Issue 32 – January 2009

 

P8120012.[5]

Did he call on you?

EDITORS COLUMN

Another year has ended – where on earth did 2008 go?
I hope that you all had a good Festive Season. Judy and I spent our second Christmas in Spain, away from all the hype and commercialism that typifies Christmas in the UK. It is so much more low key here and all the better for it.
Our family are all in the UK though, so we flew back for a couple of weeks to see them (and to get this magazine out to all of you).
It has been a colder winter than usual in Spain so far, but not quite as cold as in the UK I am glad to say.
With the current economic climate showing no signs of recovery we will have to accept that Benimar will not be relaunching in the UK for some considerable time. This bad news has been somewhat offset by their offer to Club Members of worthwhile discounts by buying direct from the factory.
I think that we have to accept that there will be very few new Benimars being sold in the UK for some time so the main source of new members has dried up. The rental companies will still provide the market with ex-rental ‘vans.
To maintain Club membership at a viable level needs every member to ensure that any Benimar owner they encounter knows about the Club
Don’t forget that the Club AGM will take place on the Saturday of the National Motorhome Show at Peterborough in April. Please try and attend the AGM even if you can’t make the whole rally.

Judy and I wish you all A Happy and Prosperous New Year
and look forward to meeting you somewhere in 2009.
The next issue is due out early in April. Input to me by March 25th at the latest please

RonSmith


 

PICKERING RALLY

Ray & Carol Beach

This event was our first attempt as marshals at a major rally our previous experiences at being marshals were small affairs with only maximum of six vans, so we were determined to get this right. Well Carol and I arrived at the Pickering showground on the Wednesday about one o’clock in the afternoon, we parked up and made our way over to the information tent.
There we were shown on a map where the Benimar site was located, we returned to our van and drove to the designated area. At the site both Carol and I wondered how we were going to park 15 vans as there was so much water and mud in the center of the field it looked impossible, we went back to the information tent to see if we could get a better site or if the organisers could do something about the drainage. This proved to be a pointless exercise as we were told that the whole showground area had to be rearranged as many parts of original fields was still water logged.
We returned to our van and started to work out how best to accommodate all the vans, we were advised by the Chief Marshal that there was enough room to give all vans approximately 10 x 8 meters for each so we pegged out most of plots to the best as we could. I had a problem with parking my van as I became bogged down the ground was really soft so rather than trying move to another position we decided to stay put because it was level and would worry about getting the van out of the rut on the day we leave.
While Carol was making our tea I went on a reconnaissance to find out where everything was. First noted was how close we were to the essential facilities such as fresh water, showers and toilets. Second how close we were to the entertainments building and finally it turned out to be a fair walk to the exhibition area. The main entertainment building proved to be much better than the usual marquee more room and a proper bar where I seemed to get served much quicker. There was also an area where you could get hot meals and hot drinks and you didn’t have to leave the building, however the toilets which consisted of Portaloos were out side the building.
Thursday saw the arrival of nine vans, each were greeted with a cup of tea and a welcome pack that consisted of a rough agenda and two quizzes. All had a choice of where they wanted to park and seemed to be happy with their pitches given the circumstances, one van that was booked to come on Thursday for some unknown reason failed to show. The evening entertainment offerings were country band, Henry Smith Country Dreams and Party dance band Nightfly unfortunately Carol and I didn’t go but reports say that it was a good night.

Friday saw the arrival of the remainder of booked vans and as on the previous day each were greeted a cup of tea and given the welcome pack. At ten o’clock the welcome coffee morning took place, it was nice to see and meet people who for them it was their first time at a Benimar rally.

