In This Issue:


Well done to the following members who have passed their advanced test / re-test:
  Paul Giles (M)
  Phil Cavanagh (M)

A warm welcome to new group members:

  Gary Scudder (M)
  Siân Scudder (C)
  Lyndon Parsons (M)  
  Jon Eaton (M)
  Paul Robinson (M)
  Karlia Bradley-Boddy (M)
  Angela Hunter (C)
  Adam Shearing (C)
  Kathy Dionaldson (M)
Diary Dates:
 Sat 14 Oct
 Tutor refresher training
 Sun 22 Oct
 Low-speed Skills Event
 Sun 29 Oct
 Clocks go back 1 hour
 Sun 29 Oct 
 Group Motorcycle Ride
 Tue 7 Nov 
 Avon & Somerset Police
 Roads Policing Talk
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.



October 2023
Chair's Introduction
We’ve had another busy year with lots of member, marketing and recruiting events and activities that have significantly raised our profile with the general public and potential members.

In the last month we've welcomed nine new members! That translates to 100+ new members annually. This is excellent news and is the result of the Committee, Tutors and volunteers working hard all year to promote road safety in general and our group in particular.

We couldn’t do what we do without their hard work and support.

Thank you all.

The Committee outlined all group activities and initiatives at the well-attended AGM early in October. If you couldn’t make it and would like an overview of what was presented then have a look at the PowerPoint slideshow that’s on our Google Drive
Car Tutors: To address the current serious shortage, a recent initiative has identified five potential car Tutors.

Four are already motorcycle Tutors hoping to follow in Brian Durie’s footsteps (the group’s first-ever dual Tutor).

We need more names and are particularly keen to hear from any car members with a Gold or Silver pass who’d like to be considered for Tutor training in the very near future. Please tell us if you’re interested (e-mail addresses at the end of this newsletter).

I’ve just noticed a video advertisement for the Bath Christmas Market, which runs from 23 November to 10 December, and visited a local garden centre that has already dedicated a large section to Christmas gifts, decorations and a variety of seasonal niffnaff and trivia.

What? It's mid-October...

Christmas seems to come round earlier every year doesn’t it?

Stay safe all.


Avon Police: Introduction to Roads Policing - Tue 7 Nov 2023

A FREE event open to anyone interested whether an
advanced driver / rider, group member or not.

Members of the public are very welcome to attend.

Introduction to Roads Policing & Road Safety” input with
Avon and
Somerset Police Road Safety Team.

The team will be providing an interactive, informative & thought-provoking
presentation to the group to highlight local & National Road Safety objectives.

 6:45 p.m. for 7 p.m.


Witcombe and Bentham Village Hall
Pillcroft Rd, Witcombe, Gloucester GL3 4TB
N51 50.554  W02 8.416 Grid Ref: SO904160

Please bring friends and colleagues.

Hope you can make it.
Gloucestershire Police Open Day - Photo Report
We were invited to take part in the Gloucestershire Police & OPCC Open Day on Sat 23 September.

Many members volunteered to help staff our display stand - thank you all.

It was a gorgeous, sunny and warm day and over 5,000 members of the public visited the event. 

Here are some photos from the day.

The stand set up at the start of the day

Brian Davis turned up at the crack of dawn to help the setup

Technical rehearsal is of course mandatory but the buzzer defeated Brian

Brian with Adam Slaughter and Pierre de Carteret (with branded tops)

Other group members were helping to run stands such as Biker Down,
BikeSafe, Severn Freewheelers etc. David Collicott (Motorcycle Examiner)
came for a visit.

The gates opened at 10 a.m. and the public flooded in.

There were lots of activities for children to experience during the day.

Pierre and Stephen Wilkinson-Carr (Chair) running our Giant 'Beat the Buzzer'
game that attracted lots of attention and led to lots of questions and chats
about what we do as a group.

Marion Tunwell and Mike Smith ready for their shift.

