March 2020
Dates For Your Diary
Monthly meetings are normally held on the second Monday of every month at Liddington Village Hall, opposite the church.
However these have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. See your Newsletter or for any updates.

First Aid course
Being planned for post COVID-19 - more to follow

To be advised depending on COVID-19

Monthly Ride-Outs

Remember that monthly Bike Ride-Outs usually take place on the 3rd Saturday of every month. Check the Forum for details.
Ride-outs are cancelled at the moment.
Do you have a topic you would like discussed, or know of an interesting speaker?  Please contact Les Brown!

Congratulations to the following members who have passed their Advanced Tests recently:  

No notifciations of any passes

No new members during March
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!

Please forward all contributions to
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Beat COVID-19 - hopefully
I'm writing this on the 24th March, the day after the UK went into lockdown, knowing all training activities amongst others have been cancelled pending the passing of COVID-19. To be honest, it's the most depressing newsletter I have ever written. All the near future plans we had are now on hold including tutor training, associate training, ride outs, camping at the Black Cock Inn. Actually, writing Black Cock Inn is the most fun I've had writing this so far-  it's making me smile at least. I'll see how often I can get the words Black Cock Inn in as it relates to a camping trip we had planned to Exmoor in April. Hope no-one takes offence.
Copied in below are communications from HQ; these reflect the emails recently sent out informing you of the total cessation of group activities, for now at least.
However, we do still have plans. Assuming things pass over there could still be the chance to get away to Cornwall in May - fingers crossed for that. We have the Calne bike meet in July. And, even though Gary has had to cancel some of his racing, there is a chance we could get to see him drive his mini with our logo on later in the year.
As was said last month, we, the committee, would like you all to consider what you can do to help the group this year.  We are working hard to keep the momentum going but we do not have the monopoly of good ideas or all of the fun. Please keep us up to date with what you are doing regarding advanced driving and riding - why not even pen a piece for the newsletter so we get some fresh perspectives.
If you have any suggestions for speakers, or would like to speak yourself, then please contact Les at
May I, on behalf of the committee, wish you all and your families well and to keep safe in these unusual times.
Looking forward to catching up with you all later in the year once we have gotten through this.
Peter Genet - Secretary
Communications from HQ
Couple of mails from Amy at HQ
Received 23 March:
Dear Chairman and Secretary,
As you will know, RoSPA has had to make a lot of alterations to its operations over the past week, not least moving all of its HQ staff to remote working, and postponing in-car tutoring and tests until after the end of May. I just want to thank you again for your patience and ongoing support throughout this evolving situation.
RoSPA is taking its lead from the latest Government advice, particularly with regards to social distancing. As such, we’ve now taken the decision that all motorcycle tutoring and testing booked in before the end of May should be postponed.
Any riders due to take their retest during this time will have their three-month grace period extended, until such a time that they can take their retest.
We are constantly reviewing and updating the FAQ section of the RoADAR website, so please check there in the first instance if you have any queries, as the RoSPA HQ team is experiencing high demand, and may not be able to reply to every query in sufficient time.
Again, thank you for your ongoing patience. We will be in touch as and when there are further updates.
Kind regards
Amy Brant
Head of Driver Training
Received 17 March:
Dear Chairman and Secretary
Many thanks for your continued support during the evolving coronavirus situation. We’re watching the latest developments and are keen to keep in close contact with our RoADAR network.
Given the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday, during this week we will be working towards ensuring all RoSPA staff can work from home. This will not affect contact with the teams and you shall be able to call in and email as normal.
Given the current advice we now recommend that groups do not meet and that car tutoring is postponed until after May; we will of course re-evaluate this date if and when Government advice changes.
Those that still wish to continue with motorcycle tutoring can do so, and motorcycle tests will be continuing as normal while ensuring that social distancing is carried out when meeting in person prior to riding.
Best regards
Group Meetings and look ahead 
This Year’s Speakers
Thanks to Les for organising our guest speakers.
Mon13th Apr  (Easter Monday) No Meeting   
Mon 11th May To be confirmed: Mark Tunstall - Oils and lubrication
March Speaker Denis McCann, Dealing with Dyslexia

