November 2015
Dates For Your Diary

Monday 14th December
7:15pm for 7:45

Meeting: Eddie Ruskin will be talking about driving following a stroke. Eddie was a a member of the group and training for his advanced test when he was unfortunate enough to suffer a stroke. After training in a car adapted to his needs, Eddie recently received a Gold award in his test. Come and hear his inspiring experience!
Friday 22nd January
Annual Christmas meal at the Village Inn in Liddington. See below for the menu and booking details.
Monday 8th February 7:30
Meeting: Martin Evans – Bloodhound ambassador, will give us an update on the record-breaking car's progress toward its goal.

Monthly Ride-Outs
Remember that monthly Bike Ride-Outs take place on the 3rd Saturday of every month. 

Monthly meetings are all held at Liddington Village Hall opposite the church.
Do you have a topic you would like discussed, or know of an interesting speaker?  Please contact Monica!
Welcome to the following members who have all recently joined the group:
Mark Bunce (Bike). 
Jason Aspinall (Car).
Congratulations to the following members who have all recently passed their tests:
Eddie Ruskin - Gold (Car). Tutor Monica Graham.
Tom Humphreys - Silver (Bike). Tutor Mark Sealey.
Cyril Hales - Gold (Bike). Tutor Stephen Izatt.
Don’t forget that we have a range of clothing available to purchase. We also offer a range of books, such as Roadcraft, Motorcycle Roadcraft and the Highway Code, and these are available at discounted prices.

For more information visit the Merchandise page of our web site at
We are always looking for more articles, ideas and news for the newsletter. Have you been somewhere interesting recently that would make a good story? If you attend any group events then take a camera and send us your pictures!

