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edition   258       spring   2011
                                         Editor's 'eadlines
                                  Welcome to our first issue of this year which
                           is packed with the usual variety I think you have
                           come to expect in its 24 pages.
                           No doubt many of you will also have noticed how
                           quickly the decade has passed since we all
                           celebrated a new millennium.        And what has
                           improved on our roads? Have driving standards
                           improved so much, or car manufacturers' techno-
logical advances helped significantly to reduce deaths on our roads? The
saddening statistics of road deaths, especially amongst the young and inexpe-
rienced, never leave room for much hope. I trust that the cartoon below
showing another decade being consigned to the dustbin of history does not
depress you too much. It is after all just a cartoon.
Along with some other features about driving
in this edition I have included the results
posted by the website Confused.com of a
survey they conducted last year amongst driv-
ers seeking insurance. They asked them to
name the driving habits that annoyed them
most; I invite you to read their compilation on
Pages 14-15 and, if you feel inspired, to send
in what might be your choices. But please
don't think of ten - just 3 will do! And if you .
need any further encouragement or inspiration for your views check out Will
Knutt's latest rant on Page 27.
I am also introducing another occasional series unashamedly 'borrowed' from
a trade magazine which I digest, because it touches on our area of interests
but in the context of those much-maligned tradesmen: plumbers. Enjoy the
narrative. And yes, you too can find fault with his driving techniques in the
story, which is on Page 18.
Finally, you will have received this magazine during the first week of April as
the first of three editions in 2011. But for administrative reasons the issue
dates will be moved forward by one month from then on so that you will
receive the summer edition in July and the winter edition in November. Next
year the spring edition will appear in March to continue the four-monthly
sequence. Trust me, it makes sense. BFN.
Ric, V1elY'o! F lA V-V'l.A..Cl   V\,$   R,L
  new arrivals                     3
  meeting reports                  4
  Secretary's Scribble             8
  Car Wrecks                       12
  Puzzle Page                      16
  Tee-Hee Leaf                     17
  The Offside Mirror               22
  Will Knutt                       23

                                                             "Look out! Speed camera!"
  diary details can be found on
  the inside rear cover

Associates  please nole that when you 8fC placed with an Observer you can hire a 'Roadcraft'video
or DVD for a £2 fee from your Observer. Please ask him/her for details.

Change of Address:    Please notify the Secretary of any change in your details, making sure you
supply Group Membership number, name, correct postal address and telephone number.

Test Applications:     When Associates are declared to be ready for Test, they should complete the
test ready fonn and send it to lAM Head Office at lAM House, 510 Chiswick High Road, London,
W45RG. After a test failure, the re-test form should be sent to lAM Head Office along with a
cheque for £45 (the current test fee). The Skill for Life fee includes the first year's subscription to
the lAM.
Ifthere are any questions that cannot be answered by your Observer, please call the Group Secretary
or send a message via the Group e.mail to:      bedsnherts.iam@btinternet.com

The opinions expressed in this Newsletter, which is published by the Beds & North Herts Advanced
Motorists, arc those of the Editor or individual contributors and do not necessarily represent the
views of the Group or of the lAM Ltd.
Articles or items for inclusion can be sent to the Editor at the addresses on the inside front cover.
Deadline for contributions     for the Summer 2011 edition is May 30th.
        Submissions may be edited for length and content. Many thanks to all our contributors.

Data Protection Act: The Group holds on private computer records the name, address, postcode.
telephone number and Group Membership number of each Full and Associate Member of the Group.
It is purely for the purposes of Newsletter distribution and internal administration within the Group.
The data will not be lent, hired or sold to a third party.

The Beds & North Hens Group of Advanced Motorists is a registered charity, number 1052278.
GROUP PRESIDENT          John Fletcher           Deputy Chief Constable
                                 (Protective Services) Bedfordshire Police

VICE-PRESIDENT           Phil Hinchliffe

CHAIRMAN          Arthur Cushway               22 BlakesWay
                  Tel: 01438 715460            Danesbury Heights
                                               Welwyn        AL6 9RE
SECRETARY         Robin Harwood                1S Highbury Road
                  Tel: 01462 453858            Hitchin SG49RW
                  e-mail: bedsnherts.iam@btinternet.com

TREASURER         Diane Birkett                  Escobero,3 High Street
                  Tel:01767314477                Broom SG189NP
                  e-mail: diane.birkett@btinternet.com

MAGAZINE          Richard Furmanski             56 Saywell Road
EDITOR            Tel: 01582 391918             Luton          LU20QF
                  e-mail: iam.theed@tiscali.co.uk

CHIEF OBSERVER    Alan Pembroke                9 Greig Close
                  Tel: 01462 811475            Shefford         SG175SE
                  e-mail: alan.iam@ntlworld.com

MEMBERSHIP        Philip Player                130 Ninesprings Way
SECRETARY         Tel:01462622915              Hitchin        SG49NZ
                  e-mail: p2130ntl@ntlworld.com

