Issue 33 – April 2009

 

 

EDITORS COLUMN

We have just arrived back in the UK after 4 months in Spain. Weather there was not too good by Spanish standards but at least we missed all the snow and frosts that the UK experienced.

So, now we are back just in time to get another magazine out in time for the National Motorhome Show rally at Peterborough and of course the AGM.

I hope that most of you will make the AGM, you can come as a day visitor if you are not rallying. Don’t forget to bring this copy of the magazine with you – it contains the agenda and the minutes of the last AGM.

This issue is a little on the thin side. If it wasn’t for the minutes and the agenda it would be woefully so. I know that there have been no rallies to report on but surely you have been doing something over the winter that would be of interest to other members. In particular I have very few pictures to include. As we do not have a Benimar any more and I don’t like to use pictures featuring our motorhome.

I have just learned from Alan that one of our members has not been too good lately. We would all like to wish John Porter from Bristol a speedy recovery from recent major surgery, We know you want to get back in your Motorhome and off to Portugal but these things take time. Take care to you both. From all your friends from the Benimar Owners Club.

With the Economic Gloom continuing there seems little likely-hood of Benimar relaunching in the UK for some considerable time. Indeed Paul of BCS Motorhomes in Herne Bay, has decided not to go ahead with being a Benimar dealer. With no natural source of new members, we must all do our bit to encourage Benimar owners we come across to join the Club.

The next issue is due out early in July Input to me by June 26th at the latest please.

Ron Smith

Did you hear about the Polish driver who had racked up 50 driving offences in Ireland but the Irish police were having great difficulty tracing him. Every time he was stopped he gave a different address. Eventually the euro dropped when someone realised that the name Prawn Jazdy was, in fact, Polish for driving licence.

 

SNOWBIRDS

Roy Gill

A group of Benimar Club Members and friends made an ad hoc pilgrimage to the sun again this last winter. Some were keener than others and made the trip before Christmas, others liked to spend the Festive Season with their families. The end result was that six motorhomes of the Benimar Club plus friends spent the bulk of the winter in the “sun”. The quotation marks indicate that it was not all sun, but the cold was not as the cold suffered in the UK. The worst part was the weekend of gales, which made us cancel the trip to the Artichoke Festival, which is held at Benicarlo, the nearest village to the Benimar factory. We, as Benimar owners had been invited to the Festival and to visit the Benimar factory to see the latest models (motorhomes). Unfortunately, it was a case of stay by the vans to fend off any wayward branches. When the sun came it was quite pleasant, but it still was a bit on the cool side once the sun had gone down.

It was quite chilly travelling down through France, we had ice at Blois and in places there was snow on the side of the road. Our coldest spot was our last overnight stop inland from Valencia, where the temperature was -3 degrees C. Once we arrived at our destination an early job was to clean off all the road salt from the vans.

One or two of us hired a couple of cars for a week and toured inland each day. There are some interesting places to see once the coast is left behind. The roads can be a little on the narrow side, but as long as one breathes in, it is not too bad. One of the days, we had a trip to Valencia, part by car and the last bit by train. An interesting city to visit, some of the buildings are spectacular. Unusual, but very interesting was the old river bed, from which the water has been diverted and is now a must to see when visiting Valencia.

El Presidente of the Club, Ron, organised walks for the more active persons on the camp, needless to say there are some good walks in the area, the good part is that height can be achieved on four wheels and an engine. On one of the walks, Ron was the driver. For those who went on the Pyrenees rally and witnessed Ron with the Go-cart, I think he achieved his skill driving on the narrow roads of Spain.

Once or twice we went to a market. The markets of Spain, which the ladies think so much about, for my money once you have seen one you have seen the lot. There are lots of stalls nearly all selling the same stuff at similar prices. Spain this year was not the bargain it once was, especially with the pound being in the doldrums.

Other attractions on the site were the boules, organised cycle rides for those with bikes, the occasional film show, one of the films “The Australian”, enjoyed the film, but the pre-film entertainment, photographs of walks and cycle rides, with photographs of the campers in fancy dress caused quite a laugh. There were craft mornings for the ladies. We were also been known to gather for the odd beer or three, but one has to quench ones thirst as one suffers the deprivations of missing the UK weather. We had an amusing incident, after having a noggin, savouring the local brandy, with a couple living in Spain. They had come to visit for a week. Come the time to leave the gathering, one of our group was given a “sick note” by our host, to apologise for being late leaving as he could not find his legs.

