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: email@example.com
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Wirral Advanced Motorists
Wirral Advanced Motorists Newsletter
December 2018 & January 2019
The Wirral Group of Advanced Motorists Registered Charity Number: 512232 Issue Number: 397 President: Mr Norman Jarvis M.B.E., JP Vice President: Mr Ian Standring. www.wirraladvancedmotorists.co.uk Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org Pages 2, 3 Chairman’s Report.
Diary of Events
Page 4 Associate Report.
November 27th 2018. Paul Grif ths. Ex- examiner and Police of cer.
Page 6 Membership News. Pages 8 In-car technology – who’s driving?
January 29th 2019. Annual Fish n Chip Quiz Supper. Please book by the 22 January.
Page 10- Finally a fall to the cost of fuel.
March 26th 2019. Tim Kendall, North Cheshire Classic Car Club. “Growing up in the Wirral in the 1950’s and 1960’s.”
Page 12 & 13- Plug in hybridsthat never charge!
May 28th 2019. Annual General Meeting.
Page 14 & 15- IAM News.
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.
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Chairman’s Report Welcome to another Chairman’s Report. I am writing this at the end of October and realise that this will be the Christmas and New Year edition. Where has the year gone? Therefore, may I wish all our Members a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2019. The Committee wish to thank all members for their continued support of the Group. As usual, can I warmly welcome our new Associates to the Wirral Group, they are Janet Campbell, Peter Hetherington, Peter Folwell, Heather Folwell and Lynn Clegg. Congratulations to Annabel Peachey, Wayne Duerden, Eleanor (Ellie) Sheppard and Mike Wheatcroft who have passed their IAM Road Smart course. Our next speaker for our November meeting will be Paul Grif ths, a familiar face who was our ex-examiner and a police of cer. Please do try and make these meetings as our speakers often make a long journey to be with us. Attendances at the last couple of meetings have been disappointing. Our last speaker was the excellent David Hearn who gave an extremely entertaining talk about Sir William Brown. For our January event, we have our annual Fish n Chip Quiz Supper. This is extremely popular and we hope you can join us for the entertaining evening with some great questions together with the usual sh and chips! Can I remind our members that the Wirral Group is offering the RoadSmart IAM course for £60 for people aged between 17 and 35 years of age and who reside in a Merseyside postal address. This is a massive discount of £89 and represents excellent value for money. This has been made possible with the funding available from the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership. I always like looking at the latest developments in the world of cars. I found this fascinating but rather worrying article from the BBC website. Driverless cars: Who should die in a crash? If forced to choose, who should a self-driving car kill in an unavoidable crash? Should the passengers in the vehicle be sacri ced to save pedestrians? Or should a pedestrian be killed to save a family of four in the vehicle? To get closer to an answer - if that were ever possible - researchers from the MIT Media Lab have analysed more than 40 million responses to an experiment they launched in 2014.
Chairmans Report Their Moral Machine has revealed how attitudes differ across the world. How did the experiment work? Weighing up whom a self-driving car should kill is a modern twist on an old ethical dilemma known as the trolley problem. The idea was explored in an episode of the NBC series The Good Place, in which ethics professor Chidi is put in control of a runaway tram. If he takes no action, the tram will run over ve engineers working on the tracks ahead. If he diverts the tram on to a different track he will save the ve engineers, but the tram will hit one other engineer who would otherwise have survived. The Moral Machine presented several variations of this dilemma involving a self-driving car. People were presented with several scenarios. Should a self-driving car sacri ce its passengers or swerve to hit: a successful business person? a known criminal? a group of elderly people? a herd of cows? pedestrians who were crossing the road when they were told to wait? Four years after launching the experiment, the researchers have published an analysis of the data in Nature magazine. The results from 40 million decisions suggested people preferred to save humans rather than animals, spare as many lives as possible, and tended to save young over elderly people. There were also smaller trends of saving females over males, saving those of higher status over poorer people, and saving pedestrians rather than passengers. Germany has already introduced a law that states driverless cars must avoid injury or death at all cost. The law says algorithms must never decide what to do based on the age, gender or health of the passengers or pedestrians. For the full article head over to https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-45991093 What are your thoughts? So until next time, safe driving and if you do encounter a self-driving car, run! Tony Driving Forward 3
Passes Annabel Peachey Wayne Duerden Eleanor Sheppard Mike Wheatcroft
from from from from
West Kirby New Ferry Bromborough New Ferry
Observed by Observed by Observed by Observed by
Guy Lightfoot. Eric Mahers. David Holt. Ron Heath.