Denis is a member of our group, holds the RoSPA Diploma and is one of our senior tutors. He is also dyslexic.
The agenda was set to discuss:
  • What dyslexia is about, in the context of advanced riding and driving
  • Challenge perspectives
  • Recognised as a disability
  • Related to the way people think
Non-dyslexics think using sounds and associate a picture from what is heard. They tend to think logically, sequentially. Often termed a visual thinker.
Dyslexics think using pictures, they cannot always associate sounds to a picture. They don't think sequentially, they see the whole picture.
Take the word "dog". I see a dog in my mind. A dyslexic sees the word "dog", but is looking at the word from every angle, in-front, behind, side-to-side and top and bottom. If a dyslexic saw a picture of a "dog", then they would look at the picture from all sides to get as much information as they could about the dog. But they may not necessarily associate the word "dog" with a picture of a "dog" in their mind. That's a simple explanation of course.
Because of a dyslexic's ability to see a whole picture, organisations such as GCHQ, NASA and Apple are employing them. Dyslexics have the ability to see the whole picture much quicker than non-dyslexics and can make very good systems engineers.  Language is their barrier.
Surprisingly, to me anyway, between 10-20% of the population are dyslexic. It's often genetic and slightly more common in males.
Being dyslexic has practical implications. Good at remembering instructions, but taking notes is poor. The alphabet is tricky as is filing.
A commentary drive for when doing the Advanced driving test is difficult for a dyslexic. They can see the picture, but cannot get the words out in time - associating words to the scene is hard for a dyslexic. It can be done, but, it takes longer.  This is why Denis took the Advanced riding test!
Long term memory is where dyslexics score over non-dyslexics. Once a picture goes in to memory, it stays. For dyslexics, pictures work better than words. Knowledge is in the understanding, but struggle to repeat it. It took Denis three years to be able to recite IPSGA even though he understood it.
A major problem is that tests within our society tend to be knowledge tests rather than understanding tests. POWDDERSS is another acronym dyslexics struggle with. A dyslexic can explain it, but not necessarily repeat what each letter stands for.
How do dyslexics learn? Often, a dyslexic in school would be the kid sat at the back assumed to be the thick one! Knowing that, it's not surprising to learn that approx. 40% of the prison population are dyslexic. Society gave up on them at an early age. They weren't thick, they just learn differently.  Dyslexics are visual kinaesthetic learners, can be big picture thinkers and maintain a mental model and holistic view. They work on understanding not knowledge. Rote learning is not their style as it takes 1,000's of repetitions to learn the times tables for example. Importantly, dyslexics do not take notes.
When we train new associates, we ask them to do some pre-reading, called associative building. Associating how to apply the system with a variety of scenarios such as cornering. Not necessarily understanding why.
A dyslexic builds associatively.
For example - we tell associates to "position to the left of our lane to go around a right-hand bend to see the view, maintain stability and therefore safety - applying IPSGA flexibly to suit the situation". That's what we generally say. 
When tutoring a dyslexic we would say "position to see the view, bike is upright and stable, and we are safer". Many of the connective words, such as "the", "and", "as" are just noise to a dyslexic so avoid using. We also have some photos of such situations, so use them to explain.
When training a dyslexic rider, they prefer to have radio communication for direction. Radios also help with the mental model and associative learning and information processing. Use of radios can be reduced as training progresses. This supports the mentoring approach to tutoring rather than coaching i.e. asking questions rather than telling.
A picture paints a thousand words - it's true! Well, almost! Road signs are generally OK to visual thinkers.  Some signs are just confusing for dyslexics. Take the blue background, white border rectangle with a White and Red arrow when priority must be given is ok. But, a white and red arrow in a circular sign with a red border can confuse a dyslexic; a dyslexic often gets priority the wrong way round.
So, how can we help? Talk, develop an understanding rather than a knowledge approach, don't ask things that can't be done - eg IPSGA - take a different way of ensuring knowledge.
Great talk, thanks Denis, I certainly will be changing my tutoring approach - Peter Genet
Notes taken by Peter Millner
New Speakers
Les is working hard to fill the rest of the year’s speakers if you have any ideas please let him know at
Promotional activities
We will be supporting Wiltshire Police with BikeSafe this year both with tutors to make up the instructor numbers and to help promote the Group.  We do this in conjunction with WABAM so it is a great way to reinforce advanced riding and to gather new members. 
We will have a stand at the Calne Bike Meet on Saturday 25 July.  Please let the Chairman know if you can help at the stand - you do not have to be there all day even an hour will help so we can keep interesting people on the stand to talk to attendees.  We also promote the car section here so please do come along - there are car drivers at the event as well!
We have an exciting new promotion for Castle Combe.  Gary Franks our very own Mebership Secretary and Car Diploma holder is racing in a series in his mini this year and we have sponsored him using promotional money we did not use last year.  He will display the RoADAR Wiltshire badge and promote the Group at race meetings - usually 6000 - 8000 people attend these events so we can target petrol heads.  We can all go along and help him whilst he takes on the track and his opponents, we can help to encourage new members and spread the word of what we do whilst taking in the exciting atmosphere of a motor racing event.  Get in touch with Gary if you can help out.
The car is a 2005 Mini Cooper. It has a 1.6 normally aspirated 4-cylinder petrol engine, with a mild map up to 130 bhp (approx.). It is eligible for Castle Combe Hot Hatch Challenge, and the Saloon Car Championship. There are several classes in each race, so outright wins are not likely, but class honours might be possible. The prime aim this year is to finish the races clean, and gain experience and race signatures. Results are strictly secondary at this stage.
In addition, Gary may run the car in the CSCC (Classic Sports Car Championship) Tin Tops & Open Series at selected rounds around the UK. This is dependent on time and funding from sponsors.