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Last chance for the Christmas meal!
There are still places available for our Christmas meal at Liddington on Friday 22nd January. If you would like to attend, please select from the menu at the end of this newsletter and let Mary know as soon as possible. It's always a good evening and the food is great value at £23 per person for 3 courses & tea or coffee.
Spring trip to the Alps
You should all have received the invitation and itinerary for this trip. If you're interested in attending, please let Mary Southgate, secretary(at) or Peter Genet petergenet(at) know as soon as possible as accommodation is very scarce and we have the option of another ten person chalet if we can get another nine or ten people. We currently have seven bikes and one car. There will be a separate route for the car drivers some of the time.
November meeting report
The Under 17 Pathfinder Programme
Paul Silverwood, the Director of The Pathfinder Programme, gave a very interesting talk on Monday 2nd November about The Under 17 Car Club in general and the Pathfinder Programme in particular.
The Pathfinder Course. What is it?
Pathfinder is a part of The Under 17 Car Club Charitable Trust (U17CC).  Pathfinder was created to give practical advice and experience to young people.   It adopts the principles and methodology of the U17CC trust to give a five day intensive road safety and driving course to 'rising 17s' and their parents (or responsible adult). The course is ideally delivered to groups of 36 students at a time due to the high cost of hiring venues and the numbers of volunteers available.
Course Details
The students use their parent's vehicle which is preferably a manual four seater and the kindly parent is a passenger, willing or not, for most of the course.
The cost is just £170.00 for the week.  There is a bursary available for those not able to meet the fee.  The course is usually held on an airfield i.e. totally off road as the students do not have licences.  The system is built on trust.  The initial talk sets out the basis of the week.  Students start at Level 5, the encouragement grade, with no knowledge assumed.  As trust, knowledge and skills grow in the individual students they are given more responsibilities when they show they have earned them.  If the trust is broken then a student can be removed from the course without refund.  It is a good reflection on the course that this action has never had to be used.  The parents are very willing participants to enable their children to be safer drivers.
Each day includes several tests on the knowledge gained.  Parents were asked to take the first test along with the students which caused some interest as this highlighted ordinary driver’s skill sets.   Many parents admitting that they had gained new skills!
Course Content
  • Core driving skills
  • Theory tests
  • Risk awareness and management
  • Attitude development
  • Brake & avoid
  • Speed awareness
  • Handling peer pressure
  • Highway Code
  • Vehicle safety checks
  • Close manoeuvring
  • Van & lorry driving experience
The course content is a cut down version of the Under 17 Journey which is shown below.
Stonelea NAC Warwickshire
Long Marston Airfield
Car Park at Cheltenham Racecourse
Throckmorton Airfield Worcestershire
Autumn half term (late October)
Easter holidays (April)?
Early summer (July)?
Course Benefits
Early statistics have shown that after the course the RTC rate (Road Traffic Collisions) reduces from 1 in 5 to 1 in 17 for the first year.  So on this basis alone the course is very valuable.  Feedback from parents on how it has helped their kids and their own driving skills shows The Pathfinder course deserves much wider take-up.
After the talk there was some lively discussion and it was hoped that we as an organisation could do more to help this laudable enterprise.
It was mentioned how parents try their best to protect their children but of course teenagers tend to find parents their worst teachers.  Similarly parents' driving styles can be very bad role models.  They wish to help their children but unwittingly can promote risky behaviours as many will not have had any tuition since passing their driving test.
One of the talks in the programme was about how to sentence a young driver after causing a fatal collision.  The police stated the maximum and minimum sentences available.  Not withstanding this a few mothers on the course suggested hanging drawing and quartering twice was about right, whereas some fathers may have thought a suspended sentence would be more appropriate.  Lively discussions ensued as well as what the students thought.
Statistics show how young drivers are very at risk at the following points:
- When out with their peer groups and at night. 
- That young female drivers tend to have fewer collisions than their male counterparts, but chillingly, a girl is most at risk when being driven by her boyfriend who is trying to show off.
The programme is subsidised by Gloucestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner and supported by Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership and IAM observers. Sadly, Wiltshire Police and our crime commissioner have shown little interest, possibly because of the re-organisation with Avon and Somerset and Gloucestershire.  As the students progress and pass their driving test, they are invited to join Advanced Motoring Schemes.  The advice is agnostic but clearly, as The U17 CC has IAM observers, more input from RoADAR, which would be welcomed, would assist us in attracting younger members.  The system used is well packaged and could be exported to other geographical areas.  The trust would be glad to assist in making the system available to other groups.   
Winston Castle
Wiltshire RoADAR on Swindon105.5 FM
Swindon 105.5FM – The RoADAR hour
On Tuesday 20 October, 10am, myself, Mary Southgate and Stephen Izatt spent an hour broadcasting live the virtues and benefits of Wiltshire RoADAR. Our objective was to get the name of RoADAR out in the public domain to attract some new, and possibly appeal to younger members. Though in hindsight perhaps “Silver Dream Machine” was not the most modern of tunes to play but I enjoyed hearing it again anyway!
I had sent in a programme breakdown to the station detailing the areas we wanted to cover, which is both car and bike. The show presenter, Des Morgan, was biased towards bikes having owned a few in the past so the show ended up being bike biased. However, this did not stop us from mentioning the Under 17 car club and other benefits of advanced car driving.
Our intention for the first show was to cover the following:
1. Intro to RoADAR, what we do and the history. What are the benefits.
2. How we do it – Roadcraft and the systems used
3. Tutoring – how this works for both car and bike as they are different
4. How to join RoADAR and set-up the next show.
I'm not sure we covered it all as the total talk time we had was between 30-40 minutes given that there were five songs played. Surprisingly short and time did fly especially during the first section. I think it was a lot to cover in one session, but one lives and learns!
The live broadcast went out on Tuesday 20 October at 10am, followed again on Wednesday 21 October at 6pm. The coverage area for the station covers more than Swindon. Their reach goes as far south as Trowbridge and north to Fairford. And all areas in between.
I believe this is a really good way of us getting the name and brand of RoADAR out there. We need to keep the momentum up as this show is not a one off. The station seemed keen to have us back next month and I’m just confirming dates. Overall we got the name of RoADAR out there and achieved our initial aim.
The next show is to be on “Winter driving and how we apply the Roadcraft system” for both bikes and cars. We want to really emphasise the car section next time. There could be the opportunity to  film what we do too, but let’s get the next show sorted first!
I would like to keep change to a minimum so, my plan is to swap a “presenter” each show, but to retain two presenters from the previous show.
Peter Genet
[Since this first programme, another session has aired, attended by 3 committee members, on the subject of Winter driving, as mentioned above. If you'd like to be part of the panel on future programmes, please get in touch with Peter.]
Don't forget that all members are welcome to have further training drives/rides with a Tutor before taking their three-yearly re-test. Please contact Monica if you would like to arrange this. Please can you also let Monica know when you take your re-test so that the Group's records can be kept up to date.
Christmas/New Year Meal
Our traditional Christmas/New Year meal will be taking place during the evening of Friday 22nd January 2016 at The Village Inn, Liddington, near Swindon. All members and their partners are welcome! To book your places please contact Mary ( as soon as possible informing her of your menu choices from the following menu. Payment in full must be made by 13th December. Do come and join us, this is always a good evening.
3 courses & Coffee £23.00

Melon & Prawn Cocktail
Homemade Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup
Ham Hock Terrine

Main Courses:
Fresh Saddle of Turkey
Stuffing, sausage & bacon

Fresh Salmon
With a Lemon & Dill sauce
Moroccan Lamb Casserole
With apricots, sultanas & Moroccan spices
Topped with flaked almonds 

Homemade Steak & Ale Pie
Chunks of beef cooked with our local 3Bs
Served with roast potatoes & vegetables 

Angus Beef Lasagne
Served with a crisp salad garnish & garlic bread. 

Butternut Squash & Stilton Risotto 
With garlic bread & salad


Homemade Fruit Crumble
Chocolate Gateau
Ice Cream Sundae
Homemade Trifle
Fresh fruit salad
Membership Secretary: Mrs. Monica Graham, 114 Marines Drive, Faringdon, Oxon. SN7 7UG.Tel: 01367 242377
Hon Secretary: Mrs. Mary Southgate
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