Congratulations to Annabel who passed with a “First”. We welcome 5 new Associates namely; Janet Campbell Peter Hetherington Peter Folwell Heather Folwell Lynn Clegg
from from from from from
Bebington. Heswall. Parkgate. Parkgate. Little Neston.
On page 17 of the Spring/Summer issue of Roadsmart you’ll nd the winning images of the IAM Roadsmart photography competition. The winning photograph, taken at Aberglaslyn, North Wales, was submitted by non other than one of our own members, Peter Lovatt, who is also a member of Wirral Advanced Motorcyclists Group. Well done, Peter. Many congratulations on winning with such a superb picture of a much loved beauty spot. As this will be the last Newsletter of 2018 (where has it gone? I hear you cry) it’s time for me to wish all our Members, Associates, their families and friends, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We, your committee, look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our Member’s meetings at the RAFA CLUB in Oxton in 2019. It’s always nice to put faces to names so do please come along and join us there. Thought for the month Don’t be hungry, the ideal balanced diet is a cake in each hand! Liz Scarff, Associate Co-ordinator.
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Join us for a free advanced driving introduction Would members please pass this information to any freinds or colleagues. I am sure you are all aware that we offer free driving assesments to members of the public. Your rst step to becoming an advanced driver is free. If you're interested in nding out what advanced driving techniques and skills could do for your con dence and ability, then this is for you. We believe that the very best way to understand and develop new skills is to see and feel them in your own car, with the guidance of an IAM RoadSmart quali ed Observer. We'll help you to develop new skills quickly and easily. Your free drive lasts around an hour, usually arranged at a time and location convenient to you - It is a relaxed and enjoyable experience with the opportunity to ask questions. There are no special requirements and the offer is open to everyone, providing you have a full licence and your own car. You'll gain some new ideas and skills, plus tips on how to develop your driving abilities. How to book your free session Simply email your details direct to email@example.com - please include your name, phone and email details plus address and the car you drive. We will make contact with you and arrange your free driving session. We will arrange the free session, and then only use the data on one occasion post the session, to see if you wish to enrol for an Advanced Driver Course. Following this your data will be deleted. Thanks to the IAM (edited from website) and to our National Observers who give up thieir time in providing the free taster sessions.
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Group Fri ends
As s ociates
Ful l Members
Birthdays in December
Mrs J Bush, Mrs S Dugdale, Mr C R Edwards, Dr JC Goodchild, Mr D T Holt, Mr L Newton, Mrs Vivienne Peters, Mr N S Reeves, Mr P Rowland, Mr W A Smith, Miss Freya Vaughan, Mr N A Westbrook, Mr M Wheatcroft, Mrs C Whitby, Mr D Woods.
Birthdays in January
Mrs J Brookes, Mr M R Cowan, Mr P J Dickaty, Mrs S Forde, Mr W Gardner, Mr S Glasson, Mr D Hobbs. If your name does not appear above, it means that I do not have your date of birth. If you would like to appear in this list then email your details.
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Hall of Fame
Trevor Smith with our President Norman Jarvis. Trevor Smith, Christopher Diamond and Beth Murray pictured together receiving their certi cates.
Christopher Diamond (First) with our President Norman Jarvis.
Beth Murray with our President Norman Jarvis
Congratulations to Trevor, Christopher and Beth on passing your Advanced Test. Welcome to full membership of the Wirral Group. Membership News I am now in the process of preparing the Membership renewal process. You will now be able to pay your membership subscription for WAM using electronic bank transfer saving you time as well as us. If you used to pay by cheque, then please give it serious thought to either paying by bank transfer or setting up a standing order. The amount of work involved and time and administration in processing cheques and the cost to WAM has increased over the years. Yes, the bank charges us for depositing a certain number of cheques. Therefore, I urge members to give serious consideration to paying by an alternative method. Full details will appear in the next Newsletter, thank you, Tony.
