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THE LINK the newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists


Circulation 410

no: 268

May 2014

newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists IAM Group no: 1009 Registered Charity No 289807 Run entirely by volunteers Affiliated to the IAM Sec. 22 Highfields Close, Stoke Gifford, BRISTOL BS34 8YB Tel: 0117 979 8061 email: secretary@iam-bristol.org.uk IAM Bristol Group: www.iam-bristol.org.uk

IAM Chiswick (national): www.iam.org.uk

IAM? Bristol Group? Who we are and what we do Bristol Advanced Motorists is an independent volunteer-run Membership Club affiliated to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM). Bristol Advanced Motorists has two main functions. · Firstly we provide Advanced Driving Guidance to enrolled Members of the Public (Associates), preparing them for the IAM Advanced Driving Test. Details of how we do this in the Bristol area can be found on page 39. · Secondly, and in order to do that, we offer a local club focus for existing IAM Members to follow their interest in Advanced Driving. The national IAM organises the well-known IAM Advanced Driving Test, although it now claims to: “support the raising of driving standards, campaign for increased on-road kills, urge all road users to act more responsibly and safely, and inform/influence government and decisionmakers to ensure that road safety receives the focus that it requires”. The national IAM also has a commercial arm, consisting of: · IAM Drive & Survive for Occupational Driver Improvement, and · IAM Driver Retraining Academy for Offence Re-training courses. This newsletter is printed, collated and despatched by Group volunteers. It is also displayed for free access on our website:

www.iam-bristol.org.uk

-

Views expressed in this newsletter are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent those of the Editor, the Committee of Bristol Advanced Motorists, or IAM Chiswick. The Group reserves the right to edit or otherwise amend original materiel submitted for publication. Materiel submitted may also be published on the Group website and in other IAM Group newsletters. If you wish to reproduce any materiel, please credit the LINK, Bristol Advanced Motorists, as the source.

Editor:

Paul Hunt editor@iam-bristol.org.uk 21 De Verose Court, Hanham, BRISTOL Assistant Editor: ‘Snowy’ Freeman

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0117 960 8494 BS15 3SW Page 1


May 2014

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Contents this Issue Bristol Group and the IAM explained A Message from the Editor Recent IAM Test Successes New Associates - April Young Driver Refund Offer on Skill for Life What is there after the IAM Test ? Margaret James has stepped-down Membership Renewals 2014 End of an Era - Group Library is no More More Group News Goodbye to the old Group Cup IAM Chiswick News New Police Driving Workshops Facebook / Twitter / EasySearch Your Invitation to Three-in-a-Car Forthcoming Monthly Meeting Speakers Driving Assessment Day for the Public CALENDAR – WHAT’S ON ? MG Motors visit / Interested in Advanced Motorbiking? The Group’s AGM Bristol Group’s Finances ‘Excess Stock’ Books for Sale Expert Drivers on ‘Question Time’ panel - March Meeting Spring has Sprung - first Three-in-a-Car of the year Three-in-a-Car - a participant’s view Caroline on 199 - Your all-day Music Station A pause to sell some merchandise - TOLLGATE HIRE Caroline Newsbeat Bristol Group’s Advanced Driver Refresher course What’s this course about? / Associate Course Dates CONTACT US: your guide to who does what

page 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 10 12 13 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 27 28 29 30 32 33 36 37 38 39 40

All content compiled by the Editor unless otherwise credited.  Contributors this issue:  Geoff Bevan, Alan Dunn, Barnaby Ellis, Martin Evans,   Paul Hunt, Clare Reeves, Tollgate Hire.    Thank you also to all people talked to during research. 

We welcome items from our readers

If you want to write something for the LINK, just contact the Editor Letters. Pieces on advanced or general driving topics. Your experiences as an Observer or Associate. A report of Group Events or Meetings. Send email, letter, or phone. Photos - electronic or prints. DEADLINE DATE: for items for the next ( July ) issue:

Page 2

Sat 21st June

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May 2014

A message from the Editor WELCOME TO THIS LINK NEWSLETTER We hope you will read it – and will find it interesting. It is the main channel of communication and information between the Club and our Members. More information is available on our website www.iam-bristol.org.uk - in fact, this newsletter is actually put-up there about a week after you receive the hard copy. Have you looked at our website lately? And you can also sign up to our email distribution of IAM and Group news releases. The LINK contains details of our Skill for Life courses. Existing Members are best-placed to recommend Skill for Life and the IAM, and are one of our best publicity avenues. Go on, please talk to your family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances. The Centre pages contain details and dates of our forthcoming Events. The first half of the LINK usually contains Club news, and the second half usually contains reports of events, and any articles or letters you submit. And we try to have one feature each time. On the back page this time are Contact Details for the Club Committee. It would be nice if Members did contact us occasionally. Some 80% of Group Members are dormant and do not actively take part. Nothing wrong with that – we are pleased to keep you as a Member – but you are free take part in the Group, or just have a chat. And of course you are free to express your views or send-in a piece for inclusion in the newsletter. Hope to hear from you soon. Regards,

The Editor

A CLARIFICATION Last issue, under ‘Forum Posters come out’ we stated some statistics about people remaining a Member after passing the IAM Test. In general terms, of every 100 who purchase Skill for Life, only 50 get as far as actually taking the IAM Test Only half of those who pass remain with the IAM for a further year, but many of them don’t remain paid-up after that. The numbers remaining with Groups are even lower: many of the Members who remain with national IAM do not remain with Groups. the LINK – newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists

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May 2014

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Recent IAM Test Successes

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by Clare Reeves

The Committee and Members of Bristol Group congratulate the following people, who have recently passed the IAM Advanced Driving Test after taking part in the Bristol Group’s Skill for Life Associate Scheme.

ASSOCIATE SUSAN BARNARD JANE JENKINS BRENDA SMYTH LIZ TAYLOR

OBSERVER VINCE ROBERTSON NICK PERRY JAMES ROWLAND MARGARET JAMES / PETE GOODMAN

You will all be Upgraded to Group Full Member until the end of 2014. We hope that in due course each of you will continue as both an IAM Member and a Bristol Group Member and support our efforts to help other people in the Bristol area to become better drivers.

above: Klaus Gottschling (right) accepts his Certificate from Group Chairman Andy Cole at a recent Group Club/Social Meeting. photo: Geoff Bevan

Page 4

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New Associates – April course

The numbers have taken a welcome upturn. And also, although we have had fewer enquiries, a greater proportion has evolved into Enrolled Associates, so hopefully both these factors bode well for the future. The 24 people range in age from 17 to 85, with women comprising 33%. APRIL 2014 COURSE

THOMAS ARCHER JAMES BELT ALEXANDRA CAHILL PETER CROMPTON PAUL FARMER DEREK HODGKINS NICOLA KINGABY SHANE PETERS STEPHEN PORTER KIMBERLEY VEITCH SARA WATERHOUSE PAUL WILLIAMS

GEORGE BARNES PETER BUSH RALPH COLMAR ALAN DAWES SERENA GRIFFITHS RICHARD JONES BENEDICT MACKAY LYNNE POOLE BARBARA ROYNON JOHN WARD ASHLEIGH WELLER LAURENCE WORK

We also have on the books, but not yet started:

JO MATTHEWS

PAUL MATTHEWS

TIM MORBEY

Jo and Paul are apparently unable to attend the seminars at BAWA, and Tim has been temporarily posted away from Bristol with his work. We hope to welcome all three to another course soon. The first half of Seminar One has been completely re-jigged and is now in a “Question and Answer” style – starting with, “What do you think makes a good driver?”. It seemed to go down very well with the audience, with plenty of correct responses coming forward. The “stopping distance at 40mph” scenario brought gasps of amazement. By comparison, old-style part two of the Seminar seemed a bit staid and theory-heavy, but was still appreciated. Week Two was presented by Mark Gollop and Andy Cole. They gave their own perspective on the set material and Associates found it “enlightening” and “very useful”. The third “Meet an Examiner” session will be on June 11th. And a reminder – ALL current Associates are welcome to attend. And if any Associates have missed a Seminar One or Two, they are welcome to come to the corresponding session(s) on a future course. Next dates: July 09th (Seminar One) and July 16th (Seminar Two). the LINK – newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists

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May 2014

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Money-back Offer for South Gloucestershire under-25 Young Drivers who pass the IAM Test SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE COUNCIL Road Safety Team is providing funding as an incentive to promote better driving and reduce casualties in the vulnerable under-25 age group. The ÂŁ139 refund offer is open to Drivers aged under-25 who are RESIDENTS in the SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE Local Authority Area, or who WORK PERMANENTLY in that area, or alternatively who are undertaking FULL-TIME EDUCATION in that area, and who pass the IAM Advanced Driving Test within 12 months of starting guidance.