MAGAZINE          Ken Grover                   10 Dryden Crescent
DISTRIBUTOR       Tel: 01438221240             Stevenage     SG2 OJB
                  e-mail: ken.grover@ntlworld.com

ASSOCIATES        Kennedy Brown         Chiquita, 14 Mentmore Road
ORGANISER         Tel: 01525 371680         linslade       LU72NZ
                  e-mail: kennedycsbrown@yahoo.co.uk

EVENTS            Philip Player                130 Ninesprings Way
ORGANISER         Tel: 01462622915             Hitchin        SG49NZ
                  e-mail: p2130ntl@ntlworld.com

PUBLICITY         Keith Butcher                 10 Roseby Way
ORGANISER         Tel:01234213710               Goldington    MK41 9RP
                                   We'd like to welcome the
                                   following Associates who have
                                  joined our Group recently ...

               Mr William Strachan        Biggleswade              A2694
               Mrs Julie Kinnersley       Harpenden                A2695
               Mrs Julie Morris-Smith     Willian                  A2696
               Mr John Richardson         Riseley                  A2697
               Mr Stephen Russell         Westoning                A2698
               Mr Peter Fisher            Stevington               A2699
               Mr Owen McConnachie        Luton                    A2700
               Mr Ross Cottam             Stevenage                A2701
               Mr Malcolm Knight          Stevenage                A2702
               Mrs Valerie Scrivenere     Bedford                  A2703
               Mr Andrew Naish            Knebworth                A2704

                  ....and congratulate the following ex-Associates
                  who have passed the Institute's test:

Mrs Anne Cook              now   M1466   Observer    -   John Woodland
Mr Howard Hodges           now   M1467   Observer    -   Hugh Lambert
Mrs Maureen Leslie         now   M1468   Observer    -   Alan Battson
Raymond Lindsay            now   M1469   Observer    -   Jim Bassett
Mr Gavin Barkey            now   M1470   Observer    -   Philip Player
Miss Caroline Sykes        now   M1471   Observer   -    Kennedy Brown
Mr Martin McCarthy         now   M1472   Observer   -    John Woodland
Mr Ian Hamilton            now   M1473   Observer   -    Alan Pembroke
Mrs Marion Appleton        now   M1474   Observer   -    Raymond Hewitt
Mrs V Turner               now   M1475   Observer   -    Robin Harwood
Mr Philip Green            now   M1476   Observer   -    Alan Battson
Mr David Dodkins           now   M1477   Observer   -    Kennedy Brown
Mr Peter Clark             now   M1478   Observer   -    Alan Pembroke
   Wells and Young's Brewery
               9th November
Some 30 souls braved the raw and wet weather, lured by the prospect of
"free" drinks and bangers and mash, to visit the Wells and Young'sbrewery in
Bedford having paid a modest fee in advance for the privilege. Those lucky
enough not to be driving were able to participate in the drink aspect more
than those for whom duty called!
Prior to the guided tour our three guides explained that the 20 acre site was
opened in 1976, initially as a modern brewery for Charles Wells of Bedford,
and in 2005 on
their amalgama-
tion with Young's
of      Wandsworth
they took over the
latter's    brewing
function. Charles
Wells Brewery was
founded in 1876
by Charles Wells
(as you might
expect) when he
bought the brew-
ery along with a
coal yard and 35 pubs locally. He remodelled the brewery, building more pubs
in the surrounding villages and in turn buying up other local breweries. The
Wells family are still shareholders and presently three family members are
involved. The brewery specializes in producing bitter beers and premium
lagers and we were shown their wide range of beers. In 2007 Wells and
Young'salso acquired Courage beers.
Wells has some 250 tied pubs in eight counties whilst Young's has some 200
tied pubs, which between them take some 10% of the brewery's output,
whilst a further 20% goes to the free traders such as Wetherspoons, Punch
and Enterprise Inns. In addition they supply the supermarkets such as Tesco
and export to the USA, Canada, Russia and most of Europe with six "John
Bull" themed pubs in France.
After a short film about the malts and barleys used, the importance of the
hops and not least the water which they draw from a well about 1.5miles from
the present site. we were shown round the cask filling area (sadly not working
                                                         as the shift had not
                                                         long finished for the
                                                         day),    the    bottle
                                                         filling area with its
                                                         annual capacity of
                                                         35 million pints a
                                                         year (500 bottles a
                                                         minute) and then
                                                         finally the brewing
                                                         area and its control
                                                         room from where
                                                         the 14 mashesa day
                                                         are controlled.
                                                        After a very interest-
                                                        ing     tour    there
followed bangers and mash and free drinks - even my ginger beer was excel-
lent. Our thanks to the guides for making this an enjoyable evening.

 a taste test guide in
 the sampling room,
where daily brews are
sampled and samples
compared to previous
 batches in order to
 ensure consistency

