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Wirral Advanced Motorists

driving Making Wirral Roads Safer since 1980

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Wirral Advanced Motorists Group was formed in 1980 having previously been part of the Merseyside Group. A Registered Charity run entirely by unpaid volunteers, our main function is to improve driving standards and to advance the cause of Road Safety. Affiliated to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), also a Registered Charity, we are completely self-funding. Wirral Group works hard to inform local people of the advantages to be gained by becoming an Advanced Motorist. We arrange open days regularly throughout Wirral to promote Advanced Driving. How can the Group help me? We provide advice on improving your driving and preparation for the IAM Test. This guidance is given by Observers (an Advanced driver who has received training and has passed a nationally-recognised (IMI) Observer assessment). If you would require any further information, then please contact any member of the Committee or email us at:

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Driving Forward

Wirral Advanced Motorists


Wirral Advanced Motorists Newsletter

April & May 2018

The Wirral Group of Advanced Motorists Registered Charity Number: 512232 Issue Number: 393 President: Mr Norman Jarvis M.B.E., JP Vice President: Mr Ian Standring. email us: Page 2 Chairman’s Report.

Diary of Events

Page 4 - Associate Report.

27th March 2018. Rob Taylor Wirral Aviation Society.

Page 5- Hall of Fame. Page 6- Membership News. Pages 8- AGM News. Page 10 & 11 - What’s the difference between a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and an electric ‘EV’?

29h May 2018. AGM Followed by Talk and or Quiz to be confirmed. 31st July 2018. To be confirmed.

Page 14 & 15- IAM News. Page 16- Get in touch.

Wirral Advanced Motorist’s meetings are held on the last Tuesday of every other month (please see diary of events) at the RAFA Club at 8pm, unless otherwise stated. The address is: 17 Shrewsbury Road Oxton CH43 1 UU Please note that the club is entered via the car park on the corner of Alton Road. A one-way system is in operation. Driving Forward 1

Chairman’s Report Welcome to your April/May Newsletter. At least 12 WAM members represented the Group at the funeral of our late Hon. Secretary, Angela Clarke. I'd like to thank them all for coming to pay their respects to a lovely lady. Angela's coffin was accompanied into Blacon crematorium by a guard of honour consisting of committee members Norman Jarvis, Dy Brown, Tony Stopforth and Barry Stuart. We must now find a new Hon. Secretary for the Group. We are hoping that a member with some secretarial experience will come forward with an offer of help so that we can keep Wirral Advanced Motorists running smoothly. If you think you might be able to offer your support, do please contact either Tony Stopforth or myself. Our details are on the committee page of your N/L. In the past we have had to ask our Observers to retire from observing when they reach the age of 80 as the Group insurance would no longer cover them. I do know that not all of those to whom this applied were happy about it as they felt they still had plenty to offer to our Associate members. We have now received the following message from the IAM website which reads as follows :" Observers over the age of 85 do not have to retire. Although benefits under the personal accident section of the groups policy cease after the age of 85 this does not mean that an observer must retire at that age. All other sections of the policy remain in force regardless of age including professional indemnity, public liability and legal expenses. The age limits on personal accident cover are based on insurance company underwriting criteria and are not intended in any way to force an observer into retirement". So Observers can now continue to Observer, still covered by Personal Accident insurance, up to the age of 85 if they wish to do so. We can never have too many Observers so if you haven't yet applied to become one and would like to do so, then you can by emailing our Chief Observer, Simon Richards, On Saturday, March 10th, the first of our Open Days for 2018 took place at the Wirral History & Heritage Fair in Birkenhead Town Hall. The Group was represented by Norman Jarvis and myself, with very welcome help from Observer Chris Pentecost, who came at midday to give us a welcome lunch break. Many thanks, Chris. During the day we spoke to lots of people about Advanced Driving and what the IAM is all about and we handed out plenty of leaflets so let's hope we get some feedback. We still have 1 scholarship to offer to a driver under the age of 26 who lives in either the CH 64, 65 or 66 postcode areas. This is on a 'first come, first served' basis so if you know someone who could benefit from this do please get in touch with me ASAP. And Finally Belated Happy Birthday wishes are offered to our Group President, Norman Jarvis, who celebrated his 80th on Sunday, March 11th. Liz.

