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Driving Forward

Welcome April Issue. Regulars 3 Chairman’s Chat. The price of petrol!

4 Associate Report. Liz reports on the latest Associate News.

5 Membership News.

Diary Of Events 26th March. Derek Arnold Agent Zig Zag - the real James Bond. 30th April. Paul Griffiths- please see article on page 5.

Who is celebrating their Birthday this month?

6&7 New Feature! I focus this month on a car that I have owned and enjoyed. I have had a fair few!

28th May. 33rd AGM.

10 Social Events. The 2013 schedule is listed here.

Outdoor Events

11 SuDoku Puzzle.

20th April. History and Heritage Fair. Birkenhead Town Hall.

Where we meet Wirral Advanced Motorist’s meetings are held on the last Tuesday of the month at the Roundel Club at 8pm. This is also known as the RAFA Club.

19th May. Wirral Classic Car Show. Royden Park.

The address is:

July. Neston Village Fete. Neston.

17 Shrewsbury Road Oxton CH43 1 UU

August. Port Sunlight Village Fete. Port Sunlight.

Please note that the club is entered via the car park on the corner of Alton Road. A one-way system is in operation.

11th August. North Cheshire Classic Car Show. Vauxhall Motors, Ellesmere Port.

The views, advertisements and opinions expressed in this Newsletter are those of individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect those taken by Wirral Advanced Motorists or the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

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Driving Forward The Wirral Institute of Advanced Motorists Newsletter Registered Charity Number: 512232 Issue Number: 362 President: Mr Norman Jarvis M.B.E. Vice President: Mr Ian Standring. Website: www.wirraliam.co.uk (Webmaster:Kevin Irvine) email us: info@wirraliam.co.uk Chairman.

Jan Peters

Tel: 07799 118802

Vice-Chairman & Editor.

Tony Stopforth

Tel: 0151 932 0454

Secretary.

Angela Clarke Tel: 0151 336 1069 5 Tithebarn Drive Parkgate Neston CH64 6RG email:secretary@wirraliam.co.uk

Treasurer, Outdoor Events Shop Keeper.

Barry Stuart

Tel: 0151 342 2923

Associate Co-ordinator.

Liz Scarff

Tel: 0151 652 2059

Area Associate Organiser.

Bob Rollo

Tel: 0151 678 5077

Senior Observer Checker.

Colin Herbert

Tel: 07533 223701

Membership Secretary.

Peter Osborne email:membershipsecretary@wirraliam.co.uk

Newsletter Distribution.

Sheila Rose

Tel: 0151 336 6428

Social Events.

Mary Beaumont

Tel: 0151 342 4132

Minutes Secretary.

Dy Brown

Tel: 0151 336 7956

Other Committee Members.

Tony Quaile Peter Hayward

Wirral Advanced Motorists Group and the Data Protection Act 1996. It is the group’s intention to hold details of members and associates on computer in order to assist with administration. If you do not want your details to be held on computer, please make your objections to the Group Chairman.

2


Driving Forward Welcome to the latest issue of Driving Forward. I can't believe it’s the April edition already. Firstly let me extend my congratulations to Malcolm Clowes who passed his IAM test, and a warm welcome to our new Associates who are Maureen Sampson, Mike Zammitt, Jacqueline Quennell and Anne Field. Also congratulations to Mark Shields who gained an IAM First in the previous month. As we approach spring (still rather cold though at the time of writing) we embark on our new Out-Door Events for the forthcoming year. These are listed on the front page of the Newsletter and I hope our readership can make a special effort to help out. We would only require a couple of hours of your time, this is only to explain the merits of the “Skill for life” course to interested members of the public, there is no hard sell involved at all. If you could spare some time then please don't hesitate to contact Barry whose details can be found on page 2. Our new social events calendar is also listed on page 10, these events are hand picked so to appeal to the diverse range of members throughout WAM. There is something for everyone here, from the excitement of a 4x4 event, to the more relaxing walk and lunch event which takes place in October. This is your chance to socialise with fellow and like minded people. Interested, then contact Mary. Please don't forget our Social Evening as well. The attendance from our last meeting was not that great to be honest, so again I plea with the membership to make the effort it's your chance to meet liked minded individuals and be entertained by the diverse range of speakers. A full list appears in this Newsletter. I hope I am not the only one who has noticed the sudden price increase of petrol and diesel in the last couple of weeks. We are paying £1.40 a litre for petrol and £1.45 for diesel. With the increased prices faced at the pumps it’s hardly surprising that new HM Revenue and Customs figures show that January’s UK petrol sales fell to the lowest tracked by government in 23 years. Drivers consumed 1.465 billion litres of petrol last month, down 14 million litres on the previous all-time low set in March last year and nearly 100 million litres below December’s consumption (1.564billion litres). “Although we had a disruptive period of snow between the 18th and 25th of January, the impact of the weather was nothing like that suffered during the January of 2010. The blame for this latest collapse in petrol sales rests squarely with stock market speculation,” says Edmund King, the AA’s president. “Speculators have pumped up the wholesale price of petrol at a time of year when cars consume the most and when the concern is normally with imported diesel prices. Currency gambling has devalued the pound, adding a further 1.6p a litre to the 7.9p-a-litre increase in the cost of wholesale petrol since the start of the year. This has broken the back of many family budgets and destroyed a great chunk of petrol demand. “When the Government considers where it’s going to get new revenue for the next financial year, it shouldn’t knock on drivers’ windows and demand more fuel duty – they have nothing left to give. Milking this cash cow has turned into flogging a dead horse.” There are many ways of increasing the mpg of your car by following some of the basic techniques learned from being an Advanced Driver. Until next month, take care