Pete & Margaret had set up a shop out side their van as they had lots of camping gear to sell, ranging from an electric bike to chairs and other useful items. Friday evenings entertainment was provided by two bands Country Band Crazy Dog who played music for the line dancers and a bit of RnR. A Tribute band Infantasia who for me done a very good take off of Freddy Mercury and Prince and many others.
Saturday with all the vans in gave Carol and myself a chance to go round the exhibition, the weather was lovely and warm and sunny. There were the usual stalls selling stuff to fill our motor homes with and then we took a look at some new motor homes, all very nice but we didn’t really see anything that wanted us to go out and buy another van, not that we were thinking of changing. A serious situation arose during the day when Mel and Barbara told us that they had lost the keys to their van the previous evening when they returned from the entertainments hall quite late. Having knocked on the Varleys van for assistance with a powerful torch and retracing their steps back to the entertainments hall and alerting the security the keys remained unfound. Mel said that he was about smash a cab door window with a hammer but found a way in to his van through the garage which he had left unlocked, lucky for them they had brought the spare keys with them.
During the afternoon there was an unexpected arrival of Paul and Carylann, they were due to park up on the general site but saw the BOC signs and came over and asked if they could join the rally. This wasn’t a problem and they were made welcome and shown where to pitch their van and given a welcome pack. This made the total of 15 vans that were booked for the rally even though one van had failed to show.
The evening entertainment for Saturday wasn’t bad, for starters there was The Sound of The Drifters followed by a band called Giddea Park. Then the main event was Des O’Connor with his usual smooth anecdotal banter and repertoire of songs.
Sunday coffee morning at 10.00 o’clock started with the raffle which raised £43 which would go to the BOC. The money was presented to Ron Smith who in turn said that he would forward the money on to Alan Williams (the BOC Treasurer). The raffle nearly had to be cancelled because we were unable to get any raffle tickets but due an excellent idea from Carol and her hard work she made all 200 tickets by hand, working quite late in to the night to finish them. There were plenty of prizes to be won, (16 in all) ranging from a bottle of wine to nick-nack stuff. Thank you to all those who contributed prizes to the raffle. Next came the answers to the quizzes the general knowledge went to a tie break question and eventually won by Mel and Barbara – they won a bottle of Hock. The picture quiz was won by John and Angie, they walked away with a five litre box of red wine. So that no one would feel being left out a booby prize for the least amount of correct answers was up for grabs which was an empty plastic egg cup, this prize was won by Frances and Colin. Crisps cakes and buns were provided and a special thanks to my Sister-in-Law Janice whom some of you may know attended Twinwood, she made the tasty mince pies.
Sunday’s evening entertainment was very good, kicking off with a 60s RnR band called The Rapiers they mainly played all the Shadows hits and music that you could jive to. They were followed by the brilliant Ivy League who again put an excellent performance that only they can do with a mixture of clowning around playing their hits from the past and other 60s hits.
Monday morning the weather had changed for the worst as it was overcast and threatening to rain. The morning also saw the departures of Colin and Frances, Peter and Margaret, Mel and Barbara and few more others, for the rest of us the day proved to be very eventful as Bruce and Janet had sorted out information about trips to Whitby on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Carol and I decided to join Bruce and Janet and Mary and the rest of the gang which consisted of Ron and Judy, Dennis and Beryl and Ian and Agnes. Joining us were our two friends Tony and Joyce and their two friends all from the Hymer club. We all set off from the showground about 10:00 o’clock and walked to Pickering station to catch the 11 o’clock train. There was a special fare price on offer which for seniors was two for the price of £17 00p, I think most of us took up the offer.
We all boarded the train on it’s arrival and it departed at 11 o’clock, before the trains departure there was plenty of time to obtain photos of the type of steam loco that would be pulling the our rake of coaches. The train was only going as far as Grosmont, however the Guard who was checking tickets advised us that if we got off the stop before which was Goathland we could walk up the hill from the station and see the film settings of the TV program Heartbeat. We would then have an hour to catch the following train from Goathland to Whitby. Carol and I took the advice and had a walk about the village of Aidensfield. We saw the village Green and Scripp’s Garage and had a quick look in The Aidensfield Arms returning to Goathland station to catch the 12 o’clock to Whitby.

The 12 o’clock pulled in to the platform in all its majesty, The engine that was pulling the rake of coaches was one of the most famous locomotives ever built the SIR NIGEL GRESLEY 60007. Arriving in the platform tender first it was one of the most beautiful sights that I’ve ever seen since my train spotting days as a child and like then I was in aura of this huge machine breathing fire and smoke as it slowly came to a halt.

Again there was plenty of time for railway enthusiasts to indulge in taking as many photos as they could before the train departed and I have to admit that I was one of them. Back on the train again we chuntered off to the next station Grosmont. I believe that we had an engine change here for when we finally arrived at Whitby there was a Southern region engine that had pulled our rake of coaches in to the platform, I think it was of the Schools class? After taking more photos I managed to catch up with Carol who was now in the company of Bruce and Janet and Mary. As we wandered around the Whitby sea front it was becoming increasingly cold the wind had got up and I was glad to have put on a warm coat on. The sky was still overcast with the threat of rain was still in the air, we decided that it would better to dive up one of the side streets to keep out of the wind. It was at that point we ran into Ian and Agnes, poor Ian he only had a thin bomber jacket and he looked quite cold. We all carried on walking and looking in several shops keeping us out of the cold.

