railway Children style.
We were all delighted to see Ron and Judy who had been poorly but who came over for the afternoon to see us.
As usual the rally was great fun with lots of laughter, and the weather was good if a bit cool. We are all immensely indebted to Roger and Helen for all their hard work and organisation. Thank you both so much.
I did a bit of investigation on Benny Mar’s behalf as to Penny Mar’s whereabouts as we have not heard of her for a while. There seems to be some secrecy surrounding her but I gather she is now in a new home outside the Benimar fold. I got home and had to break the news to Benny who was distraught.
B.O.C. now has a new phrase in its vocab.– A ROGER MILE!


Alan Williams

New Members
A warm welcome to our new members:-
Eric & Sheila Miller (Associate members)
Simon & Joelle Burlingham
Gino Consentino
Tony & Jenny Beaumont
Richard & Linda Edwards
John & Yvonne Hawkins
Don & Ann Clark
Malcolm & Wendy Taylor

Membership now stands at 82 units.
62 Benimar Owners
20 Associate Members
Membership renewals, I urge you all once again, for those that have not done so to complete the Standing Order forms and send them to your banks, the more people complete the form the better. Once you have completed the form you do not have to do it again. Once the s/o forms have been processed payment will be taken from your account on the 15th December for each new year’s subscription.
Membership fees Update
New application for UK & Ireland is £14 followed by £12 per year.
New application for those that live outside UK & Ireland is £27 followed by £25 per year.
Membership runs from 1st Jan to 31st December.

Benimar Spain

I am presently in communication with Fernando Ortiz – Benimar Spain, I have asked for them to put an application form in every Benimar that is sold from the factory of which he has agreed, hopefully this will help increase our membership numbers. Furthermore, Fernando has also suggested they get their technical department to see if they can update the Benimar logo especially as we are now a global club. I have informed them that it will need to be a clearly visible logo that will cover our existing van stickers. We wait to see what they will come up with before we decide what to do. If it looks good and we decide to go with it, I will ask for help with funding for some new rally flags.
I have also asked Fernando to help with encouraging more companies to join our portfolio of members discount scheme. If we can get some companies that deal with Benimar in all formats to allow club members to receive discounts then we will all benefit. I have not as yet received any further information but will keep you posted. If anyone has any ideas or knows any big companies that you feel others will benefit from who we can approach to include in our members discount scheme, please let me know and I will investigate further.

BOC Discounts

Grove Insurance Services, our public liability providers have offered club members discounted rates on:
1.Key Protection
2.RAC Breakdown
3.Thief beaters security
4.Annual Travel Insurance from £48.50
For those that are interested in receiving a quote, call Grove Insurance Services and remember to quote Benimar Owners Club to receive your discounts on 0844 477 8060

Overseas Holiday Exchange

It’s a shame no one has yet taken up the offer of a motorhome holiday exchange with Tim & June Perfect who have their Benimar in New Zealand. (See April 09 club magazine article) They are expected to come to their home in Hampshire in the UK in August so if anyone is interested for this year or next year to share your motorhome in exchange to holiday in a Benimar in New Zealand, please contact June on or contact the Membership Secretary. A part of my plan is to encourage more overseas members to join to give you a choice of holiday destinations and overseas friendships, so please consider this offer which for some may be an offer of a life time! If I was not self employed and could afford the time off work I would jump at the chance.

Canterbury Park & Ride

New Dover Road Park & Ride. GPS Coordinates Longitude 1.101906 Latitude 51261840
For those that are not aware, Canterbury has 3 Park & Ride car parks of which one of them Motorhomes can park in over night. I believe it is the only park & ride system in the UK that allows Motorhomes to park, let alone park over night! An ideal stop over for those heading to the Dover ferry port which is only 15 minute drive away or a visit to one of the most famous Cathedral city centres in the UK. The charge is £2.50 per 24 hr period which includes unlimited bus journey into Canterbury City Centre. You may question why you would want to stay in a car park, but it is great that you can stay so close to a city centre with great public transport, a pub within 2 minutes walk and between 8pm and 7am the car park is closed to cars so it is very quite. There are security cameras too so you feel very safe. They have approximately 20 MH parking bays together with grey waste / toilet emptying facilities. A water tap and waste bins are also provided. Canterbury has so much to offer, did you know Canterbury has a derelict Castle? I have been driving past it for years but did not realise until I went on foot. You have the Canterbury tails, the famous Canterbury Cathedral, the oldest in the land. You can take a river tour from the Old Weavers Restaurant which is home to the famous ducking stool; each river tour has its own guide too. The city has many shops, bars and restaurants for you to visit. You can take a Guided Cathedral tour, a guided walking tour of the city or even a museum tour of the famous Rupert the Bear Museum. Now everyone must remember him!!
Then a 5 minute bus ride takes you back to the P&R.

