Chairmans Odds and Sods 6 by sofiaie



Warrington Group
 of Advanced

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                                   FEBRUARY 2009 NEWSLETTER


                                        IAM Group Number 5075
                                  Registered Charity Number 1048554

                                         President Paul Griffiths

                             Vice Presidents Bryan Moore & Christian Givvons

                             Committee Members: Group Year 2008 – 2009


  Chairman (Acting) & Training Officer    Andrew Bloomer                       Tel: 07768 990083
  Vice Chairman                           (Vacant)
  Treasurer                               Steve Segar                          Tel: 01925 727173
  Secretary                               Roy Nelson                           Tel: 01925 229675
                                          15 Holford Way                       Mbl: 07711 765194
                                          Bridge Park
                                          Newton le Willows
                                          WA12 0BZ

  Committee Membership

  Associate Co-ordinators Cars            Rod Hackwell                         Tel: 01925 638045
                                          Mike Mercer                          Tel: 01925 222102
  Membership Secretary                    Ian Bell                             Tel: 01925 634484
                                          49 Littleton Close
                                          Great Sankey
                                          WA5 1HB
  Merchandise                             Fiona Soutar                         Tel:   0161 928 4056
  Minutes Secretary                       Derek Butler                         Tel:   01925 728916
  Motor Cycles Liaison                    Neil Plunkett                        Tel:   01925 261951
  Newsletter Distribution                 Barbara Mealey                       Tel:   01942 203048
  Newsletter Editor                       (Vacant)
  Publicity                               Peter Marsland                       Tel: 01925 755921
  Website Editor                          Chris Rogers                         Tel: 01925 861222

  Non-Committee Posts

  Associate Coordinator M/cls             Gordon Blackshaw                     Tel: 01925 860967

DISCLAIMER - The contents of this newsletter are purely the opinions of the contributors
and do not necessarily represent the views of the Institute of Advanced Motorists or the
Warrington Group.

                                                 Page 2
                                FEBRUARY 2009 NEWSLETTER


I haven't got a lot to say to you folks to be honest, because I've been away
over Christmas and busy at work since I got back, so thought I'd leave you
with a puzzle, the answer of which I'll answer next time.

There is a bus with seven girls on it.

Each girl has seven bags.

In each bag, there are seven big cats.

Each big cat has seven little cats.

Each cat has four legs

Question: How many legs are present on the bus?

Keep safe,

Andrew Bloomer - Chairman (Acting)



In conjunction with Widnes & Runcorn Group, we held an Observer Training
Evening on Wednesday 14th January that was very well attended. Staff
Examiners Chris Givvons and Chris Tatlow were in attendance, together with
Examiner Bryan Moore.

I thought it was an excellent evening with lots of topics covered and I'd
like to say a big thanks to both Chris' and Bryan for their contributions,
together with Tom McCann (Widnes & Runcorn Group) who arranged the venue and
food and all our Observers, without whom the evening wouldn't have been the

Finally, well done to Mike Mercer and Peter Marsland who successfully passed their "external"
requalification’s as Senior Observers recently.

Andrew Bloomer - Training Officer


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                              FEBRUARY 2009 NEWSLETTER


Hi there,

Welcome to new members Daniel Baker, Emma Barlow, Fabrice Fleurot, Heather Mitchell,
Anthony Ogden, Stephen Ogden and David Smith to the car section and Ian Scotson to the
Motorcycle section. Good Luck and should you have any problems or queries, please ask and we
will endeavour to resolve them.

Congratulations to Steve Bellamy, Paul Bullimore and William Wallace on passing the Car test
and to Phil Barker on passing the Motorcycle test.

When you pass the Test and receive your membership information from head quarters could
you please let me know so that the membership records can be updated with your IAM
membership number and expiry date.



I hope most members will have seen the piece in our local paper, the Warrington Guardian re
our scheme with the Cheshire Road Safety partnership to promote safe driving amongst our
young drivers – Will is just such.

When he joined us he was just 17 and had been driving just over 5 months. Shortly after his
18th birthday he took his Advanced Driving Test (on the last Sunday Meet of 2008).