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In-car technology – who’s driving? IAM RoadSmart encourages us to be familiar with and where appropriate exploit the technology available to us. The subject will be on examiners’ radar and Associates and their Observers should include it when on runs. The issue of whether one ever needs to manually override an automatic gearbox has recently attracted heated comment but let’s put that aside. I want to share my experience with a different aspect of in-car technology: collision avoidance braking systems. I recently bought a 3-year old VW Golf 1.4 TSI (petrol, manual) and in most respects, it’s the best car I’ve owned – agile, responsive, quiet, economical and a joy to drive. Would I buy it again? No! It has VW’s “Front Assist” system which uses a forward-facing radar to detect potential collisions and it applies the brakes if the system identi es a potential collision. Sounds like a great safety feature, right? If my own experiences are typical, the system will inappropriately apply the brakes all too frequently, usually for a reason, I can’t fathom, giving both me and the traf c following me a nasty surprise. In other words, it is capable of creating a hazard of its own making. This has been noted by others, it doesn’t appear to be a fault with my particular car – see: https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/local-news/volkswagen-car-keepsthinking-its-689355 If you think about it, the system has a dif cult job to do and I’m not surprised it is imperfect. The system is always active when the car is started (it cannot be permanently disabled) and Volkswagen recommends that Front Assist is switched on at all times. VW does recommend it be temporarily disabled in certain circumstances, including driving through roadworks or boarding a ferry. Disabling the system requires multiple touchscreen selections, each requiring taking our eyes off the road yet VW does not caution the driver to stop to make that change. The car then displays a constant dashboard warning symbol. The question is: on balance, is it safer to have it than not? My other cars do not offer this “safety feature”, nor do they assume the driver incapable of reliably making safe and appropriate driving decisions.
Wirral Advanced Motorists Group and the Data Protection Act 2018. 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 8
In-car technology – who’s driving?
My personal solution is to always turn the system off every time I start the engine (a real nuisance) but it has been suggested that by doing so, I may be invalidating my insurance – on the basis that the car’s insurance rating assumes the use of this feature. I am generally in favour of technology that improves safety, economy, comfort etc but in this case, my personal view is I think the manufacturer has made the wrong call. Guy Lightfoot (National Observer, IAM Master)
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Finally a fall to the cost of fuel The UK's four leading supermarkets - Asda, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Tesco - have cut their petrol prices in the wake of criticism that falling wholesale costs were not being passed on to consumers. Previous research revealed drivers should be paying almost £2 a tank less for petrol and diesel to re ect falling oil prices. That criticism would seem to have been taken on board, with all four supermarkets announcing they would knock 2 pence off a litre of petrol, and Asda implementing a national price cap of 122.7 pence per litre. Oil prices were down by 11 per cent at the end of October compared to the start, with wholesale petrol prices falling by 3.5 pence-per-litre. But the national average cost of a litre of unleaded was the same at the start of the month and the end, leading one motoring group to accuse retailers of having “taken drivers for a ride”. What makes up the price of UK fuel? The price of fuel can be divided into three sections; the taxes imposed by the Government, the costs of drilling, re ning and transporting, and the pro t margins for the fuel companies. For petrol, diesel and bioethanols, the Government gets around 65 per cent of the overall cost through fuel duty and value added tax (VAT). The fuel duty represents the xed price of fuel – it stays the same regardless how much overall oil prices uctuate. Currently, the Treasury adds 57.95 pence to each litre of fuel through fuel duty, and another 20 per cent through VAT. How much you pay in VAT depends on how much fuel you purchase. The second biggest chunk comes from the wholesale costs of the fuel itself. The wholesale cost is a combination of currency exchange rates, global oil prices, and even domestic supply and demand. Finally, the smallest share of what motorists have to pay for fuel comes from the lling stations themselves. A typical fuel station pro ts around 2p-5p per litre, but tough competition can drive this down further. Supermarkets increasingly use fuel prices as a loss leader to tempt customers in. Why is supermarket fuel cheaper than an independent forecourt? Supermarket forecourts usually offer the cheapest fuel prices and this is because of the market power supermarkets hold. Companies like Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons are all in competition with one another, so they keep fuel prices as low as possible hoping that when motorists come to ll their tank, they might do their weekly grocery shopping, too. However, the AA’s Fuel Price Report found that supermarket prices are getting closer and closer to prices on independent forecourts. The price gap between the Big-Four (Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons) and non-supermarket rivals has fallen below 3ppl for the rst time in 12 months. With thanks to Auto- Express
