Issue 26 – June 2007

 

 

Anne & Brian checking the height of their Benimar in Germany

James_OKeefe_hands_over_van

EDITORS COLUMN

I was hoping to feature a preview of next years Benimars on the front but Peter Duff from Vivanti has not been able to supply me with the info in time for this issue. So I have had to make do with two old folk and their new Perseo.
I managed to speak to Judith Tynan of Vivanti and she told me that Peter Duff had not been able to see the 2008 model preview as planned. Hopefully there will be a lot of good news from them by the time the next issue is due.
The AGM went off smoothly and there is a brief resume, on page 12, for those who did not attend. I would like to welcome Alan Williams onto the Committee, taking on the Treasurer and Membership Secretary posts.
He has sorted out the mix-up of ACCEO membership and you should all be personal members again by now.
Together with this magazine I am including the latest edition of the Handbook and a list of members’ e-mail addresses. If your e-mail address is incorrect please let me and Alan Williams know.

Also included is a new Membership Application Form for you to keep in your ‘van ready for any unsuspecting Benimar owners you may come across. If you have an old version of the form please destroy it.

By the time that you read this we will be making our way to France, where we hope to see the Tour de France in the Alps. I’ll let you know how we get on.

Enjoy your Summer and enjoy your Benimar and then enjoy writing about it for the magazine.

The next issue is due out by early October. Input to me by Sept 27th please

Ron Smith


 

MEMBERS’ LETTERS

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

At last! I have been looking forward so much to meeting Penimar. Ever since my Mum and Dad (Ann and Andrew Sheldrake) told me we were going to Peterborough and that I could finally meet the person I had heard so much about, I could hardly contain myself.
When we met I fell in love at once but for a moment I felt overdressed as I was wearing all my gardening clothes to boot! She looked very sexy in her bikini. As I have led a very sheltered life (I work in a walled garden) I was amazed to see such a wonderful bust (my Dad called them boobs). We got to know each other very quickly and we even shared a chair. We were still together and on our own in the awning when Peni`s new mum and dad went to bed. I was worried that my new friend would get cold in her bikini so I tried to keep her warm.
The next morning Dad came to collect me and hoped I had behaved myself. Peni`s parents said we had been very quiet and had not been any trouble to them at all. I thanked them for having me and they said that we would meet again. I can’t wait.
heard Ron talking to Dad about me and he said that Dad was as silly as the rest of B.O.C. I don’t think he meant it rudely as he was smiling. Mum says Dad is silly too but I think he is very normal and sensible and Dad agrees with me.
In general I have been impressed by the B.O.C. folk. They are very friendly and there is always good humoured banter as well as help and advice if needed. I am really pleased Mum and Dad introduced me to motorhoming and B.O.C. Just think I would not have met my new soul mate otherwise.
At the follow-on rally in Kings Lynn we all sat round after a quiz and I went round the circle and then someone threw me to Ron! Ron missed me and I fell on the grass. Luckily I was not injured but lay quite still, in shock. Ron looked down and said he thought I was dead! Afterwards I was recovering in Graham’s chair as he had left to do something on the computer with Ian. He came back and said I was in his chair and he picked me up and brought me down very roughly with one leg each side of a bar on another chair. That really did hurt! I hope I will be alright. I have gone off Graham, but I suppose I must forgive him (reluctantly) as he helped Dad with the van’s heating at Peterborough.
I will be going to France twice over the summer in our Benimar but I have got to persuade Mum and Dad to go to Lincoln as Peni said she would be there!
Love Benny Mar