As time was getting on the thought of dinner was entering everyone’s heads so we started to look for a restaurant called the Magpie Cafe as we were told that this was one of the best places to eat in Whitby. A short walk back along the sea front we found it however there was quite queue but we decided to wait even though it was cold it looked a nice place from the outside and it had been recommended. Anyway we didn’t have to wait to long as we were looking for a table for seven and there was one available so we were able to jump the queue. This was a bit cheeky as there were only five of us because somehow we had become separated from Ian and Agnes while shopping. Bruce and Janet went to look for them whilst Carol and I queued up with Mary, they returned saying they’d walked back to where they last saw them but they were no where to be seen. We were shown to our table and once sat down we ordered our meals from the menu, I had plaice chips and peas and lovely it was too and the price was not bad either. Carol and I would look out at times to see if Ian and Agnes were walking along as we were sat next to a window over looking the street but by the time we’d finished our food we had to assumed they were making their way back to the station.

When we’d finished eating we had just over an hour to get back to the station to catch the 6 o’clock train back to Pickering.
This was the last train of the day from Whitby and as you can imagine the platform was full of day trippers returning home.
As before the railway buffs were out armed with their cameras at the ready. The train came into the platform but we had to wait about twenty minutes before we could board as the engine had to be shunted to what would now be the front end of the train. Once that had been done we were all allowed to board the train and the journey got underway. The running time was about an hour and half and by the time we reached our final destination Pickering it was dark. I had one more photo shoot to do that was of an engine I hadn’t seen before after being uncoupled from the rake of coaches that we had travelled on. The engine was chuffing its way back through the platform one final click of my shutter release button and it was the end to a brilliant day. Catching up with others we made our way back to the showground in the dark.

Tuesday it was time for everyone left on site to pack up their gear and leave, we all said our goodbyes and made our way home. Carol and I thought that weekend went well and hope everyone had a good time and look forward to marshalling next year’s Pickering/York Rally.

Finally Mel & Barbara’s van keys were found, they hadn’t gone very far as the keys were found in a compartment of Barbara’s bag. Mel said he couldn’t believe it as they had already checked the bag when they realised their keys were missing. Anyway everyone had a good laugh about it but it was nice to know their keys were back in safe hands because it was a worrying time for them not knowing what happened to their keys. We found out later that Ian & Agnes had made their way back to Pickering on an earlier train and went to a restaurant in town.

Many thanks, See you all next year.
Ray & Carol Beach

 

LOW EMISSION ZONES FOR GERMANY

The following is taken from the Official Tourism website of Germany and was supplied by Michael Bottle.
To improve the quality of life and most importantly the environment, 32 cities throughout Germany have, or are about to, implement new Low Emission Zones into which only vehicles displaying an “Emission Badge” are allowed to enter. Vehicles entering a Green Zone and not displaying a badge are likely to be fined €40.

To obtain an “Emission Badge” the only item required is a vehicle registration document (V5) and the vehicle itself.
In participating cities they are available from a wide range of outlets including repair centres, car dealers, MOT (Tuv)
stations and vehicle licensing offices. On the internet badges can be purchased before traveling to Germany from Tuv Nord or Tuv Sud.
Badges cost from €5 to €10, and they are valid for the life of the vehicle and throughout Germany.
For non-German registered vehicles, classification depends upon :-
a) date of registration
b) definition of vehicle
c) petrol or diesel
Emission Std Age Badge
Petrol <01/01/93 No Badge
Petrol >01/01/93 Green
Diesel <01/01/97 No badge
Diesel >01’/01/97<31/12/00 Red
Diesel >01/01/01 <31/12/05 Yellow
Diesel > 01/01/06 Green
From 2010 it is likely that only vehicles with a green or yellow badge will be allowed to enter a city center, although this
may vary and in some cities the phasing in period, with time and colour may be different.
The participating cities are:-
Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Hanover, Ilsfeld, Leonberg, Ludwigsburg, Marnheim, Munich, Nuremberg, Reutlingen,
Schwabisch-Gmund, Stuttgart, Tiubingen, and
Frankfurt, Regensburg – not confirmed.
From Jan 2010 :-
Darmstadt, Freiburg, Heidelburg, Karlsruhe, Muhlacker, Pforzheim, Pleidelsheim
Date TBA :-
Augsburg, Braunshweig, Dresden, Duesseldorf, Essen, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Ruhr area, Ulm.
I was told that they are manufactured in the same factory in Italy (near to FIAT).
GPS & Radar Devices
It is against the law to carry a device which can interfere or predict, or detect the location of any official traffic monitoring device including and especially mobile or static cameras.
The standard fine for this is €75. GPS or sat nav must have speed camera facility disabled before entering Germany.