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What’s a roundabout? A survey conducted by the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, found that many drivers have a real lack of awareness of the rules of the road, putting themselves and others in danger. More than 50% admitted their road knowledge was so poor, they didn’t recognise the roundabout sign. More than two-thirds of drivers admitted they had no understanding of the two second rule. Over 1,000 motorists participated in the survey for IAM RoadSmart to test their knowledge of the Highway Code. Some 68% of drivers were unaware of the two-second following distance in dry weather, with 53% confusing this for two car lengths. This results in a gap of less than a third of a second when travelling at 60mph, for an average-sized family car. Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “This is truly shocking. The outcome of the survey brings to light some frightening statistics which demonstrates the need to constantly re-fresh on-road knowledge.” The survey also found that only 43% correctly recognised the Highway Code ‘dual carriageway ends’ sign, with respondents aged between 17 and 39 being the largest group to answer this incorrectly. When asked what to do when arriving to a scene of a serious crash, almost half (48%) were unaware that the rst thing you need to do is to warn others of the danger by turning on hazard lights. Of those who participated, over half were not able to identify that a circle shaped sign demonstrates traf c signs that give orders – a crucial piece of information when on the road. Drivers aged 70 onwards statistically scored below average on this question. Worryingly, two-thirds of those surveyed admitted they were unable to recognise the colour of the re ective studs between a motorway and its slip road, with only one in ve (20%) of those aged 17 to 39 answering correctly that they are green. Neil said: “With many young drivers showing high levels of traf c sign ignorance these results reinforce IAM RoadSmart’s view that road safety education should be taught as part of the National Curriculum in schools to prepare teenagers for their future driving career. “Many drivers don’t look at the Highway Code regularly after they’ve passed their test, but no-one’s memory is perfect and it’s crucial to read and understand the most recent version of the Highway Code for the safety of all road users.” With thanks to the IAM
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Plug in hybrids- never charge?
Tens of thousands of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) bought with generous government grants may be burning as much fuel as combustion-engine cars. Data compiled for the BBC suggests that such vehicles in corporate eets averaged just 40 miles per gallon (mpg), when they could have done 130. Many drivers may never have unwrapped their charging cables, The Miles Consultancy said. Subsidies for new PHEVs were recently scrapped, after seven years. The plug-in grant was introduced in 2011, gifting buyers up to £4,500 off new cars. The incentive helped the UK become the biggest market for PHEVs in Europe. The majority of the tens of thousands of eligible vehicles sold were bought by company eets, including more than 70% of the 37,000 plug-in hybrids sold so far in 2018. But data from The Miles Consultancy, a Cheshire rm which advises 300 blue-chip companies on fuel management, reveals that many businesses simply used the grant to save on buying regular cars. Mileage records from 1,500 models, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volvo vehicles, showed an average real-world mpg of 39.27, against an average manufacturer advertised mpg of 129.68. Figures for 2,432 hybrids - including non plug-in varieties - showed an average real-world mpg of 49.06, still vastly lower than the potential range. “There are some examples where employees aren’t even charging these vehicles up,” said Paul Hollick, The Miles Consultancy’s managing director. Driving Forward 12
Plug in hybrids- never charge? “The charge cables are still in the boot, in a cellophane wrapper, while the company and the employee are going in and out of petrol stations, paying for all of this additional fuel. This practice, he added, was “ridiculous”. The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), which represents many eets, said higher taxes on diesel cars incentivised companies to buy plug-ins, even if they had no intention of using their electric capability. “We unfortunately have got a situation where a poorly designed tax regime is driving some poor behaviours,” said Toby Poston, the BVRLA’s communications director. “We have got some situations where company drivers are choosing the vehicle based on their tax liability, rather than having the right vehicle for the right job.” Some companies, he explained, were buying PHEVs - which are best suited to local trips - for employees who did a lot of motorway driving. When presented with The Miles Consultancy’s ndings, a Department for Transport spokesperson said the government believed plug-in hybrids “bring signi cant environmental bene ts”, but would “now focus its support on zero emission models like pure electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars”. Plug-in hybrid vehicles continue to receive some government support, through lower car tax rates, grants for charging infrastructure and, in some local authorities, free parking. With thanks to BBC News.