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New rules for Cyclists and Motorists

Motorists and cyclists could soon face new road rules, after the Department for Transport (DfT) announced a call for evidence on cycling, and funding for three bike safety projects. One possible area the Government could consider is setting a minimum distance for drivers overtaking cyclists. The Highway Code currently says drivers should give cyclists “plenty” of space and “at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car”, but ministers have previously said they were “interested” in introducing a mandatory minimum passing distance. Back in 2016, then Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said, following the introduction of minimum passing distances in South Africa, that ministers “remain interested in the change and are keeping it under review.” And in February this year, police in Cambridgeshire launched ‘Operation Velo’, which recommended a passing distance of 1.5 metres. The operation saw cycle-mounted officers on patrol to catch drivers not giving cyclists enough room, with motorists facing fines of £100 and three penalty points for careless driving. Another possible new rule would tackle the danger caused by drivers opening car doors into the path of cyclists. Motorists in the Netherlands are taught to open car doors using the ‘Dutch Reach’, which involves using the hand furthest away from the door to open it, essentially forcing drivers to look over their shoulder for passing cyclists. Approximately 100 cyclists are killed every year in the UK, while 3,000 are seriously injured. The danger posed to cyclists by other road users is considered one barrier to getting more people on their bikes, which the Government wants to do as part of its ‘green revolution’. Cycling Minister Jesse Norman said: “We need to become a nation of cyclists, and this government wants to make cycling the natural choice of transport for people of all ages and backgrounds. Continued on Page 7

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Associate Report

No Tests have been applied for. We welcome 5 new Associates namely; Philippa (Pip) Goodbody Anna Blades Sheila Forde Thomas Gallagher Neil Smith

from Prenton. from West Kirby. from Moreton. from Irby. from Great Sutton.

We would be very grateful for offers of help with the staffing of our outdoor events during the coming months. If you are able to help by adding your name to the list of members we can call upon occasionally please email our Outdoor Events organiser, Guy Lightfoot, at A couple of hours on a Saturday or Sunday are usually all we require, unless you can spare a little longer. Thank you in advance. Thought for the month Nature gave us all two ends – one to sit on and one to think with. Our success or failure is dependent on the one we use most! Liz Scarff, Associate Co-ordinator.

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Hall of Fame

Pictured with Norman Jarvis are Andrew Wright and Margaret Bridge. Congratulations to Andrew and Margaret on your great achievement. Membership Renewals. This is a polite request. Members who pay their membership renewals by cheque should all have had their renewal forms by now. There is still a significant number of outstanding forms to be returned. When you return the forms could you ensure that all sections are completed and please do not send cash through the post, we would rather have a cheque. If you are going to subscribe to a standing order then please return both sections of the form but do not send a cheque. Thank you to everyone who has renewed so far, and to remind everyone your cheques will not be cashed till after the 1st April. Those members who pay by standing order, your payment will be deducted on or around the 1st April. For those members who have submitted new standing order mandates your payment will be a bit later as the banks have to process these. Also I am aware that members who have recently passed their Advanced Test will not have a membership card. I will get these printed as soon as I possibly can. All other members should have a membership card that is valid as long as you are a member of the Group, if for any reason you are a long standing member and do not have a membership card then get in touch and I will reprint you another one as soon as possible. Thanks, Tony Driving Forward 5

Membership News

Honorary Members


Group Friends




Full Members

238 0






Birthdays in April

Mr RC Andrew, Mrs M Beaumont, Mr D I Brown, Mr G Clayton, Mr E Cohen Mr P G Davies, Mr WH Dunn, Mr R K Eagle, Mr H Eakins, Mrs S V Foster, Mr A Freeman, Mr N Gill, Mr L Gorman, Ms C A Heyes, Mr SA Lomas, Mr MC Martin, Mrs L Moore, Mr D S Mullin, Miss Manisha.P.J Pandya, Mrs J A Pearson, Mr L Pollock, Mr R Roberts, Mrs S M Rose, Mrs A Royden Mrs D Stevenson, Mr M J Studholme.

