Issue 23 – September 2006

 

Benimar_530

First pictures in UK

2007 Perseo 530

 

 


 

EDITORS COLUMN

Judy and I enjoyed a couple of months travelling in Eastern Europe – first part of a report is included. 2nd part in the next issue, if I don’t forget where we have been.
Lots of Rally reports in this issue. We only managed to attend one which was most enjoyable, although I hate Christmas and now will have to endure two this year.
The diary is looking a bit thin with nothing between York Show and Peterborough – 7 months. Surely someone can organise a winter get-together.
With this issue I am including an updated Club Handbook. – (See Handbook Section)
Also a list of members’ registration numbers and email addresses. If there are any mistakes or omissions please let Dave Reader know so that he can amend the Club Database.
It is time to renew your membership. Membership runs out at the end of December, so why not renew now, while you are reminded.
I have been trying to find out what Benimar is offering for 2007 and whether any more UK dealers are likely, but with little success.
BCS know nothing – Paul couldn’t get to the Factory launch.
Mendip Caravans and Anchor Point (NI) do not respond so I cannot tell you much.
Just as I went to press Benimar emailed me some info & photos. They seem intent on re-establishing a real presence in the UK.. If you look carefully at the picture on p19 there seems to be an A Class on a Renault in the background !!!
I still find it surprising that, from taking ¼ of their production 2 years ago, Benimar has let the UK market almost disappear. They are asking if we know any dealers that may take on Benimar; it would be to our benefit if we can help them, so why not ask your local dealer?
I hope to get the next issue out between Christmas and the New Year, so make sure you get your letters, articles, pictures and adverts to me by Dec 12th.

RonSmith


 

 

MEMBERS’ LETTERS

Factory Help by Wendy Ingrey

Unfortunately health problems prevented us from coming to Peterborough this year. On receiving the BOC magazine we very much wish we could have attended.
We took our Benimar to the factory while in Spain and Maurits Geensen could not have been more helpful in addressing the few problems needing attention. The van was there on two full days, on collection we spoke to another couple with 6000ST and they also could not speak too highly of Benimars service.
Whichever way you look at it RDH (new) continued until just recently to advertise that they were Benimar agents! We certainly do not expect to have any damp problems, all these derogatory comments about Benimar and cynical front page are doing is devaluing the Benimar Motorhomes
which is surely not in the interest of their owners?

Sad News by Les Elliott
Sad news, I’m afraid. After a long time pondering, Helen and I have decided to part with our beloved Benimar Europe 5000 SL (2000 vintage) and buy a caravan. It was a truly difficult decision taken over some 18 months. Our Benimar served us very well and we always enjoyed our many trips at home and abroad. We especially enjoyed the get up and go freedom it gave us.
Whilst we were both working we had limited opportunity for holidays which were generally a mad dash through France to holiday in the sunshine in Spain and then a mad dash back home. Chilling out, we enjoyed the sun and weren’t too bothered about touring around beyond the limits of our pedal power.
Having now retired, we holiday at a more leisurely rate and want to explore the localities more – especially in France, but we began to find the motorhome somewhat restricting in that it was quite an upheaval if we went out for the day in it, it wasn’t the easiest vehicle to manoeuvre and park in small towns and villages, many car parks often restricted entry with 2m height barriers, and there were increasing warnings about leaving it – with all our worldly possessions inside – unattended in supermarket car parks.
The flip side of the argument was that caravans had to be hitched up and towed, manhandled into parking position, awning erected, water fetched etc etc BUT once established the car is freed and available for exploring. On occasions we have, with some envy, watched caravanners drive off for the day in their solo cars. This latter argument has finally won the day and with very mixed feeling we recently parted with our Benimar and bought our caravan. A persuasive part of the argument was that the caravan had to be fitted with an electric “power mover” which makes manoeuvring the caravan a doddle.
Early signs are that we have made the right decision.
We have therefore got some surplus bits for sale. All in very good condition and offered at half price:-
A silver screen for the Fiat cab. Insulated with drop down front panel to allow some light in – Cost £70 but now asking £35
A safari room for a 3.5 metre Omnistor awning – cost £627 but now asking £300
Tel: 01949 843957 (Notts)