 

BENIMAR NEWS

I visited the NEC in October even though Benimar was not present. On the Chausson stand their Flash 02 panel van conversion looked surprisingly like the Benivan 180. I was told that they are both made in a factory in Italy, close to where the FIAT chassis are made.
The Chausson Welcome overcab model looks like it has the same exterior but quite different inside.

The following email was received from Benimar :-
The 24 and 25 of January, in Benicarló ( First Town near the factory), they have the Artichoke Party, with a lot of cooking activities and good offers in the local restaurants. This year, we collaborate in one motorhome concentration near the factory, in the Commercial center “Costa de Azahar” (200 m. distance). For that, we are going to present Saturday morning all of the Benimar products in our factory and, also, we organize some factory visits at the same moment.
We want to invite the BOC members to this event. Probably, you have some colleagues in Spain in this period…
Please, don’t hesitate to contact me for more information.
Best regards and Merry Christmas and happy New Year
Fernando Ortiz
Benimar Ocarsa SA

Buy Direct from Benimar – special offer to Club Members
Benimar is very happy to have people like you promoting the brand continuously. Unfortunately this year, with the economic storm, it was impossible to start again in the UK market as planned.
But Benimar want to propose a special offer for the members of the Benimar Owners Club:

Buy the vehicles DIRECTLY from the factory with very important discounts!
The idea is to propose this option to the members exclusively. The members who are interested could contact Encarni, our sales secretary
(e-mail: info@benimar.es).
In this case, the members should pick up the vehicle in the factory. Afterwards, RVTEX will continue providing the after sales service like today.
We think that could be a very good save for the members.
Best regards
Fernando Ortiz
Benimar Managing Director

 

ELCHE – CITY OF PALMS

Michael Bottle
ELCHE, or ELX as is in Valencian terms, situated about 23km from Alicante Spain, is a city of two ages, the old and the modern. The modern consists of large apartment blocks and departmental stores, such as Carrefour, Aki, C&A plus Eroski and others. The roads in and around the city are mostly modern and wide allowing for a reasonable traffic flow with good motorways Autovia (free) and Autopistas (peage) linking it with Alicante and Madrid and down toward Granada.

The old part of the city has many interesting features such as the archaeological and history museum where you can find out about the cultural legacy of the civilizations which populated the area and to explore their way of life. There are also ways to delve into their 2500 year history.

Elche as is now is different from old when there were the old Iberian and Roman buildings located at the La Alcuida site, and today’s city founded by the Muslim conquerors which was relocated two km further to the north. Various changes came about in the 16th and 17th centuries when it went from living with Islam to the uniformity of the Spanish Monarchy.

The urban landscape in Elche is rather unique as most of the Elx Palm Groves which are the largest in Europe, are to be found within the city. A lot of these have been designated as areas for the public to enjoy. These Palmerar are recognized by UNESCO World Heritage. The Palm Groves are protected by a law that is an incentive to its maintenance. The palm tree gives dates and white palms, which are the main element for Palm Sunday and the Misteri d’Elx, in which an angel descends with a white palm from heaven and hands it over to Our Lady The Virgin Mary. The most visited groves are in the Park Municipal, the Huerto del Cura, the park Jaume 1, park del Filet de For a and the Hort de Sant Placid where the palm groves museum is situated. The palm tree forest (Palmera d’Elx) is thought to have been started by the Phoenicians in the 6th century BC, but was mostly designed and irrigated by the Arab occupation of the 8th to 13th centuries.

The forest covers an area of about 430 hectares with over 200,000 trees. One of the most impressive is the famous Imperial Palm which is a 7 branched tree all from one trunk and this stands in the center of the garden of the Huerto del Cura.