Birthdays in May

Mrs H Ash, Ms Anna M Blades, Mr R Brearley, Mr D D Campbell, Mr CR Coulter, Mr A Doyle, Miss W J Favager, Mr B Ford, Mr N Frier, Mrs M Harvey, Mr R Heath, Mr C J Herbert, Mr A Nash, Mrs J K Peters, Mrs S M Reade, Mrs E J Scarff, Mr N Smith.

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Puzzle corner

Continued from Page 3

` “We

are determined to make cycling safer and easier across the country, and we are continuing to invest. Today we’re announcing an investment of £100,000 each in 3 innovative cycle safety projects, in addition to the recent £7 million of funding to improve cycle safety. This is all part of the first-ever statutory Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy.” Cyclists themselves could also face new rules, following the publication of an independent report that found there was a strong legal case for introducing a new offence covering death by dangerous cycling. That review follows the death of Kim Briggs, a mother of two who was knocked down and killed by a cycle courier riding a modified race bike with no front brakes. Many thanks to Auto-Express March 2018

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Annual General Meeting Current Officers. All Officers retire annually and may offerthemselves for re-election. (Group Rule 3.4, Constitution Rule 6c.) Chairman. Tony Stopforth Standing for Election. Vice Chairman. Liz Scarff Standing for Election. Secretary. Vacant at present Treasurer. Yvonne Charlett Standing for Election.

Notice is hereby given by order of the Group Committee, that the 38th Annual General Meeting of the Wirral Advanced Motorists will be held at 8.00pm on Tuesday 29th May 2018 at The Roundel Club (known also as theRAFA club) 17 Shrewsbury Road Oxton CH44 1UU to enable the Trustees of the Group (Registered Charity No. 512232) to present their:(1) Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 31st March 2018, for approval by the Group Members. (2) Election of President and Vicepresidents.

Committee Members. One third of the Committee (excluding Officers) must retire annually and may offer themselves for re-election. (Group Rule 3.4,Constitution Rule 6d.) All retire by rotation and offer themselves for re-election.

(3) Election of Committee OfficersChairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Steve Clarke Norman Jarvis Simon Richards Peter Hayward

(6) Any Other Business.

Committee Members not retiring. Sheila Rose. Jan Peters. Guy Lightfoot Iain McKillop Dy Brown Need ratification to the Committee. Yvonne Charlett

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(4) Election of Committee Members. (5) Election of Auditor.

Tony Stopforth 20 Heathfield Road Liverpool L22 6RF 31st March 2018 Group Number 5015 All Members, Associates, Friends of the Group and their Guests are invited to attend BUT only fully paid up Members of the Institute and of the Group may vote.

Group News As the readers may have gathered the Wirral Group has had a sad start to the New Year. In fact, the past year has been difficult in my opinion. The main focus on last year was to get our Observers accredited with the new IMI Observer Qualification. It is safe to say that this has been a lot of work and the Group is happy to report that we now have a number of Qualified National and Local Observers which is all down to the hard work by Simon, Guy, Norman, and Barry not forgetting those who have passed their National and Local IMI Qualifications. However, if any member wishes to become an Observer then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any of the names listed above and they will be more than happy to give you further information. A working Committee is essential to the running of the Group and as can be seen on page 8 there are still a number of vacancies on the Committee. In fact, any help or experience you can bring to the Committee would be invaluable. If you feel you could spare some time and would like to help us then don’t hesitate to get in touch with any Committee Member, we would love to have you onboard. Personally, I am always looking for help with the Newsletter. As Editor, I hope you find the Newsletter interesting. However, after nearly 16 years in this role, I feel the need to pass this on to someone else who can take a fresh look at it. If any member has any form of Desk Top Publishing experience and is willing to take this on, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I am more than happy to show you the ropes. In the meantime could I request that members send me some articles please, I am finding it difficult to find suitable material for the Newsletter. Many thanks, Tony