BRISTOL GROUP Do YOU know a Young Driver who could benefit? Further details: associates@iam-bristol.org.uk

0117 969 1746

NOTE: Our Young Driver offer is good news for South Gloucestershire residents and others who qualify (see the conditions above). Unfortunately, the Bristol Group cannot offer a refund to other Young Drivers taking our guidance under Skill for Life. The geographical area covered by Bristol Advanced Motorists falls under several different Local Authorities. None except South Gloucestershire has provided current funding, and therefore we cannot offer a refund to Young Drivers living in those areas, and who do not comply with the conditions of the South Gloucestershire scheme.

Page 6

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May 2014

What is there after the IAM Test ?

AND, WHAT DOES THE IAM OFFER APART FROM SKILL FOR LIFE ? A recent question, arising in connection with the IAM’s accredited Observer qualification, revealed that even most Observers are unable to answer these two questions. Because existing IAM Members are in a position to sell the IAM to family, friends, colleagues and contacts, they should at least be aware of what the IAM offers. FIRSTLY - SKILL FOR LIFE The Bristol Group is actively involved with providing this, and you should be familiar with it. Details are towards the back of the LINK. AFTER THE IAM TEST The new Member, having passed the IAM Test, may like to: * Join a Group as a Full Member. He can become involved, by a) Training to be an Observer, or b) Taking part in 3-in-a-Car updates or Group events c) After a while, taking a Refresher Course * Re-take the IAM Test and aim to get a F1RST (essentially, a “1” grade in every box on the marking sheet) * Go on to take the IAM MASTERS Test (described as “the highest civilian qualification in Police Roadcraft-style driving available to the public) WHAT ELSE DOES IAM OFFER TO MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ? FOR INDIVIDUALS – AVAILABLE FROM IAM CHISWICK * Modules for more confident driving (eg Motorway driving) (Some individually, some in a classroom - e.g. via Council or Company) * Momentum (web and road-based for Young Drivers) * DriveCheck Plus (one -off Assessment) * Drivecheck 55 (one -off Assessment aimed at the older driver) FOR COMPANIES * IAM Drive and Survive provides various courses or schemes for Occupational Drivers. FOR OFFENDERS * IAM Driver Retraining Academy provides driver offence retraining courses on behalf of Police forces and Councils. YOUR HOMEWORK – Find out more at the IAM website the LINK – newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists

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May 2014

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Margaret has stepped-down AS TRAINING ADMINISTRATOR Margaret James has resigned from the Committee and her long-held post of Training Administrator, in which she had helped the Chief Observer and had arranged FAD and Observer Training, and had booked the speakers for the seminars of the Skill for Life courses. Margaret had previously held other posts, such as Associates Administrator and Shopkeeper. Margaret has also resigned as an Observer. She never had an Associate fail the Test, and was the Margaret James archive photo first Bristol Group Observer to have an Associate achieve F1RST standard in the IAM Advanced Driving Test. The Training Administrator role will be taken forward by Mark Gollop, pictured (below) at the AGM, accepting from Vice-chairman Marlene a bouquet of appreciation for Margaret, who could not attend.

photo: Geoff Bevan

Page 8

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Membership Renewals 2014

May 2014

by the Treasurer

Thanks to all who have renewed. IAM Groups rely on Membership subscriptions to enable them fly the IAM flag locally and get more people through Skill for Life to become Advanced Drivers. If you can’t be a Group Member, we accept DONATOR contributions – ask the Treasurer. On 27 April 2014, Bristol Group figures were:

NOW

end 2013

● Group Full Members renewed – Cheque/SET/SO 237 14 ● Upgraders from 2013 renewed as Full Members ● Group Full Members – new joiners from outside 1 Sub Total 252 ● Group Full Members renewed (but underpaid so far) 36 1 ● Group Friends (not able to take the Test) 4 ● Group Donators (supporters, ex-IAM Members) 12 ● Upgraded Associates (year to date) 56 ● Associates enrolled and under guidance Grand Total 361

(297) (1) (12) (33) (34) (377)

MEMBER COMINGS AND GOINGS The good news is that 14 of the 33 people who took the Test with Bristol Group last year have remained with the Group as new Group Full Members. However, 6 have informed us they have resigned (4 because of no further interest, and 2 having removed away), with the rest just lapsing. One new existing IAM Member has joined us from outside the Group – Welcome, Jo Day – but thirty-four existing Full Members have left us: ● Removed away 6 ● Cost too high 5 3 ● Stopped driving ill health 2 ● Other commitments 2 ● Joined RoSPA instead 1 ● No further interest 1 ● Retired from work 1 ● Joined Weston Group 3 ● Lapsed 10 ● Deceased We are sorry to report that Members Geoffrey Irons, Granville Morgan and Sue Roynon passed away during 2013. I am sure you will join me in passing condolences to their families. UNDER-PAID STANDING ORDERS Despite contact by phone/email/letter, 36 existing Group Full Members remain under-paid. A further reminder has been sent. But we have one mystery payment via BACS, with no reference except the bank details - Sort Code 30-16-11, Account Number xxxxx328. Is that you? If it is, please get in contact with the Treasurer. the LINK – newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists

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May 2014

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Group Library is no more – the end of an era Our Group once had an extensive Library of Books, Videos and Audio Tapes, recently supplemented by new CD-ROMs and new DVDs, and was a point of interest at our Monthly Club/Social Meetings. Over the last few years the patronage declined, until nothing at all was loaned in a year. Rather than being a source of Income for the Group, the Library had become an expensive, under-used facility. The Audio Tapes were disposed of a few years ago, then the Videos and some of the Books, with the last of the DVDs being sold-off at the March Meeting, the final un-sold few being taken by a Member for possible sale at a Table-Top sale. A few books remain in a suitcase and they will probably shortly go the same way. clip art:

Houston Library and 2D Art

More Group News

MEMBERSHIP CARDS Bristol Group has this year ceased to issue Group Membership Cards. Associate Cards were discontinued a couple of years ago. In the Group, we know who you are, and if you have paid. And for external purposes, you have your Chiswick IAM Membership or Associate Card to show. ANNUAL REPORT 2014 In a move to reduce both postage costs and volunteer effort, we intend not to mail the Annual Report 2014 to Full Members. It will be instead put in the Members’ Area of the website, with only the brief essential details printed in the pages of the hard copy LINK. Hard copies will be available at the AGM but will only be available beforehand upon specific request. HARD COPY and ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTERS The LINK will continue to be printed and mailed – in the short-term at least. For those who request it, we can delete you from the mailing list and instead send you an email notification that the LINK has been put-up We currently have 5 Members on our website www.iam-bristol.org.uk plus one Complimentary on the list. Page 10

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NOVEMBER LINK WILL BE EARLIER THIS YEAR Normally the LINK newsletter is sent out to a fixed timetable based upon giving two weeks’ notice of the next Monthly Meeting. However, commitments of certain volunteers demand a revision, so the November LINK, and Membership Renewal request, will be a fortnight early. Collation volunteers please note that Collation will be two weeks early - not on Monday Nov 10th, but on Monday 27th October. CHECKING ASSOCIATES’ LICENCE, INSURANCE, TAX DISC, MoT Doing this is an IAM and Group requirement before any assessed drive. It used to be easy to check the existence (or not) of paper documents. But the paper Tax Disc will be discontinued from October 2014. The MoT is only a plain-paper receipt and many Insurance Certificates are issued online, with the recipient not printing them out, and unable to do so later as many are only print-able for one or three months. The paper Driving Licence Counterpart will be discontinued in mid-2015. Checking electronic records will be easy for a Police Officer with the correct equipment, but impossible for an IAM Official or Observer. Until an approved solution is found by IAM Chiswick, a Declaration from the Associate and a level of trust may have to prevail, if that is permitted. But in the short term, Observers can be reasonably confident of accepting their judgement of things on trust. As from mid January 2014 neither the DVLA nor the Post Office has issued a Tax Disc without the proper electronic record of both Insurance Cover and MoT being in place. OBSERVERS NEEDED The Group has recently lost some Observers from its ranks. Roger Stimpson, formerly Group Chairman and Chief Observer, has stepped–down due to health reasons. Clyde Brown, experienced and successful Observer and RoSPA Member, has removed to Norfolk for family reasons. However, he intends to join an IAM Group in that area and continue Observing. Margaret James, mentioned elsewhere in this issue, has resigned. Pam Hunt will resign in June 2015 rather than re-qualify. That leaves 25 Observers in the Group, only two being female, with currently 56 Associates and 2 Refreshers needing guidance. When the IAM started Associate guidance – way back - the forecast was that half of those who passed the Test would go on to become Observers, which never occurred. If you passed the Test you will retain most of the knowledge, and you may be able to train as an Observer. Volunteer now! the LINK – newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists

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May 2014

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Goodbye, old Group Cup

The Bristol Group Cup is the main Group Award, presented each year at the AGM to “the person who has promoted the Group with distinction”. Elsewhere you will see that this year we have a brand-new Group Cup, because the previous one has no more space for engraving any new names, and the constant polishing over the years has removed a lot of the silver plating! You can see in the photo from last year, when Paul Hunt was the last recipient of the old cup, that the cup indeed appears more brass than silver! Here is a list of previous recipients. You will need to look in the archives to see who some were, but W Dorrington was one of the original 1958 Committee. Many of the more recent names are long-serving and still around. That ‘Mr Blank’ actually won it a few times suggests that keen volunteers must have been lacking – surely not! 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 Page 12

R POPE R POPE BLANK JRE HIRRONS W VINEY BLANK J LAURIE G BOND G DAVIS W DORRINGTON J PELAMORE J DEAM K COLES MISS J CROOK P CARY TC MERRICK BLANK J TOLLEY P LARK P HODGE D LODGE P LARK & I TOMLINS K ROSSITER BILL NAISH & PHIL NUNN PAM MEACOCK

1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

BLANK PHIL LANE MIKE FORWARD ANTHONY OLIVER ROGER JOINT RICHARD AVERY ALAN HILLIER PAM BLAKE MIKE LEIGH GEOFF HOWSE LESLEY JEFFRIES PHILL NUNN & DOUG LODGE MARGARET JAMES & STEPHANIE WOOLLAM MARLENE BAKER & MIKE HALL ROGER JOINT ANDY COLE & ROGER STIMPSON BERYL & CLIVE SMITH ANDREW NICHOLLS DOUG LODGE VINCE ROBERTSON ALAN HALE IAN HARRIS CLARE REEVES ANDREW & HELEN NICHOLLS PAUL HUNT

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May 2014

IAM Chiswick News OPEN COMMUNICATION ? PRODUCED MONTHLY BY IAM CHISWICK FOR IAM GROUPS AND THEIR MEMBERS The IAM Journal, Advanced Driving, is no longer the sole “Journal and Organ of the Institute”. Much news and information is instead put-out in the INSIGHT sheet, in e-newsletters, and on Facebook, Twitter, and even in the NRG Minutes. So you have to keep an eye on those fragmented channels, and look on the IAM Forum on the IAM website to check that you have not missed something.

£149

SKILL FOR LIFE FEE TO RISE TO £149 FROM 01 OCTOBER 2014 This was first noticed in the NRG Minutes, and was later announced in small print in the May issue of INSIGHT. So now is a good time to promote the IAM and Skill for Life to your friends, family and work colleagues – BUY NOW TO BEAT THE INCREASE !

None of the increase will come to Groups, however. Pat Doughty of IAM Chiswick gives as reasons for this: o Examiner “expense” payment rate increase (the first for 15 years) o Assistance with “Standards Enhancement” for Groups o Refreshed Marketing Materiel o Removal of the Senior Observer test fee o Free IMI registration for National Observers o Support from IAM paid Regional Operations and Quality Managers o Access to the Chiswick DTE computer system o Introduction of Autumn Forum regional meetings. Although the increase is “only” £10, the increase from £139 to £149 seems psychologically much greater. £149 is undeniably near £150, whereas £139 seems much further away from £150. We will have to wait and see what happens to Associate numbers enrolling. ANOTHER IAM CHISWICK “DIRECTOR” APPOINTED Also in the small print of the May INSIGHT is the announcement that Mark Lewis has been appointed IAM Director of Standards. The blurb says that the IAM needs to “implement exacting performance standards” and “shift how it delivers its courses”, and says that Mark will “develop standards for all areas of the IAM”, with initial focus on “products, the Advanced Test and Observer standards”. That implies that Courses, Examiners, and Observers, are all below par. Again, we will have to wait and see what happens. Apparently the NRG is already considering “one best way” for Groups to deliver guidance. the LINK – newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists

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May 2014

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IAM CHISWICK COMMUNICATING DIRECT WITH ASSOCIATES The Group recently had some confusing enquiry calls – maybe explained when we found-out from the IAM Forum, the NRG Minutes and from Facebook that IAM Chiswick, unknown to Groups and Observers, is contacting Associates direct, referring them to Facebook and Twitter, offering “advice leaflets” and even inviting them to contact Chiswick direct by phone or email for “help”. Such contact includes the “Speedo Leaflet” (below) which is now enclosed in the initial “Associate Pack” (with welcome letter and HTBABD book).

Another item is the “Ten top tips to pass the Advanced Driving Test” which we found on Facebook. You can access this one by visiting the IAM Forum and looking under: General – “Time to Test” (March 25th). Or if you are looking at this online, go direct: IAM Facebook Posting Page 14

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May 2014

IAM INTRODUCTORY VIDEO EXCELLENT - BUT WHY IS IT HIDDEN AWAY ? The IAM made an excellent promotional video over a year ago – but why isn’t it widely available, linked from every Group website or available on Facebook? It is aimed at the Motorcycle audience, and I came across it on a Motorcycle Group website, but a Car version could easily be produced. Look at it and see what you think. Put Hull Advanced Motorcyclists into a search engine of your choice ( www.heram.co.uk ) Or go direct http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NayCH_PWDuU IAM 500,000 The membership number sequence clicked over 500,000 in February This is a milestone for the IAM – even though it is somewhat misleading because it does not represent 500,000 people passed the IAM Test, because the ‘passed Members’ sequence was combined with Enrolled Associates and Affiliates a couple of years ago. On the Forum, Membership Manager Paul Woozley posted that there were “surprises in store for number 500,000”, and that the IAM was hoping to “generate some publicity”. Has anyone seen anything? SURETY DECLINE We have heard a rumour that the number of Members taking-out motor insurance through IAM Surety brokers has flatlined, or even decreased. IAM Surety may give a favourable premium (but as always, check the cover provided), but be prepared for a long process to beat them down on price through their ‘price matching’ procedure. Many people are reluctant to engage in that process, or find it annoying, and prefer a competitive premium to be offered in the first place. IAM SKILLS DAYS Dates for IAM circuit-based driving instruction are available, such as Thruxton on 08 July. £129 for a half-day session, using your own car (insurance not included). Contact the IAM Support Team: 0208 996 9700 Full details were given in the March LINK.

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May 2014

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Police Driving Workshops On 26 March, the anniversary day of the introduction of the compulsory Driving Test in 1934, Avon and Somerset Police announced that it is launching a scheme to provide post-test education to young drivers age 17-24, and indeed to new drivers of any age, pointing-out that 95% of collisions are caused by Driver Error. By no means a competitor to the IAM, it is a free 2-hour interactive course with funding for delivery to 6,000 people at various locations around the Force area. RoadSmart is delivered by the training organisation TTC, which already delivers existing Offence Re-training workshops. RoadSmart website extract below.

ROADSMART - CHANGE YOUR THINKING ABOUT DRIVING DRIVER SAFETY WORKSHOP FOR

17 TO 24 YEARS OLD A lifetime of safe and collision-free motoring will come with time and experience. Passing your driving test grants you the freedom of the road and the flexibility to come and go as you please. However, the task of driving a car should not be taken lightly as its likely to be one of the most dangerous pursuits you’ll ever engage in. WHAT WILL I LEARN ? You will learn about the top four causes of young driver collisions and, most importantly of all, how to avoid them ARE THERE ANY OTHER BENEFITS? As well as becoming a safer driver, you will be offered a substantial discount from a leading young driver Insurance company. You will also be given a Halfords voucher for 15% off your next purchase. And there’s a prize draw (conditions apply) to win an iPad.