THE LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL


Roy Gill

Sylvia and I decided to go to pick up our new Benimar from Limerick in Ireland, sailing overnight from Liverpool to Dublin, booking on line. Looking at the map of Liverpool and using our sat. nav. We decided on the M6 and M62, as that brought us closer to the terminal for P&O Irish Sea Ferries. We left earlier than we really needed, for it was Easter Monday and the M6 can be busy with Lake District traffic.
After not much delay we arrived at the ferry terminal, only to be told the ferry does not sail from this dock. He gave us directions for the correct dock, off we went, checking with a pedestrian en route to be certain. Keep on and follow the signs to Dublin and the Isle of Man was his reply. This we did and after some delay due to road works we reached the head of the queue. To be told, this was the Isle of Man ferry, but he gave us directions to where we should go. Following his directions we came to the first place we had been to, where a different person obviously used to this, pressed a button and out popped directions, with the verbal, follow the directions to Freeport. No problem, came to traffic lights and a sign Freeport left, did this, a hundred yards down the road a set of closed gates with a message – if closed, go to some other gates. By this time I was a little frayed around the edges, taking out my mobile telephone, which had not much juice left in it, I telephoned P&O, requesting from which dock the ferry sailed. Of course there is all the palaver of buttons, finally a young lady told me the ferry sailed from Gladstone Dock, when asked where the said dock was located, I was told Liverpool. Count to ten.
Nearby was a pub, decided to go and ask in there, as I went in a guy was coming out in motorcycle gear, I asked him, luck was on our side, he offered to lead us to the dock as he worked there and was on his way to work.
We arrived at the dock, used mainly for lorries, there were about six other private vehicles waiting. The procedure would never work at Dover and other car ferry ports, you are called forward individually, a gate is locked behind you and your documentation checked. If you are a car you are searched, for us, he told us to make sure our gas was off.
The ferry itself was okay, but the loading the lorries have to back on, we went onto the ferry and up a long ramp and between a steel wall and lorries. To off load, you have to back to the head of the ramp, turn and drive off. Not recommended for anyone trailing.
The same ferry coming back, hit the Dublin rush hour (not to be recommended) that is another story. When we were off loading a lorry broke down on the ramp and we were sat in the van for an hour and a half before we could leave.
Needless to say we were glad to be home.
As a footnote, do not have an import if you want the vehicle within ten days of picking it up, as we did to go to Peterborough. It entailed four trips to Carlisle, each trip 160 miles.
A footnote, we are happy with the Perseo 560

THANK YOU


Dennis and Beryl Peer

We would like to thank all members of the boc who helped Beryl and myself when I was taken ill and taken to Kings Lynn hospital. Many thanks to Graham and Chris for transporting us to and from the hospital, also thanks Julia and Alex for taking Basil our dog for walks,
Thanks to Ian and Agnes for the use of their phone when Beryl’s phone stopped working the phone was soon repaired thanks to Chris and Graham and it is still working.
Thanks every one who enquired after me when the hospital kept me in over night
It is great to belong to such great club thank you all again for your help and support it was much appreciated
I am glad to say I am over the worst and raring to getting travelling again.


 

Only British

Being British is about driving in a German car to an Irish pub for a Belgian beer and then travelling home, grabbing an Indian curry or a Turkish kebab on the way, to sit on Swedish furniture and watch American shows on a Japanese TV.
Oh and only in Britain can a pizza get to your house faster than
an ambulance.
Only in Britain do supermarkets make sick people walk all the way to the back of the shop to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.
Only in Britain do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries and a DIET coke.
Only in Britain do banks leave both doors open and chain the pens to the counters.
Only in Britain do we leave cars worth thousands of pounds on the drive and lock our junk and cheap lawn mower in the garage.
Only in Britain do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won’t miss a call from someone we didn’t want to talk to in the first place.
Only in Britain are there disabled parking places in front of a skating rink.
….. Not to mention….
3 Brits die each year testing if a 9v battery works on their tongue.
142 Brits were injured in 1999 by not removing all pins from new shirts.
58 Brits are injured each year by using sharp knives instead of screwdrivers.
31 Brits have died since 1996 by watering their Christmas tree while the fairy lights were plugged in.
19 Brits have died in the last 3 years believing that Christmas decorations were chocolate.
British Hospitals reported 4 broken arms last year after cracker pulling accidents.
101 people since 1999 have had broken parts of plastic toys pulled out of the soles of their feet.
18 Brits had serious burns in 2000 trying on a new jumper with a lit cigarette in their mouth.
A massive 543 Brits were admitted to A&E in the last two years after opening bottles of beer with their teeth.
5 Brits were injured last year in accidents involving out of control scalextric cars.
and finally………
In 2000 eight Brits cracked their skull whilst throwing up into the toilet.
Thanks to Alan Williams for the above