Mike Ibbitson timing the latest Beat the Buzzer competitor. The chap in blue
on the right, with the ice cream, was obviously dying for a go himself.

Paul Smith, Motorcycle Coordinator, popped in to say hello. Marion took
the opportunity for a quick practise on the Beat the Buzzer. 
Brian Durie joined us for a shift.

After the children had a go beating the buzzer, the adults had a try themselves.
(Photo published with permission of Edward Bright) 

Here's the chap from earlier, Rob Jones, who had a go and recorded
an impressive and hard-to-beat time of 49.43 seconds. 

The prize for fastest time on the Beat the Buzzer, a bluetooth speaker.

Just 2 minutes after Rob Jones' impressive time, our eventual winner,
Lyndon Ferris, recorded a time of 48.53 seconds and took home the prize
presented by Mike Ibbitson, our Chief Instructor (Motorcycle).
Better luck next time Rob

David, Adam and Mike
Stephen taking a turn at timing the Beat the Buzzer competitors
During the day we ran a raffle for the prize above
PCSO Bev Rowe kindly agreed to draw the raffle winner's name from a hat

Brian Durie presented the raffle winner, Zachariah Richmond, with his prize.
(Photo published with permission of Mum Rachel)

A huge thank you everyone who came to say hello and talk about what we do. 
It was lovely to meet you all and we hope you all had a great day out.

Thank you also to all our volunteers who helped run the stand throughout the day. It would not have been as successful without your support.

See you at next year's event perhaps?
Hydrogen-powered Cars
Did you know that the first hydrogen-powered cars go back to the 1800s?

It seems the future’s been with us for a very long time…
The first internal combustion engine was powered not by gasoline but by a mix of hydrogen and oxygen in 1806. Swiss engineer Francois Isaac de Rivaz contained hydrogen gas in a balloon and used an electrical Volta starter for the ignition.
Unfortunately, the first hydrogen-powered car designed by Rivaz the following year was a failure.
A fascinating history blog about hydrogen-powered cars is here
A short history of the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle: The Electrovan is here
Electrovan video (1:08 mins)
A new commercial hydrogen-powered vehicle is on the market.
Video (1:18 mins)
This is the Toyota Mirai that: “offers a great zero-emission solution, allowing comfortable and safe mobility, in a sustainable way.”
A full article about the Toyota Mirai is here
Prices for the Toyota Mirai range from £40,220 ($49,500) to £44,156 ($54,344) for the XLE Sedan and £53,627 ($66,000) to £58,513 ($72,013) for the Limited Sedan.


Star Bistro - Award Winning Cafe
The Star Bistro has been named Tripadvisor 2023
Travellers' Choice Award Winner.

It has also won the Gloucestershire
Foodie Awards Food & Drink
‘Food or community hero
of the year 2023’.

A visit was definitely in order.


The Star Bistro is at the National Star College and is a delightful café with mouth-watering cakes lurking enticingly at the entrance.
The staff are National Star students and are cheerful, attentive and quick to take your order.

I won't bore you with photos of our food although I'd highly recommend the carrot & coriander soup followed by a Croque Monsieur and topped off with a gorgeous cheesecake (salivating yet?).
Full details and menus are here 
The College, which has plentiful parking, is close to the soon-to-be-demolished Air Balloon pub and can be found here 

Highly recommended for either a business lunch or a social outing.
Group Motorcycle Ride - 30 Sep 2023
Our next Group Ride will be on Sunday 29 October 2023.
We will be riding to the Food Stop Cafe at Quatford.

Route 168 miles – 4 hrs 30 mins saddle time in four stages

Start location:
Aviator Restaurant
Gloucestershire Airport, Bamfurlong Ln, Cheltenham GL51 6SR
NB Bamfurlong Lane Bridge is being repaired and the road to the east is closed. Approach from the north.
N51 53.629 W02 9.419
Departure time: 9 a.m.
I will be there from about 8:40 a.m. for a chat (it doesn't open until 9 a.m.)