DRIVER SAFETY WORKSHOP FOR

25 YEARS AND OVER Most of us do not engage in any form of driver training after passing our test, but instead engage in a lifetime of discovery as we hone our driving skills. However, how do we know we are driving as safely and as efficiently as we could? WHAT WILL I LEARN ? You will learn about defensive driving, enhanced speed management, fuel efficient driving and how to avoid the most common collisions. ARE THERE ANY OTHER BENEFITS? Not only will you become a more aware and safer driver, you’ll save money too as you employ modern driving techniques. You will also be given a Halfords voucher for 15% off your next purchase. And there’s a prize draw (conditions apply) to win an iPad.

More info at www.roadsmart.org Page 16

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Find us on Facebook

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May 2014

by Barnaby Ellis

DON’T DO IT WHILST DRIVING –

Our ‘open’ Facebook page is viewable without you needing to belong to Facebook. Go to www.facebook.com/BristolAdvancedMotorists or search for Facebook Bristol Advanced Motorists

Follow us on Twitter by Geoff Bevan @ iam_bristol DON’T DO IT WHILST DRIVING You can see all the tweets on our account without belonging to Twitter. https://twitter.com/iam_bristol or search for Twitter IAM Bristol

RAISE ‘REWARD’ FUNDS WHEN YOU SHOP ONLINE

Shop online via EasyFundraising and every purchase raises a percentage cashback reward for the Group at no extra cost to the purchaser.

RAISE ‘REWARD’ FUNDS FOR INTERNET SEARCHES

Each time you search the web with iambristol.easysearch.org.uk and click on one option you will raise half a penny. It may not sound a lot, but it all adds up - our members have raised over £150 with EasySearch.

UNSURE WHAT TO DO?

Just contact the Group’s Geoff Bevan or Martin Evans and they will advise you. ( see the Contact Us page.)

Join the 32 Group Members already registered!

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May 2014

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Your Invitation to THREE-IN-A-CAR 2014 series Bristol Group is an organisation that provides Advanced Driving Guidance. Mainly to new Associates. BUT, MEMBERS, this is YOUR opportunity to get a few tips from some of the Region’s top Observers. Even if you’ve never been on a Three-in-a-Car you’ll be welcome – they are free and they’re an ideal way of 'keeping in touch' with Advanced Driving. Their purpose is to assist you in maintaining your high driving standards. Date

Time

Location

Sunday 18 May 10.00am Gordano M5 Services 07714 992 639 Contact: Andy Cole 0117 986 1418

MAY 18th is the second in the series for 2014, and Andy Cole, who is organising this one, is keen to see as many of you there as possible to support him and the Group. The location is easy to access, initially in the car park at M5 Gordano Services, and it gives access to routes including the motorway, country roads and the urban environment of the towns of Portishead and Clevedon, so there’s a wide variety of driving situations. Give Andy a head start - call him to let him know you’ll be there. Don’t delay - call him today! And put these other Three-in-a-Car dates in your Diary: Thursday 03 July Sunday 10 August Saturday 13 Sept Sunday 19 October

19.00 evening 10.00am 10.00am 10.00am

Thornbury Leisure Centre Old Sodbury, Cross Hands Gordano M5 Services Keynsham, Ashton Way

Read the reports of the 3-in-a-Car that took place in March – elsewhere in this issue of the LINK. Three-in-a-Car is really an essential activity in which ALL Bristol Group Members should partake. Page 18

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May 2014

Forthcoming Group Monthly Club Meetings Clare Reeves, our Monthly Meetings Contact, has organised our meeting speakers for the whole of 2014. The current programme for future months is below (may be subject to last-minute changes): JUNE

Ian Brooks, of abnormal load escorts, Road Pilots.

JULY

Freewheelers – Voluntary Motorbike Emergency Service

AUGUST

Martin Davey, who is involved with a scheme with the RAeS for schools to build a micro-light.

SEPTEMBER Lecturer / Consultant in Environmental Health Protection Dr. Sarah Jones OCTOBER

Graham Eason of Great Escape Classic Car Hire

NOVEMBER Drink/Drive presentation by W02 Chris Stockwell of the Army Reserve INTO 2015 Ideas being followed-up include: the UWE RACING project ● ● the IAM’s PDS Driver Retraining Academy with Helen Richardson of IAM Drive and Survive Diabetes and Driving Probably Feb 2015 - with a ● representative from a local diabetic support group ● Paul Ryman-Tubb - Technical Director, Motor Insurers' Bureau the cost to drivers of uninsured drivers. ● Jon Trott - Great Western Society (Didcot railway etc) ● ● Tim and Susannah Hills - their life, work and charity in Uganda. http://www.fingerprintsinuganda.org/ Probably May, 2015 the Bristol Aero Collection Filton project ● The Group is still on the lookout for fresh leads and ideas to keep the momentum going. So if you have a contact – or an idea for a subject – such as a topic, interest or hobby you are passionate about – then get in touch with Clare at creeves123@gmail.com ARE YOU THE NEW MONTHLY MEETING SPEAKER ORGANISER ? Clare has sorted the speakers right through 2014, but now she has takenon the task of Associates Administrator, the Group is looking for someone else to find and book speakers on interesting, relevant topics for 2015. INTERESTED ? Speak to the Chairman or any Committee Member. the LINK – newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists

Page 19


May 2014

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FREE OFFER FOR THE PUBLIC more on our website Tell your Family, Friends, Colleagues

FREE DRIVING ASSESSMENTS WORTH

£35

SUNDAY 8th June 2014 10:00am to 2:00pm at B.A.W.A. Centre, Southmead Road, Filton, BS34 7RG How is your driving today - compared with your driving test? We put our car through an MOT - so why not have an occasional check of our driving skills as well? Take half an hour out to concentrate on your driving style – Get a fresh approach to driving. Identify those little bad habits. Improve your driving skills. Get more enjoyment from your driving. Get more confidence. Feel safer. Our Driving Assessment is a 'no pass - no fail' driving experience: get a FREE relaxed independent appraisal without commitment.

To book your FREE Assessment, call: 01454 619289 As long as you can read a number plate at 20 metres, are a current full driving licence holder and your vehicle has both insurance and MOT - you're eligible. Police Class 1 Examiners on hand to answer your driving questions. Information available on the IAM’s Skill for Life advanced driving course. ( Photo above shows Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy taking an Assessment. )

Page 20

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CALENDAR

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May 2014

for Bristol Advanced Motorists

Next Club/Social Meeting Topic – May 27th Bloodhound supersonic land speed record car Martin Evans gives an update on progress.

BAWA Pavilion Room 7:30pm for 7:45 start

MAY Sun Tue

Three in a Car driving update session (see page 18) at Gordano M5 Services, 10:00am start 27 Monthly Meeting BAWA Pavilion 7:30pm for 7:45 start Bloodhound supersonic land speed record car update 18

JUNE Sun 08 Free for the Public – Driving Assessment Day, BAWA 10-2 Tue 10 Exec Committee Meeting - if you wish to raise an issue, contact the Group Chairman Wed 11 Skill for Life Course 2014/2 seminar three – Meet an Examiner BAWA 7:30pm Thu 12 Group Visit to MG Motors, Birmingham (see page 22) Sat 21 Copy Deadline for LINK newsletter (July issue) Tue 24 Monthly Meeting BAWA Pavilion 7:30pm for 7:45 start Ian Brooks, of abnormal load escorts, Road Pilots. JULY Thu 03 Three in a Car driving update session (see page 18) at Thornbury Leisure Centre, 19:00am start Mon 07 Newsletter Collation at BAWA 4:30 until 7:00 approx *** More helpers needed *** – contact Andrew Nicholls Wed 09 Skill for Life Course 2014/3 - seminar one BAWA 7:30pm Wed 16 Skill for Life Course 2014/3 - seminar two BAWA 7:30pm Tue 22 Monthly Meeting BAWA Pavilion 7:30pm for 7:45 start Freewheelers – Voluntary Motorbike Emergency Service AUGUST Sun 10 Three in a Car driving update session (see page 18) at Cross Hands, Chipping Sodbury, 10:00am start Sat 23 Copy Deadline for LINK newsletter (September issue) Wed 27 Skill for Life Course seminar three – Meet an Examiner BAWA 7:30pm Tue 26 Monthly Meeting BAWA Pavilion 7:30pm for 7:45 start Martin Davey, RAeS schools project to build a micro-light. [The BAWA Club is at 589 Southmead Road, Filton, BS34 7RG, between Southmead Hospital & British Aerospace. Look for the playing fields. ]