 

ACCEO UPDATE

Being Personal Members of Acceo entitles us to the following discounts:-

Bakers (Insurance)
British Gas Cylinders
BUPA
Martin Kemp (Insurance)
P&O Irish R Sea
Lattitude (Maps)
Norfolk Line
Haynes Publishing
Specsavers
Adrian Flux (Insurance)


 

PETERBOROUGH SHOW RALLY

Julia Tinsley
From Peterborough to Kings Lynn

It is always a good sign when we travel from Derbyshire to Peterborough without using the windscreen wipers, so we arrived in buoyant mood.
We flashed our credentials and were surprised to be directed on a different route to past years. Without the usual queue we arrived at the stewards’ hut but they would not give us a goody bag because the show organisers had given all the BOC members a red card in error, but this one resulted in us being diverted from one steward to the next in an attempt to find the BOC rally area, somewhere on the other side of the showground.
Mary and George, who did their usual superlative job of stewarding, were frantically repositioning the BOC signs and pegging out the area to fit more ‘vans than the space allocated.
After a rocky start we all had a great rally, with 27 ‘vans in a super position just a stone’s throw from the show, shop and facilities and the rain kept off, well almost.
On Thursday evening Mary’s ‘van turned into a Tardis and produced the most amazing food so that everyone was full and George looked like living on scotch eggs and sausages for the next month. We all huddled in the gazebo for a chat and a laugh together with the odd glass or two, or three, but it became clear as the lips went blue and the frostbite set in that the wintry temperature had won and we all disappeared to the warmth of our ‘vans.
Graham Baines was voted husband of the year for not only showing concern for Chris feeling the cold, but dashing back to the ‘van and making her a steaming hot cup of tea. Now why didn’t I marry one like that?
On Saturday afternoon Roy chaired the AGM and Ron will give you chapter and verse of the event elsewhere in the magazine.
Some members enjoyed the show in the evening and others made their own entertainment, but despite the onset of global warming the evening temperatures were not conducive to congregating in the gazebo.

Is this all we have left to life? Don’t worry lads, I’m watching you!!! Didn’t get me one!

Everyone spent several days trying to retrieve their long term memory and answer the quiz questions we had been given, but the temperature and the onset of old age resulted in a win with just 18 points from 30 for Ron and Judy. (This is not true Judy and I did not win the quiz, far from it, but we cannot remember who did – says it all really – Ed)
The results were given at a coffee morning when we all enjoyed more calories than we should have with slices of Helen’s fruit cake which was absolutely divine.
On Sunday evening we trooped, en masse, to the Harvester where we managed to grab two very large tables, one for the men to chat about satellite systems and cruise controls, and the other for the ladies for more intellectual conversation. A great time was had by all, the food was good and we enjoyed a glass or two.
After another chilly night we all packed up next morning as the sun came out to warm us. We said goodbye to members who were leaving and left in convoy for Kings Lynn. With sat navs co-ordinated we braved the traffic jams towards the rally at Kings Lynn. The site was a quiet haven, green in the sunshine and we were allocated our own cosy corner of the field, which was ideal for the rally.
We had a dramatic arrival next morning of an ambulance and paramedic car when Dennis was taken to hospital. After numerous tests and two days in hospital it was confirmed that Dennis was suffering from a chest infection and Chris and Graham took Beryl to collect him from hospital and bring him back to his Benimar to rest.
We really enjoyed our few days, Roy and Sylvia were great hosts and Roy set us a brain teaser of a quiz identifying London Underground Stations.
On the Tuesday we all boarded a special village bus and headed for the market in Kings Lynn. The ladies wandered round the stalls, and the men disappeared to the pub, no change there then.
Ron with his customary efficiency organised a beautiful walk for us, and used his influence to provide magnificent sunshine all morning as we meandered through the countryside and fortuitously arrived at the village pub, The Gate Inn, just in time for lunch.

