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Subscribe now and you can get Britain's most comprehensive events booklet - the 2015 Almanac - from only £1.50 extra*; a genuine bargain for this essential publication! For more details on this super diary - worth up to £9.95 plus p&p alone, click here. As usual, in our latest issue - in the year where we celebrate our 26th Year of Publication - we've a run down on all that's best in the classic car world! In the March issue, On Your Marques looks at Watford & District Classic Vehicle Club's new event, discounted insurance and more for FBHVC members and more. Magpie discusses an adventure by VW Trekkers, and in the Spannerman column the old boy talks about Spannerman & Licences. Plus, our column by former National Motor Museum Curator, Michael Ware while Peter Love gives us another Love Steam and Commercial Break. There are news snippets galore, our Letters column, and our look at the world of the autojumbling with The Secret Autjumbler, and we have loads of show previews and more. We check out the big upcoming events, with a preview of the NEC Restoration Show, we take a look at February's Sheptojn Mallet Show, Paris Retro, and more. Landers Lobby discusses Events - Things Get Harder, we have news of the Goodwood Festival and the Silverstone Classic, there are more Tales From The Lock Man another of Fordie's Favourites, and lots more. Look out for all the news and snippets; no better time than now to think about that subscription than the March issue!!
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EVENTS - THINGS GET HARDER...
HAS BEEN RECEIVING DISQUIETING
news regarding event venues. It seems that, one way or another, local
government policies are having an adverse effect on some of our most popular
BEEN REASONABLY kind to us, all things considered. Yes, there’s
been the occasional cold spell, and most of the country appears to have had
a covering of snow at some point, but all in all not too bad.
And there, in one short paragraph, we can sum up the bulk of last month’s conversations down at the Chequered Flag.
But we did cover other topics as well. These included driving licences, of which there’ll be more later, and we also revisited the Myth of the Month I mentioned in February. You might recall that it was about the question of what we should do if we have the misfortune to break down whilst undertaking a motorway journey. One of our number who had lived through the experience told us how she had remained in her car whilst she waited for the breakdown service van to arrive. When challenged as to whether this was the best thing to do, she responded with “Don’t be ridiculous, I was far safer in the car”.
I went on to say that I had picked up on the fact that the recommended advice was to get out of the car, but I couldn’t recall where I’d seen it. So it was time for a bit of digging. I took the lazy option and went straight for that great source of misinformation, the world wide web. Needless to say, I was not short of web pages to view. I eventually found what seemed to be a well referenced source when I came across the pages looked after by Brake, The Road Safety Charity. They made the statement that “Hard shoulders are extremely dangerous places – one in eleven motorway deaths involve a vehicle on, entering or leaving the hard shoulder.” The note alongside the statement showed that the statistic was from “Reported Road Casualties on the Strategic Network 2012” published by the Highways Agency in 2013.
So I needed to have a look at a publication from a Government agency. Twenty years ago that would have meant a trip to a decent library or more expensive visit to a HMSO shop. And for those of you that don’t recognise the acronym, that stands for Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. But in this day and age, it was just a few clicks of a mouse and I had downloaded my very own copy of the aforementioned document. The summary at the top of the document included a couple of paragraphs on motorway hard shoulders.
“The total number of casualties on motorway hard shoulders has decreased to 112 in 2012 from 165 in 2011 (32.1 per cent), and is attributed to the decrease in slight casualties (the number of Killed or Seriously Injured casualties increased by 2).
The number of casualties involving vehicle manoeuvring to or from the hard shoulder accounted for only 14.3 per cent (16 of 112), whereas 57.1 per cent of casualties involved vehicles situated on the hard shoulder (64 of 112).”