  Prototyping and model-making
                     12th January

For the first meeting of the New Year our speaker was Dave Bennion, Sales
and Marketing Director of Ogle Models and Prototypes, whose 27 staff are
based in Letchworth.
Whilst responsible for the original Star Wars models and indeed the design
                                   of the Bond Bug they also designed the
                                   prototyping models for the Raleigh
                                   Chopper, the Reliant Scimitar and the
                                   Reliant Robin. Having sold Ogle Designs
                                   in 2000 they have since concentrated on
                                   model making and in 2008 invested
                                   heavily in specialist equipment to form
                                    by laser models and objects in plastic and
                                    later in other, more esoteric, materials
such as nylon. Dave circulated various items made by these methods.
As a company they have been responsible for work on the interior re-
design of a helicopter, fitting a new interior including a fridge, mood
lighting and DVD player and have built two full size fuselages of Jet
Stream 41s for BAEwhich the latter usefor demonstrations at trade
shows. They also work for numerous architects, designing and
completing the models, for instance, of the "Pinnacle" now                     F CTS
being built in London and a hotel in Bangkok as well as 3 qUlrky'\ Is        . ,ac
design work for car companies including Nissan, Bent-               fromtheworldof
ley,Jaguar and Lotus. To complete a broad range of               motoring,         on
work they also design for the Aerospace and                   threedifferent pagesin
Defence industries; all in all competing and                         W        one
                                                          thisissue. hich of the
succeeding in a niche market.                         3inthisissue   isFALSE?
                                                   Answer         rear
                                                            inside cover,
Our sincere thanks to Dave for speaking
to us on a diverse and fascinating               Between July 2008 and June 2009
subject.                                ol'er 25,000 dr;,'ers ran oul offuel on
                                          England's molorways.

   Shiatsu massage
               11th February

By way of something different for this talk we welcomed Sarah Whale,
a professional Shiatsu massage therapist who was accompanied by
Frederick and Freda, plastic replicas of a full male skeleton and a lady's
spine respectively.

Following a degree in ergonomics, her work, for which she trained for
three years and which is accepted as complementary medicine, is
largely now with bad backs and people's posture - though she also
treats cats, dogs and horses.

Using the skeletons she explained that every back is different and gave
us details of the manner in which (bad) posture, in particular in cars
given improper setting up of the car seat, can cause considerable pain
and discomfort. Indeed a recent report says that only 22% of drivers
adjust their seats, mirrors and seatbelts for the optimum driving posi-
tion whilst another survey indicated some 56% admit to slouching
whilst driving. This is despite that fact that sitting properly relieves ten-
sion, enables better breathing and hence you are more alert and thus
safer. If at all possible whilst driving sit upright, have your hips level
with or higher than your knees and your seat belt around your pelvis
and fully over the shoulder. Aside from better control these steps will
reduce stress and tension.
Then followed a wide ranging and more general discussion of her work
and its benefits, with the audience urged to massage themselves to
illustrate benefits to be gained from some aspects of the treatment.


                       Secreta ry's                       Scribble
                     Mercifully it is a while since I have had to pen an
                     article for Inroads. I will begin by cribbing something
                     from my up-coming report to the AGM, which is that no
                     less than 35 of you have registered to receive your
                     Inroads in electronic form rather than in paper. Thank
                     you, as this saves us quite a bit of cost, particularly in
postage. Should anybody else want to do the same, let me knOw. Don't feel
too much compulsion as there are lots of us (including me) who can only
absorb something into our brains if it is on paper.

What a winter we have had; aren't you glad you have taken the wise step of
training for and/or achieving your advanced driving certificate? I sincerely
trust none of us has been involved in an accident due to the weather condi-
tions. Is it time to think about your friends and family and try to encourage
them to take up Skill for Life? Their safety and wellbeing are important.
With the slowly improving weather (it is bright sunshine outside as I pen
this) we will inevitably be tempted to get the car out and travel again. How-
ever the price of filling the car with fuel is a bit eye-watering. It was over £50
yesterday for about 2/3 tank! I am not usually one to complain about the cost
of motoring because as a reasonably regular train traveller (to London) I do
understand that motorists have seen less real price rises than train passen-
gers, but when it goes up so relatively quickly it still hurts. It is time to
practise economy driving, but please make sure that smooth economical
advanced driving does not mean creeping round the place getting in other
people's way. I have had some frustrating examples recently of very slow
drivers holding us all up, presumably because they were "not in a hurry".
The old adage still holds that if you are early, stop, get off the road and get a
coffee rather than drive slowly, as the car behind may not have your time

I hope you occasionally get a chance to look at our website not only to check
that our programme of meetings has remained unchanged, but also to read
about our monthly meetings themselves.

If we do not have an email address for you please forward it so I can add you
to our monthly reminder of our meetings. When I send the reminder I
ensure your details are not made available to anyone else, so you need not
worry about us giving your details out.