More information can be found at the museum which is located in the Park Municipal

Passeig de l’Estacio. Opening times are; Mon-Fri 10am to 1900pm, Sat, Sun and Festivals: 10am to 1400pm. Or telephone; 965426 217

 

DOLORES – ALICANTE

Michael & Dawn Bottle
Dolores is in the Vega Baja region of Spain and is located approx 14km south of the city of Elche along the AP7 autovia in the southerly direction toward Murcia. From the French / Spanish border at the Tunnel Somport of the Atlantic side of the Pyrenees it is approx’ 475 miles to Dolores, or 439 miles from French /Spanish border via the A7 toll road on the
Mediterranean side.

The village is set in a Rustic area where most of the terrain is farmed, growing mainly artichokes and alfalfa, with a mix of plantations growing oranges, olives, lemons and pomegranate fruits and is about 10km from the sea. It has a fabulous climate and there are plenty of walking or cycling routes around with flat terrain. Also there is the Hondo Nature Park just a few minutes from the town where bird watchers can see various types coming and going along the small lakes and reeds. About 12km to the north are the mountains of the Sierra de Crevillente and when the sun is shining on them they just beg to be explored, they range through to Elche where they appear to join with the Sierra de Tabia at Alicante. Quite often you can see hot air balloons in the sky headed their way so that people can get a magnificent view of them together with the surrounding country and also the Mediterranean Sea.

There is continual spraying of the crops, most of this spraying is done by hand by the smaller farmers though the better off use tractors and mechanical equipment, to rid them of the various pests that are associated with the hot climate that prevails in this area.

A unique watering system that has been handed down from the roman times is to be found, in that there are large water channels flowing along a main course by the road side, from which there are arteries that divide and sub-divide down to the fields to where the farmers have sluice gates to each individual plot. The fields are watered on an 18 day cycle with each landowner having a specified time allowed to open his sluice gate to flood their land, and this time is governed by the size of their square meterage.

An amount of building for private dwellings is going on at the moment, but with restrictions on height, only two floors high, except in the urban district where there are apartment blocks, and if the property is in some of the rustic area, as opposed to the town, then legal build should only be allowed on 10000m2. This is to preserve the agricultural aspect of the area.

Various festivals are held in Dolores throughout the year, such as: Feria y Fiestas de Agosto usually held in the first
weekend of August. Spanish farmers and horse breeders come from many places in Spain to exhibit their stock. It is a very festive occasion with much food and wine, and concerts by various performers.
Then there is the Holy Week, and the Fiesta de la Virgin. Not to forget “Friendship Day” which is when the villagers led by the mayor, invite al the non Spanish residents to a big marquee for celebration drinks and paellas, this is a very friendly party with music and dancing until late in the evening.

The town comprises of all the shops that are necessary for day to day living but should you require the large
hypermarkets such as Eroski or Carrefour, then these can be found at Elche (16km) or Torrevieja (20km) in the opposite direction. Also there is a typical Spanish market each Friday in the main street of Dolores where the farmers and smallholders bring in their fresh produce for sale, together with stalls selling a varied assortment of clothing and
shoes (Elche and the surrounding towns are renowned for their manufacture of footwear selling all over Europe).

There is planned a large golf course just on the outskirts of town which will add another source of income to the town and its people.
We have been going to Dolores for the last 6 years and enjoy the company of the friendly people and their way of life.

Camp sites in the area:
La Marina, open all year, catagory1, off the N-332 km76 .Prices vary according to time of year and length of stay, This is a full facility site adjacent to the beach. About 26km to Alicante,9km Dolores,12km Elche

Bahia De Santa Pola, open all year 2nd category site with pool, off the N332 Km 88, with 452pitches. 16km to Dolores

 

RvTex

Ian, at RvTex, reminds you all not to forget to have an annual damp check. If you don’t the consequences can be quite expensive. If you visit their website www.rvtex.co.uk there is a slide show of a Benimar having a new roof fitted.

Our hourly rate will be going up to £45 / hour as of 01/11/08. We have held them back for as long as we could but due
to rent rises etc. we now have to raise them.

 

FROM THE FORUM

Alan Williams writes:-
The bodywork on my motorhome was looking rather yellow with the UV sunlight. RvTex recommended using Farecla Advanaced G3 Liquid Compound, its like a T Cut for professionals, apply with circular movements with a damp cloth, keep spraying water onto the area for extra smooth coverage, leave to dry then buff or wash off to leave a clean white van again. Severe discolouring may take a couple of applications but I am pleased with mine so far.
Purchase available from paints4u<dot>com 01724 854916 cost is £23.86+Vat+Delivery for a Litre bottle – I have only used a tenth of the bottle as spraying water as you clean helps spread the liquid, making it go further.