the LINK – newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists

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May 2014

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Thurs 12th June date for Visit to MG Motors So far 12 people have expressed interest, all seeming to prefer the option of using their own cars rather than using a minibus. Whatever, we will all have to arrive on site as one party. If you are interested in attending, put your name forward at a Monthly Meeting or contact Andrew Nicholls, who has offered to organise. 01749 860321 display@iam-bristol.org.uk To recap: Visitors meet in the MG Sales Centre on the Longbridge, Birmingham, site, which showcases MG products. There is an insight into ‘today's MG’, a visit to Lord Austin’s original office, a look around the MG Museum, and a visit to the Technical Centre. Test drives of MG6 or MG3 are offered if booked in advance, subject to a valid driving licence on the day. Tours last 2 hours and there is a charge of £5 per visitor to cover the cost of ‘tea and biscuits’, all profits going charity. A wannabe Social Organiser is still desperately required by the Group. Please get in touch with the Chairman, or indeed any Committee Member.

Interested in Advanced Motorbiking ? Bristol Advanced Motorcyclists is a separate IAM Motorbike Group, providing Advanced Riding guidance for newcomers, at SUPER SUNDAY events, and acting as a club for existing Members in Bristol. Newcomers, just turn up at 09:00 on the FIRST SUNDAY of any month (but NOT January) at Kings Oak Academy, Brook Road, Kingswood, BRISTOL BS15 4JT. Get a taste with a free assessed ride, and maybe sign-up for the Motorbike Skill for Life course. Grab a bacon buttie and a cup of tea, meet like-minded people, and maybe attend the various presentations. Use the link on our own website to access the Motorbike Group’s website. Or go to the Motorbike Group’s website direct: www.bamo.org.uk Or phone 01275 372637 or email membership@bam-members.org.uk

Page 22

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The Group’s AGM

May 2014

by Paul Hunt

The 56th AGM of Bristol Advanced Motorists was held at BAWA on Tuesday 22nd April and went well. 34 Members (13% of the Group’s current paid-up Full Membership of 252) attended. There were also 2 Associates, 6 Guests and 6 Visitors present. Chairman Andy Cole led the meeting, with Vice-Chairman Marlene Baker, Secretary Martin Evans and Treasurer Paul Hunt on the podium. ANNUAL REPORT and ACCOUNTS Andy welcomed the Members and Guests, gained approval of the Minutes of the AGM held in 2013 and then said a few words to expand on the Annual Report which had been circulated. He extended “huge thanks” to all those who had contributed as Committee Members and Helpers, without whom the Group could not survive. There is a small Committee, who between them “do a fantastic amount of work”, and a great team of Observers with high standards and achieving a good pass rate. Andy then thanked the local IAM Examiners for their help and co-operation and also Alan Hale and South Gloucestershire Council for the continuing financial support for the Young Driver Refund Scheme. Marlene and Martin added comments to that, mentioning that the Group has recently concentrated on young drivers under 25 but we should be looking towards the middle-aged and young parents. Also, it would be great if Members became more involvement of members both in running the Club and taking part in practical activities. There are both Committee and occasional Helper tasks such as a Social Organiser and Newsletter Collation (just 6 evenings a year). We are always looking for more attendance at Events – and always looking for suggestions from Members on what the Group should do, and how we can improve. Treasurer Paul Hunt gave an overview of the Group’s financial position, which, he said, was flat. (His full explanation follows this AGM report.) Only a couple of questions came from the floor, one querying the claiming procedure for Gift Aid, one querying the calculation of “Cash Reserves”, and one concerning the current Membership numbers. Following approval of the Report and Accounts, Paul moved the usual proposal that Craig continue as Independent Accounts Examiner for 2014, or that in the event that by next year Craig was unable to act, Committee be authorised in advance to appoint someone else. This was approved.

the LINK – newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists

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May 2014

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AGM AWARD PHOTOS above (top left): This year we have a brand-new Group Cup, because the previous one has no more space for engraving any new names, and the constant polishing over the years has removed a lot of the silver plating! Tony Gilbert is the first name on the new Cup. above (top right): Alan Dunn (right) examines the Chairman’s Award, presented to him by Chairman Andy Cole. The model car, being an MGB, naturally has not proved too durable - and is now in need of a little repair and restoration. above (left): Vice-Chairman Marlene pictured with a bouquet and IAM Certificate of Appreciation for Pam Hunt, the previous Associates Administrator. Pam was not able to attend. above (right): Pete Goodman being presented with this year’s Observer Award.

Page 24

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May 2014

ELECTIONS Group Chairman Andy Cole, Vice-Chairman Marlene Baker, Secretary Martin Evans and Treasurer Paul Hunt were re-elected unopposed as Officers. Geoff Bevan (Website/Publicity) and James Rowland (Database Administrator) retired by rotation under the ‘one third’ rule and were re-elected as Committee Members. Pam Hunt (Associates Administrator) had resigned from the Committee in the year: and Margaret James (Training Administrator) had resigned before the AGM. Clare Reeves stood as Associates Administrator (co-opted from January 1st 2014). The new Training Administrator, Mark Gollop, did not stand for election as he is going to perform the task as a non-committee post. There were no offers from the floor to stand for the Committee. (See the Contact Us page for a full list of Committee). AWARDS · The BRISTOL GROUP CUP, awarded to the person who has promoted the Group with distinction, went to Tony Gilbert, in recognition of efforts to encourage members to continue their driver development. ·

The CHAIRMAN’S AWARD was given to Observer Alan Dunn. Andy said Alan was a Team Leader, an established Presenter at seminars of the Skill for Life courses, a Senior Observer, and he gets on quietly with things in the background. A deserved award.

·

The OBSERVER’S AWARD, which is decided upon and awarded by Chief Observer Geoff, went to “enthusiastic and committed” Pete Goodman. Accepting, Pete said that he was “amazed”, as he had only passed his IAM Test in 2011 and had become an Observer in 2013. He added that he didn’t initially think he would enjoy it, but he has found the process of handing-on advice “very rewarding”.

Two further awards were made, to Pam Hunt and Margaret James, who had both recently resigned from their long-serving Committee posts as respectively Associates Administrator and Training Administrator. Neither lady was present so it fell to Paul Hunt and Mark Gollop on their behalf to each face the embarrassment of receiving a bouquet and envelope containing a small gift voucher. An IAM Certificate of Appreciation was also given to Pam. TO THE BUFFET ! Regional Manager (Southern) Mark Trimmer gave a brief few words of support before the break for the buffet. Afterwards Yannis Georgiou of Avon and Somerset Police gave a presentation on Accident Investigation, after which the Raffle was drawn, to conclude the evening. the LINK – newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists

Page 25


May 2014

AGM PHOTOS above; below left: below right: bottom

Page 26

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Podium, left to right – Marlene, Andy, Paul and Martin. Norman Dadd - asking questions again. IAM Paid Regional Manager Mark Trimmer saying a few words. The audience of 48 included our friends Gary and Ken from our neighbours Weston and Mendip Group.