Tony (Stepping in for Jan).

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Driving Forward

Associate Report April 2013 Test Passes Malcolm Clowes

From Little Sutton

Observed by Norman Jarvis.

New Associates Maureen Sampson Mike Zammitt Jacqueline Quennell Anne Field

from from from from

West Kirby. Thingwall. Wallasey. Oxton.

During the presentation of certificates at ourJanuary 2013 meeting Examiner Paul Griffiths commented that new member Mark Shields, from West Kirby , had scored an IAM First Pass as opposed to a Pass. Having spoken to Paul about this since then, he explained briefy that to obtain a Pass on the IAM test you need to score 1=Excellent, 2=Good, 3=Satisfactory in all of the 27 competencies apart from Eco-Driving and Commentary, where you can afford to score a 4=Unsatisfactory or 5=Poor. Whereas to gain a FIRST you need to score 1=Excellent in at least 24 of the competencies, a maximum of three 2’s will be acceptable for Eco-Driving and Commentary plus one other competence, but not Slow Manoeuvring or Legal. There must be no 3’s at all. All other categories must score a 1. Congratulations to Mark on his achievement. We have since welcomed him on to our team of Observers. Area Associate Organiser, Bob Rollo, has asked me to remind all Observers to please let him know if you are going away on holiday at any time during the year. This helps him when he is trying to see who is available to take out our new Associate members.

Thought for the month By driving carefully we can preserve two of our most valuable resources-petrol and ourselves!

Liz Scarff. Associate Co-ordinator.

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Driving Forward

Forthcoming Speakers

Happy Birthday! Birthdays in April.

26th March. Derek Arnold makes a welcome return and this time his talk is entitled:

Mr R C Andrew. Mr D I Brown. Mr G Clayton. Mr R Davies. Mr P G Davies. Mr W H Dunn. Mr R K Eagle. Mr H Eakins. Mrs S V Foster. Mr L Gorman. Dr. A N Jarvis. Mr R A Jones. Mr S A Lomas. Mrs L Moore. Mr D S Mullin. Mr L Pollock. Mr R Roberts. Mrs S M Rose. Mr G S Smith. Mrs D Stevenson. Mr M J Studholme.

'Agent Zig Zag - the real James Bond'. 30th April. Paul Griffiths returns with a talk entitled: 'An evening with Paul Griffiths (Retired Policeman)' It’s with this talk that we need your help. Paul is asking for questions from members on anything relating to his police career, advanced driving and motoring in general. This is a chance to have any questions answered by a retired policeman in an honest, humorous but serious nature as only Paul can. I will then let Paul know your questions and he will answer them on the evening. 28th May. 33rd AGM Meetings after May are every other month. June. No Meeting 30th July. Quiz Night by our Auditor Mr Phil Harrison

The Wirral Group has: Total number of members: Number of full members: Number of Associates: Group Friends: Honorary Member Peter Osborne

312 277 16 18 1

Observers Please Note Observers must check Associate’s licences, insurance, MOT and also eyesight.

Many members may not be aware that an electronic copy of the Newsletter is available. You will receive the copy direct in your inbox approximately two weeks before you would receive your paper copy. As well as doing your bit for the environment your electronic copy will be in full colour. If you would like to opt out of receiving your paper copy for the electronic version please get in touch with the editor (editor@wirraliam.co.uk) and I will ensure that you receive your Newsletter by email in the future.