Lisa Smitherman replies:-
Alan, I would just like to point out that the information you have kindly supplied about the polish clearly demonstrates that you have been spending far too much time with Gary! (Jo, be afraid – very afraid!!)

 

ODDS & ENDS

Sussex Rally

Pip and Vic tell me that the show where we held our rally this year raised £6000 for the Chestnut Tree Children’s Hospice.
They wish to thank all those who participated, especially the younger members.

Lost in Translation

You may have seen the Welsh road sign which appeared in the press in early November
English reads:- No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only.
The Welsh translation reads :- “I am out of the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated”.
Apparently Swansea council contacted it’s in-house translation department, no one was in, and an automated e-mail was sent back.
This reminds me of my early days at Rolls-Royce when we were experimenting with computer translation programs. To test them we send a phrase to be translated, and then translate it back.
On one occasion “Out of Sight, out of mind “ came back as “Invisible Idiot”.

ANPR Checks

Is your motorhome, car, motorbike or scooter on the national insurance database? That is what the police check if you are spotted in an ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) check. These are increasingly being used by Police.
Even if your vehicle is insured it may not be on the national database because your insurance company has not put it on. If you can’t provide proof there and then to the Police, they can impound your vehicle. May be a good idea to carry a copy of your insurance certificate and a copy of your V5 in the vehicle.
Anyway you can check if your vehicle is on the database by visiting www.askmid.co.uk.

 

WPC 2008

3 more entries , making a total of 10 for the year. Well down on previous years.
Burana Reflections from anon (let me know if it is you – it is much too nice to stand a chance of winning though) and Cycling Holiday from Roy Gill
Fat Bikini from Honor & Tim Hewitt

 

MEMBERSHIP

Alan Williams
Firstly, I would like to wish all our members a very happy, healthy & prosperous new year.
Well what a year we have all had, the unexpected credit crunch affecting so many people all over the world. Times are tough for a lot of you out there and the thought of buying a new Motorhome may be the last thing on your mind let alone managing to keep the one you already have. I hope things improve fast for everyone.
For the club to continue to survive, membership numbers must increase. I fear the number of new members for the coming year may be disappointing due to the lack of motorhome sales, so, PLEASE, I urge all of you to help with the fight to increase the membership and survival of your club.
Remember, not only new Benimar Owners are welcome but also:-
– If you’re a member and you change your Benimar you can still remain as an associate member enjoying the benefits and discounts (see below).
– If you own a Benimar and have other Motorhome friends that do not own a Benimar, you can still introduce them as an associate member.
For as little as £12 membership per annum, you can receive 10% discount from RvTex for Benimar spares, new installations and repairs not to mention discount on Motorhome insurance with safeguard and other savings you can find in the handbook.
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.
To give you an example, we recently had our Benimar floor injected with resin together with other repairs and spares from RvTex, the cost was £550 and we saved ourselves £55 (over 4 years of membership!) and whilst we was there another BOC member was having a whole new roof fitted with a cost of £2,500 (saving them £250.00 just for having a £12 subscription) So remember £12 can save you £’s
A warm welcome to our new members: –
Geoffrey & Sandra Jones from Shropshire
John Cliffard & Kim Woodward from Bristol
Members not renewing for 2009: –
Gary & Carol White
Roger & Jean Jacques
John & Diana Kilshaw
Ray & Denise Leach
John & Miriam Hopkinson
James Flynn & Mary Hopper
Gerald & Jill Dickerson
(Special thanks to Gerald for his hard work as Auditor for the BOC club over the years)
Pip Rowe & Vic Paine
(Special thanks to Pip & Vic for all their support & Rallies over the years)
Frank & Eunice Brown
Ray & Margaret Craven
Stephen & Lorraine Fitzgerald
William & Patricia Whiting
Members who haven’t renewed (yet) or have sent payment, not yet received
Paul & Jane Beckford
Timothy & Meryl Clark
Tom & Jo Foster
Paul & Susan Hollingsbee
Gloria House
Derek Merkl & Sue Wright
Richard & Gillian Mills
Carylann Williamson & Paul Moslin
Anthony & Elizabeth Sydenham
BOC Statistics
Membership at the turn of the year is 133 members ~ (66 couples & 1 Single)
(Last year was 121 members ~ 60 couples and 1 single)
Members not renewing – 12 (Last year was 18)
Members not renewed yet – 11
There were 25 new members joined in 2008 compared with 9 in 2007
Members consist of:-
Members (owning a Benimar) 48
Associate (not owning a Benimar) 18
The 8th AGM will be held at National Motorhome Show at Peterborough on the 25th April 2009
Have a safe New Year and happy Motorhoming
Alan Williams