Morning tea stop and optional mid-route rendezvous point:
The Piston Club @ The Stag
Alcester Road, Redhill, Stratford upon Avon Warwickshire B49 6NQ
N52° 12.163' W1° 47.657'
Fuel: 3 stops - See map
Food Stop Café
A442, Quatford, Bridgnorth WV15 6QJ
N52 30.544 W02 23.172
Afternoon Tea Stop:
Dom’s Bike Stop
Bromyard Rd, A44, Leominster HR6 0NA

End location:
Costa Coffee (closes at 7 p.m.)
Unit 3, St Oswald’s Retail Park, 3 St Oswald's Rd, Gloucester GL1 2UE
N51 52.389 W02 14.813

End time:
About 4:20 p.m. (Lighting up time is 4:47 p.m.)

This is a ride mostly on major roads and is suitable for all riders who are comfortable riding on bends and at the national speed limit, when safe to do so.

This ride is not suitable for inexperienced riders.
Eligible riders:
  • Tutors
  • Full, Honorary & Affiliate members
  • Associates
  • Prospective Associates - needs to be endorsed by an active tutor 
  • Guest - Anyone, other than a Tutor, Full Member or Associate may be invited as a guest, by an attendee, but ONLY with the prior agreement of the ride leader i.e. ride leader not put on the spot on the day.
Satnav file and route map, showing fuel and stop locations, have already been e-mailed to all motorcycle members.
Hope to see you on the day.
Stephen Wilkinson-Carr
Ride leader
Why Advanced Driving / Riding?
What are the benefits?
These are some of the benefits enjoyed by advanced drivers and riders after training with Gloucestershire Advanced Drivers And Riders:
Increased safetykeep yourself, your passenger(s) and other road users safe
Reduced risk; using anticipation and planning skills
Increased awareness; being more observant and using enhanced handling skills to anticipate changes around you
Increased passenger comfortwith good forward planning and anticipation, your driving / riding will become smoother and more relaxed
More enjoymentexperience the satisfaction of driving / riding from A to B more smoothly with more time to react to the unexpected
Greater control; by understanding and knowing how to deal with the various forces that affect your vehicle
Increased confidence; learn how to anticipate and deal with expected and the unexpected road and traffic situations
Reduced wear and tear; get more out of your vehicle by learning advanced machine control methods
Discounted insurancemany insurance companies offer a discount to advanced drivers / riders
Save money on fuelusing defensive driving / riding and forward planning techniques to achieve greater control and better fuel efficiency
Enhance your CV; gain a professional qualification you can put on your CV
What is advanced driving / riding?
Advanced driving / riding is the ability to control the position and speed of the vehicle safely, systematically and smoothly, using road and traffic conditions to progress unobtrusively with skill and responsibility.
This skill requires a positive but courteous attitude and a high standard of driving / riding competence based on concentration, effective all-round observation, anticipation, and planning. This must be co-ordinated with good handling skills.
An advanced driver / rider will always have their vehicle in the right place on the road, at the right time, travelling at the right speed with the correct gear engaged and can always stop safely on their own side of the road in the distance they can see to be clear (DSA, RoADAR, IAM, 1997).
What will you learn?
Our driver / rider training is provided on a one-to-one basis. All our tutors are volunteers and have passed the advanced driving / riding test, hold a current tutor qualification and are registered with RoADAR HQ.
You will learn how to drive / ride:
Safely – By being safer you give yourself more time to react, to both expected and unexpected situations, and improve your own and passenger confidence in your ability.
Systematically – By doing things in a systematic way, one thing at a time, you will learn how to ensure your vehicle is in the right place, at the right speed, in an appropriate gear and capable of being stopped, on your own side of the road, in the distance you can see to be clear. We use the Police System of Car / Motorcycle Control acronym IPSGA (Information, Position, Speed, Gear, Acceleration).
Smoothly – By learning how to use vehicle controls in a smoother, and more controlled, way you and any passenger will feel more comfortable and relaxed.
At an appropriate Speed – Learn how to drive at the appropriate speed, making progress and showing restraint when necessary.
What does it cost?
Training is free for car drivers who use their own vehicle with an assigned Tutor.
Motorcyclists pay a £15 contribution toward the Tutor’s costs per training session.
It’s important that you to commit time to regular training sessions.
Car and Motorcycle Tests
The RoSPA advanced test is widely regarded as the highest civilian driving / riding standard available. The test is based on the Police Foundation publication 'Roadcraft: The Police Drivers Handbook' or 'Motorcycle Roadcraft: The Police Riders Handbook' and the Highway Code. A thorough understanding of both Roadcraft and the Highway Code will be required to pass the test at a high standard.
Test Standards
Gold is only awarded to the driver / rider who shows a consistently high standard of driving / riding throughout the test. The driver / rider will demonstrate a confidence in their ability together with a thorough understanding of the principles contained in Roadcraft / Motorcycle Roadcraft and how to apply those principles to situations that occur during the test.
Silver is awarded to candidates who display a skill level well above the average. They will show a thorough understanding of the principles contained in Roadcraft / Motorcycle Roadcraft and how to apply those principles to situations that occur during the test. The driver / rider will make safe systematic progress however not demonstrating the consistency, final polish and smoothness of the Gold grade candidate.
A Bronze grade will be awarded to those candidates who show that they have an understanding of, and the ability to apply, the principles of advanced driving / riding demonstrating a good level of observations and anticipation, but not doing so consistently throughout the test. They will however drive / ride in a safe and legal manner, to a standard that is significantly above that required to pass the appropriate DVSA test.
Money-saving Tip: Foldable Keyboard
Many of you will have seen a photograph of students in an academic lecture, similar to the one above, each with an expensive-looking laptop in front of them.