 

SOUPED UP BENIMAR

John Porter

Every show that we have been to for the last three years I have looked at the companies who are selling chips or boxes to increase the power of your motor home. I have dreamed of turning my Benimar into a high powered snarling beast, roaring away from traffic lights in a cloud of burning rubber, and watching mercs, jags and porches dwindle to a dot in my wing mirrors
Then I have looked at the cost of these gadgets, wondered if they really do work, and have decided not to buy. This year at Peterborough I made the huge mistake of not leaving my credit cards in Bristol.
On the Friday I went to the “TorqTec” stand and had a long chat with the staff who were very pleasant, very informative and not in the slightest bit pushy. They explained that fitting one of their plug in boxes would increase the power by about twenty five percent, and that this power increase would be most noticeable as extra torque, allowing the engine to work easier whilst maintaining cruising speed. They also explained that the box could be very easily removed within a couple of minutes, meaning that if I changed the vehicle I could take it with me. Finally they gave me a copy of a report on their unit which had appeared in MMM magazine and which was very positive. On Saturday I went back to the stand, flashed the plastic, and agreed to have the unit fitted on Sunday morning, a process that took no more than ten minutes and which I could have very easily carried out myself.
Monday morning we left the show ground and set off for a camp site just outside Cambridge where we stayed a couple of nights with Alan and Jo Williams. This was only a short run, and not really far enough to test the unit, but I immediately felt that the engine was far more responsive and very smooth running.
On the Wednesday we made the return journey to Bristol, and I was really able to evaluate the conversion. I am, to say the least, very impressed. The Benimar is a big lump of a vehicle, and I didn’t expect to be suddenly doing 0-60 in 10 seconds, but there was no doubt that acceleration is noticeably crisper through the gears.
However it is at cruising speed that I really notice the difference. I have cruise control, and one of the problems I have always had is that if I am doing say 60mph with the cruise control switched in, and I come to a slight hill, the vehicle slows, the cruise control drops out, and I have to change down a gear or two. I now however find that with the considerable extra torque available the vehicle takes even moderate hills in its stride.
The difference really is quite dramatic and makes for a much more relaxed driving experience. I have not had time to find out if fuel consumption has been affected, but I get the feeling that, if anything, it has improved, which I suppose you would expect if you are not using the gear box as much.
One final point. I have just renewed my insurance on the Benimar. After shopping around I could not beat the renewal price from Safeguard, and when I phoned them to pay, I though it wise to tell them about the modification. I was very pleasantly surprised when they told me that it would not affect the premium.
If anyone is interested in one of these boxes, they cost £395 from TorqTec. The phone number of the UK distributor is 01623 810585 and the TorqTec web site can be found at www.torqtec.com

 

