In This Issue:


Well done to the following members who have passed their advanced test / re-test:
  Dave Busby (M)
  Neil Southwell (M)

  Cathy Newman (C)  
  Paul Snowdon (M)

A warm welcome to new group members:
  Mark Gunn (M)
  Hugh Wheatley (M)
  Andy West (M)
  Jamie Cutting (M)
  Indiajane Cox (M)
Diary Dates:
Thu 11 April 2024
Tech Talk: Observation

Tue 28 May 2024
Tech Talk: Making Progress

Sat 15 June 2024
Signpost Rally

Sun 23 June 2024
Prescott Bike Festival

July 2024 (date tbc)
Tech Talk: Time Distance Speed

Articles needed

If you have interesting snippets or would like to write a short article for this newsletter then please let us know. 

All contributions welcome.

Wanted: Group Ride Leaders 

We need more volunteer Ride Leaders - No experience required, full training given.


Call Stephen Wilkinson-Carr on 07976 644485 for more details.



May 2024
Chair's Introduction
New Car Tutor: Marion Tunwell
It is with the greatest pleasure that I can announce we have a new Car Section Group Tutor: Marion Tunwell.

Marion has worked very hard while being coached by Andrew Pegg and is looking forward to training her first associate.

Very well done Marion, welcome to the team.

Marion said:

"In 2018, realising that it was 50 years since I had passed my driving test, and now having to undertake on my own the longer journeys on which I had previously shared the driving with my (now deceased) husband, I signed up for a RoSPA Experienced Driver Assessment*. Accordingly, I met up with Examiner Mark Bull, who told me that my driving was OK, but some ‘tweaks’ would make it better.  He felt that I would enjoy learning advanced driving techniques.

I retired from paid employment a couple of months later and signed up for the Gloucestershire RoADAR group (the nearest ‘car’ group to my home in Worcestershire), where Andrew Cooper put me in touch with tutor Leigh Brookes.  I took my first advanced test in November 2018, Mark awarded me a Silver, and Leigh said that he hoped I would consider joining the Tutor team.

It has taken a while (not helped by the pandemic), but thanks to Andrew Pegg’s patient encouragement I am now part of the team.  I have really benefitted personally from the increased anticipation and observation skills, and understanding the System of Car Control, and am keen to support others to do the same.

*(I learned about the Assessments from watching the TV programmes ‘The 100-year-old Driving School’, where RoSPA tutors were assessing the driving of elderly folk who had been referred by their concerned families.)"
Volunteer Chair needed
Could you be our Chairperson?

This post will become vacant on 24 September 2024 at the group's AGM.

If you're interested in volunteering please call me
to chat about what the role entails.

Stephen (07976 644485)


Rebecca Hickman, who is RoSPA’s first female chief executive in its 100 year-plus history, started the role on the 1 April this year. Her appointment comes following the stepping down of previous CEO, Errol Taylor back in October 2023.

Full RoSPA article here

Wanted: new Secretary
This role is currently available and could be yours.


Contact Rebekah or Stephen for more information (see committee links at end of this newesletter).
Technical Talk: Making Progress 28 May 2024
New venue!

Driving Tests: 1980s vs Today

This is a thought-provoking article about how the driving test has developed over the years which highlights how much harder it is for today's 17-year olds to pass.
This is a summary of what you now need to know before your test:

See the full article here

India in the Cotswolds: Sezincote
Sezincote House (pronounced seas in coat) is a unique and extraordinary Indian house set amidst the Cotswold Hills. The architecture is in the Mogul style of Rajasthan, with a central dome, minarets, peacock-tail windows, jali-work railings and pavilions. A curving Orangery frames the Persian Garden of Paradise with its fountain and canals.
The house is set within a romantic garden - a fine example of the Picturesque style - with pools, waterfalls, a grotto and a temple to the Hindu Sun God. Sezincote was built in 1810 by Charles Cockerell, who had worked out in India, assisted by his brother, the architect Samuel Pepys Cockerell, and Thomas Daniell, the great painter of Indian architectural scenery. It is a notable example of Neo-Mughal architecture, a 19th-century reinterpretation of 16th and 17th-century architecture from the Mughal empire.
Sezincote is dominated by its red sandstone colour, typical in Mughal architecture, but features a copper-covered dome instead of the typical white marble. The fenestration is composed of a sequence of extra-large windows with an arch-shape at the top.
The arch, however, is not a simple or typical design, but instead a shell-like fan that is evidence of the Mughal influence. The interior design is more typical European style.
The landscape was designed by Humphry Repton. It is essentially a renaissance-style garden with elements of Hindu style, as seen in the crescent bridge with columns.
More details here

Looks like a good day's outing.
Luxembourg Motorcycle Tour Report
I saw a photograph on Facebook and immediately identified it as Vianden in Luxembourg. That was it. I just HAD to arrange a motorcycle tour so invited two friends, David Blackledge and Nigel Hitchings to join me for a week's tour in late April 2024.