Enjoy your driving

    Taking timefrom his busy schedule, on J 6 July Gavin Shuker, the new MPjOr Luton South, accepted
      an invitation from the GroupjOr a driving assessment with our Chief Observer Alan Pembroke

                                                            Nunquam non paralUs
                                                         or why the Beds and N. Herts
                                                      Group owns a Lord Luke Trophy.
           In Memoriam
                                                              Back in the mists of time,
                                                      before even our Chairman's day, a
            Jock White                                certain Phil Hinchliffe (now our
                                                      Vice- President) helped to set up the
        Jock was a member of our lAM
                                                      Group and approached Lord Luke
      Group for many years and used to
                                                      (full name Ian St John Lawson John-
      hand deliver numerous magazines
                                                      ston, resident of Odell Castle near
     for us, contributing     large saYings to
                                                      Bletsoe) to be their President. Not
              our postage costs,
                                                      only did he agree to this, but he also
         He was our best deliverer of
                                                      presented a cup to be awarded to the
      Magazines and also won the Lord
                                                      winners of various motoring competi-
              Luke Trophy once.
                                                      tions. Nowadays the cup - the Lord
       Jock passed away on November
                                                      Luke Trophy - is awarded annually at
                   9th 2010
                                                      the A.G.M. to the member who has
       He was 85 and suffered a heart
                                                      done most for the Group in the
                                                      preceding 12 months.
                                                      When he became the group President
in 1964, the Right Hon Lord Luke           onwards, and in his busy workIife he
KCVO TD had acquired the family            was involved in many activities
estate and was preparing plans to use      including the chairmanships of Elec-
stone from the burnt-out and dilapi-       trolux, the Gateway Building Society
dated original castle to build a more      and the Playing fields Association.
modern     and comfortable       family
home.                                      The motto of the Lord Luke coat of
His grandfather, a Scot by the name of     arms is: "Nunquam Non Paratus" -
John Lawson Johnston, became a             Never Unprepared.
chemist by profession and moved to
Canada.     It was he who invented
The Lord Luke with whom we are
familiar was Chairman of Bovril Ltd
between 1943 and 1970 following in
the footsteps of his father, who was a
beef manufacturer with established
trade links to South America. The
company also owned Marmite and
Ambrosia Creamed Rice.
He and his wife were associated for
nearly 40 years with the International
Olympic     Committee      from    1951           the Lord Luke Trophy

                     GROUP                HISTORY
The background of the Lord Luke Trophy presents a good
opportunity to remind our members of the history of the Group
to which they belong.
It was officially formed on February 4th 1964 with an original
nucleus of about 20 Members. with about 24 people attending
the first A.G.M. in March of that year. The first officers were: Don
Spratt, Chairman; Kay Taylor, Secretary; Peter Frost, Treasurer
and newsletter editor. By 1968/69 there were 77 paid-up Mem-
bers and the Associate scheme began soon after in March
1971. Our first Associate was Mrs Boyce who passed her test in
April 1972 and is still a Group Member. Also around this time. a
number of Members and Associates living in the north-east of
the area decided to set up the Cambridge Group, or Sub-
Group as it was then. After some help for a year or two they

      Most Expensive Car Wrecks
                Part 1
If you ever thought you had ruined your day/week/year     by smashing
up your beloved 'wheels'. just spare a thought for those responsible for
much, much worse      .

This 1992 $500,000 super-exotic Bugatti EBll 0 was being driven by a
mechanic as part of its annual checkup. He claims there was an oil slick on
the road which caused him to lose control and crash into a pole. The
owner of the Bugatti is a famous "feel good" guru named Emile Ratelband.
Not sure how good he was feeling after this wreck.

Only 15 Zonda e12 5 were ever built, but that didn't stop this owner
(opposite, top) from driving it like a mad hatter.
He crashed this beauty in the wee morning hours while driving in Hong
Kong, costing him its $650,000 price tag.
The Bugatti Veyron is the most expensive production car in history ($'.6
million). Only 300 are expected to be produced, and already two have
crashed, this being the first one. The driver thought it was okay to speed at
, 00 mph in the rain. He only had the car for one week.