SOMME OR OTHER

Roy Gill

FRANCE, Camping Municipal du Velodrome, Albert – Picardy

Albert in The Somme Valley is part of the First World War Battlefields, lies about 15 miles to the north east of Amiens. It is a small town which was all but destroyed in the first world war.
The Municipal Camp Site is an easy walk into town, where lies the nearest shop. Close to the site are a series of small lakes very popular with the fishermen, plus there are pleasant walks on the shores of the lake also on the river bank. There is also a golf course nearby.
The site itself is spotlessly clean and tidy as is the toilet block, the warden appeared to clean the block at least twice a day whilst we were there. There are a few long stay caravans, all the pitches are grass, but when we were there in the low season one could park on the pitch access roads. The top part of the site is level, the bottom part has some undulation, nothing too severe, it is possible to level up a motorhome without too much difficulty. The warden speaks English, she is very chatty and likes to try out her English.
When we arrived the gates were closed, so we parked outside until the warden appeared, there is plenty of room to park.
Two hundred yards from the site there is a bar, which seems to be quite busy at weekends. Wandering outside the camp site are quite a few ducks and geese, their road sense leaves much to be desired.
There is not much shade on the site, but trees have been planted. There are plenty of water points. As with most campsites in France they are keen to separate out rubbish for recycling.
From the site La Basilique Notre Dame de Brebieres with its Golden Virgin can be seen, it was destroyed during the first world war but rebuilt between the wars, and is very impressive.
Alongside the Bassilica is a an underground air raid shelter from the last war, converted to The Museum of the Somme and very good it is with light and sound effects. Artefacts from the first world war can be bought as you leave the museum.
From the railway station, twice per day except Monday, there are guided tours by minibus, English commentary, of the battlefields. The morning tour 10-00 to 14-00, price €29, the after noon tour 15-00 to 17-30 price €22.
Not far from Albert is Thiepval, the British War Memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, it is very impressive. Newly opened, there is a museum plus archive film of the conflict.
From the station there are trains to take you either to Arras or Amiens.
There are a good selection of eating establishments in Albert.
Though it is a relatively small town, the Town Hall would not go amiss in many much larger towns and there is a large free car park in front on which is held the Saturday market.
By the Town Hall is also a large modern sports plus theatre complex.
At a glance:
Country – France – Picardy
Location – 15 miles north east Amiens 1 kilometre from town centre.
Name of site – Camping Municipal Le Velodrome
Address _Avenue Henri Dunant 80300 Albert
Telephone –03 22 75 22 53
Dates open – 1st April to 30 September
Charges – 2005 Motorcaravan-2 persons 10 amperes electricity €13-60 (£8-50). Showers €1-65 (£1)
Summary – Very clean Municipal site, handy for Albert.
Directions – D929 north east from Amiens, easier to enter from the Bapaume side ( round the ring road), follow town centre sign, site signposted to the right after 300 yards. If you enter via Town Center, Just follow the camp site signs.
I thought that this might be handy for anyone wishing to visit the Somme area of France and to have a feel for life in the Great War.

 

THE MONKEY KNOWS

John Porter writes :-
My son and his wife have set up a web business called Monkeynose, address is www.monkeynose.com

You might like to look at it; they are selling a number of interesting, useful and novel gifts, including a range of very high quality led torches, pocket tools, lighters and other items that may be of interest to benimar owners. They also operate a gift wrapping service which could be very useful to motor home owners who are away from home, realise they have forgotten a birthday/anniversary etc, and would like to have a gift sent, nicely wrapped with a message card. If you could mention the site in the next news letter we would appreciate it very much.

LINCOLN SHOW RALLY REPORT

Paul &Carol Smeaton

A total of 15 units made the show including 2 caravans and 1 tent. Friday night we had an excellent barbeque organised by Mary (aka “Dragon”) and Francesca.
The show seemed to attract more visitors than ever, in fact, all none booked, pay-as-you-enter visitors were camped on the outside field which prevented any non-booked `vans even getting anywhere near the club areas. From the point of view of traders, there appeared to be less than normally come to Lincoln. Talking to some of the traders it seems as though the charges are becoming too high to be viable to them.
The evening show on Saturday was well below the standard we have come to expect from the Midsummer Music Show and, I feel, will have to get back to the standard we have had in the past.
Agnes Johnson won the quiz.
On Sunday night another street party was arranged and most people went to the Sunday night indoor show featuring The Ivy League which was excellent.
On Friday and Monday we were again treated to a flying display by the Red Arrows, who are stationed nearby and train in the area.
Monday soon arrived and it was time to leave, although 7 units availed themselves of Don Amott`s offer at North Summercotes.

DRIFFIELD SHOW RALLY REPORT

Paul & Carol Smeaton

In a nutshell, an afternoon visit would have been sufficient to see everything.
They had one row of trade stands and none of these really had anything to do with motorhomes. There were about six motorhome dealers and that was it!
Friday nights entertainment was very good, but Saturday`s was terrible and included a “blue” comedian? and a poor singing group, pretty appalling for what can only be described as a family weekend (there were children in the room, since it was fairly early). The Saturday Night firework display was extremely good.
The only plus side to this show are the free mystery coach tours that Stone Leisure put on.
I went to the very first Driffield Show and I`m sure it was better than this one!
It has to improve!