What follows should give you an idea of where we went and what we encountered.
Some of our planned outings:
Luxembourg has some of Europe's best roads that are maintained to the highest level. Superb for a motorcycle tour but inevitably there were many road closures to accommodate repairs and maintenance. (Not one of the above planned outings went the way we intended...)
Crossing under the Channel

We stayed at the Pommerloch Hotel on the Luxembourg / Belgium border. I've visited before and highly recommend it. 
Early morning (well, not THAT early) preparations for the day's ride.
On a viewpoint near Revin in the French Ardennes
Esch-sur-Sûre, Luxembourg
Lots of twisty roads to negotiate. (Speed limit is 90 km/h)
Click image for short video
Of course we just HAD to stop for Black Forest Gateau and other delights. This is at Vianden where we also took the Chair Lift up to a local viewpoint.
Vianden and its valley from the top of the chair lift. Vianden Castle on the right.
On the way out of Vianden we encountered this sign.
Look at the way the commitment / damage is depicted.
The photo I took didn't make the grade...
Original mosaic floor
Ready for departure  
A quick stop at Beaufort Castle for a close-up.
One of the best roads we rode (near Beaufort Castle).

Plenty of stops during each day's ride for a rest, leg stretch, meal or cake (usually cake if I'm honest).
Bouillon, Belgium
Rest stop / photo opportunity 
Coffee and entertainment in Clervaux
Click on image for short video

We were enjoying our coffee, cake and ice cream when a brass band turned up and began playing. They were advertising their availabilty for weddings, birthday parties etc.
Another short stop at Trois-Ponts, Belgium
Friterie Bertrand has a comprehensive menu
One of our longest rides was into Germany to visit the Biker Ranch near Monschau in the Eifel region.
It was packed with bikes, trikes and many nationalities. Well, it was Bank Holiday (1 May). 

A perfect, and hugely popular, spot for lunch

They belong to Nigel who was adamant he had them
with him when we pulled into the Biker Ranch.

One of our stops was in Monthermé where we encountered one of the oddest foods I've ever seen.
No, we didn't try it. Now, if it had been Croque au Ferrero Rocher...
We had a fantastic week and I was able to check out various routes and eateries in case I decide to run this tour for the group some time in the future.
Would there be any interest I wonder?
Thank you Nigel and David for your excellent company and unrelenting good humour.
PS The missing chicken strips were found. Turns out I had them all along!
Motorcycle Trailer Loan Offer
Did You Know?

Hedy Lamarr
9 Nov 1914 - 19 Jan 2000
American actress and 
the Mother of Wi-Fi

Actress Hedy Lamarr had a fascinating life, including her scandalous debut in the Czech film Ecstasy, discovery (and renaming) by Louis B. Mayer, persona as the most glamorous woman of Hollywood's Golden Age and relative obscurity in her later years.

But far beyond the Hollywood image, Lamarr was an inventor.

She was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Vienna, Austria. Her father was the director of a bank and her Hungarian mother was a concert pianist.

During a small dinner party in 1940, Lamarr met a kindred inventive spirit in George Antheil. The Trenton, New Jersey, native was known for his writing, his film scores — especially his avant-garde music compositions — but he was also an inventor.

Lamarr wanted to aid the Allied forces during World War II. She explored potential military applications for radio technology. She theorized that varying radio frequencies at irregular intervals would prevent interception or jamming of transmissions, thereby creating an innovative communication system.

Lamarr shared her concept for using “frequency hopping” with the U.S. Navy and co-developed a patent with Antheil in 1941. Her innovation helped make possible a wide range of today's wireless communications technologies including Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth.

Who knew?
Recommended Books (Clickable)

The Committee

Chair - Stephen Wilkinson-Carr

Secretary - Rebekah Yarranton

Treasurer - David Blackledge

Membership Secretary - Ben Mitchell

Car Coordinator - Mike Hall
Motorcycle Coordinator - Paul Smith

WebMaster - Phil Wesley

Back to top

Membership Secretary:
Secretary: Rebekah Yarranton