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Driving Forward

Cars that I have owned! I have owned a fair few cars since I passed my test way back in 1985! I focus on on one of the best cars that I have ever owned, the original Skoda Fabia VRS MK1.

So why the Skoda and more importantly the VRS? Let me take you back to the 90's when Citroen introduced the ZX. I had two of these and the later was the ZX Volcane. This was an excellent car combining real ride quality in a surprisingly quick diesel car. In fact it was tagged as the “first hot diesel hatch”. The engine was the bullet proof 1.9TD which found favour in many Citroens and Peugeots at the time, namely the 306, which was all but identical mechanically to the ZX. This was an excellent engine and one of the best only the BMW 525TD bettered it for refinement. My love of fast diesels stemmed from here. So fast forward to 1999 and Skoda was a manufacturer on the up! The Fabia had been introduced and was very well received, all those jokes about Skoda were a distant memory. Skoda then introduced the Fabia VRS in 2003 and guess what, it was a diesel with 130bhp and cost just £12,000. A bargain. No petrol version was offered. Diesel Magazine at the time rated it very highly and had one in their fleet. It was named the "Diesel Car of the Year 2003" in the Scottish Car of the Year Awards, it even beat a Mini Cooper around the Top Gear race track. The best bit was the 1.9 engine that was to be found in all of the VW brands, namely the Audi A3, Audi A4, VW Golf, VW Passat etc. It was well proven and in a small hatch, such as the Fabia, felt really quick. Part of the Fabia's success is the fact that all of its mechanical parts were developed by or in conjunction with Volkswagen, but were offered in a package that was priced to undercut other models in the Volkswagen Group.

6


Driving Forward So what was it like to live with? Very well is the answer. It was a very quick car and a relaxing car to own. It didn't handle that well but to be perfectly honest that wasn't the point. Here was a car that could do 45mpg all day long, cruise on the motorway at 70mph without any issues and able to accelerate from 50-70mph quicker than a BMW 330i. I think you get the idea. Build quality was very good, up to the usual VW standards and the quality of care from dealers was excellent and has been rated very highly in all surveys to date. I joined a Skoda forum which was a valuable source of information from people who owned this particular model. From fellow members experiences, I decided to go for an engine remap which pushed the bhp to 170. One of the criticisms was the engine was “all or nothing” giving you a sudden burst of power before dying away. The remap cured this and the car was so much better to drive. Next modification was a brake upgrade from the VW parts bin. The bigger brakes gave the car much more stopping power.These were sourced from a known supplier and fitted by my friend, Peter. Next was a stainless steel exhaust which made the car sound a little more sporty and finally a rear anti-roll bar to make the handling a little better. Interior wise, Skoda in their wisdom decided to give the VRS white/cream seats. Not such a good idea. I upgraded to a leather set which transformed the car. I now had a very quick car, which could cover large mileages with ease, I enjoyed this car so much. VW saw the vast success that Skoda had with the VRS, and later introduced their own version they called it the Polo Sport, it had exactly the same engine as the VRS except it cost an alarming £14,000. It wasn't a sales success and they are very rare. I decided to sell the car after 3½ years after receiving an offer which I could not refuse. I fully recommend anyone looking to get a fast diesel to look out for the VRS MK1. I even convinced our Secretary to get one, she loves it! So what car do I own now? The answer is the MK2 VRS and it’s a totally different car from the MK1. For a start it’s petrol powered with a twin charger engine producing 180bhp. Mechanically identical to the VW Polo GTI and Seat Ibiza Cupra. It’s a 180bhp pocket-rocket and I love it. Tony Editor

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Driving Forward

33rd Annual General Meeting Nomination Paper A working Committee is essential for the running of a successful Group. You are therefore invited to give careful consideration to helping YOUR Group in a positive way by putting forward nominations for Members willing to assist in this way. Only a few hours a month are needed; if you are unsure of what is involved, please contact the Group Secretary, Angela Clarke for information and help.

Nominations, for election to the Committee must be received by the Group Secretary:-

Angela Clarke, 5 Tithebarn Drive, Parkgate, Neston, Cheshire CH64 6RG at least 14 days (14th May 2013) before the AGM.

Nominees, Proposers and Seconders must be Fully Paid Members of the Institute and Group.

COMMITTEE NOMINATIONS FORM FOR 2013/2014 COMMITTEE I, being a full Member of the Institute and the Wirral Advanced Motorists, propose that .................................................................... be considered for election on to the Wirral Group Committee as a Member.

NOMINATED..........................................

DATE......................................................

SECONDED..............................................