Listening to the UK news, the roads seem to have been in a bad way with the ice and snow. Though, from what I can gather, our neck of the woods in southern Cumbria did not do too bad compared with the rest of mainland Britain. At least the weather here seemed to become a little better after mid February. The locals seem to be a little nonplussed when they see the Northern Europeans in shorts and sandals and they are in scarves and coats.

Helen and Roger Foster were the first of the group to leave, departing 23rd February, the rest left a fortnight later, El Presidente, leaving even later, in time for the Annual General Meeting of the Club at Peterborough. Your presence will be more than welcome.

If you are an earl and are awarded the obe do you become an earlobe ?

The Irish fire brigade were thinking of going on strike and had a poll taken. They all fell through the floor.

Live every day as if it is your last – cancel the milk.

 

A CAUTIONARY TALE

One evening on a campsite in Spain a young man of small stature was on his way to do his daily task of feeding the campsite cats. On his way he took the path from his camper to the road and suddenly as he passed a Swiss Caravan a giant hound (Rottweiler) bounded towards him, broke his chain, and with jaws gaping appeared to be ready for its dinner!

The (young man) suddenly realised that he was the meat on the bone required and took sudden evasive action. Moving quickly to the side, came into contact with a large pine tree ending up with a large bump on the head. Unfortunately the tree did not move. Luckily the owner of the dog quickly called the hound and stopped the meal. A few expletives were said by the small man as he staggered away from the action. Shaking in fear and terror he ran from the scene, free from being a doggy lunch.

The owner held up the dogs lead and showed him the break but this did not reassure the little man. So after a shake of the head and a shrug of the shoulders the small man carried on with his task of feeding the cats.

Later he was told that his screams of terror were heard by nearest and dearest friends but nobody came to the rescue!

The moral of this tale is:- “Every dog has its day.” BUT IT NEARLY ENDED MINE!!!.

Anon

 

NEW ZEALAND – SO MANY THINGS TO SEE AND DO

Are you interested in a holiday exchange to allow another BOC member to use your Benimar for you to use their Benimar in New Zealand?

We recently acquired a Benimar Europe 780 in the North Island of New Zealand. New Zealand is packed full of wonderful treasures just waiting to be explored. We have spent some weekends adventuring the spectacular wonder of the glow-worm caves in Waitomo, walking around the fascinating thermal wonderlands in Rotorua or having some well deserved rest and relaxation time on the Coromandel Peninsula where glorious white sandy beaches meet the sparkling blue pacific ocean. As well as many 1st Class camp sites, it is still possible to stop overnight free in many places. There really is something for everyone here. We still return to the UK every summer and are looking for the opportunity to swap our Benimar for a similar motor home in the UK.

We are looking for a swap for between one to three weeks beginning August. We can be very flexible as to when we could make our Benimar available in New Zealand.

June & Tim Live here in Hampshire and NZ

Regards June & Tim Perfect

benimar@trperfect.com

 

BENIMAR NEWS

The Artichoke’s Day 01-2009

The following is taken from the Benimar Website (now in English !) The Fourth Motor-homes Racing took place on 23rd, 24th and 25th of January in Benicarló, coinciding with the Artichoke’s Day.

This year, Benimar, first Spanish maker of motor-homes, organized a guided visit to his factory, with the aim of offering the assistants new activities to do. More than 500 motor-homes lovers enjoyed the explanations of the company’s members, showing them last tecnologies used in the making of motor-homes and the high quality of the materials used.

Some of the topics that aroused public interest were the polyester monoblock watertight roof manufacture, the automatic system sides manufacture and the quality controls of all motor-homes materials. The assistants could not believe that we had installations with so high technology in Spain.

Mr José Antonio Redorat, General Secretary of “Federación Valenciana de Municipios y Provincias”, and some local politicians attended the inauguration of this event. The assistants informed them about user’s demands such as the lack of car parks and facilities.

The event ended with the presentation of the Fist “Benimar de Honor” to Mr. Antonio Belda, the disinterested organizer of the event and untiring host. All the assistants enjoyed a friendly and amusing snack offered by the company.

We looking forward to repeat this experience next year and increase the number of 250 motor-homes registered.

 

MEMBERSHIP MATTERS

Alan Williams

A warm welcome to our new members: –

John & Marcella Geraghty from Galway, Ireland.