 

MALVERN SHOW REPORT

Helen Foster

Malvern 11,12 & 13 August – Marshall’s, Colin & Francesca Varley
Our Marshall’s arrived Wednesday to mark out pitches for the small group attending this rally, six vans only.
After travelling approximately eighty/ninety miles we, Roger and I arrived just after lunch on Thursday and Francesca greeted us with a much welcomed cup of tea. We had good pitches close to all amenities and the entertainment halls.
Thursday 5.45 p.m. our first line dancing lesson, I have three left feet and lack co-ordination and promptly proceeded to put everyone off their steps. Our Instructor, brilliant with a sense of humour, three dances and one entitled Bull Shift so you can imagine the comments!!!
Friday most of us just browsed around the trade stands and new motorhomes – something for everyone to look at. We scootered into Malvern with Peter and Margaret. Peter’s scooter just managed to climb the steep hills. In a later discussion it turned out to be that the passenger seat was uncomfortable and will need a few alterations.
Saturday Francesca organised a B.B.Q. We managed to sit out of the wind otherwise it had been a bright sunny day and we all had plenty to eat and little to drink. Line dancing lesson again and this time I managed to improve slightly. Entertainment was good and the music played made it feel more like New Year’s Eve.
Sunday we just browsed most of the day. Our coffee morning was postponed until the afternoon because of the weather but we managed it eventually between showers and thank you to Bruce and Janet for the use of their wind breaks etc.
Another comment I must make is it was most enjoyable looking at all the costumes, men and women alike making an effort. In particular our own Colin and Francesca who looked absolutely fabulous in their American gear. People watching is by far the greatest pastime of all for me.
I must add because of the absence of George and Harry there were fewer trips to the super-market – it being an almost tee total weekend.
Roger and I would like to say many thanks to this group for a most enjoyable weekend.

 

SUSSEX RALLY REPORT

Roy Gill

CHRISTMAS RALLY – AUGUST 11th-14th 2006

The rally was organised by Pip Rowe and Vic Paine ably assisted by Merlin the Parrot at the Bentley Wildfowl Park and Museum near Lewes, East Sussex. Seven units attended comprising Ron and Judy Smith, Keith and Gloria House with Fleur the dog, Dennis and Beryl Peer with Basil the dog, Ian and Sylvia Tilley with Scraggy the Cat, Graham and Christine Baines with Penimar the doll, Roy and Sylvia Gill.
Brownie points came early for Pip and Vic, in that they had arranged for the M25 to be free flowing on the day of arrival – a little minus point for the weather, summer officially ended on the weekend. A little judicious positioning of the windbreaks and gazebos helped the situation.
Once we were all settled in, Friday evening was spent catching up on all the gossip and quenching parched throats.
Saturday morning saw the ladies doing some Christmas shopping, whilst the gentlemen prepared the Christmas lights in the gazebos and collected wood from the nearby wood for the fire.
The winner of the best decorated van was Ian and Sylvia, Scraggy was the brains behind the set-up. Ian had a blow-up doll (Santa Claus), which was set up outside the van.
In the evening the party commenced – credit must go to Pip, with moral support from Vic, for the excellent turkey and ham, plus the Christmas pudding. Commiserations to those on a diet. With the Christmas crackers came the round of corny jokes.
Once darkness had set in, it all looked quite seasonal with the lights on the tree and around the gazebo.
After the meal was finished, the brazier was lit and we all sat around enjoying the festive season, keeping a watch out for sparks as the wind had risen. The little rain didn’t dampen the fire or the proceedings, a little imbibed alcohol took care of that.
Sunday morning was coffee morning, supplemented with some of Pip’s excellent Christmas cake, no lunch was needed. Pip really did us proud with all her goodies. We then went to the Bentley House and Wildfowl Park, very good. This was followed by a visit to the Motor Museum. One forgets the cars that were on the road in ones youth, some of which I remember.
Pip has a hobby, in which she puts Merlin on her shoulder, dons a tricorn hat and searches for buried treasure, with a little help from her metal detector. ( I lied about the parrot and the hat). The field where the rally was held also hosts other rallies throughout the year , Pip found a few coins, Graham found a lump of rusty metal.
After the visit to the house, Pip planted five coins in a roped off area. For a fifty pence fee (proceeds to the parrot sanctuary), each person took it in turns using the metal detector to locate the coins in the fastest time. Time allowed 5 minutes. Suffice it to say that the best man won.
As Pip put the rope away, some non rehearsed skipping took place. Lets us say that some people were not very fit. Christine showed us how to skip.
After the evening meal we all once again sat around the brazier for a quiz and a natter. For the quiz, Pip was the Question Mistress, the two Sylvias were the scribes for the opposing teams. The scoring technique of the Question Mistress left a little to be desired, as I was on the losing team.
After the quiz and sitting in the dark round an open fire, there is always one, Keith started a discussion regarding the supernatural. One or two related stories of “happenings”. I think it affected Judy, she became quite “jumpy” on the subject of ghosts.
At the end of the evening, like all good campers, the fire was thoroughly doused.
Monday morning was the time of fond farewells and packing, it takes much longer to pack with a cup of tea in one hand and holding a conversation with someone at the same time.
We all departed by the allotted time of midday.
Thanks to Pip and Vic for being such excellent hosts, keeping us entertained and well fed.
Pity the weather didn’t behave itself, we up north are led to believe, that it is always good weather south of Watford.
Hopefully though Merlin will now know how to speak proper English, after the lessons.
Thanks Pip and Vic.