DATE............................... I, being a full Member of the Institute and the Wirral Advanced Motorists, agree to accept nomination for election to the Committee of the Group SIGNED..........................

DATE.............................. You may not stand if the law debars you from being a Charity Trustee.

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Driving Forward

Annual General Meeting The Annual General Meeting of Wirral Advanced Motorists will be held at the: Roundel Club, 17 Shrewsbury Road Oxton CH43 1UU at 8 pm on Tuesday 28th May 2013. The Formal Notice convening the meeting will appear in the May edition of the Newsletter. Any full member may nominate to serve on the Group Council. The Nomination must be seconded by a full member and consent from the nominated member must be in writing. A nomination form can be found in this Newsletter on page 8.

Hall of Fame

From the February meeting, pictured with our President, Norman Jarvis MBE, is Andrew Stoker and Mrs Jane Brookes. Congratulations from all of us at the Wirral Advanced Motorists.

Hope you enjoy the Newsletter, I try hard to make it informative and interesting as well. If you would like to contribute or comment about anything you see then contact me at editor@wirraliam.co.uk

9


Driving Forward

Social Events Here are the 2013 Social Events, if you are interested in any of these organised events, then please either contact Mary or Tony, details of whom are on page 2.

1 June, Return of the 4x4 experience, cost £59, please book in advance places limited. Venue is roughly 40 minites drive from Ellesmere Port. Everyone who has been on this has really enjoyed the experience. More details at: www.motor-safari.co.uk

9 July, A tour of the JCB Factory held in Rocester, Staffordshire costs £12. WAM has made one previous visit in the past and this is the reason why we plan to go again, fully recommended. Please wear appropriate clothing, good mobility is required as there is plenty of walking! More details at: www.jcb.co.uk/About/Factory-Tour.aspx

September 2013, date to be confirmed. Booking is advised as this is very popular.

The Mersey Tunnel Tour offers the opportunity of a unique behind the scenes look at an engineering masterpiece. You will be escorted inside to the ventilation station to see the control room and fan chambers. From there, it then takes you down to the road deck and then deeper still to walk under the road to view one of the safety refuges. Some main features include a personal guided tour of Georges Dock building, as well as the ventilation station for Queensway Mersey Tunnel which in my opinion is a must see.. This tour is a fascinating journey, helping you to explore what happens beneath the city streets! At just £5 admission for a 2-3 hour tour, its a great deal. In addition to these events we also have a drive out and lunch in August as well as the October walk and lunch. Details nearer the time!

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Driving Forward

Obituaries We are sorry to learn that two of our members have recently passed away. Mr Norman Grindley from Neston has been a member of WAM since 2003. Mr Fred C Hutchence from Heswall has been a member of WAM since 1987. We do appreciate their long commitment to the Group and the Committee would like to offer their sincere condolences to both families.

Did anyone “guess where�, well the answer was: Old Lock Up Everton Brow. More pictures next month.

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Driving Forward

Driving Forward

Welcome

Visit: redrow.co.uk View: redrow.tv

March Issue. Regulars 3 Chairman’s Chat

Diary Of Events

4 Associate Report

26th March. Derek Arnold Agent Zig Zag - the real James Bond.

Liz reports on the latest Associate News.

5 Membership News Who is celebrating their Birthday this month?

26th February. Supt Chris Markey, Merseyside Police.

6&7 New Feature!

30th April. Paul Griffiths- please see article on page 10.

Is there a car you wished you had owned? This time I pick up on an often overlooked car.

28th May. AGM.

11 IAM News IAM comment on quarter three road casualty statistics

The New Heritage Collection by Redrow is not just a dream at one development, it’s a standard we have set at over sixty locations across the UK. Visit Redrow.co.uk to view an unrivalled choice of homes, built with such pride, that they’re a joy to live in.

Where we meet Wirral Advanced Motorist’s meetings are held on the last Tuesday of the month at the Roundel Club at 8pm. This is also known as the RAFA Club.

Outdoor Events April History and Heritage Fair. Birkenhead Town Hall. May Wirral Classic Car Show. Thurstaston.

The address is:

July Neston Village Fete. Neston.

17 Shrewsbury Road Oxton CH43 1 UU

August Port Sunlight Village Fete. Port Sunlight.

Please note that the club is entered via the car park on the corner of Alton Road. A one way system is in operation.

North Cheshire Classic Car Rally. Foxes Riding School, Ledsham.

The views, advertisements and opinions expressed in this Newsletter are those of individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect those taken by Wirral Advanced Motorists or the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

Traditional homes, built the way you remember

12

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April 2013  

Wirral IAM Newsletter

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