Further down the document section 7.1 was all about the Motorway Hard Shoulder. Not surprisingly, the impact of using hard shoulders for everyday traffic was at the top of the section. Here’s a few snippets of what they had to say:
“There has been increased media attention following announcements of the implementation of Managed Motorways (MM) including All Lane Running (MM-ALR) at several locations on the strategic road network which impacts on the availability of hard shoulders. This subsection therefore provides collision and resulting casualty information involving motorway hard shoulders following a high level analysis of the STATS19 data. The information provided does not evaluate data for specific past or future schemes pertaining to MM-ALR, it provides an overall context on motorway hard shoulder safety between 2005 and 2012.” I should mention that “casualty information involving motorway hard shoulders” is further noted as “Collisions involving motorway hard shoulders defined as where at least one vehicle was recorded “entering, leaving or on a hard shoulder or lay-by” and occurring on a Motorway or A(M). Typically UK motorways do not contain lay-bys therefore it is assumed that the selected collisions refer only to hard shoulders.” Oddly, I was not able to find a definition of “STATS19 data”. Maybe that was just down to my inexperience of reading this type of document...
Read the full article in the current issue out now!
BRRR - A MONTH IN THE (CHILLY) WEST COUNTRY...MORE REPORTS RECEIVED FROM one of my Agents, as it happens not as fractious as what happened at the NEC in November - in fact quite the opposite actually.
The agent had visited the Mini show at Bingley Hall, Staffordshire at the end of January and was amazed by the hordes of people attending, he spoke to lots of traders who were all having a good time. He himself had a stand and was more than happy with the takings, the ambience and good humour of all concerned - he didn't comment on the two main topics though i.e. the toilets and the food, but I think the toilets are pretty good at Bingley Hall, and he usually brings his own food (yes too tight to pay up!).
Apparently there were bargains galore to be had, despite the mega attendance there was still plenty of goodies left for my agent to devour!
I headed for Shepton Mallet, for the Tractor show the next weekend, and boy was it cold; no snow or ice, but enough to freeze your proverbials off! (the nuts off your tractor of course).
The show is held in the Edmund Rack shed (no heating) and the two sheds (no heating) that lead up to the "new hall"
The "new hall" (with heating) had a toy fair on, on the Sunday. The two upper halls had displays of tractors - the left hand one with mainly David Brown types, plus a Massey Harris 744 (Perkins P6 engined) from Andover and a lovely Field Marshall - good enough to eat your lunch off (not that I did I hasten to add). There was also a very nice original patina Fordson E27N (with yet another Perkins P6 under the hood), plus a Fordson Model N Industrial of 1944 from Ditcheat (a local boy for sure).
The right hand hall (the Mendip I think) had more tractors plus quite a few traders, trade wise this seemed better than the Edmund Rack - at least they seemed to be taking some money. So back down to the Edmund Rack, where the technical lads and lasses (I think) seem continually to be taking a grey Fergie apart, and then putting it back again - there is a limit to keeping one's attention - must have seen this 20 times before and have definitely now lost interest. It does seems to keep the lads/lasses happy though.
I had a chat with a few traders, who almost universally reported poor takings, in fact one trader was "right cheesed off" because the organisers (of the stands) had moved him from his normal pitch - despite asking to be put in his normal place (this was put in red pen on his application form), the application form was sent in, with, I'm assured, the correct full payment and sent in as soon as the form came out. I was advised that the thing that adds even more insult to injury is that the majority of traders don't pay for their pitches until the Sunday afternoon of the show.
The particular trader had specifically asked the organisers to email confirmation to him, but received nothing, and yes - guess what, he was asked to pay on the Sunday afternoon - apparently the organiser got very short shrift, made a muzzled apology and said look forward to seeing you next year, to which our man replied: "no you won't - if you cannot put me where I ask and where I normally am and you cannot seem to communicate beforehand, then I will not be coming".
Now this is a big shame because this trader supplies parts for vintage tractors - he doesn't sell tools, scarves, coffee cups, hats - all of which seem to be on the up, but parts for the very tractors that attend and are on show at events like this. When will the organisers realise this fact; sadly, in the case of the Shepton Mallet Tractor Show, it may be too late. I don't believe they even know that the Malvern Tractor Show is on six weeks hence (it used to be just four weeks after Shepton)....
The Secret Autojumbler - read the full article in the current issue out now!