Tim & June Perfect from Hampshire, UK / Cambridge,New Zealand

Raymond Price & Thomas Herbert from Essex

Colin & Meryl Cambell from Inverness (Associate members)

News from BCS

Paul from BCS has informed me that with the lack of financial input into the UK market from Benimar Spain, he is no longer a UK dealer for Benimar and is now a dealer for the Hobby brand.

Club News

This is now my second year on the committee and one of my ambitions as Treasurer & Membership Secretary was to increase the profile of the club and increase club funds by cutting expenditure. I think we are now on our way to making this happen. We will soon be celebrating our 8th year as the Benimar Owners Club. We as a club have two new gazebos purchased from club funds, money in the bank and we should also start to see some savings, thanks to transferring our ACCEO membership from ‘Personal’ to ‘Club’ status.

Increasing membership – one idea I had to help increase membership was to have downloadable application forms on the BOC website, this has proved to be a success, introducing 34 new members in the past two years of which 29 were from the website. I would also like to thank Ian Tilley for all his hard work as web master, his dedication has helped make this work by ensuring that any search on the google search engine shows the benimar club, without this we would have no new members and probably no club!!

Cutting expenditure – I had looked into ways to reduce the clubs costs and cutting out our ACCEO ‘personal’ membership fees and joining as ‘club’ members was a way we could save the most money. Due to the nature of the due dates and the timing of the AGM, 2009 is the first year we have been able to pay as a club saving us approximately £300 per annum for the same service. For this reason I believe we can keep our UK membership at £12 per annum.

Spending club funds – of course you cannot save money without spending a little so with the help of Paul from BCS who contributed towards the costs, we purchased 2 new industrial gazebos to replace our “already” worn out gazebos. For those who have not seen these, we will have them at the AGM.

Increasing Membership – Another idea was given to me from an email I received from June Perfect from Hampshire in the UK. That was to introduce ‘global’ membership to help increase club members, club funds and offer overseas friendship with the possibility of overseas holiday exchange for our club members. We now have our first UK / NZ member, Tim & June Perfect who own a Benimar located in NZ and are looking for a BOC member who wishes to do a holiday exchange. Any member’s who wish to enquire further, please see the article June has put together in this magazine.

Unfortunately with the global economic situation, Benimar Spain have not been spending the money to increase imports into the UK market, therefore we can only gain new members from second hand sales and ex-rentals. This is another reason for wanting to introduce ‘global’ membership.

You have all heard me say this before but I will say it again… Your club needs you. We can only survive if we all push to increase membership. I list for your information ways you can help increase membership of 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 (see below). For as little as £12 (UK) membership per annum, you will receive club magazines through out the year, you are invited to join in club rallies plus you can make savings from a list of companies such as 10% discount from RvTex for Benimar spares, new installations and repairs not to mention discount on Motorhome insurance with Safeguard. Please refer to your handbook for other savings. Although RvTex is the only company in the UK that you can get Benimar Spares from, it doesn’t mean you have to own a Benimar to get these savings, RvTex will give you 10% off what ever your make & model providing you’re a BOC member.

I look forward to seeing you all at the AGM at Peterborough

Alan Williams

 

ODDS & ENDS

FOR SALE

1..As new FIAMMA ULTRA – BOX 1 TOP. £130.00.

2..Unused OMNISTOR SAFARI ROOM will fit 3.5 metre AWNING,

e.g. BENIMAR ANTHUS SL £185.00.

SPACE NEEDED.

Contact Jeff Radford 01623 634650 (Nottinghamshire).

WPC 2008

Only one entry to date :- Bottle Openers from Jo and Alan

For new members who may totally confused, I run a “Worst Postcard Competition” each year. I award a fabulous prize at the AGM to the person who sends in the card that meets the criteria “Who would buy this card except to enter it in a Worst Postcard Competition” So come on get searching and do your bit – it will help Royal Mail stay solvent too.

Ron Smith

PETERBOROUGH 2009.

It is St Georges Day on Thurs 23rd April . Roger, Helen and I are hoping to do a St George’s Supper on Friday 24th, a day late but who cares. If you have any flags, hats, dragon outfits etc etc bring them along for effect decorating the gazebos. During the course of the weekend there will be the usual raffle, so please look in your drawers and cupboards for unwanted items that can be raffled off . We look forward to seeing you all on 23rd April.

Mary P.

DIARY DATES

Please See The Diary Page

Top