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. Driving Forward 9

What’s the difference between a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and an electric ‘EV’ What is an electric car, or ‘EV’? An electric car is one that runs on, and is ‘charged up’ with, electric power alone. An electric car is only ever refuelled with electricity itself, which enters the car (normally) by means of a charging cable, and never by liquid or other fuel. The electricity is stored in batteries before being used by electric motors to drive the car’s wheels. This is in contrast to hybrid cars, which have electric elements to their powertrains but which cannot be considered ‘electric cars’ due to the presence of a petrol engine. This point has caused confusion recently, as some manufacturers (and indeed commentators) have incorrectly referred to hybrid cars as ‘electric cars’. Electric cars are becoming commonplace thanks to certain financial advantages, including government grants and the lower cost of “filling up” compared to a tank of petrol. They’re considered better for the environment due to the fact they emit no exhaust gases. Popular examples of electric vehicles (often abbreviated to “EV”) include the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, and Tesla Model S. Electric vehicles have several key benefits when compared to ordinary petrol and diesel cars, as well as increasingly popular hybrid cars. Electric vehicles emit no pollution at the tailpipe, which means they have a much smaller local environmental impact. They operate very quietly and are generally extremely easy to drive, with no real gearbox to speak of and a great deal of power at low speeds. You can drive an electric car on an automatic-only driving licence. Disadvantages include the need to ‘charge’ an electric vehicle, which takes far longer than filling a tank of petrol or diesel – usually several hours in comparison to a couple of minutes. Some electric cars can be half-charged in a shorter time, but this will ordinarily be around 45 minutes. During this time, the vehicle must be physically connected to a plug socket, which makes EV ownership difficult unless you own a driveway or having a charging point at work. The term ‘hybrid’ is technically quite vague, but in the context of cars almost always refers to a petrol-electric powertrain. This means the car uses a combination of electricity stored in batteries and petrol stored in a tank to propel the car forward. The details of this arrangement will vary from car to car. A hybrid vehicle will almost always be able to charge its own batteries using the petrol engine. In some cases, this is all the petrol engine is there for – to recharge the batteries, which power the electric motors. In other types of hybrid, the petrol motor drives the wheels directly, but an additional battery/motor combination Driving Forward 10

What’s the difference between a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and an electric ‘EV’ adds some electric drive. In ‘mild hybrids’, the amount of electric power that drives the wheels is limited. The car won’t normally drive on electric power alone, but a small electric motor can be used to fill in the gaps. These systems are cheaper than ‘full hybrid’ models but have a much smaller benefit it terms of emissions. Some hybrid cars are what’s known as ‘plug-in’ hybrids. As the name suggests, these cars can be plugged-in to the national grid by means of a cable. This will charge the car’s batteries and reduce the amount of petrol that needs to be used, which in turn reduces the cost per mile as well as the exhaust emissions of the car. There is no requirement to plug the car in though (unlike with electric cars) and many owners choose not to. Examples of hybrid cars include the ubiquitous Toyota Prius, the generouslyproportioned Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and the the sporty BMW i8. In fact, there are well over 50 hybrid cars currently on sale in Britain, ranging in price from around £13,500 (for the Suzuki Ignis mild hybrid) to more than ten times that (for the top-spec £147,000 Porsche Panamera hybrid). To make things more confusing, some models are available as a petrol car or as a hybrid. And more bafflingly still, some hybrids have a plug-in option. You’d be surprised at how many cars are now available as a hybrid of some description, though – the Volkswagen Golf, Mercedes E-Class, Volvo XC90 and BMW 3-Series are all now available with hybrid powertrains. Thanks to the Daily Telegraph driving website.