On his return I waited patiently for his de-brief with Paul, his examiner. As he & Paul exited
his car, he struggled manfully to maintain a miserable face, but failed within a couple of steps!
He had, of course, passed.

Will had taken mid-week runs with myself, to accommodate his Sixth Form studies and
weekend pocket money requirements, (with a couple of checks with Mike Lyne & Andrew
Bloomer after 6 & 8 runs respectively) and passed his Test after a total of 12 Observed Runs.

As I congratulated him and pointed out that he was now eligible for a full re-fund, he
graciously declined and explained that he and his parents wanted the money to go towards the
funding for other young drivers.

Many Thanks, Will

Roy Nelson

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                              FEBRUARY 2009 NEWSLETTER


As you will know I passed my test last week. I would like to say a big thank you to you and all
the volunteers in the Warrington group for your help in achieving this.

Please pass on my thanks to everyone but especially Steve McGuire who had to suffer me
more than most!

Kind regards,

Paul Bullimore



Don’t forget that holders of the Advanced Driving Certificate can have their driving analysed
and brought up to date with one of our Observers. No fee and the result cannot affect your
IAM status. Come down one Sunday morning – prior notice would be helpful to us. We can also
do mid-week runs by arrangement.



Know anybody who has recently passed their driving or riding test?

Warrington Group of Advanced Motorists is currently offering FREE* Skills for Life
Advanced Driving / Riding courses to all drivers / riders aged 25 or under.

For more information, please contact Ian Bell or Gordon Blackshaw (contact details on the
second page of this newsletter).

*The group will refund the course fee of £75 (administered by the Institute of Advanced
Motorists) in full, upon successful completion of the course and passing the Advanced Test.



Contributions to the newsletter are more than welcome.            Please send them to or pass them to any committee member.


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                              FEBRUARY 2009 NEWSLETTER


We are holding another of our very popular skittles evenings on Saturday 4th April 2009 at St.
Johns Church Hall, Wilderspool Causeway commencing at 7:30 pm. The cost is £4.00 per
person and this includes a hot-pot supper.

Names and monies to Carol please.



How to Call the Police when you’re old and don’t move fast anymore.

George Phillips , an elderly man, from Meridian, Mississippi, was going up to bed, when his wife
told him that he'd left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom
window. George opened the back door to go turn off the light, but saw that there were people
in the shed stealing things.

He phoned the police, who asked "Is someone in your house?"

He said "No," but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me.

Then the police dispatcher said "All patrols are busy. You should lock your doors and an
officer will be along when one is available."

George said, "Okay."

He hung up the phone and counted to 30.

Then he phoned the police again.

"Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing things from my
shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now because I just shot them." and he hung

Within five minutes, six Police Cars, a SWAT Team, a Helicopter, two Fire Trucks, a
Paramedic, and an Ambulance showed up at the Phillips' residence, and caught the burglars

One of the Policemen said to George, "I thought you said that you'd shot them!"

George said, "I thought you said there was nobody available!"


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                              FEBRUARY 2009 NEWSLETTER


Following on from January’s training note on signalling, the focus this month’s training note on
another element of the ‘information’ stage of the System – observation.

Good observation is often identified as one of the ‘features’ of an advanced driver. It is an
important component of the driving plan and allows the driver to identify and react to hazards
safely and systematically, in a carefully planned manner. Due to its fundamental role in all
Advanced Driving techniques, observation is covered within the first module of the associate’s

The observation skills looked for by the examiners on the Advanced Driving test include:
   • Are mirrors used properly before signalling and manoeuvring?
   •   Are mirrors used frequently and effectively?
   •   Does the driver see, absorb and act on all road sign information?
   •   Does the driver lift their vision to the road ahead and show good anticipation?
   •   Are speed and distance judged accurately?
   •   Can the driver stop in the distance seen to be clear at all times?

Continuously scanning ahead, frequent use of the mirrors, checking the vehicle’s blind spots
and the use of the non-visible forms of observation (including sound, smell and physical
sensations) are all forms of observation and are included within the first three skills
highlighted above.