Remember your BOC

B 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
O – Only if you own a Benimar can you introduce other Motorhome friends that do not own a Benimar as an associate member.

C – 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
Vi Jennings
Vi has been poorly recently so we hope you get well very soon, Lots of Love from all the Benimar Club
Tesco Vouchers
Every time you shop at Tesco, you earn club card points; if you have a Tesco visa card you earn extra club card points. When Tesco send you your vouchers, do not rush back to Tesco and spend them even with there “double your voucher” scheme. Simply redeem them for four times the value, yes 4 x’s. If they send you a £10 voucher, you can redeem it to receive a £40 voucher. You can use these vouchers at lots of restaurants for meals, Euro tunnel tickets, RAC breakdown, family day outs, Castles, Palaces and Gardens, Museums, sightseeing tours, cinemas, zoos and much, much more….
A link for further information
Being self-employed I do a fare few miles in my car, I always use my Tesco credit card to pay for the fuel then clear the bill as the statement comes through. We could receive £50 vouchers which are worth £200 every 3 months!!! I collect so many points that we use them for meals, Euro tunnel tickets, days out and RAC breakdown for our cars. So remember when Tesco send you three months worth of points in vouchers, think before you spend them for there face value in store, click on line and quadruple your vouches. It’s well worth it!

AGM 2009
The Club’s AGM was held on April 24th during the Peterborough Rally. It turned out to be a rapid uneventful one. The Committee remains as it was last year.
The resolution to allow membership to Benimar owners who reside abroad was passed unanimously.
There was a pretty good turnout for the AGM but it was nearly all the established members, many of whom no longer own Benimars.



A Bit of Yorkshire Humour
from Carol Smeaton

A bloke from Donny guz in t`jewellers;
He sez, “Can tha mek uz a gold statue o`mi dog?”
“Aye, ah reckon ah can,” sez `jeweller,
“Does tha want it eighteen carat?”
“Noa,” sez `bloke, “ah`ll have it chewin` a bone.”

Local Elections June 4th
James Airey (Con) 1098
Shaw, Bill (Green) 255
Gill, Roy (Lab) 326
Beecham, Ray (Lib Dem)391
Conservative hold



Roy Gill

The heading for this article is not an exaggeration, it is the campsite one dreams about to enjoy a life away from the bustle of everyday life.
Situated deep in rural Norfolk, about 8 miles south-east of Swaffam at Saham Hills, Lowe Caravan Park. Once you reach the site, there is a short scenic drive to the reception. There you will be greeted by your hosts and owners, Chris and May Lowe. First item on the agenda is a cup of coffee or tea, with a seat and a cosy chat. Once the formalities are over, Chris will guide you to your pitch.

The site is mainly dedicated to caravans, but there are nine level hard standings, plus four static caravans. The main feature is that the camping area is immaculate, with a large lawn dominating the main camping area, with units parked around. There is plenty of wildlife in the neighbouring fields. To give a feel to the site there is a notice board on the lawn, on the notice board is a shelf; on which jars of local honey are for sale. There is a box in which to put the money for your purchase. How laid back is that?
The amenities are spotless, as is the whole of the campsite.
The people coming to the site would appear to be regular visitors all knowing the hosts. If you are not a regular, the same welcome applies.
Rural Norfolk is a maze of narrow roads, so one has either to be a good reader of maps, or be in possession of a good satellite navigation system. Saham Hills does not feature large on the average road map. The campsite is situated at the junction of Hills Road and Ploughboy Lane, the postal code is IP 25 7EZ. In rural areas, postal codes can be a little difficult, here are the co-ordinates – N52°59.692’ – E0°81.263’.The telephone number is 01953 881051.
The area at one time had six pubs, now there is one, The Bell on Bell Lane, being about two miles from the site. Walking to the Bell is a pleasant walk down a quiet country lane. The Bell serves cask conditioned beer, plus smooth beers and lagers. Good food is also served at reasonable prices. The nearest town Watton, is about three miles away. Near the pub one can catch a bus to Watton, from thence a bus to Norwich, about twenty-five miles away.
Watton though not a large town is well supplied with shops, the peace and quiet of the campsite compensates for the distance to the shops.