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Budget pothole fund not nearly enough for disillusioned drivers, say IAM RoadSmart Leading road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has said while the £420 million in new investment in tackling Britain’s pothole crisis is welcome, it doesn’t go nearly far enough and is merely a drop in the ocean to deal with a long-term and major issue. Yesterday’s budget saw Chancellor Philip Hammond announce the cash injection for our beleaguered roads, alongside a £28.8 billion fund to upgrade England's motorways. Mr Hammond announced £25.5 billion for Highways England for major road upgrades between 2020 and 2025 and an extra £3.5 billion of funding allocated to major local routes, under the jurisdiction of local councils. The £420 million for potholes is on top of an existing fund of almost £300 million. However just three months ago IAM RoadSmart conducted a survey of over 7,000 of its members, nding how disillusioned they had become with Britain’s rotten roads. Some 47% - over 3,400 respondents – said they had experienced damage to their car, commercial vehicle, motorbike or bicycle or personal injury as a result of hitting a pothole. Around 90% had spotted a deterioration of some level in the roads they use with just over 50% rating the state of their roads as ‘much worse’ in the past three years and 38% rating them ‘worse.’ Some 81% - close to 6,000 people – said they have noticed ‘many more’ potholes in the past three years, adding in the 13% who have seen ‘a few more,’ that gives a total of 94% who report more potholes. Over 56% said they have to take avoiding action on every journey to dodge potholes, while 27% said they have to steer around a pothole every day. Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “IAM RoadSmart welcomes the commitments to building more modern safe highways. What we really need to see however is the same long-term funding approach applied to potholes. “Extra money is always welcome but when it arrives unpredictably for one year at a time it does little to help the long term planning needed to really attack the pothole problems drivers and riders see and feel every day.” IAM RoadSmart has said that proposals announced this morning to shake up the Highway Code to make motorists always give way to pedestrians and cyclists do not go far enough – and need to include longer-term measures to keep drivers and cyclists segregated in a safer cycling environment.
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Measures to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety need to be longterm and comprehensive says IAM RoadSmart IAM RoadSmart has said that proposals announced this morning to shake up the Highway Code to make motorists always give way to pedestrians and cyclists do not go far enough – and need to include longer-term measures to keep drivers and cyclists segregated in a safer cycling environment. Today (18 October) in a move designed to boost the protection of vulnerable road users going straight on at junctions, the Department for Transport is considering this new ’give way’ rule. In the Highway Code, Rule 170 states that pedestrians have priority "if they have started to cross." However it does not explain what should happen when someone is about to step off a pavement at the same time a vehicle arrives at a junction. In addition the Department of Transport is considering adopting the ‘Dutch reach’ technique for opening car doors – which involves people in a car using the hand which is furthest from the handle, encouraging them to check over their shoulder for approaching traf c. Earlier this year, an IAM RoadSmart survey found that 73% of respondents felt that the Government was not doing enough to improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians (reference 1), and more than 50% thought that the current driving test did not properly prepare new drivers to deal safely with cyclists and pedestrians. Around three-quarters thought that more cycle paths would encourage more people to take up cycling, and more than half thought that cycle training in schools should be compulsory. Last year there were 18,321 pedal cyclist casualties and 23,805 pedestrian casualties on UK roads (Government gures). Rebecca Ashton, head of policy and research from IAM RoadSmart said: “For us it’s all about segregation, and safe streets for cycling and walking if you want to get cycle usage to really take off. “IAM RoadSmart has long said that if the Government is serious about wanting to increase the uptake of cycling and reduce the numbers of people killed and seriously injured on our roads, there has to be a long-term approach to a comprehensive cycle path network and it’s good to see the announcement of a £3 million contract with Sustrans which is a step towards that goal.”
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Get in touch Chairman, Editor & Membership Secretary.
20 Heathfield Road Liverpool. L22 6RF
E: firstname.lastname@example.org E: email@example.com Tel: 0151 932 0454 or 0792 1663220.
Vice-Chairman & Associate Liz Scarff. Co-ordinator.
Miss J Bolland.
Tel: 0151 336 6428.
Area Associate Organiser.
Norman Jarvis. MBE.
Tel: 0151 339 3450.
Tel: 0151 345 8016 or 0779 1902587.
Other Committee Members. Peter Hayward. Dy Brown. Steve Clarke.
The views, advertisements and opinions expressed in this Newsletter are those of individual contributors and do not necessarily re ect those taken by Wirral Advanced Motorists or the Institute of Advanced Motorists.
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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.
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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