Observation links should also be used, where appropriate, to enable the driver to anticipate
hazards early and so predict what hazards may still be out of sight. Examples of common
observation links include clusters of lamp posts (a roundabout ahead), a bus at a stop
(pedestrians crossing nearby), a row of parked cars (doors opening, small children hidden from
view) and a cyclist looking over shoulder (intending to turn right).

The final two skills highlighted above link observation to speed and following distances, and so
reinforce the role of observation in both the system of car control and the driving plan. The
driver’s view of the road ahead depends on the curvature and gradient of the road, lane
chosen, size and position of other vehicles and height of your own vehicle. Taking all of these
into account, the driver should position themselves a safe distance behind the vehicle in front
and should select a speed to match the limit point available.

An important objective for an associate should be to develop sophisticated observation and
anticipation skills and to apply them continuously throughout the drive. Each of the elements
of observation outlined above should be introduced to associates and developed throughout
the course, to ensure these skills are become engrained as part of their normal driving


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                              FEBRUARY 2009 NEWSLETTER


Why not have your newsletter delivered by email rather than snail mail? It’s easy; just send
an email to:

Please include in your name and address in the email to help with the administration side of
things. No more waiting for the postman - do it today.



I have been driving for over 20 years... I would think I should have noticed the little secret on
my dashboard that was staring me in the face the whole time...I didn't...and I bet you didn't

Have you ever rented or borrowed a car and when arriving at the petrol station
wondered...mmm, which side is the petrol filler cap? Well ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to
share with you my little secret...

If you look at your petrol gauge, you will see a small icon of a petrol pump? The handle of the
petrol pump will extend out on either the left or right side of the petrol pump?
If your filler cap is on the left, the handle will be on the left? If your filler cap is on the
right, the handle will be on the right (see photo). It is that simple!


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                              FEBRUARY 2009 NEWSLETTER

Following Alan Domville's most informative speech at the recent AGM, in particular his
recounting the motor vehicles he had driven and tested over the years, led me to discuss
previous Police vehicles that I had driven over the years with a colleague recently.

Most Police Forces in the very early 1970's were often strapped for cash, so they always
opted for the cheapest vehicles around and Merseyside Police were no exception to that. My
first "Panda Car" was a Mini 850 c.c., light blue with white doors, fitted with a roof box,
where you could illuminate the word "POLICE" and as and when necessary the word "STOP".
No sirens, blue flashing lights etc. If you wanted to indicate that you were in a hurry and
wanted to "jump a set of traffic lights" or simply "get people out of you way", you switched
the vehicle's headlamps onto main beam (no pulsating headlamp flash in those days) and
sounded the vehicle's audible warning horn as and when appropriate.

In the boot of these vehicles was your "equipment", an orange tabard (vest), a breathalyser
kit (the old fashioned green box, in which were kept tubes of crystals that you attached a
mouthpiece and a plastic bag to conduct the road side breath test), a set of handcuffs
(normally minus the key - but one key fitted all handcuffs thankfully) and a flash lamp, all
contained in a metal tool box. If you were really unlucky and didn't store this toolbox
correctly in the boot of the Mini, you could cause a fire as you shorted out the battery, which,
because of the size of the engine compartment on the Mini, was in the boot.

There was no Force Radio in the vehicle, you relied on the two piece (one to transmit and one
to receive) single channel Divisional Radio, which had a receive / transmit radius of about 10 to
15 miles, depending on the locality and the weather, from the Divisional Radio Room.

Top speed was about 70 miles per hour, goodness knows what the 0 to 60 mph was, but it
could, when required, carry 5 fully grown policemen at once, although this was normally on
nights when there were no bosses around.

In the mid to late 1970's, due to numerous complaints of bad backs caused by getting in and
out of and driving such small cars. Merseyside Police invested in a fleet of Ford Escort
(Popular) 1100 c.c. - two door of course, to save money, and to save even more money they
came in all white. The signage remained the same in so far as the roof box POLICE and STOP,
as did the box containing the vehicle's equipment. If memory serves me correctly, I think
they were slightly faster than the Mini, but boy oh boy, the 0 to 60 was counted in minutes
not seconds.

Again there was no Force Radio in the vehicle, but by now the Divisional Radio had moved up
from a single channel Pye set to a one piece, 3 channel Berndept set, so you could listen to the
next Division and the third channel would be used at football matches etc.

