May 2015
Dates For Your Diary

Monday 8th June
7:15pm for 7:45
Meeting: Matthew Sheridan and Mike Eve from Halfords will be speaking. See opposite.

Saturday 20th June
From 11:00am
LGV/HGV Driving Experience

Monday 13th July
7:15pm for 7:45
Meeting: Speaker TBA

Friday 25th September
Williams Grand Prix collection visit

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 Craig Morris who has recently joined the group as a member of the bike section.
Congratulations to William McElhinney who has recently passed his car test with a Gold grade. His Tutor was Chris Gleed.

Congratulations also to Diederick de Bruijn who has recently passed his bike re-test with a Gold grade. 
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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Williams Grand Prix Tour
We have now confirmed a date for the tour of the Williams Grand Prix collection. This will take place on Friday 25th September at 10:00am. We still have space available so contact Monica as soon as possible to confirm your place. The collection is housed in the award-winning Williams Conference Centre at Grove, Wantage, Oxfordshire and is Sir Frank Williams' private Williams Grand Prix collection, the largest of its kind in the world, spanning the history of the Williams F1 team since 1978. Tours are composed of:
  • Refreshments on arrival
  • Introduction and preview video
  • Escorted tour of the Grand Prix collection
  • Technology room display
  • Trophy room
  • Williams gift shop
  • Free secure parking
Tickets are £35.00 plus VAT per person.
(Note this does not include access to the Williams F1 Factory).

Contact Monica as soon as possible if you would like to come along. 
June Meeting - Halfords
On Monday 8th June Matthew Sheridan and Mike Eve from Halfords will be joining us for our monthly meeting. They will be discussing the fitment of child seats and the laws concerning carrying children in cars. We are all likely, at some point or other, to need to carry a child in our cars, whether as a parent, grandparent, aunt/uncle or just helping a friend or neighbour. What are the laws in this area and how can you ensure that the seat is suitable for the child as well as for the car? This promises to be an interesting evening so we hope to see you there!
Summer Events
We are currently planning to attend the following events throughout the summer in an effort to promote the group and increase our membership. We can only do this if we get enough volunteers to help man our stand so please consider helping out. If you are able to lend a hand, even if it is just for an hour or two, then please contact the secretary, Mary Southgate, by email at, or put your name down on the lists that will be available during the Monday meeting on the 8th June. Thanks!
Strawberry Drive, Classic Car and Motor Weekend (Lotmead Farm, Swindon) - July 5th
National Bikesafe Show (Castle Combe) - July 11th
Calne Bike Meet - July 25th
Emergency Services Show (Hullavington airfield) - September 13th
Meeting Venue
Thanks to everyone who responded to the recent survey about the venue for our monthly meetings. At the present time we do not feel that the response was compelling enough to warrant a change of venue. We will, however, keep this under review and look at it again if we feel enough members want a change.
May Meeting Report: Don't Argue with the Examiner! An evening with Rob Braybrooke
On the 11th May Rob Braybrooke, a RoADAR Examiner for both cars and bikes, chaired a discussion session with no fixed agenda. This led to a lively and interesting evening.

Rob joined Thames Valley Police Traffic Division in 1985. Once he had reached the rank of sergeant he was mainly tasked to the most serious Road Traffic Collisions (RTC) and he learnt there was no such thing as an accident; just people making mistakes. He stated he could count on one hand the number of genuine accidents he had attended. The word accident was used to explain away blunders.

He noted Police pursuits were becoming a bit reckless and normally ended only when the target vehicle crashed – all the police were doing was chasing people and the risks were high. Pursuit management was required and Rob was involved in examining the science of “ending the pursuit”. Tactical Pursuit and Containment (TPAC) was born and Rob became the Thames Valley Police trainer.

Rob spent eleven years conducting TPAC and attending fatal accidents and felt he had to do something about road safety. This led to his introduction to RoSPA  - he is convinced we are making a difference.

Casualty statistics were discussed: in 2000 there were 3600 fatalities a year on British roads with a ratio of one death to ten serious injuries to one hundred minor injuries. By 2014 the numbers had dropped to about 1800 fatalities but the ratio remains the same. Of all fatal RTC 6% are on motorways, 65% on rural roads and 29% in urban areas.

Police used to be contracted by the Department of Transport to have marked police cars on the motorways. In an effort to improve the above statistics, traffic police started concentrating more on rural roads (but still with the ability to respond to motorway incidents) with the Highways Agency helping with the management of motorway traffic.

The discussion moved on to the improvement in the statistics: whilst our driving test is one of the most rigorous in the world it is stil a one-off test.  There is no political will to introduce a re-test - it is perhaps the insurers who hold the most influence but it is potentially not in their interest to press for a change. Councils have limited finances so are unable to do much to help.

The following were deemed to have helped:
  • Seat belts and car design (e.g. engines will slide under the occupants in a collision; windscreen wipers are now shielded by the bonnet which reduces the potential of injury to pedestrians.
  • Paramedics capability is much improved – e.g. the influence of the air ambulance.
Other safety initiatives discussed included one from the USA where there is a proposal to ensure there is nothing in a car which will distract a driver for more than two seconds.

The conversation then moved on to some specifics about cars and bikes:

  • Do not rely on ABS – learn to ride properly the best way is to use the system, anticipate and plan.
  • If you have ABS find a quiet road and sample the feeling of it kicking in.
  • To obtain a gold grade the ride must be naturally systematic and you must not miss any part of the system – e.g. mirror checks.
  • He hates a failure to anticipate given the information around you e.g. he would want to see some reaction to a child walking away from you - think 'what if...'
  • Missing detail is a major problem.
  • Roadcraft is good; remember the system must be applied flexibly.
  • Rob did not believe there is a need for radios between the examiner and the rider under test – he fears there is a potential to distract the rider.  He reinforced the message by saying the exam is not a test on route memory.
  • He is not in favour of issuing test routes prior to the test – there is a potential for complacency.
  • He wants to see how candidates plan for junctions and how well the bike is ridden.
  • Get the system right as it covers every eventuality – it allows us to buy time and space for decision making and action.
  • There is some flexibility on hand position on the steering wheel – it does not have to be ten to two (many just grab the wheel with white knuckles at 10 to 2).
  • Rob is interested in how well you control the car. For example, on steering:
    • Never dry steer a car
    • An airbag will not go off when the vehicle is travelling less than 15 mph so crossing hands at low speed is not a problem
    • A light touch and good smooth car control is required.  He wants to see a greater emphasis on pull of the wheel rather than push. You have finer muscle control pulling.
    • Fifty-pence steering must be avoided – again the emphasis is on the system and smooth car control.
  • Examiners are not obsessed with speed but appropriate speed for the conditions is expected.
Final Point
Everything RoADAR does is good and creates a high standard of driving and riding. Just ensure we all use the system all of the time and not just when being examined.

Thanks to Rob for a very interesting evening.

Bob Fram 
Membership Secretary: Mrs. Monica Graham, 114 Marines Drive, Faringdon, Oxon. SN7 7UG.Tel: 01367 242377
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