 

WPC 2006

So far I only have 3 entries for this year, 2 from Janet Lawson and 1 from Jean & John Porter.

Where are they now?

I visited RDH recently; the old premises at Beeston are now used by PFB, a vehicle hire company.

The RDH Driver Hire business is still operating. Rod was out driving but still managing things. Steve and Sue were in Spain, still trying to sell their house there. Gary is now working for an electrical company. Richard Derreck has set up his own Driver Hire business. Simon has also left. The only face I recognised was Sharon? who used to be the receptionist.

EASTERN EUROPE – A QUICK TOUR

Ron Smith

Having endured 5 months of English Winter Judy and I set sail for Eastern Europe on June 1st, just before the miserable weather turned into a heat wave. The plan was to visit Eastern Europe for 8 weeks, including 2 weeks in Slovenia meeting up with some friends to do a bit of walking.. Apart from a visit to Prague some 6 years ago it was to be 6 new countries, 6 new languages, 6 new currencies.

From landing in Gravelines, nr Dunkerque courtesy of Norfolk Line, we used mainly motorways to cross Belgium, Holland and Germany arriving in West of Czech Republic and stopped at Frantiskovy Lazne, a faded old Spa Town. The site was chaotic, full of Germans over for a cheap holiday weekend who were busy hauling logs from the forest to build barbecues and campfires, and the kids playing football using our ‘van as the goal. There were many tall steep roofed wood cabins, which were to become a familiar sight as we travelled further.

The weather was pretty miserable here, cool and wet, so we moved on to Vrchlabi in the hills of Bohemia. En route I was stopped by the Police for speeding and fined 500 Koruna (£12.50). I protested, of course, but they brought over the Police Car and showed me a nice picture of our ‘van with a caption showing my speed and the speed limit.

Camping Lisci Farma was a nice, uncrowded site with a very good (and cheap) restaurant and more pointed cabins. We stayed 3 nights; walking into the town itself and round the surrounding area. A mixture of dull old properties and some very nice new builds. Lots of Trabants still being used, in fact one two-car household we passed had 2 !

Next day we drove up to Pec by the Polish border to do some high level walking but the weather turned worse so we did not venture far. Lots of wooden clad houses, painted in stripes in this area.