The Mini is fully stripped out, weighing just over 1000kg. It is fitted with a fully welded roll cage, and has been widened and lowered with height adjustable suspension.

Perhaps oddly for a racing car, it has two seats both with 5-point racing harnesses. Aside from the racing, it will be available for track day experiences. Small groups of people can pay for a driving session under tuition in the car, then get a hot lap with the race driver at the wheel.  this will also be open to Wiltshire RoADAR members - make friends with Gary and do a deal to have a go - he is also a track instructor and will soon be a racing driver instructor!

Gary tested the car at Silverstone National circuit recently, completing 100 laps, with no issues; the times were surprisingly competitive.

Unfortunately, no racing or testing until the COVID-19 Motorsport suspension is lifted. So, its's looking like there will be no racing until the end of June!
Follow the car's progress on Facebook @Driven Ohm Racing.
If you have any ideas for events, then please get in touch with the committee using the committee email address :
Look forward to hearing and discussing your ideas.
Presentation material

A generic set of slides has been created for use if you are asked about Wiltshire RoADAR and have the opportunity to present. This could be at a local club, workplace etc. Please send a mail to   and the slides will be sent over to you.
We also have flyers and business cards so ask for these via the same means
Member's Activities
Have you been up to anything to do with Riding or Driving lately? If so, then please let us know as we would love to include it here; photos would be great too!
We had a camping trip organised, to the Black Cock Inn on Exmoor in April. The invite is for all members, car and bikers alike.  We will organise a similar trip later in the year once COVID-19 has passed.

Following a couple of enjoyable camping weekend trips last year, we plan to repeat the exercise using the tried and trusted formula.
  • Identify a camp site near a pub - it's the law ok! Laughing
We have identified a pub with a camp site. Or is that a camp site with a pub? Right on Exmoor’s Doorstep, The Black Cock Inn Offers Scenic camping.
Travel down on Friday. Gentlemen or ladies, of leisure can choose to take an extended route on Friday afternoon. It is close enough for the gainfully employed to travel after work.

We'll ride a full day Saturday route/ locations TBD. Sunday we'll pack up and take a scenic route home. Feel free to join for all or just part of the weekend. You can eat and drink in the pub or at your tent.