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May 2014

Bristol Group Finances for year-end 31st Dec 2013 AGM statement by the Treasurer

This year the financial position of the Group has again remained “flat” compared with the previous year(s). First of all let me explain the figures - which are distorted because we hold four separate Restricted Funds. A ‘Funds Movement’ table in the Annual Report shows overall income and payments in the various funds. The main figure shows a surplus of £587. But that is across all funds. The real situation, removing transactions in those special-purpose funds, is that General Funds show a deficit of (-) £579 on the year. That compares with 2012’s deficit of (-) £459 that would have resulted without the exceptional and generous donation of £1,000 received from Group Member Eric Clark. The Group continued its activities through 2013 the same as in 2012 and 2011, and indeed in previous years. The Group’s costs are 2 blocks - Associate Courses, and all that involves, including Publicitry, and Member Benefits, mainly Monthly Meetings and the Newsletter. A sub-committee considered cutbacks in all these areas a couple of years ago but decided on balance to keep these things going where that remains possible - although they all remain vulnerable. There is one area where it could be said we are not spending sufficient effort (and money) – and that is on local publicity appearances in the field. Meetings and the Newsletter are the membership side of the Group. We must retain ordinary Member interest in the Group so that we have money and volunteers to be able to continue with Associate Guidance. Meetings are entirely a cost nowadays – not a break-even as used to be – costs of £881 last year, and only £85 profit from the Raffle. The Newsletter cost has gone up, particularly postage, but it is all that the majority of Members get out of the Group – although we claim to have “300 Full Members”, we only see or hear from about 60 in the year, and that is including Committee and Observers. With Associate fees fixed by Chiswick, and remaining static, our other main Income Stream is from our Group Full Member fee – and, as you are aware, the fee increased on 1st January to £20. At present we have 288 Full Members on the books – 11 less than at the year-end Dec 31st. However, of those, 36 have not updated their Standing Order and are underpaid at the moment. We are unsure what the outcome of this will be.

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May 2014

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A difficulty for me as Treasurer is Gift Aid. Although it is easy for someone to sign a Gift Aid form, the HMRC Rules and procedures for claiming have become more complex and have changed twice in 2013, which prevented me from getting up-to-date. An experienced Member has offered to assist and hopefully we will get up-to-date over the Summer and uncertainty will be removed from the Accounts by the next year-end. We cannot look upon Gift Aid as a continuing source of income. Last year I said we could not look forward with any certainty, and that remains the case, particularly with re-organisation of the IAM, increased costs and fees, and changes in society. We must not be complacent. Many charities, clubs and societies are closing – one club local to me closed this month after having incurred debts of over £6,000 in the last year alone. At the year-end we had £8,052 Cash Reserves, a little up on 2012, so, whatever happens we are well-placed for survival through 2014.

‘Excess Stock’ Books for Sale

The Group Shop has a small number of two titles that we wish to move on. ROADCRAFT 2007 edition: Now superceded by the 2013 edition, although still in demand for some purposes. SPECIAL PRICE £7.50. ULTIMATE DRIVING CRAFT 2 DAY & NIGHT ( DOUBLE DVD ) by CHRIS GILBERT The second of Chris’ excellent DVDs. Expands in detail on his first DVD. Covers cornering in depth. Much footage of commentary. Also covers Friendly Follow, Night Driving and advice for Women driving alone. SPECIAL PRICE £26.

To purchase these items, please contact the Treasurer. Books can be brought to an Associate seminar or Monthly Meeting on request. Page 28

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May 2014

Expert Drivers on 'Question Time' panel MONTHLY MEETING MARCH

by Clare Reeves

Following the successful Motorists’ Q & A Forum held early in 2013 in somewhat inclement conditions, it was decided to move the event to the hopefully more favourable early spring meeting at the end of March. Not as many members attended as had been hoped but our worthy panel of IAM Staff Examiner Andy Poulton and Group Members Geoff Bevan, Martin Evans and Tony Gilbert gave their audience a comprehensive set of responses to the questions submitted, in a format inspired by the BBC’s ‘Gardeners’ Question Time’. The points raised by members, many of them in advance to enable the panel members to check their facts, included:• Amount of knowledge Young Drivers have of their vehicles at the point of taking their DSA driving test. • Requirement, or not, for the legality of giving one’s name and address to another driver if requested – this is possibly not correct as long as details are given to the police. • What is the optimum speed when driving at night on an unlit motorway and being able to stop within the length of your vision with average headlights? • On approaching a sign indicating an increase in speed limit should a driver accelerate in order to reach the higher speed at the sign or wait until the sign post itself? After much discussion on the above points and others, with many theories put forward, Andy Poulton ended the evening by giving the assembled throng a test on the variety of positions in which a School Crossing Patrol Officer can wield their pole, and what they mean. Hopefully this Q & A Forum will become an annual event but is only made possible by the input of questions and queries from the Group membership. MEETING REPORTER NEEDED This report is in a new shorter format. It gives the essence of the meeting but doesn’t give any detail of the presentation. This format will continue to be used whilst we don’t have volunteers who can specifically prepare a full impression of the guest speaker’s talk. To volunteer to help with this, or anything else, contact the Chairman or any Committee Member via the Contact Us list or at a Monthly Meeting. the LINK – newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists

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May 2014

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Spring has Sprung –

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FIRST TIC OF 2014

by Alan Dunn

The end of March, the lawn mowers are rattling, the garden centres are getting busier, daffodils abound - and members of Bristol Advanced Motorists poke their heads above the hedgerows. Yes, the 3-in-a-Car season is upon us again. It kicked-off on the last Saturday in March, when a record breaking group (for recent years) of 18 met in the car park of the Cross Hands Hotel, Old Sodbury. 17 came from the Bristol Group, the 18th being Kevin Patience, a spy from the Bath Group, and very welcome too.

above: 18 at 3-in-a-Car, with organiser Alan Dunn sixth from left, with clipboard. And if you are counting, there’s the photographer and a couple of late-comers to account for! photo: Tony Gilbert below: 3 Associates, but not in a Car: left to right, Phillip Morgan, photo: Alan Dunn Sue Clifford and Ralph Colmar.

Page 30

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As a venue, Old Sodbury offers a wide variety of routes. Despite recent moves to reduce some local speed limits, there are still many roads within a short drive where 60mph is not a crime, and which give an excellent opportunity to make maximum progress. Most other roads are rural, many without pavements, twisty with varying speed limits, all of which test observation skills and road planning techniques. Three of the gathering, Phillip Morgan, Sue Clifford and Ralph Colmar, were all Associates under the Group’s guidance preparing to take the Advanced Driving Test. 3-in-a-Car is a valuable opportunity for Associates to see advanced driving put into practice by experienced Members, and to feel part of the Group. Phillip told me afterwards how much he had enjoyed the experience and thought it a great help in his preparations. If you haven’t been to a 3-in-a-Car before, the concept is simple. The assembled participants are divided up into small groups (usually 3 per group, but the mathematics don’t always work out). One member of each group drives their car on a route of about 30 minutes with the others as passengers. Then, they all swap round until all have had a turn in their own car. Discussion on driving points is encouraged and the whole occasion is friendly, constructive and fun. Dates for these events are published in the LINK and further venues this year include Gordano Services, Thornbury and Keynsham, as well as another date at Old Sodbury. At least one of these venues should be within reasonable driving distance for most members of the Group, so it is sad that with our Bristol Group totalling well over 300 members, we look at 18 participants as record-breaking. These events are for the benefit of members and provide a great opportunity to meet other members of the Group, and to check driving skills. They cost nothing other than a little time and a few litres of petrol. Most people get involved with the Institute of Advanced Motorists because they like driving and wish to further their skills. Isn’t this exactly what 3-in-a-Car is all about? My colleagues, Tony Gilbert and Andy Cole, who organise the other venues, would love to be overwhelmed with numbers at their events. Fortunately, however many turn up, we can all count to three, so we should be capable of coping with vast numbers. I look forward to seeing even more members next time in Old Sodbury on Sunday 10 August. Why not make a note in your diary now? And if you are an Observer, encourage your Associate(s) to join in, too.

the LINK – newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists

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May 2014

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Three in-a-Car -

a participant’s view

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by Paul Hunt

I attended my first 3-in-a-Car some 25 years ago, and found it so useful that I left another Group and joined Bristol Group instead. That event was in Portishead, with Ken Rossiter in charge, and 25 members present, mostly ‘Ordinary Members’, with a just a few Observers to put us right!

The first drive this time at Old Sodbury was a demonstration by an IAM Masters person – a good continuous commentary, but discussion resulted about the apparently random venturing over the white line to the other side of the road, and the high speed carried at various points. On later reflection, it took me back to the early 1970s, driving round South London in my souped-up Ford Escort, before I took the IAM Test. The second driver turned-out to be an Associate, and I found myself in the front passenger seat, explaining why he should not attempt the speed of the first drive, talking about recognition of hazards from side roads and entrances, speed-on speed considerations, being able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear, and the increased importance of that on the narrow lanes with wet mud at the sides. On the main roads we were keen to overtake, but although the vision allowed it, the subjective low Council-imposed speed limit restricted us to only talking about it. Then there were a few instances where we could talk about the benefits of over-riding the auto gearbox to maintain control and a reasonable gear. When my turn came to drive there was general jovial discussion in the car, so I decided not to attempt a demo but to go back to the basic 3-in-a-Car concept, that is, to drive normally and see what comments come. The Cockpit Drill was embarrassing, because both wiper blades were split (see below). My choice of a semi-urban route brought some adverse comments – but after all, we should be able to drive well anywhere. I got a rebuke for a quick adjustment of the analogue heater control on the move. And it was pointed out that my steering was good except for my left thumb on the inside of the wheel. (I was unaware of this, but it is “a physical bodily

feature” and I am not going to have my arm broken and reset to correct the angle!) And lastly, although I have read the new Roadcraft, I missed the bit where “tyres on tarmac” has been updated to “tyres on tarmac and some empty tarmac, to allow a safe haven for a bike or motorbike”.