Pictured above, the new Nissan Leaf, 40kw/h model capable of 150 mile range on a single charge. Driving Forward 11


Potholes repair bill 'to reach £14bn by 2020', amid warnings this year will be 'tipping point Councils have warned that 2017 could be a “tipping point” for tackling potholes. Analysis by the Local Government Association (LGA) showed the bill for repairing roads in England and Wales could reach £14bn within two years. This is several times more than councils’ entire annual revenue spending on highways and transport, which was £4.4bn in England during 2016. Statistics from the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) show the amount needed to repair roads rose from £9.8bn in 2012 to £11.8bn last year. Pothole repair backlog in England and Wales will take 14 years. To reverse this trend the LGA has called for the Government to inject a further £1bn a year into roads maintenance, which it claimed could be achieved by investing two pence per litre of existing fuel duty without increasing pump prices. LGA transport spokesman Martin Tett said: “This year could be a tipping point year regarding potholes. “Councils have experienced significant budget reductions and now face the looming prospect of a bill of £14bn to bring the nation’s roads up to scratch. “It is wrong and unfair that the Government allocates almost 40 times more to maintaining national roads, which it controls, compared with local roads, which are overseen by councils. It is paramount this funding discrepancy is swiftly plugged.” He added that councils fixed a pothole every 15 seconds last year, but warned that funding cuts mean they are trapped in a “frustrating cycle” as they are only able to “patch up” roads. Alan Mackenzie, chairman of the AIA, said: “Prolonged under-investment, coupled with wetter winters, increased traffic and an ageing network, means that the resilience of our local roads is at a low point.

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“Clearing the maintenance backlog is impossible without a significant increase in funding.” The Department for Transport has committed £6bn for English councils to improve local roads over the current Parliament, in addition to a £50m-a-year fund specifically for tackling potholes. Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, said: “Our roads are a national asset and as much a vital utility as the energy, water and telecoms networks. We need to ensure they are treated with the same importance.”water and telecoms networks. We need to ensure they are treated with the same importance.” Thanks to The Independant, Neil Lancefield Saturday 7 Jan 2017

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. Driving Forward 13

IAM News

Learners get green light for motorway tuition from June - move could save ‘countless lives’ says IAM RoadSmart The Government has announced that learner drivers will be allowed on motorways from 4 June this year – a move road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has welcomed as ‘common sense’ and could save countless lives. An announcement from the DVSA today (1 March) says learner drivers will be able to take driving lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales from Monday 4 June. Learners will need to be accompanied by an approved driving instructor and driving a car fitted with dual controls. Motorways lessons will be voluntary and it will be up to the driving instructor to decide when the learner driver is competent enough for them. IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s biggest independent road safety charity, has long called for this move to be made. A consultation was launched at the end of 2016, and the plans drawn up in August 2017. The announcement today of the date of implementation is the final step to the idea finally coming to fruition. Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “IAM RoadSmart strongly welcomes this common sense change to the law on motorway driving. “It has never made sense to us that new drivers on our most important roads learned how to use them by trial and potentially fatal error. The government’s insistence on the use of approved instructors and dual controlled cars is a welcome safeguard that will ensure consistent levels of training and a proper phased introduction to motorway driving skills. “Delays and injuries caused by driver error blight our motorways and with new systems such as smart motorways being widely introduced, it is vital that the level of knowledge and skill among motorways users is improved to keep our key economic routes flowing. “Any current drivers who feel the need to refresh their skills or improve their confidence and enjoyment on the motorway can take an IAM RoadSmart motorway module today.” Driving Forward 14