On the way to the Pub on the Kings Lynn Follow on Rally.

We enjoyed more slices of Helen’s lovely cake at a coffee morning when we discovered we didn’t know as much about the London Underground as we thought, but a good time was had by all.
On the last night the site owner let us use his premises for a communal barbecue, this was a good offer as, although the day times were perfect the evenings were still a bit chilly.
On Thursday we headed for home feeling relaxed after a very enjoyable week. I am sure that everyone will join me in thanking our stewards, George and Mary at Peterborough, and Roy and Sylvia at Kings Lynn for all their hard work and forethought that made this such an enjoyable sojourn for us all.


 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The Club held it’s 5th Annual General Meeting on Saturday April 28th at the National Motorhome Show rally at Peterborough.
The meeting was well attended by the rallying members and at least 6 members who were day visiting.
Despite reduced numbers compared with our heyday, the Club has survived well and is looking forward to better times.
It was noted that ACCEO had not been supplied with a list of members and fees for this year, hence members were no longer personal members of ACCEO. It was agreed to contact ACCEO and correct the situation.
There was considerable discussion regarding late payments of the membership renewal and having to rejoin the Club (and pay the £2 joining fee again). It was agreed that we investigate the possibility of Direct Debit and/or Standing Order as means of payment.
The only changes to the makeup of the committee was that Alan Williams (ably assisted by Jo) is now the Treasurer and Membership Secretary. Thanks were expressed to Joan Reader (treasurer) and to Dave Reader (membership secretary) for their work for the Club.
The 3 resolutions published in the last magazine were all passed. This means that membership is now open to Benimar owners living in Ireland.
Just after the AGM finished we had a visit from Peter Duff from Vivanti who explained what he was intending to do with importing Benimars. Unfortunately most members had by that time returned to their ‘vans, so missed the opportunity of meeting him.


 

HOW FAST CAN YOU GO?

Many of us drive motorhomes that are more that 3.5 tonnes (3500kg) gross weight.
When abroad it is easy to forget that there are many differing speed limits.
Here is a list of limits (in Kph) that apply to >3.5 tonnes that may help prevent you being pulled up for speeding.

Country
Motorways
Normal roads & dual c/ways

Belgium
120
90-120

Denmark
70
70

France
100-110
70-80

Germany*
80
80

Italy
100
80

Norway
70
70

Portugal
110
80-90

Spain
100
80-90

Sweden
90
70-90

Switzerland
80
80

*Note that the limits in Germany apply to >2.8 tonnes.

RECIPE
Date and Orange Cake
Ingredients:
8oz sugar rolled chopped dates
6oz soft brown sugar
4oz orange juice
8oz self raising flour
3oz margarine
1 rounded teaspoon orange juice
1 egg and 2 tablespoons orange juice
Grated rind of 1 orange.
Method: 350 F or gas mark 4
Cooking time: 1 hr 10 mins. approx
Grease or line 9×4″ loaf tin
Put dates and orange juice into a saucepan
Simmer gently until pulpy
Add sugar, margarine, grated rind and juice from orange, and cinnamon.
Beat in one egg, sieve flour into mixture, stir well.
Pour into loaf tin and bake.
Raisins, mixed spice and nutmeg can also be added to taste.
Keep in an airtight container for minimum of a day and serve sliced with butter or whipped cream.
Helen Foster


 

MEMBERSHIP

Alan, Our new Membership Secretary / Treasurer has been very busy and has produced an updated Membership Application Form which I will include with this issue. Please keep this in your ‘van and give to any Benimar owner you see that isn’t in the Club.
All application forms can now be printed form this website by clicking here.
You can now pay your membership renewal fees by standing order or cheque.
With the next issue of the Magazine (end of September-ish) I will include the new renewal form and standing order form
Please send completed renewal application form to the membership secretary
(name and address at the front of the magazine) and submit the standing order form to your bank, no later than 30th November. Payments will be collected on the 15th December. Regards,
Alan

