Here I go again, my second attempt at doing the newsletter (with a little help from Jonathon). I thought I would send out this out as we have had some interesting events on just lately and some more coming up.
8th October, Newton Longville
Roger and Jon with a little help from Mark Harrison (I think that’s correct) laid out 5 interesting/devious sections on the Experience the Country site south of Milton Keynes. In the drivers briefing Jon said that it was going to be muddy in places but with the weather being dry it was just right. Unfortunately due to a clash of dates with Maddys birthday bash the numbers were down but those that did come all enjoyed some well thought out and devious sections. One section in particular had us starting with the front wheels just touching a log which was laid across the start gate/gate 10 and on a slight slope. This log was pegged to the ground so it was not supposed to move and Jon was adamant that we started with our handbrake on ie; a hillstart. This proved to be entertaining for those watching with one person even managing to stall his Landie and getting a 9 or 10 despite him having the biggest tyres in the club. We were all watching you JS!. Andy turned up in his Jeep Grand Cherokee after a long absence and Matt impressed us with his skillful driving in his Series 2a SWB Station Wagon on what looked like road tyres.
LRM driving day
The second LRM Off Road driving day was held the following weekend (14th Oct) at the same place. This event is organized by LRM magazine so that people can come and drive their Land Rovers from Series ones to D3s/Range Rover Sport around an off road course laid out by Mark Stoppes who runs the site. We provide the marshals and any recovery that is needed. The number of vehicles was well up on last years (75 I think it was). The weather was fine and there was no need for any recovery apart from some people having a bit of difficulty on the elephants feet which are alternate humps and dips to really test the axle articulation and/or traction control. The people that really seem to experience some difficulty here are the ones whose centre diff lock does not operate or will not engage. The vehicles that do make it have nice supple suspension or traction control or a gung ho attitude to attack the course. Either way everybody seemed to enjoy themselves with a lot a positive feedback coming from the punters. The only breakdown we had was when a D3 got a puncture but was soon re inflated using the air compressor on Marks ex army Leyland Daf 4×4 truck.
The most interesting part of the whole day for me was when the editor of LRM (Patrick Cruywagen) come over to where I was and opened the bonnet of his South African spec 2.8i 110 Defender. So here I was looking at a straight 6 BMW petrol engine in a Land Rover. Patrick must be a much happier man now unlike last year when he was telling me how much he regretted selling his 2.8i 90 before he left South Africa to come to England.
On the 12th of this month we had a training day kindly laid on by James and his helpers. Not knowing what to expect I went over there in my Rangie without my winch and any recovery gear. After the usual talk on ropes by Roger we over to the where the ground drops away down to a sunken track only to see a dead car which had been pushed down there by James. Now this was starting to look more interesting!. The scenario that James was trying to recreate was if you came across such an incident, what would be the first thing you would do. When I did my first aid course we were always told to establish how many people were in the vehicle and then look for those that were not making any noises.
We then decided to do the actual recovery bit after we had secured the car. It was decided to pull the front of the car round so that the front wheels were facing up the track and then JCC proceeded to winch the car up the track and eventually up the bank.
This was fairly straightforward as the wheels were still rolling so not a great deal of resistance so it was decided to push the car back into the ditch and have the car land on its roof. As the car was on its roof one would have thought it would slide without much difficulty but as Simon Prebble was about to find out it took some good hard pulls from his ARB equipped Disco to pull it up to the top. Not sure if that was the most professional way to do it but it was certainly entertaining.
After lunch we went over to the far corner to see where James had placed a car about 10ft up a tree. After using Rogers 90 as a step ladder to get a snatch block onto a branch higher than the car Keith pulled it up a little so we could release the safety chains and then we let it down slowly. We attached another winch cable to the front to pull the car level so it came down on its wheels.
Thank you James or Maddy for providing the dead car as this made it much more realistic than pulling each others vehicles. I shall definitely be bringing my winch next time.
That’s it for now, hopefully the next newsletter will come out nearer the middle of December and there might even be some pictures in it to show what we’ve done throughout the year.