Our top ten       driving    annoyances        (as compiled by a survey from

1. Indication frustration
Lack of indication was a popular choice. Or a token flicking of the indicator
after the vehicle has already started turning. It's for letting people know what
you plan to do before you do it - which is why it's called an 'indicator'.
It would be desirable if drivers got into the habit of indicating even when
there's no other traffic around, as pedestrians rely on indication too. And when
it comes to choosing when to cross a road, a motorist's lack of indication is
more than frustrating - it's just plain dangerous.
2. How much do manners cost, again?
Discourtesy on the road really got people's goat. Whether that's stealing a
parking spot that another driver was clearly about to take, being trigger happy
with the hom, or simply not thanking other drivers for their courteous acts, it's
all just bad manners. Why can't people just be nice?
3. Middle lane hogging
You always get these on motorways - the ones who go at 60 miles per hour in
the middle lane when there is nothing in the slow lane. Why? Who knows?
4. It's not always good to talk
It's illegal to have a handset glued to your head whilst you're driving, but
people still do it. Put the phone down! Pay attention to the road! Or at least get
a hands-free.
5. Box clever, or box stupid?
Also featured are people who don't understand box junctions, or drive onto
them even when they do. If your exit isn't clear, there's a good chance you're
going to end up blocking traffic. Even buses sometimes do this, and bus drivers
should really know better. This choice could possibly be extended to 'people
who just don't know their Highway Code'.
6. Things that go bump in the night, and the day too
Poorly-maintained roads and potholes were big ones for the Confused.com
team. One of them has had two tyres rip in the past few weeks.
7. Tailgaters
Nobody likes another driver right on their butt. It's more than rude - it's
dangerous. "Only a fool breaks the two-second rule!"
8. Not even amber - just red
 It's always a surprise to me that some drivers seem to think that red lights are
         optional. And this is a real problem in cities, where the volume of traffic is
         so much higher.
         I was reluctant to include cyclists in this list, as saying emission-free road
         users are annoying seems churlish. However, some cyclists (and I'm sure
         they're in the minority) seem to cherry pick which parts of the Highway
         Code suit them, and the traffic light stipulations are the ones most noticeably
         dropped. Red means 'stop' for everyone, guys and gals!
         9. Say cheese!                                                           •
         Being frustrated by speed cameras is a bit of a contentious one. Although the
        members of the team that suggested this were also keen to point out that they
        didn't mean all speed cameras at all times. Clearly no-one would object to
        having cameras in accident black spots, near schools and hospitals and so on.
    •   But one member of staff argued that some mobile speed cameras are clearly
    I   located for pure revenue generation. And another said that cameras don't
I       differentiate fast and dangerous driving, and that driving on a clear, straight
        road at 3am is a different kettle of fish from the middle of the day when there
        are greater volumes of traffic and pedestrians. Discuss ...
         10. "Are you talking to me?"
         Arguably taxi drivers are an annoyance due to a number of the factors already
         discussed. And yet so many of the team mentioned them, their inclusion
         must surely be warranted. What sets taxi drivers apart is that much of the
         time someone will be paying them for their service. I'm sure that when
         most of us pay for a service, there will be a tacit understanding that
        the service provided will be legal. Why would anyone financially                      FAR
        endorse breaking the rules of the road and being inconsiderate                     OUT
        to other motorists?                                                              FACTS

        I must issue a disclaimer here that this may not apply to                  3 quirky facts
                                                                               from the world of
        some, ifnot most taxi drivers. But if you're a cabbie,
                                                                           motoring, featured on
        even you'd have to admit that some are worse than
r       others.
        ...and the rest.
                                                                       three different pages in
                                                                   this issue. Which one of the
                                                               3 in this issue is FALSE?
                                                               Answer inside rear cover.
        Just outside the top ten were Nissan
        Mieras, parking in disabled spots                Of the 17,700 calls made to John
        without the right to do so, cara-             Major's infamous Cones Hotline only
        vans, motorway flirters and               jive led to the removal of cones.
        drivers wearing hats.
Have some fun with another of our regular puzzles, this time an acrostic,
where the letters of the first answer begin all the remaining answers.

Puzzle No. 25
Solve the 8 cryptic clues (clues or answers have something to do
with cars or motoring) and complete the grid.
Transfer the letters of the numbered squares into the panel at the
bottom to reveal the name of a once-popular model on our roads.

1   down.         Big car in Maryland, for instance (6)
2   across.       Choose gear to fight with (6)
3   across.       Form of extra weight prudently carried in car (5,4)
4   across.       Cardiff instals unusual refuges for pedestrians (7,7)
5   across.       It helps 1V presenter in traffic hold-up, say (7)
6   across.       Performance assessment of stroke on Hampshire river (4,5)
7   across.       Confused genie with new motor (6)


                Tee-Hee Leaf
                   Joe waS passing Farmer James's    ha~5hed one
          da~ when, through the gap in one door, he saWJames
          doing what looked like a slow and sensual striptease in
          front of his old red Masse~ ferguson parked up there.
           l)utto      clenched, he slowl~pirouetted, first to the left,
           then to the right, before hunching his shoulders forward in
            the classic striptease st~le and letting his braces fall to
            dangle at each side of his corduro~s. Then he ripped open
             his checked shirt, revealing his tea_stained vest, before
             hurling his cap onto a pile of ha~ in a final flourish.
             u James," said Joe,  "what are ,you doing?1l

    {         "Oh," said an obviousl~ embarrassed James. "Well latel~
              me and the missus have been having a bit of trouble in the
              bedroom department, 50 m~therapist recommended 1do
            something   se",'y to a tractOr".
                                                                          st~rk n~ked
        A man finds a woman b.                                           drunk wom;n
        ?eca~se she's locked ~~ ~ng i~ the street                       jumped into ~n
         Dont worry" hesays remeys In her car .
                      ,                     .                       empty t~xi. The driver
        sers, rolls them int '.      aves his trou-
        them against th     a a tight ball and rubs                  lust st~red ~t her ~nd
        opens.          e car door. Magically, it                 m~de no ~ttempt to st~rt
                                                                "         the engine.
,   .   "How did
        woman. that work'" as ks the grateful
                        .                                        wh~t's wrong love! H~ven't
                                                               you ever seen ~ n~ked wom~n
        "They're my khakis."                                   ",           before!"
                                                                 Imino: st~ring ~t you. Th~t
                                                                wou dn t be pr        .. h
                                                               "Well if       ,oper        e s~id.
                                                                      , you re not st~ring ~t

                 ~':J                                             me, wh~t ~re you doing!"
                                                                           she ~sked
                                                                  "Honestly, I'm thinking
                                                                   to myself: where is this

                              ~r                ~.rr-
                                                                     wom~n keeping the
                                                                        money to p~y

  Road Warriors
 A blue fiesta and a plumber at the end of a busy day...