A warm welcome to the following new members :-
Richard & Gillian Mills of Southampton
Steve & Sue Francis of Hayling Island
Raymond & Patricia Chambers of Immingham
Bill & Joy White of Canterbury
Apologies to Ray & Linda Smith for renaming them Smity in a previous issue.
That makes 163 members (81 couples +1)


 

FROM THE WEBSITE

A couple of items from the Club Forum :-
Q Anyone found a quick way to check water levels in the battery, without removing the drivers seat ?
A Try one of those dentists mirrors, you can often find them at car boot sales but you will also need a top-up bottle with a clear plastic extension to top up if necessary.
Just a word of warning to anyone who is looking to send there benimar motorhome half way round the world like i have done !!!!!
After a month at sea my benimar arrive in Auckland on 10th May i managed to negotiate the Customs and the Ministry for Agriculture and Fishing with out too much trouble and had all the necessary checks and cleaning done on the docks ,but then the Ministry for Land and Transport got involved and that’s where the trouble began ,even though i had contacted them before hand to make sure i had the necessary paper work like The Certificate of Compliance which took me over a month and a half of phone calls ,faxes and e-mails to finally get a Certificate of Compliance from benimar but i was confident that i had got all the required paperwork that i would need in New Zealand only to be informed in the AA compliance Centre in Auckland who towed the Vehicle from the docks to the centre that i would also need a Statement of Compliance for my Fiat Chassis i contacted Fiat UK and hopefully after many phone calls to the AA in Auckland and Fiat UK that they will accept a e-mail copy of the Statement of compliance and not insist on a original copy to be posted from the UK.
I have still to await a second visit from the low Volume inspector who has all ready said that the rear facing seats are not up to standard and will have to be strengthened and that the light down the side must be removed
I should count my blessing that i am not being charged storage and hope to have my benimar on the road about mid June
Paddy


 

RVTEX NEWS

RvTex have a super new web site that is well worth a visit.
They have special offers on at the moment of :-
Waico Aircon system for £1350 including fitting (was £1500) and
Alden self seeking satellite system for £1500 including fitting.
Don’t worry if the offer date has expired Benimar Owners Club members can get the offers while stocks last.
Ian reminded me to stress the importance of the annual damp check. Not only is in necessary to maintain your warranty but it makes good sense. He has a motorhome in at present which is in a dreadful state because the damp was left undetected for far too long.
Yearly Damp Check is only £47
Gas check £53
Damp and Gas check £95
These prices are before Club Discount.
WPC 2006
The winner of last year’s competition was Roy Gill for his entry – Topless Birds.
He was presented with his prize of a water economiser, which despite living in the Lake District, will prove invaluable if all this hype about Global Warming is true.

WPC 2007


This year’s entries continue to dribble in, 6 so far :-
Washing- Mary & George Pennington
Flag – Graham Baines
Nocturnal campsite – Graham & Chris Baines
Cheeky Moose – Nichol Thomson
Pig Rider – Lorna Thomson
Cabbage – Jane & Geoff Perry
Keep them coming in.
Ron Smith

CHARITY DONATION
Alan informs me that he has sent a cheque for £191 to the Macmillan Cancer Support Charity. This has been raised by Pennymar raffles and donations.
Thank you to everyone who contributed.


 