One thing I hated was cleaning my motorhome yet still having dull looking graphics so I recently decided to have them replaced. I had all my Benimar graphics removed, the Benimar looks very naked in white.
I had these removed from my local Arc cleaning centre. They used a variable heat gun to remove the graphics at a low temperature to ensure the heat does not affect the body work. They removed the remaining glue before completely buffing the whole van and then completely polished it. Before I had my graphics removed, Dave White from a company in Herne Bay called Lifestyle signs measured all the graphics and put the info into the computer to re-cut new signage. Having had the van a couple of days to cut the new vinyl, he then re-applied all the new graphics to the mh, the transformation is great. It’s put a new lease of life in the old Benimar.
If you would like further information to have your own graphics replaced, please contact David & Emma White, Lifestyle signs, Herne Bay. 01227 369444
Alan Williams



Winter Snowbirds
Pat and Harry Hodkinson.

Ola, as we say in Spain. I think there must be quite a lot of us south of Calais in the winter. Pat and myself have spent winter for the last 4 years on the Costa Del Sol.
In mid January we travel through France (westerly route weather permitting) using the N Roads and Aires, cross over at San Sebastian, then over to Madrid.
At Madrid we take a day break. We use the camp site at Anajeas (may have spelt this incorrectly, but it’s the one south of Madrid open all year).
Best to use travel cheque’s on this site as they have some interesting ways of raising revenue. I think they are also on the ASCI list
From Madrid we travel down to Torremolinos and stay at Camping Torremolinos. They do a good 30 day rate (just over 10 euros per night and that includes electric). The camp is actually in the Los Alamos district, so there are good connections To Malaga through to Fuengirola (again, sorry about the spelling) by train and by bus. There are plenty of good walks and cycle rides plus many local festivals. You are also very close the Malaga airport and the cheap flights home
At Easter we fly home to shovel up the post and give our children a rest by taking over the Grand kids for 2 weeks. We then fly back to Malaga to continue our winter break by travelling up to Benidorm. However like yourselves we noted that this winter was somewhat cooler than previous years, but it was still warmer than the UK.
Staying at Los Alamos puts you within striking distance of Gibraltar and Portugal. You are also just 18 miles away from Morocco should you feel the need. Good luck with your travelling, I’m now packing to fly back, we will be back in the UK mid June and will try and meet up with you all.
Every Success
Roger and Dianne Gooding
We are writing to inform you that we no longer wish to continue our membership as we have sold our Benimar. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking the officers of the BOC for all their help and advice and wish BOC and its members every success in the future.



We are about to enter the BBQ season. Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking activity . When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:

(1) The woman buys the food.
(2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.
(3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill – beer in hand.
(4) The woman remains outside the compulsory three meter exclusion zone where the exuberance of testosterone and other manly bonding activities can take place without the interference of the woman.
Here comes the important part:
More routine…
(6) The woman goes inside to organise the plates and cutlery.
(7) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is looking great. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he flips the meat

Important again:
More routine…
(9) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.
(10) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

And most important of all:
(11) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.
(12) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed ‘ her night off ‘, and, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there’s just no pleasing some women.


This was discussed during the Quorn rally, after a few drinks – when all the best ideas emerge.
The idea is to spend a week or so in Holland to visit the bulb fields. We may be able to get a discount on the Harwich to Hook of Holland ferry if there are sufficient numbers. No more details as yet, but if you are interested then contact Roy Gill.
Of course after the rally you are free to travel on to wherever you wish.



Whilst we were at the rally at Loughborough, it was suggested we of the Benimar Club might have a rally in Holland as a follow on to the Peterborough Show and AGM (mid April 2010) The idea being to sail from Harwich to the Hook of Holland, whilst we are in the area. Before we go too far we need to know the numbers of members interested. If we have enough we can have discount fare on the ferry. The length of stay for the rally to be decided later. At that time the bulb fields should still be putting on a show. From the rally area, there is the rest of Holland to explore or travel into France or Germany.
I have contacted Stena for a brochure, they do not have prices for next year, but this years prices will give some idea for next year.
If you are interested can you contact me asap, so as to set the ball rolling.
Thank you
I now have a brochure from Stena for the prices (this year) for the Harwich Hook of Holland ferry. They no doubt wiil have increased by next April. For a motorhome up to 6 metres £65, for a motorhome up to 10 metres long £75. That is for the van and driver, all other adult passengers the price is £11. For a return fare, double the price quoted. The day ferry departs Harwich at 09-00 hours, night ferry 23-45 hours. Arriving at the Hook of Holland at 16-30 and 0745 respectively. Hope that helps the decision making



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