 

MEMBERS LETTERS

Cautionary Tale
Ian Tilley

Just a note to say what has happened re a Tyre blowout whilst returning from Spain.
The Tyre failed just south of Abbeyville on the Motorway while it was raining, doing 60MPH on cruise control. I managed to pull safely onto the hard shoulder.
I called 17 to alert the police which you have to do in France on a Motorway.
I managed to get the spare wheel out from under the van and slackened the wheel nuts on the burst tyre.
Unfortunately I couldn’t lift the van with the scissor jack supplied (not man enough for the job) and had to wait for a breakdown truck
Before it arrived a French Roadworks Van appeared and it had the flashing arrows on the back and they also coned me off as well.

Rather kind even although I had my own triangles on the road.
The breakdown van arrived and he brought out a small hydraulic jack with a short handle. He put the jack forward of the rear wheel but could not lift the van.
He went back to his van and brought out an extension to the handle and with much puffing and panting lifted the wheel off the ground.
He had actually lifted the complete side of the van off the road!!!

So at last he got the wheel off and the spare one on. Back in business again and off slowly to the UK.
Once home I got in touch with our local ATS tyre fitting depot and they fitted a new Aegilis Camping tyre.
They decided to send the burst tyre back to Michelin for inspection.
The burst tyre was fitted in 2003 – Michelin XC Camping but what I didn’t realise it was dated 2001.
The tyre had done approx 40,000 miles on the back with still 7-8mm of tread. I run the rear tyres at 78psi. appropriate to the weight carried as I am careful regarding weights and pressures. The Beni was uprated in 2003 from 3850 to 4150 in total.
In 4 weeks time I received a letter from Michelin saying that the tyre had a faulty bead and they gave a full refund for it!
A flap about 4″ wide had blown off the bead, snapped the steel wires but was still attached to the tread.

Back to ATS and had another new tyre fitted on the other rear side to replace the second Michelin XC camping, again, year 2001, with a new one.
One point is that at ATS the operator nearly fitted a standard Aegilis tyre which is normally fitted to delivery vans but
will only take a maximum of 69 psi. It does NOT have “camping” marked on the tyre
Again the moral of the story is, nowadays the tyre manufacturing date is clearly marked on the tyres, not as it used to be with a code.
Tyres should be changed every 5 years no matter how good the tread is, as a sensible precaution.
Also :- DO NOT OVERLOAD YOUR CAMPER.

 

ULVERSTON RALLY

ULVERSTON DICKENSIAN XMAS RALLY REPORT – Chris Baines
Arriving on a sunny but cold Tuesday afternoon we found Bardsea campsite in Ulverston a very pleasant site within an old quarry. The shower rooms were superb, very large and heated. Mary, Lorna and Nichol arrived just after us. We were booked in until Thursday morning and then planned to move to the rally site in Ford Park for the weekend festivities.
On Wednesday morning, Roy, Sylvia, Shirley, Harry and Jasper the dog, came to meet us. They took us for a walk to see the beautiful Conishead Priory Buddist Temple.