LOWES CARAVAN PARK

RG/GB
We visited this caravan park as a ‘follow on follow on’ you might say. We had been to the Peterborough Motorhome Show and then joined other likeminded members of the Benimar Owners Club in a ‘follow on’ rally to Kings Lynn. To complete our trip we wanted to find somewhere to stay near to friends we wished to visit in Saham Toney in Norfolk. They recommended Lowes, a family run park in nearby Saham Hills, and what a Gem it was.
We were welcomed on our arrival with a cheery smile and a cup of coffee in the office by May and Chris the owners. This was followed by the details of the Park, local info and events on hand, more of that to follow.
The site (what a misnomer), is more like a large garden and has pitches with electricity for about 16 caravans/motorhomes on hard standing around a central lawn. A neat gravel access drive separates the hard standings from the lawn. The lawn features an old gas lamp style light and park benches together with a lych-gate style roofed notice board.
Behind this area is a larger manicured field, without hard standing but with electricity outlets and a central drinking water supply. All is fenced in from ploughed fields and meadow, abundant with wildlife.
Mornings were a joy, with Skylarks singing their hearts out and the odd rabbits bobbing about in the fields.
Facilities were immaculate, though only one shower in each of the Ladies and Gents services.
On May Day we were treated to Maypole dancing on the front lawn by the local children, this followed by a Cream Tea. You could hardly say we were robbed at £2.20 for the delicious cream tea, including free fill-ups as required, all proceeds were going to Charity.
Entertainment didn’t stop there, oh no. This family have class and talent in abundance. A side room in the main house /office building, houses a small stage and is the meeting place for ‘The Pratz in Hatz’ local musicians. That evening we were treated a really good show featuring May on Keyboard, Chris On Drums, oh and daughter Penny, quite a talented singist, ably assisted by three guitarists one of whom doubled as male vocals. Music was ‘Easy’ Country with words sheets handed out for us to join in from time to time.
It was obvious that quite a number of the other friendly campers were regulars, as everyone seemed to know someone including a good rapport with the owners.
An evening out at the nearby Pub, The Bell was arranged and was not a disappointment. Firm white Cod in a crisp light batter, Chicken Butterfly, Thai Chicken curry with rice and naan bread, pork in an apple and brandy sauce plus ham and eggs, were just some of the delights on offer. Some ‘real ale’ was on tap and I can personally recommend the Bombardier bitter!
Taxi back to camp for 4 of us? – £3.50! how’s that for a good night out.
All too soon it was time to depart, with goodbye waves from mine hosts and promises or were they threats? from us that we would return. Yes a very enjoyable stay. Not a lot to do locally without transport but hey, a few days of tranquillity and civility go a long way.
This was a Baines / Gill co-production


 

LED LIGHTING

LED must be the future for lighting in Caravans and Motorhomes because of it’s low power consumption and virtually no heat output. The main problems at present are high cost and scarcity.
Recently one of the halogen spotlights (directional reading lights) in our ‘van stopped working. After a bit of investigation I found an LED replacement in the Screwfix catalogue. I bought one and it works a treat. It has 4 superbright LEDs which give an even distribution of white light, not quite as bright as the halogen but more even spread. After being on an hour it is still cool to touch.
The lamp type is MR11 (with inclusive reflector), it uses 0.4 watts and costs £6.99. Part number is 89946-86.
Now one of the reading lights over the bed has got very hot and blackened the reflector and glass.
It is powered by a side mounted G4 capsule type halogen bulb.
I have found a replacement 21 LED lamp in the CAK Tanks catalogue. This costs £9.98 and is part number. LEDSG421CW They also do a base mounted one.
www.caktanks.co.uk
Ron Smith


 

DIARY DATES

2007
Date To Be Advised Derbyshire Dales
Walking Rally
Marshals – Paul & Carol Smeaton
Tel:- 01709 583432
July 12 – 16 Lincoln Show
Midsummer Music Festival
Marshals – Colin & Frances Varley
Book using MMM form or on-line
Aug 9 – 13 Malvern Show
Marshals – Colin & Frances Varley
Tel: 01376 321280
Aug 4 – 6 Sussex Rally Somewhere in East Sussex
Please let Pip or Vic know if you intend going.
Marshals – Pip & Vic Rowe
Tel :- 01273 513192
mob: 07786967030 or
07966342537
Aug 25 – 27 Twinwood
Glenn Miller Festival
Marshals – Jeff & Edna Follows
Tel:- 01213 546027
Sept 20 – 24 York
Northern Motorhome Show
Marshals – Dave & Joan Reader
Book using MMM form or on-line
2008
April 24 – 28 Peterborough (Provisional date)
Marshals urgently needed for all of our 2008 rallies – contact Colin if you would like to volunteer.
If you know of a suitable venue for a club rally (the handbook tells you what is expected) and are willing to marshal get in touch with the Event Co-ordinator, Colin Varley on 01376 321280, to fit it in the schedule.
Colin Varley

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