Stay tuned for the next instalment.

Paul Griffiths (President 2008/9)

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                               FEBRUARY 2009 NEWSLETTER


British drivers believe that law enforcement and driving skills on UK roads are better than
those in other European countries, a new survey reveals.

According to research from insurer Axa, 92 per cent of UK motorists feel safe on the
nation's roads, compared with an average of 72 per cent for Europe.

The Road Behaviour Survey suggests that 41 per cent of drivers in Britain believe that law
enforcement on roads is stricter than in other countries, compared with an average of 37 per
cent across Europe.

Around 800 motorists in nine countries were quizzed for the report, which reveals that three
out of four British motorists claim that they are good drivers and two-thirds believe that
their driving skills are better than those of other Europeans.

A larger proportion of UK drivers also believe that answering a mobile phone without a hands-
free kit, driving too fast and close to the vehicle ahead and being drunk behind the wheel are
dangerous than the European average.

Tina Shortle, marketing director, commented: "It is clear that British drivers
put safety higher up on the agenda when driving compared to their European neighbours."

Britain has one of the lowest rates of deaths on its roads in Europe, with 5.4 people per
10,000 killed in traffic accidents.

Source: Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, published 15th December 2008.


2005 Peugeot 307SE, Aegeau Blue

13,000 miles, recently serviced and taxed
1 lady owner, Immaculate Condition
Offers over £5,000

For more information, telephone Margaret Kent on 01925 264 099


You can now find us on Facebook – just look up Warrington Advanced Motorists.


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                              FEBRUARY 2009 NEWSLETTER


I apologise for missing the closing date for the January issue.

Belatedly, I have to thank Carol, Barbara and Rod for the coffee and mince pies just before
we broke for Christmas and to Carol for organising the superb Christmas Dinner at the
Buckley Suite. This is on top of the recent Children in Need occasion when Carol and Barbara
did all sorts of biscuit and cake goodies and Rod did the heavy work. Thank you for all your

May I be reiterative and remind those of you who have ABS Braking as follows. When you hit
the brakes hard the wheels are brought to a stop and immediately released time and time
again. The foot brake judders under your foot and it is imperative that you do not release it
until you’ve finished braking. If you are on a slippery surface the judder will be rapid because
the wheels lock more easily - whereas, if on dry tarmac the judder will be slower. BE AWARE!

By the way – if you wish to avoid something under braking – remember to turn the steering
wheel ONLY 5 and not more than 10 minutes either side of ‘straight-on’ otherwise you may
lose grip altogether.

By the way, here are some more rhymes:
           Bull                    Bull and Cow                      Row
          Brown                    Brown Bread                      Dead
        Elephant                 Elephant’s Trunk                  Drunk
         Brahms                  Brahms and Liszt                  Pissed
          Jack                     Jack and Jill                     Till
          Dicky                     Dicky Bird                      Word
           Tea                       Tea Leaf                       Thief
          Adam                    Adam and Eve                     Believe
        Cobblers                  Cobblers Awls                     Balls

John Norsworthy


Thanks to everyone who donated cash instead of exchanging Christmas cards. We were able
to send a cheque for £60 to the League of Friends at Warrington Hospital.

Once again, many thanks.


Personal recommendations from members are one of the main ways we recruit new associates,
so please feel free to pass on this newsletter.

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                              FEBRUARY 2009 NEWSLETTER


For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have
enhanced our lives, read on.

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry
with the auto industry and stated 'If GM had kept up with technology like the
computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.'

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the
following characteristics (and I just love this part ):

1.     For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash........ Twice a day.

2.     Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3.     Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to
the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen
the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4.    Occasionally, executing a manoeuvre such as a left turn would cause your car to shut
down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5.     Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as
fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6.      The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a
single 'This Car Has Performed an Illegal Operation' warning light.

7.     The airbag system would ask 'Are you sure?' before deploying.

8.     Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let
you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the
radio antenna.

9.    Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all
over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10.    You'd have to press the 'Start' button to turn the engine off

PS - I'd like to add that when all else fails, you could call 'customer service' in some foreign
country and be instructed in some foreign language how to fix your car yourself!


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