We then continued along the north of Czech Rep to overnight at Camp Bobrovic near Jesenik, which proved difficult to find, there were no signs, and was down a rough track through woodland, and when we arrived we wished we hadn’t. Facilities very poor and again the site was full of parties of children. En route we passed a truck that had turned over and shed its load of chickens. Those that weren’t dead were running all over the road being chased by policemen and others. Then we came across a lorry that had left the road and driven into a tree.

We left for Poland where customs had a good look inside the ‘van. There was nowhere to change money, so we paid a motorway toll with euros to get a few Zlotys in change. We aimed for Krakow and stayed at a very nice site, Camping Korona, about 10 km south. 10 German outfits arrived in convoy; they were on a Peristroika tour of the Ukraine. The home-made Stroganoff soup in the site bar was excellent. The next day we caught a local bus into Krakow, crowded to bursting point and you pay the driver when you get off (because you can’t always get off where you want). Krakow was a bit of a disappointment having escaped untouched during the war, and being a world heritage site. The main square, Rynek Glowny, is the largest medieval square in Europe, and is very impressive but the rest of the city did little to inspire us. We did have a horse and carriage ride around the old city and lunch in the square (cabbage stuffed with rice and meat, and I went for a traditional dessert which was great and nothing like I expected – buckwheat and chocolate cake, with nuts and raisins, cream and vanilla sauce). The weather turned quite cold in the afternoon with some heavy showers. So we fought our way onto another bus back to camp.

Our next stop was Zakopane the ski resort in the High Tatra mountains. We arrived in pouring rain and max temp of 6 deg C. Camping Herenda was scruffy but we managed to park on a bit of concrete roadway. We ventured in to the centre and didn’t like the look of the place, the pouring rain didn’t help. We saw a sign for Tesco and as most of the food shops we had found so far left a lot to be desired, we went in search of it. It was about the size of a local corner shop and was closed. We did buy some sheep’s cheese in a strange moulded rind, however, from one of the many stalls selling it.

Sunday dawned bright, sunny and a bit warmer, at last we could see the mountains. They had about a metre of fresh snow and the cable car up was not running because all the high paths were unusable – another planned day’s walking dashed. Instead we found our way up a lower hill outside town but at the top was a road full of stalls, cafes and half of Poland. Whilst we were up there a parade of about 100 fire engines of all shapes and sizes passed by; apparently they were celebrating “Our Lady Fatima”.

The local architecture was quite distinctive but the centre of Zakopane itself was a mess. There is a lot of strip farming around here but everyone seems to be growing grass for silage or hay, no vegetables, but we saw very few animals, so what the silage was for was a mystery – perhaps all the animals are kept indoors. Most of it was being cut by hand (scythe or sickle).

We had not seen very much of Poland but decided to head south over into Slovakia. It was a relatively short journey around and over the Tatras. As soon as we crossed in to Slovakia the scenery became much more attractive, the strip farming was still in evidence but they were growing all sorts of crops here. We ended up in the Vah valley, which is a beautiful area between the High Tatras to the north and the Low Tatras to the south. We found a super little site attached to a restaurant called Villa Betula, near to a lake Liptovska Mara. The facilities were first class and the restaurant of a very high standard but very reasonably priced. We stayed 3 nights here instead of the intended overnight stop.

The nearby town of Liptovska Mikulas was easily reached on our bikes and had a very attractive pedestrianised centre. Coffee and fresh orange juice there, were just 50p each We bought 4 bread rolls for less than 10p, 4 slices of peppered, smoked meat for 14p and 5 slices of ham for 18p – 42p in total – enough for 2 lunches.

Slovakia is a small country, population 5.4 million. It has many thermal springs and over 4,000 registered caves. We gave Bratislava a miss; maybe another time. We then made our way south, over the Low Tatras, a very forested area. We passed through a village close to the Romanian and Hungarian borders which was in a very dilapidated state and was inhabited by what looked like gypsies.

Part2 – Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia in the next issue.