          She had her hands at ten o'clock     and reached out and up with her right
and two o'clock and the top of her grey        arm. She warned him to back om And her
head barely cleared the steering wheel of      brake light came on again.
the blue Fiesta. She was driving at 23         She was the fuse on a highly charged
miles per hour in a 30 mph zone and she        day, and he was thinking about crossing
kept tapping her brakes and that was           the solid white line when he spotted the
making Kevin nuts because he was in a          traffic cop with the speed gun up ahead,
hurry. He couldn't pass her because of         so he backed off, and she rolled up her
the built up area and his cell phone was       window and put her hands back on the
ringing because people were looking for        clock of a steering wheel.
him. He had the phone wedged between
                                               A half-mile later the road widened and the
his ear and his shoulder, and his right
                                               speed limit increased to 50 mph so he
hand was on the steering wheel, a ham
                                               sped up and passed her, only to stop at a
sandwich was on the dashboard, and a
                                               red light a bit further down the road.
can of coke was between his legs.
                                               This was the sort of red light that stayed
And she just tapped the brakes again. So
                                               red forever. He wiped at the spilled Coke
 he blew the horn and edged a little closer
                                               with a napkin and glanced in his side
 to her bumper.                                mirror. She was rolling up next to him.
 And she tapped her brakes again. And
                                               She pulled right up next to his door and
 that made him hit his brakes and the
                                               looked at him the way a teacher would
 Coke slipped loose and spilled between
                                               look at a misbehaving schoolboy.
 his legs. He blew the horn again.
                                               She had a pen and paper in her hands
 He hung up his cell phone and inched a
                                               and was writing something down. Kevin
 bit closer to her. This was getting
                                               figured it was the company name and
 personal. She rolled down the window
           phone number on the side of the van.          when he passed me he made an obscene
          That didn't surprise him. After all, he was    gesture and I think you should know
          driving a 4-wheeled billboard and there        about this. This man is a disgrace to your
          was no mystery as to the name of the           company. He should be severely repri-
          company for which he worked (owned             manded."
          actually). Kevin smiled. He was a one-         "Well we are certainly glad you called to
          man band and this was his only van. If         report this, ma'am," Kevin said. "We want
          she was going to call and complain, he         to take care of this problem immediately.
          was probably going to get the call.            Did you get the truck number? We have a
I~        He looked over at the old lady in the blue     large fleet of trucks, you know."
 I        Fiesta and smiled again.                       "Truck number? No, but I can describe it.
    I     "Sit still, and drive slow" he mumbled to      It's white and it has red & blue lettering on
I.        himself.
          Now that he was next to her, rather than
I         behind her, it was easy to smile. He knew
         that she was in the wake of his day and
         that made him smile. He also knew that
         he would be chatting to her pretty soon,
         so he figured he might as well begin their
         conversation with a smile. She scowled at
         him, shook her little fist, honked her horn     the side with your company name and
         a few times, and shook her fist again. The      number, which is how I knew where to
         light turned green and Kevin smiled             call. I wrote it all down when he stopped
         again, and drove off.                           at a traffic light. Your man ran the light as
         The Call came twenty minutes later.            well. And he nearly hit some school
         "Orbit Heating & Plumbing" he said.            children who were crossing the street.
         "Yes, I'd like to report that one of your       He's a menace".
         men is a very reckless driver".                "Did you happen to get the licence
        "May I ask who's calling" Kevin said.           number of the vehicle ma'am?" Kevin
        " I'd rather not give my name, but your
r       man just ran me off the road", she said.
                                                        "No, but I can describe him for you. And I
I       "He did?"
        " Yes, and he was speeding & tailgating
                                                        should also mention that he drove other
                                                        people off the road as well. One man was
        and also weaving across a solid white           towing a boat. Your driver nearly forced
        line. I think he may have been drinking, or     him into the ditch. And he ran from the
        on drugs. His eyes were all glassy. He          pclice as well. I saw that with my own
        was also playing music very loud and            eyes. I think you should severely repri-
mand him."                                        my!"
"Did you get a good look at this miscreant        "Don't be concerned, ma'am. You did the
ma'am?" Kevin asked.                              right thing. His children will probably have
"Yes, I did" she said. " he seemed to be a        to leave school and get jobs so that the
large man. And I didn't like his haircut. It      family can keep their house. I don't care,
was very shaggy. And he had a mous-               though. Once we put him on the list.
tache. I don't like moustaches."                  Nobody in Ireland will ever hire him
"Was his hair brown, ma'am?"                      again."
"Yes, brown hair."                                "The list?" she said.
" Okay, ma'am, I know just who you're              "Yes," Kevin said. " In our industry we
talking about, and I want you to know this         have a bad driver blacklist. It is the kiss of
 is the second time in the past 1Oyears            death for an employee. Break the rules 2
 that I've received complaints about this          times in 10 years and you're history.
 individual."                                      That's it. You are OUTIA here!"
 "Well what are you planning to do about           "Oh my, I didn't want to cause this much
 it?" she asked.                                   trouble for him," she said. "I just
 "I'm going to fire him the minute he gets         thought..."
  back to the office!" Kevin said.                 "How much trouble did you want to
  "Oh My," the old woman said. "I didn't            cause, ma'am?"
  mean for you to take such drastic mea-            "Well, I thought just a reprimand would
  sures. I just thought you would reprimand         do."
  him."                                             " Okay we'll give him one more chance,"
  "Oh no, ma'am!" Kevin said. "I've had it          Kevin said. "And a reprimand, of course."
  with this guy. Two times in 10 years is           "Oh, thank you!" she said. "I would hate
  enough for me. He is oulla here!"                 to have all that other stuff on my
  "But I hate to think that I'm the cause of        conscience."
   gelling him fired," she said.
   "You're just doing your duty as a good
   citizen, ma'am," Kevin said. "That bum is
   gone. The minute he walks through this
   door I'm going to ask him for the keys and
   tell him to call his wife to come pick him
   up. I don't care if she's collecting their 3
   kids from school. She can leave them
   there and come get him. I want him out of
    " But that wasn't my intent," she said. "Oh
                            Group on Show 2011
    As part of the group's annual campaign to promote our role and that of the
    lAM, we are planning to attend three major shows tliis year. As always we
    are dependent on members supp'orting us by giving their time to set up and
    staff the stand. So with this in mind, listed below are forward diary dates of
    the events concerned:

    Luton Festival of Transport (Stockwood Park] Sunday 72th 'June
    Classics on the Common (Harpenden] Wednesday 27th 'July!
    Twinwoods End of Season Rally (Bedford] Saturday 3rd September

r           •
                      Could you spare a few hours or even a whole Clay?
                      Do you enjoy talking to people?
                      Do you have marketing or sales skills?
            •         Not volunteered before?
    Should you be willing to help, please put the dates in your diary and
    contact me approximately a fortnight before eacb event so attendance
    details may be sent to you. Thanking you in anticipation.

    Ke[tltl1SlAtc,ltler           Publicity Officer

                En route to give a lecture
            in Cleveland, Ohio, Lancelot                                                  FAR
          Dillger pulled out of his driveway                                            OUT
        and drove straight into a delivery van .                                      FACTS
                                                                                3 quirkyfacts
I     With his car incapacitated,    Dillger
                                                                            fromthe world of
1   borrowed     his father's, but in hurrying to get                    motoring,featuredon
     to the lecture hall he took a corner too fast                  three differentpages in
       and crashed into a truck.     Dillger                     this issue. Whichone of the
         finally arrived to give his lecture                 3 in this issue is FALSE?
                                                           Answerinsiderear cover.
           by taxi. His topic for the
                evening was safe driving.
                                                     Bob Geldof drove a giant muck-
                                                  shifter lorry as one of his earlyjobs,
                                                and helped to build the first section of
                                             the M25

                        THE OFFSIDE                          reporting


        Potty plumber Sid Downe-Jobbe of Louisville, Kentucky, has nailed
his true colours to the mast, so to speak, and converted the cabin of his
company truck into something of a rest room. Sid, 42, loves nothing more
than spending more than a penny - he'll happily spend 90 minutes 'going'
and engross himself in a good read. Whereas at home his long-suffering
wife (driven round the bend, it has to be said) would have nagged him out
of the 100 after 30 minutes, in the comfort of his own vehicle Sid can now
enjoy all the time he likes answering calls of both business and nature.
"When I'm on the job I feel like a pig in s***" he beamed at reporters.
        The astute reader will have noticed his company name AIM embla-
zoned on the truck, and we can tell you his company motto reads: "We aim
to please, you please to aim"       22
Will Knutt - special correspondent
        with his views on those infuriating habits of other drivers.