So, very useful for all types of IAM driver, and I recommend that all Ordinary Group Members consider coming along to a 3-in-a-Car. [Those torn wipers - My car had only been serviced and MoT tested a fortnight before. When I queried with the Toyota garage why the wipers had been missed, I found that some of the essential service items had not been done either!]

Page 32

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May 2014

Ding, ding! GOING BACK IN TIME ON THE SOUNDS OF THE NATION – It’s a Caroline Flashback !! Some Advanced Driving purists may say that radio has no place in a car except for being on mute and switched to traffic reports – but pop music is the least distracting of all radio broadcasting – and on Easter Saturday March 28th 1964 – 50 years ago – Radio Caroline, the first of the UK pop pirates, started broadcasting from international waters off Essex. ( “One-nine-nine” rhymed well, but actually it was 197.2 metres ! )

above: MV Frederica – Radio Caroline North, off Ramsey, Isle of Man. inset: Caroline Club car sticker.

The 50th anniversary event got extremely little coverage on the BBC or in other media – which underlines how touchy the establishment still is about free communication. But the fact remains that Caroline forced the introduction of today’s popular music broadcasting, local radio and commercial radio. But none of today’s radio has the ad-libbing, fun, freedom and ‘play what you want’ of Caroline and the others.

Caroline (1964 version) by pop/harmony band the Fortunes, the station’s main ‘theme’ music, as well as instrumentals such as Rinky-Dink by the Johnny Howard Band and Image by organist Alan Haven are all available via the video option of a Search Engine of your choice, as is a ‘broadcast reconstruction’ by K-Tel with Tony Blackburn and some of the jingles.

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May 2014

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At first I listened to Caroline with difficulty at home - but in 1966 and 67 I lived in Preston, so could hear Caroline North very well. Until 1971 car radios were uncommon because one needed a separate car radio licence for a fixed car radio, but not for a portable. I had a Murphy B818 portable, (now a classic) wedged on the passenger-side dash of my Vauxhall Victor. The Murphy had a large 6-inch speaker, a good internal aerial, and ‘bandspread’ tuning over the lower medium wave to give more accurate tuning on the analogue dial. I later fitted a car aerial and learnt a lot about suppression, earth bonding and aerial shielding. top: Editor’s Vauxhall Victor at the Leyland Trucks student residence (Stokes Hall) near Preston, 1966. above: Murphy B818 portable radio. To judge size, it is about 9 inches long (230mm). photo: classicwirpeless.org

.

The tax disc in the windscreen was joined by the Caroline Club sticker and the Caroline Johnnie Walker Kiss-in-the-Car licence. From the start, the UK government had considered radio to be such a powerful means of communication it should be under state control – and set-up the BBC in 1927. Listeners had to pay a licence fee but had no say in what they heard, and government tried to stop listening to foreign stations. In the early 1960s there was Radio Luxembourg in the evening, but reception was poor. The only modern music on the BBC was a Sunday pm roundup of the charts, and a formal Saturday Club hour. To hear music you visited the record store demo booths, and bought records and the music papers. Off-shore ‘pirates’ were ‘tolerated’ elsewhere – notably the US Voice of America and the Dutch Veronica. Young Irish entrepreneur and music agent, Ronan O’Rahilly, copied them to get exposure for his artists. Funded by backers, he fitted out the former ferry Frederica as a radio ship, named it Caroline, and started broadcasting from off the coast of Essex. Page 34

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May 2014

The name Radio Caroline allegedly came from the picture of President Kennedy being distracted from work by his 3-year-old daughter Caroline, who was ‘disrupting government’. The ideal image and name. Soon, on 12 May, a rival, Project Atlanta, on the Mi Amigo, arrived nearby. Caroline took it over and renamed it Caroline South, and Frederica went to the original destination, off Ramsey. Isle of Man, from July 6th becoming Caroline North. At first, adverts were small – such as Woburn Abbey – but soon big names followed – memorable are Sunsilk Shampoo and Bulova watches. Soon there were another dozen ‘pirate radios’ on ships and forts. The UK Labour government and the GPO went rapidly into international action to stop the broadcasts - with the Council of Europe, the International Telecommunications Union and the Shipping Authorities. It even wanted to fine people for listening to Caroline! UK Government planned the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act. I still remember the unpopular Postmaster General (1964-1966) who was the main architect – none other than Bristol MP Anthony Wedgwood Benn. The Act came into force on 14 August 1967 when all the pirates stopped broadcasting except Caroline. It changed base and supply to Holland, but it lost impetus and ceased when both ships were impounded for debt on 05 Mar 1968. In 1965, with the pirates having ‘20 million’ listeners, the UK Authorities reluctantly saw the need to modernise. 1967 saw the new BBC Radio 1 (a watered-down and ‘controlled’ pop station, with ex-Luxembourg and ex-pirate DJs), Radio 2 (‘light entertainment’) and the first BBC local radio. Commercial radio eventually came in 1973. In 1970 the Swiss-backed Radio Nordsee ship brought a brief pirate resurgence (I listened to RNI when I was living in Scunthorpe – by that time I had a Ford Escort with a proper fitted radio) until 1974 when Dutch law caught-up with the Marine Offences Act. Caroline continued as a pirate album station, and is now legally operating as an Internet station. Today the government is still worried. Ratification of UNCLOS by 157 countries places unauthorised broadcasting alongside drug trafficking, piracy, and slavery – and allows a country to board a foreign registered vessel in international waters. Today, much broadcast media remains state owned – or, by issuing licences, is still controlled by the establishment. Maybe things will get out of control with Internet broadcasting. And conventional radio may be in decline with falling listenership, the ‘DAB debacle’ and the penchant for personal digital music. Anyway, I’m off to Weston to see a live performance by the current line-up of the Fortunes. the LINK – newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists

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May 2014

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4 kinds of Sunsilk shampoo! – and 1 is for you! ( and even if you haven’t got any hair, it will give your head a beautiful shine – so go out to your nearest ironmonger now, and get some! ) SELL ON RADIO CAROLINE NOW! CONTACT: CAROLINE SALES, 6 CHESTERFIELD GARDENS, LONDON WEST ONE

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May 2014

Caroline Newsbeat

PLANS FOR STAPLE HILL POLICE STATION Longer-term Bristol Group Members will remember Staple Hill Police Station. It was used by ex-Examiner Paul Hodge as a meeting venue for the IAM Advanced Test, complete with that awkward ‘reverse round a corner’ off Hill House Road nearby. Bristol Group also used it for the second pilot of the new-style Fixed-Length Associate Courses in 1996. Now McCarthy and Stone has plans to clear most of the site and build 43 retirement apartments – sorry, “Later Living Accommodation”, as they call it. The old Police Station House will be retained and converted into five units, and a ‘Visitors Apartment’ will be created in the Coach House. left: Cars parked on Broad Street reminiscent of old, with the former Staple Hill Police Station buildings behind the trees. photo: The Week In Keynsham

EXTRA HARD SHOULDER RUNNING When our Highways Agency speakers told us about the new Managed Motorway, they warned us to look out for drivers who are not totally aware of the situation, and mentioned the possibility of cars being on the hard shoulder outside of the ‘managed’ area. So far, I have been undertaken by a white BMW 5-series on the hard shoulder on M5 north approaching Junction 14 (Falfield) and also by a grey Vauxhall Insignia on the M4 west, approaching the M48 junction. Both were driven by singleoccupant be-suited young business gents. Beware of such numpties! USA CAR POOL LANES They were originally introduced to make it faster for ‘car-sharers’ to get to work. That other people travelling singly were delayed was seen as punishment for using a car. But new studies show that such roads suffer vastly increased pollution resulting from slow-moving traffic in the other lanes. With the emphasis now on air quality, could that see a change in policy regarding unpopular 2+ lanes in the UK, including Greater Bristol? the LINK – newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists

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May 2014

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BRISTOL ADVANCED MOTORISTS

ADVANCED DRIVING REFRESHER COURSE The Refresher course is run by Bristol Group for existing IAM Members, who passed the IAM Advanced Driving Test maybe some years ago. It provides an opportunity for you to ‘refresh’ your Advanced Driving skills to a current level where you could easily pass the IAM Test again. Without regular re-assessment or re-reading of the IAM manual and Highway Code, many IAM Members find that their knowledge and application of Advanced Driving skills reduces to a standard below that needed to pass the IAM Test. Ask yourself random questions, such as: Can you name and explain the underlying factor and the ● four phases that make-up the System of Car Control? ● Can you put words to C………… O………… A………… P………… ? ● How are you at Cockpit Drill and POWDERY? ● Can you explain Limit Point Analysis? ● What about Short Stay and Long Stay? ● Can you explain the techniques for safe Motorway driving? If you said “ NO “ to any of those, or similar questions, or are unsure, then the Refresher course is for you. You share the three classroom seminars of an Associate course, and also your allocated Observer will give you six practical driving guidance sessions, individually tailored to your requirements. There isn’t a Test, but a Certificate of Completion will be awarded. Cost: £39. To take part in the course, you need to be a current national IAM Member, and also a current Bristol Group Member. If you are not a current Bristol Group Member, you will additionally need to join Bristol Advanced Motorists. The annual Membership fee is £20. Ask us for an application form. Previous course participant Pauline says,

“I would recommend the Refresher, particularly to longer-term Members who took the IAM Test some years ago. It has boosted my confidence and, I believe, has made me a better driver.” Courses start each January, April, July and October. For further information please contact Mark Gollop: training@iam-bristol.org.uk 01454 773234 Page 38

the LINK – newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists


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May 2014

Know someone who could be a better driver? Word-of-Mouth is one of the best publicity methods – so tell them about Skill for Life, an Advanced Driving Course which can help a driver be more confident, safer - and make driving more enjoyable. Better driving is not a one-time benefit but a Skill for Life. The IAM package contains everything to get your driving skills up to the mark, at just £139, with in-car advanced driving guidance, supplemented by three seminar sessions, and of course the renowned and respected IAM Advanced Driving Test itself. Guidance provided by Bristol Group requires a six-month commitment. The three seminar sessions are held at the BAWA Club in Filton on Wednesday evenings, with the practical one-to-one on-road driving sessions in your own car with your one allotted volunteer Observer at mutually convenient times, ideally once a week. Age is no barrier. Whether a driver ‘with years of experience’, or a brand new or young driver, you will benefit from this course. And if you pass the IAM Test whilst under 25 and are a South Gloucestershire resident, you could have your fee refunded. Every Skill for Life course now comes with 12 months FREE RAC roadside and recovery cover (£106 RRP) so there has never been a better time to become an Advanced Driver!

2014 Advanced Driving Course Dates

TELL FRIENDS, FAMILY, COLLEAGUES JULY OCTOBER JANUARY 2015 APRIL 2015

Seminars Seminars Seminars Seminars

( PRE-BOOKING REQUIRED )

on Wednesdays Jul 09th, Jul 16th, Aug 27th. on Wednesdays Oct 22nd, Oct 29th, Dec 03rd. on Wednesdays Exact dates to be arranged. on Wednesdays Exact dates to be arranged.

For those who don’t want a full course, Mention our one-session DriveCheck Assessment. For details of course or assessment, contact: 0117 969 1746 or associates@iam-bristol.org.uk the LINK – newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists

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May 2014

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CONTACT US:

www.iam-bristol.org.uk

Your guide to who does what

TO ENQUIRE ABOUT SKILL FOR LIFE OR A REFRESHER

email associates@iam-bristol.org.uk phone direct 0117 969 1746 ADVERTISED PUBLIC ENQUIRY NUMBER: 07071 20 11 73

Executive Committee, Bristol Advanced Motorists Chairman

Andy Cole

Vice Chairman

Marlene Baker

Secretary

Martin Evans

Treasurer

Paul Hunt

Publicity Officer

Geoff Bevan

Associates Administrator

Clare Reeves

Newsletter Editor

Paul Hunt

Database Administrator

James Rowland

Membership Development Publicity Events Organiser Young Driver Rep.

Tony Gilbert Gary Nunn Barnaby Ellis

07714 992 639 chairman@iam-bristol.org.uk 01454 619289 vice-chairman@iam-bristol.org.uk 0117 979 8061 secretary@iam-bristol.org.uk 0117 960 8494 treasurer@iam-bristol.org.uk 01453 860365 publicity@iam-bristol.org.uk associates@iam-bristol.org.uk 0117 969 1746 0117 960 8494 editor@iam-bristol.org.uk 07817 152 405 database@iam-bristol.org.uk 07973 730 498 development@iam-bristol.org.uk 01454 851 984 07557 765 946 marketing@iam-bristol.org.uk ydn@iam-bristol.org.uk

Other Post Holders Committee Minute Taker

Clare Reeves

Monthly Meeting Contact

Clare Reeves

Chief Observer and Web Administrator

Geoff Bevan

Training Administrator

Mark Gollop

Group Display Boards & LINK Collation Organiser

Andrew Nicholls

Social Events Organiser

vacant

0117 969 1746 creeves123@aol.com Ideas for speakers? Tell Clare at creeves123@gmail.com 01453 860365 chiefobserver@iam-bristol.org.uk webadmin@iam-bristol.org.uk 01454 773234 training@iam-bristol.org.uk 01749 860321 display@iam-bristol.org.uk contact Secretary for the moment

If you would like to volunteer, please contact the Group Secretary. PHOTOGRAPHY NOTICE: Please note that by attending the Meetings and Driver Guidance Sessions of Bristol Advanced Motorists, you agree to your image being captured and used to promote Bristol Advanced Motorists and its activities. This may include in our newsletter, on our website or for general promotion. If you wish to withhold your permission, please contact the Group Secretary. secretary@iam-bristol.org.uk or phone 0117 979 8061

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May 2014

The Cover of the hard copy version

For 2014 the Bristol Group has adopted a new cover for the A5-size paper version of the LINK newsletter. It continues the tradition first started in about 1971 of having a cover image of Bristol’s iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, but the image is now in full colour rather than monochrome. The traditional IAM button logo is used as a distinct recognition feature, rather than the bland new IAM ‘letters logo’ which would become ‘lost’. For the benefit of non-Members who look at the LINK, the back of the new cover incorporates a strap-line and a brief descriptive text about the Group, with a QR code which directs suitable Smartphones to our website.

Cover photo by photographer: www.TonyGilbert.co.uk Cover printed by: Print & Stationery Management Co Ltd 103 Farendell Road, Emerald Park East, Emersons Green, BRISTOL BS16 7FF 0845 126 6600

sales@prism-ltd.co.uk

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May 2014

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THE GROUP NEEDS MORE ASSOCIATES Publicity is the Key

above: Chief Observer Geoff (right) pictured talking to that valuable commodity we MUST acquire for the Group – a Member of the Public (left) who is interested in signing-up for the Skill for Life course and IAM Advanced Driving Test.

photo: Barnaby Ellis

Reaching Members of the Public with Publicity efforts has become extremely difficult, due to the ‘Market Fragmentation’ of media channels. As an existing Member or Associate, you can be a good ‘Sales Persuader’ for the Group. Do you know someone in your family, circle of friends, or amongst your work colleagues, who could benefit from joining the IAM and our Group? Every new Associate will help towards securing the short, medium and long-term future of both your local Group and the IAM itself. Remember we have our YOUNG DRIVER REFUND SCHEME available – courtesy of South Gloucestershire Council. Those aged under-25 who pass the IAM Test can have their £139 SfL fee refunded. (Note: Conditions apply: Residency/Work/Education in the South Glos Local Authority area; must pass the IAM Test within 12 months of course start date.)

Information about Skill for Life can be obtained from: associates@iam-bristol.org.uk 07071 201173 or 0117 969 1746 Page 42

the LINK – newsletter of Bristol Advanced Motorists



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