Those laptops can cost up to £1600 or more. Surely there's a cheaper alternative that achieves the same note-taking objective and is easier on the bill-payer's pocket?

There is. It's the foldable keyboard that attaches to a smartphone (carried by almost every student nowadays).

This is just one example. There are many others, such as the Portakeys version, that connect to the phone using bluetooth.

A quick search of the internet for 'Foldable keyboard' reveals an array of options, click here, with prices range from about £15 to £68.

After all, it's never too early to be thinking about shopping for Christmas...
Briefcase TV

Sometimes there's an invention that may become either a 'Marmite' or a 'must have' item.

This is one such idea; the portable briefcase TV above which is the 'LGStanbyME Go' that went on sale in South Korea for the first time on 27 June 2023.
Short video (0:33 mins)

I imagine sales professionals will be looking at this product with keen interest, especially as it means there's no need to rely on a potential client providing facilities or power.
This website describes all its features and specifications.

Intrigued? Price is about $1,000.

I just can't help thinking of it as a supersized iPad...
Did You Know?
Recently I was shown Google's 'back office' and thought you might be interested.
This is how to find it.
Step one: Go to (you do not need to be logged in to Google)
Step 2: Click on the 9x9 apps menu top right
Step 3: When the icons screen appears, scroll to the very bottom
Step 4: When you get to the bottom, click on 'More from Google'
Step 5: This is what should appear
Step 6: Scroll down to the end and all these extra options appear
Maps, Earth and Waze are amazingly useful. Scholar is particularly good for proper academic research.
Who knew?
Recommended Books (Clickable)

The Committee

Chair - Stephen Wilkinson-Carr

Secretary - Rebekah Yarranton

Treasurer - David Blackledge

Membership Secretary - Rebekah Yarranton (Interim)

Car Coordinator - Stephen Wilkinson-Carr (Interim)
Motorcycle Coordinator - Paul Smith

WebMaster - Phil Wesley

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Membership Secretary:
Secretary: Rebekah Yarranton