 

ECONOMICAL REVERSING CAMERA

Vic Paine

Source: Hong Kong via E-Bay

Cost: Approx £130.00

What you get in the box

One colour camera with (short 200mm) power and video plug leads.
One monitor that clips over standard screen mirror with approx 1.5 metres of power and video leads. The power side includes a fuse and third wire to connect to reversing switch, Also has two video in plugs so you can watch DVD’s.

One very small remote control pad

You do NOT get the video/power leads or plugs to connect the two ends together. However these are easily obtainable for approx £10 £15.

Installation

Mirror/monitor

,
this immediately presented a problem as it would only clip onto the Ducato mirror upside down! After much thought it was decided to leave it upside down and mount the camera upside down. This works very well but does loose some colour depth. It is easy to tuck the lead away above the screen but requires taking the side trim off (three screws).The black lead is connected to chassis ground, red lead to + ignition supply and yellow lead is connected to reversing light switch.

Camera
This requires some thought as to location because there is only a short lead and this must connect to power/video leads either inside the habitation area or inside a waterproof box. The camera comes with an angle cut spacer tube. This can be used to angle the camera down if mounted on a vertical wall or as in our case it was mounted on an angled area of the polly van and the tube used to raise the camera to the required angle. The spacer can be discarded if the camera points at the correct angle. A 32 mm holesaw is needed to make the camera hole.

All that is required now is the video and power leads to be installed between front and rear. This is the most time consuming part of the installation, actual route depends entirely on van layout and your ingenuity.

When all is completed turn ignition key on and use remote to turn monitor on.
If the display says no video source use the remote to change source or plug camera lead into other socket. The angle of the camera can now be fine tuned if required. Switch monitor off with remote and put vehicle in reverse (ignition still on), the display will now activate automatically.

In the photo of the monitor/mirror the car parked behind in the lay by is completely invisible to the polly van mirrors and only 2M away.

 