Unfortunately it started to rain on the way, but we walked on past the Temple through the woods to Priory Point looking out across Morecombe Bay from Furness Peninsular and across to Cartmel Peninsular. After walking along the beach and through fields back towards the campsite we stopped at the ‘Old Farmhouse’ Pub for a hearty lunch.
Due to the rain, Roy was becoming concerned about the state of the ground at Ford Park. As there would be no hard standing we decided to try and book further nights at the campsite. Unfortunately they were fully booked for the weekend but we did manage to stay one extra night. In the evening we were collected and taken to Shirley and Harry’s house for an enjoyable evening of drinks and nibbles.
On Thursday morning it was still raining, so after breakfast we all went up to town for coffee at ‘The Farmers’. Later,
while walking around the town, we heard the Town Crier and strolled around the busy market in the square. Passing
Woolworth’s, it was decided there were bargains to be had, and five hand mixers and one toaster later we felt Woolies had done rather well out of the BOC.
Some members set off back to the campsite while others went back to ‘The Farmers’ for lunch.
By the time we returned to the campsite Helen and Roger had arrived. In the evening we all walked up to Sylvia and Roy’s house for another evening of drinks, nibbles and chat. Leaving at half past midnight to walk back to the campsite, the men took the longer road route while the ladies decided on a short cut through the cemetery. As the men were nowhere in sight but hearing them in the distance we hid in the dark behind the cemetery gates, after a while hearing footsteps four ladies jumped out shouting ‘Boo’ at a complete stranger !!!!!
On Friday morning it was still raining and Roy decided it was far too wet to go on to Ford Park, so two vans parked on his drive and three next to Harry and Shirley’s as Bruce and Janet had also arrived. In the afternoon everyone went into town for drinks in the Farmers and then on to a Thai Restaurant, finally ending the evening back at Sylvia and Roy’s for coffee. Saturday, the start of the Festival, was very cold and foggy but the streets were full of stalls and people in Victorian costumes. A Steam bus was giving rides around the town, steaming everyone’s clothes as they passed the bus stop.
Brass Bands and The St Andrews Pipe Band provided us with superb music, and there seemed to be an event at every corner of the town, far too many to see them all. One of the main events of the afternoon was the Grand Procession of Costumes and Carriages and a Period Costume competition. This was followed by ‘The Ulverston Town Band’ and the ‘switching on’ of the Christmas lights by one Gerald Dickens, the Great – Great – Grandson of Charles Dickens.
The Victoria High School Swing Band played at the Finale, while the fireworks in the background could be heard but not seen for the fog!
After dinner in the vans we were back in to Roy’s to watch ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ on TV. Sunday morning we awoke to a heavy frost that lasted all day. After a cooked breakfast get-together we caught the bus into town.
The stalls were still very busy and it was not easy to move around the crowded streets, so the mulled wine stalls provided a welcome stop and were much appreciated and frequented.
A Carol concert featuring the ‘Ulverston Town Band’ was held in the Market Place followed by a torchlight procession to the Methodist Church. The Festival ended with a concert by the Victoria High School Big Band and a Grand Finale of fireworks.
By this time, being rather cold and hungry everyone met up at a Chinese Restaurant for a very tasty and filling Chinese
Buffet.
Our Heartfelt thanks go to Sylvia, Roy, Shirley and Harry for their generous hospitality, for without their ‘CLs’ it would
have been a cold muddy weekend in Ford Park.

 

MORE ODDS & ENDS

The Husband Store
A brand new store has just opened in New York City that sells Husbands.
When women go to choose a husband, they have to follow the instructions at the entrance:- ‘You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are 6 floors and the value of the products increase as you ascend the flights. You may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you CANNOT go back down except to exit the building!
So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband.
On the 1st floor the sign on the door reads:
Floor 1 – These men have jobs.

The 2nd floor sign reads:
Floor 2 – These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.
The 3rd floor sign reads:
Floor 3 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids and are extremely good looking.
‘Wow,’ she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.
She goes to the 4th floor and the sign reads

Floor 4 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help with Housework.
‘Oh, mercy me!’ she exclaims, ‘I can hardly stand it!’
Still, she goes to the 5th floor and sign reads:
Floor 5 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, help with Housework and Have A Strong Romantic Streak.
She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the 6th floor and the sign reads:
Floor 6 – You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store .
To avoid gender bias charges, the store’s owner opens a New Wives store just across the street.
The 1st floor has wives that love sex.
The 2nd floor has wives that love sex and have money.
The 3rd through 6th floors have never been visited.
————————–
Thanks to Mike & Liby Hixson for the above.

 

DICKENSIAN WEEKEND 2009

Roy Gill
Those who attended the Dickensian Weekend at the end of November in Ulverston, will I think agree with me that it would have been foolish to put our motorhomes on the field we had booked. It rained quite a lot on the day prior to moving on.
Those who came early camped on our local campsite, which is only a mile from town centre and there is a bus stop quarter of a mile from the site.
The Dickensian Weekend will be on in 2009, the dates 28th and 29th of November.
With the field being a bit iffy, can I suggest if you want to come, book onto the campsite, the address is – Bardsea Leisure Park LA12 9QE, telephone – 01229 584712. The site does get busy for that weekend.
Any queries give me a shout.
PS there is a pub near the bus stop

 

DIARY DATES

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