                               NO FOGGING IDEA
Sometimes, just sometimes I really do worry about the mentality of our bud-
ding drivers out there. It goes from the sublime to the ridiculous on our roads,
and now you're wondering what the heck I'm on about, aren't you? Well, this
edition I want to rant about the ne'er-do-wells that absolutely insist on driv-
ing with their £ 'Y.&"ing lights on regardless of whether there's any of the
stuff about or not, and, worse still, should it be day or night time.
Still, happily our motor manufacturers haven't come up with any more neon,
gimmicky gizmos since this particular invention, so that's a blessing in disguise
I guess, or else we'd have vehicles adorned with snow lights, thunder lights,
cloudy day lights, and maybe even earthquake, Richter scale 1.5 + lights, all of
which our half-witted friends would switch on with gusto and glee, so much so
they'd put our street lights out of a job. And here I have to be careful 'cause
if any Rt. Honourables from the Department Of Cuts should be reading this
they'd make it mandatory, and why should we have to put up with our jalopy
looking like a pimped up fruit machine for heaven's sake?
Only the other day, when I was returning from the 'Will Knutt Appreciation
Fan Club' society dinner, (small turn out, just me and some other bloke who
fancied a sausage in batter from the 'Sam 'n Ella's Chip Plaice') I was dazzled
by some lunatic behind me with all lights a-blazing, I was totally stunned that
there weren't three wise men following in his wake armed with mirth and their
franc 'n cents, and only when they catch up with their prey and find out
they've got the wrong century, location and juvenile will they reveal they're
incensed, and that I'm sure about.
Now, I'm all for being seen and making people aware of my presence on the
road but I'm not blinging up my transportation and flattening the battery in
the process for anyone, if I want to make my car as bright as a ferocious
mobile fireball, I'd just set light to it ....."Simples" as the Meerkats would have
us believe they say.
Driving can be stressful at the best of times but reaching out for the 01'
Raybans at 11o'clock at night because you have some light-freaked, boy-acne
driver behind you is, to put it mildly, irritating, and you know what, you do have
to question their mentality. I mean, would they be the type of person to
choose a motorboat to cross The Sahara or maybe even pay good money to
watch a 1930s black and white silent movie of a musical? It never ceases to
amaze me the stupidity of some of our fellow motorists, so here's Will Knutt's
hot advice for this issue:- lighten up and fog off.
Till next time then,
   'wh.t    S In your st.rs!                       by Wyatt van Dreiva
00 you feel as if you've taken a wrong turn in life, maybe the road is giving
you a bumpy ride, or you're in a dead end job? Sounds to me like you need
a brand new satnav.

It wasn't, unfortunately. By that I mean the syzygy in your planetary sphere
didn't turn out to be propitious. You knew that anyway, since your car had
a breakdown, two punctures and a collision all in the same week.
The dual aspect of your sign will have a knock-on effect on the path of
Mercury, the messenger of adventure to come. All a        i h means you
must look both ways at junctions and never go out without clean knickers
on - just in case.

Get yourself out of the house in these coming weeks, as you've been
cooped up too long. Go to the shops, go see a film. Get a life!

You're going through a time of uncertainty, when eveLYl;hin i?eems a little
vague and fuzzy. Get the inside of that windscreen cleaned fast, and make
an appointment for a sight test NOW!

A fortuitous alignment from Jupiter to Mars heralds swift progress        for
you this week. Maybe those roadworks have finished at last.

Sound familiar - marriage     breaking down, relationships falling apart,
you're lacking performance?     It all resembles that sad old car you still
drive around in.

With both the Sun and Mars, planet of action, now in your sign, you are
keen to prove what human dynamite you are.
Just be careful that all your plans don't blow up in your face, matey

You'll need all the help from your ruling planet evasive Neptune in the
coming weeks, because now you've passed your test you'll suddenl~ find
       are t~affic, pedestrians Jlod street furniture will hav to be vpiaed.
  What's on and when ....                                                  ......courtesy of our Events Organiser
                                                                                          Philip Playe,

12th April
The Annual General Meeting will take place
tomight, and it will be swiftly followed by a talk
given by Guy Tremaine from Johnson Mat-
they about exhaust emission control with auto

10th May
The speaker tonight is Roy Brunsden, whose
talk entitled 'The building of a Highway" will inform us of the newest
local road construction project to be completed, the A421. Roy is
lately of the Highways Agency, so he should have some good inside
info on the subject.

14th June
Keith Smith, who is a member of our group, works as an Opera-
                      tional Road Traffic Manager. He will no doubt
                      have plenty of fascinating stuff to tell us in his
                      talk about driving through road works.

12th July
We have provisionally reserved a
speaker from the RSPB to come and
talk to us, but details remain to be confirmed.
9th August
We are hoping to visit the Bedford Training facilityof the Ambulance
Service, but to date no firm details are available. More next edition.

Youcan keep in touch with all our planned meetings and events by checking
details on our website (details on back cover) or by contacting Philip Player.
                   l:l3I1VI\V) Sf xoq <141uJ 6ulJeadde   pJOM l:!3illl-8    <141                    3~Vd 31ZZnd

                                                9 a5ed uo 5! PIi!J 3S1V:J "'41
      This is where you'll find us every second Tuesday
                      of the month.....

                                       '"----6f\lcR   l<IL"'I   t~
his pl"oduet inCludea mapping   data licensed from Ofdnance     Survey

            .....in the Ballroom Bar of the Sun Hotel,
                  Sun Street, Hitchin, SG5 lAF.
      Meetings begin at 8.00 p.m.,with refreshments
                  provided for a small donation.
     Details of forthcoming events can be found inside
               this rear cover or on our website
                      bedsnhertsam. org. uk

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