GLENN MILLER REPORT

Glenn Miller Festival at Twinwood 25th to 28th August 2006
Twinwood was where Glenn Miller took off from on his fateful flight.
Geoff and Edna Follows were the marshals.
Present were Tim and Honor Hewitt with Jess the dog, Nichol and Lorna Thomson, George and Mary Pennington, Harry and Shirley Lord with Jasper the dog, Colin and Frances Varley, David and Joan Reader, Bruce and Janet Lawson, Roger and Helen Foster, Graham and Christine Baines with Penimar the doll, Eric and Sheila Miller, Colin and Marlene Jackson, Peter and Margaret Guest, Ray and Carol Beech, Roy and Sylvia Gill.
Geoff and Edna arrived on the Thursday to set up the site for the vans, the site was the same as last year, handy for the military displays, the officers mess (for breakfast) and the arena. Weather forecast was not too promising for the weekend.
For Friday evening for those who had arrived, Edna had made some bread pudding to be consumed with wine, all very good. This bread pudding was cut into slices, not as I usually see it served. Edna says the recipe will be on the website and in the Newsletter. The weather turned a little inclement during the evening, but with the help of a couple of gazebos and awnings, it didn’t really dampen the party.
Saturday, when the show proper started, the weather was a little bracing, but after a full English breakfast in the officers mess, one could face the day. Anyway the weather improved.
Quite a few people went across to the stalls to see all the memorabilia, wartime clothes and uniforms that were for sale. Also to be seen were quite a collection of wartime vehicles from the allied and the axis forces plus people in wartime uniforms and clothes. It was amazing as to how many American officers there were, no one wanted to be of the lower ranks.
The music started with the Worksop Miners Band, followed by a Lindyhop demonstration in the arena. The first of the “big” bands was Chris Smith and his String of Pearls Orchestra. This was followed by Decades fashion show in the arena, followed by the Jive Aces. During this period there were dance lessons in the hangar, the dance lessons were for jive and such like. The evening show was Bill Bakers Big Band from Holland, with an interval having another dance display in the arena.
During this at 14-30, there was a fly past of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight comprising a Lancaster, Spitfire and a Hurricane, that made the spine tingle.
Each day was a problem as to when to eat and what to see.
Saturday evening saw the arrest of Nichol by the Shore Patrol, Nichol vehemently protested his innocence, but we all know better. ( the Shore Patrol were a couple of guys in the American Navy Shore Patrol uniform, who during the weekend “arrested” one or two people).
Still on the Nichol theme, those of you who know Nichol, know that he is an excellent raconteur, whilst at breakfast one morning, the subject ranged from battlefields to modern communications. The gist of the story goes; a squad of soldiers on the frontline are faced with overwhelming odds and their ammunition is running low, so they call HQ on the blower. The answer from the other end is that all of the operators are busy and they value your custom, but please hold the line – cue music. After a period of waiting a tin voice instructs them to press one for bullets, two for shells or hold the line to wait for a customer service person. By this time with Nichol in full flow, eating or drinking was difficult.
Sunday morning started with a coffee morning and general chit chat and it was arranged to have a barbecue on the Monday evening after the last show. Following this, some of our contingent went to the Salvation Army service complete with band in the arena. This was followed by a quick lunch and down to the arena for Bill Bakers Big Band, for the interval they had Woodie on, he is a “one man band”. Following Bill Bakers Big Band was the Kings Cross Hot Club from Paris, their music was in the style of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli.
During the afternoon there was a fly past by a Spitfire at 14-50 and at 16-30 by a Dakota, needless to say as the planes went over, the music stopped.
The Kings Cross Hot Club were followed by Decades fashion show, Blue Harlem then Lindyhop dance demonstration in the arena. The evening of music ended with Opus One Orchestra and Strings.
On the Saturday and Sunday evenings there was dancing in the hangar from 21-00 to midnight, with the bar open until 23-00 hours.
Monday started in the arena with Bill Bakers Big Band, followed by Sticky Wicket and His Swing Band. Sticky was the drummer who led this band, needless to say he played some of the Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa numbers. This was followed by the Extraordinaires – more modern music, with two guys who appeared to be made of rubber.
The finale of the musical weekend was The John Miller Orchestra (John Miller is the nephew of Glenn Miller), the show was running a little late, as a result the rain came down on the last number.
Due to the wind and rain, it was decided not to have a barbecue, pity really, but it would not have been very pleasant.
Some of the group left on the Monday evening, the rest of us left Tuesday morning after the usual farewells. Those who attended all promised to be there again next year.
Thank you Geoff and Edna.

 

MEMBERSHIP

NEW MEMBERS
A warm welcome to the following new members

Ken & Celia Hayward of Margate

Stuart & Ann Birks of Humberside

Membership Renewal

You are reminded that your membership ceases at the end of December.
Now is the time to renew, especially if you are off to Spain for the winter. Remember that if you don’t renew by the end of December you will have to rejoin and pay the joining fee.

The cost of renewal is still only £12.

 

LATEST FROM BENIMAR

I received this email from Benimar:-
We are very happy to have news about the Benimar Owners Club U.K. For us should be very important to receive the information about the club (members, etc) in order to send the news that we have. Benimar in this moment is involved in very important changes in order to adapt the company for the future.
Our sales manager Tery Lopez is preparing for UK a new network, in order to give to the owners better services. If some owners knows good dealers, probably interested to sell and repair benimar’s , do not hesitate to send him the information. That ‘s good for every body.
Benimar will have one stand in the following Birmingham show in October 2006. In this show, you will see the new Benimar products with new layouts and big roof lights. These new products are very very good.
Benimar factory is adapting in order to reach 2.000 units produced par year. That will allow to have motorhomes with good quality and good price.
At this moment, we can send you only few pictures about the new models, but we think they can be interesting for the members. Benimar go forward.
Best regards, Fernando Ortiz
Manager Director, Benimar Ocarsa

BenimarSport Perseo 530 – Interior

New Perseo and an A Class?

DIARY DATES

Please see the Diary Section For upcoming events

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