There is a thread on the forum where discussion and latest info will be placed. Feel free to contact Mark Sealey with any questions. And please do let him know if you want to come so he can pre-book if the numbers grow.
Links to last year's camping trips October camping  and  April camping 2019
First Aid Training - Planning ongoing, COVID-19 dependant
It is intended to provide a first aid training day (subsidised by the Group).  This is highly recommended for all tutors as part of our responsibilities for the safety of our associates but also an excellent skill for all of us; you never know when you will need it.  It is compulsory training for me at work and one of my colleagues saved her husband’s life as she had first aid training.
This will probably be on a Saturday early in the second quarter of 2020 we have 15 already interested so have started the planning. Watch this space for more (we will communicate with those who have registered an interest directly). It is not too late to register interest (this does not commit you) so email the Chairman if you wish to be included  
Media coordinator - Help us to broaden our reach
To help promote the group we have a variety of online media platforms, FaceBook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. To help make the most out of the opportunities that these outlets provide, we could use some help from someone who has experience of using such tools. Drop me a line at  if you would be interested in helping promote our group.
Any Spare Motorcycle clothing?

The Blue Knights England 18 Young rider safety initiative started as the result of comments made about seeing young riders on the roads dressed inappropriately. We've all seen the young L plated riders - shorts, T shirt, trainers and we've all commented on it; but the question remained-Why are they dressed like this?

So, with this in mind contact was made with a Devon based training college called PETROC that has campus sites at Barnstaple and Tiverton. Conversation with the young riders there revealed mopeds and 125's were transport to and from college for these riders as there were no other options available. In most cases, extended family members e.g. grandparents, had purchased the bikes and a helmet, insurance and MOT quite often funded by parents or aunts and uncles. Disposable money being limited meant jackets, gloves, leggings etc just could not be afforded. We found that it wasn't unusual for these young riders to be covering 20 to 45 mile round trips daily to attend college in all weathers, totally ill protected against the elements.

 A collection of unwanted but still serviceable motorcycling clothing was made in my chapter and in September 2018 we attended the freshers’ week at the Barnstaple campus, this resulted in us kitting out 26 young riders.

Since then we have received further donations from local MC clubs. The only thing that we do not take is previously used helmets as we cannot prove their provenance.
We continue to engage with these young riders who have shown us  they know they should be wearing kit, they understand the importance of doing so and they genuinely are appreciative of receiving donated items. We receive positive feedback from the riders, the parents, other motorcycle riders and other clubs.

We would not be able to offer this service if it were not for the generosity of fellow bikers for which we are extremely grateful. Please could members contact Andrew Peaple if they have any kit spare, they are willing to donate.
Thank you
Skillshare  - First Saturday of Every Month From  May?  - October 2020

No Skillshare in April.
We will continue with our two location SkillShare this year utlising the first Saturday of every month, usually, from April to October.  Please do spread the word and direct people to the website to register.
Three Trees Farm Shop at Chiseldon on 6 June, 1 August, 3 October
The Haven Salisbury on 1 May, 4 July, 5 September
Geeks Corner - Membership
Membership stats for November
  • Membership overall – 108 on database
  • Car Members - 45
  • Bike Members - 58
  • Dual membership - 5
  • Tutors 20 in total;
  • 5 Advanced Bike; 4 Advanced Car; 6 Approved Bike; 5 Approved Car
Please note, there are 18 tests that are overdue. But don't panic, as noted above, the 3-month grace period has been extended until beyond COVID-19.
When we are able to resume tests, please contact the membership secretary to help you book your test.
Committee minutes   
These are available from the Group Secretary if any member wishes to see them. If you are interested in reading the minutes, then please send a mail to the Group Secretary whom will promptly forward them onto you.

Please could all Members use the Forum on the Website which can be used for any purpose but particularly coordinating events, hints, tips and general conversation.  It is easy to register on the website so please do log on and chat away.
Test results 
Reminder to let the Membership Secretary and your tutor know when you have taken your Advanced Driving/Riding Test and result. This is so our database is kept up to date; there is no need or pressure at all to have the result published on the website or in this newsletter if you wish to keep your result confidential.  
RoADAR Head Office Facebook Page
Reminder of the page: or type in RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders in to your facebook.
Membership Secretary: Mr Gary Franks
Hon Secretary: Mr Peter Genet
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