IAM News

UK has among the highest fines in Europe for hand held mobile phone use, IAM RoadSmart finds The UK has some of the highest fines for using and-held mobile phones in Europe – but even so many UK motorists remain undeterred with almost 12,000 drivers a year still being prosecuted for the offence, IAM RoadSmart has discovered. A new survey from top German motoring organisation ADAC shows many European countries have relatively low financial punishments for using a hand-held phone while driving – Bulgaria, Iceland, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Slovakia, Hungary and Czech Republic all have fines of under 100 Euros. Germany fines up to 100 Euros, France 135 Euros and Italy 160 Euros. At the equivalent of around 225 Euros, UK fines are only beaten by Holland (230 Euros) and just pip Spain and Denmark at 200 Euros.. In spite of the possibility of a £200 fine and six driving licence points, figures published by the Ministry of Justice show the number of offenders convicted of “using or causing others to use a handheld mobile phone while driving” stood at 11,961 for 2016 (the last year full statistics are currently available;). Despite this level of penalty, driving while using a handheld mobile phone in the UK continues with some addicted drivers refusing to accept the risk it causes to themselves and other road users. IAM RoadSmart’s own Safety Culture Survey showed that 90% of those surveyed felt the dangers caused by people accessing social media or email messages while driving was a significant threat to their personal safety and they felt it was an even bigger threat than drink-driving. Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart Chief Executive Officer, said: “Motorists need to make the connection that using a hand-held phone is a major distraction to the task of driving. There is no such thing as multi-tasking when it comes to driving – when you drive, there is nothing else you should be doing. “Handheld mobile phone use is a top concern for British drivers and heavy fines and extra points are a key part of the government strategy to combat it. Clearly this is not enough and unless selfish drivers fear that they will be caught, far too many will continue to flout the law. “What we want to see is a combination of effective penalties, more personal and corporate responsibility and vehicle, smartphone and social media companies working together to generate hi-tech solutions to the distractions caused by their technology. “No call is worth risking your own or someone else’s life for. Remember, make the glove box the phone box and put temptation out of reach,” she added.

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Get in touch

Chairman & Associate Co-ordinator.

Liz Scarff.

Vice-Chairman, Editor & Membership Secretary.

Tony Stopforth.

E: Tel: 0151 345 8016 or 0779 1902587. 20 Heathfield Road Liverpool. L22 6RF


Vacant at Present

Assistant Secretary

Iain McKillop.

E: E: Tel: 0151 932 0454 or 0792 1663220.

E: Tel: 0151 342 5058 or 0781 0114164

Yvonne Charlett.


Newsletter Distribution.

Sheila Rose.

Tel: 0151 336 6428.

Outdoor Events.

Guy Lightfoot.


Area Associate Organiser.

Norman Jarvis. MBE.

Tel: 0151 339 3450.

Chief Observer.

Simon Richards.



Jan Peters.


Treasurer & Minutes Secretary

Tel: 0779 9118802. Other Committee Members.

Peter Hayward. Dy Brown. Steve Clarke.

Social Media

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Guy Lightfoot.

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@ and I will ensure that you receive your Newsletter by email in the future.

The horn is one of the most priceless historical relics associated with Cheshire, with an unbroken history going back for over eight hundred years. It is the celebrated Wirral Horn, now one of the treasured family heirlooms of the present Earl of Cromer. The exact date when Alan Sylvester was appointed master-forester of the Wirral Forest is not known, but in the John Ryland’s Library, Manchester, may be seen the original charter with the earl's seal attached, whereby Ranulf ll, the fourth Norman Earl of Chester, granted him Stortun and Pudican (modern day Puddington). “In fee and heredity to him and his heirs, for his service, to wit for half a Knight's fee and I will and decree that he have and hold the said townships with all appurtenances, in wood and in the open and everywhere, freely and honourably and quickly". There is no date to this Charter, but Mr. R. Stewart Brown, the historian, in a carefully reasoned account of this charter and the Wirral Horn, puts it at about the year 1130. A comparatively modern silver plate has been affixed to the Wirral Horn bearing the following inscription; “In the year 1120 Randal de Meschines, Earl of Chester, created Alan Sylvester chief forester of the forest of Wirral, and granted to him the manors of Hooton, Storeton and Puddington to hold upon the condition that he performed the duties of forester, and in addition that he blew or caused to be blown a horn at the Gloverstone in Chester on the morning of every fair day, to indicate that the tolls on the goods bought or sold in the city or within sound of the horn belonged to the Earl or his tenants.” The “Wirral Horn,” which is still in existence, was presented to the Chief Forester of the Wirral in about 1120. Nearly 900 years later the Wirral Advanced Motorists have adopted it as a symbol to call together motorists and motorcyclists resident on the Wirral who are interested in road safety.

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Wirral Advanced Motorists


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April- May 18  
April- May 18