February 2015
Dates For Your Diary

Monday 9th March
7:15pm for 7:45

Meeting: Gary Franks will be returning to give an update following his banger run trip to Italy in aid of Help For Heroes.

Monday 13th April
7:15pm for 7:45

Meeting: We will be holding a Technical Evening, covering advanced driving and riding techniques, hosted by Mark Sealey

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 joined the group recently:

Peta Knott (car)
Anthony Mansfield (car)
William McElhinney (car)
Jane and Gordon Calland (bike)
Congratulations to the following members who have all passed their advanced tests recently:

Alan Quin (bike) Silver. Tutored by John McKellar.
Clive Bailey (car) Gold. Tutored by Chris Gleed.
Ed Deacon (car) Gold. Tutored by Les Brown.
Nigel Cox (car) Gold (re-test).
Mike Bedwell (bike) Gold (re-test).
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 www.wiltshireroadar.co.uk.
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 newsletter@wiltshireroadar.co.uk
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Contact Details
Please remember to let Monica, our Membership Secretary, know if any of your contact details have changed, such as your address, phone number or email address. Thanks!
Christmas/New Year Meal
On the 30th January around twenty of our members met up at the Village Inn in Liddington for the annual Wiltshire RoADAR Christmas/New Year meal. We hope that everyone who attended had a good time! If you couldn't make it, then we hope that the following reports sent in by members who attended will tempt you to join us next year! 
I arrived at the Village Inn at Liddington with my wife Paula just on the 19:30 arrival time, pressures of work meaning we cut it quite close - as is often the case! The dining area was quite full of group members plus significant others, and we recognised many familiar faces. As everyone grabbed a drink from the bar and took their seats there was lots of lively discussion, not all of it was motoring related!

We enjoyed three sumptuous courses; in our case we had soup du jour, a very nice cauliflower soup, followed by lasagne and a steak and ale pie, with cheesecake and coffee to finish. The quality of the food was excellent, and the staff did a good job supplying the various dishes through the evening with flair and smiles.

Paula and I did rather well on the raffle, scoring a prize each! I think it was rather nice to have a Christmas gathering at this time in January, as the run up to the holiday can be very hectic, both work-wise and socially.

There were Christmas crackers with the usual cracker jokes and puzzles, but it was still a pleasant change from the many standard Christmas meals that we often have in December. It was also nice to be able to chat with other group members in a more relaxed setting, as there isn't usually much time on the monthly meetings.

All in all, a very pleasant way to start 2015, and for my money it's more positive to kick off a new year, than drawing a line under the old one. We doff our caps to the organisers for a job well done, and thank the group members for their pleasant company. Cheers!

Gary Franks
This was my first time at one of these meals and in a pub I’d never been to. Instructions from Monica were be there 7.30 for 8, so we all turned up as instructed, ready for the feast we had chosen some months ago.

The starters began to appear, some of us had ordered melon and prawns, the shock on the faces of those having ordered this when half a melon appeared filled with melon balls and prawns, there were a few looks around the table as to what the rest of us were going to get. Luckily it wasn’t half a loaf of bread with the pate or soup much to everyone’s relief.

The main courses again filled the plates, comments of “there’s a lot of it, I’ll never finish this” went round the tables, but most finished their main course. It was nice to have good home cooked food with seasonal vegetables.

THEN the desserts began to appear; apple pie with custard, cream or ice cream, fruit salad with either ice cream or cream and various other desserts with combinations of custard, ice cream or cream. I personally couldn’t finish mine lovely though it was!

Then came the raffle, the prizes were enjoyed by all who won them including the farmhouse cookbook won by Mary Brown which also had details of places to stay (from memory in Yorkshire).

The meal was a success; everyone went home happy and very full. I would like to thank Monica for organising it (and us) and look forward to the next one.

Louise Hall
Motorway Driving
We are advised to check our brakes after driving through a flooded area, so should we also consider checking our brakes after covering many miles in very wet conditions on a motorway journey?

If you are on a long motorway journey, covering many miles in very wet conditions and not having to use the brakes for some time, I believe that one should carry out a moving brake check at intervals. No, not to inconvenience other motorway users, but just enough to ensure that you have a response.

It may be wise to leave the motorway at a service area, carry out a moving brake check, satisfy yourself that the brakes are working efficiently and then re-join the motorway. If this is not considered, you may find that, in an emergency, your brakes are not working as efficiently as you imagine they would, simply because of water ingress over a prolonged period affecting the system.

The Highway Code advises us to extend our Overall Stopping Distance in the wet but there are other things to consider I feel.

Your may agree or have differing views, if so send your comments into our excellent newsletter.

Chris Gleed (Advanced Tutor)
Cruise Control/Automatic Lights
With the recent bad weather, it seems like a good time to remind our members of the following issues that relate to driving in poor conditions:
  • Automatic lights do not come on in mist and fog. Never rely on these automatic systems and be prepared to switch them on and off manually when necessary.
  • Never use Cruise Control in the rain. If the car begins to aquaplane, it may accelerate beyond the set cruise control speed when the tyres lose contact with the road surface.
Don't forget too that there is a comprehensive article on Night Driving, written by our Car Training Officer, Nick Carrington, available on the Car Drivers section of our web site.
February Meeting Report - Rob Heard, Hampshire Constabulary
The Wiltshire RoADAR meeting on Monday the 9th February had a good audience of members captivated by the talk on the topic of older drivers.

Bill Reed provided an introduction, and spoke about his personal experience with relatives whose driving and safety was suspect.

Sgt. Rob Heard, from Hampshire Police gave us his background and described the incidents that led to his passion to recognise the problems facing older drivers. He has set up the Older Driver's Forum. The intention of this is not to ban older drivers, but to assist them by providing extra education involving instructors and occupational therapists to allow the older driver to be better prepared and a little more confident in the driving environment of today!

He described the use of a ‘Three Pronged Approach’ to raise awareness, offer voluntary assessments and create a purpose built referral course as an alternative to prosecution. He covered the facts about ‘How to manage without a car’, giving advice to those who decide to give up driving about how to maintain their independence. He also spoke about the Forum of Mobility Centres which offers advice on aids etc., to make driving easier for those that do not have a notifiable medical condition and the Fitness to Drive assessment course run by Hampshire Constabulary, which is used an alternative to prosecution for careless driving offences.

So much to write about really. I have known of Rob for some years with SAGE (run by Councils), and GEM ‘Still Safe to Drive’ but he has done more within Hampshire Police and the ‘Older Drivers Forum’ to make that area one of the best to assist you as the years go by.

Lots more to be found on www.stillsafetodrive.org.uk and www.olderdriversforum.com.

A thoroughly good evening and a great learning experience. With thanks to all who assisted in that evening’s talk, obtaining speakers, refreshments, setting up etc. Where would we be without them?

Chris Gleed
I've got a date for my Motogymkhana event for RoSPA and Royal British Legion Riders. It's Saturday 11th April at Swindon Karting Arena in Wroughton. It costs £20. Timings have not been finalised but it will be about half a day. Probably ten till two but that might change a little.

Please feel free to ask questions and voice your interest: robfox@wheelsworkshop.org


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