In This Issue:



A warm welcome to new group members:

  Simon Hartland (M)
  Iain Yarranton (M)
  Sam Sexton (M) 
  Pierre de Carteret (M)

Diary Dates:

 Mon 3 Apr Tech Talk
 Sat 13 May Tutor Training
 Mon 5 Jun Tech Talk

 Sun 25 Jun
 Prescott Bike Festival
 Mon 3 Jul Tech Talk
 Mon 4 Sep Tech Talk
 Thu 5 Oct AGM
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.



March 2023
Chair's Introduction
Good news:

Our 2023 events programme has begun with our first Technical Talk, by Geoff Brown - report below - with more to follow. Hope you can join us for one or more.

Disappointing news:

We've tried running a group motorcycle ride for the last three months and each time it's been cancelled due to frost forecasts. I'm told it's nearly Spring and, while I'm looking forward to seeing leaves on trees again, it seems that March will also be very cold so that'll be four months running with no group outing. Hasn't happened that way for at least 13 years...

Promising news:

It seems the appetite for car and motorcycle shows is unabated as there are numerous events this year, despite the cost of living crisis, and I've included listings for those interested.

Hopeful news:

We desperately need more car Tutors. Please volunteer for training - see Mike's article below. 

Financial news:

A gentle reminder; membership subscriptions are due payment on 1 April.

Stay safe all.

Car Tutors Wanted - Calling all Car Members
Have you passed at Gold or Silver Grade?
Very well done on your achievement!

With our ever-expanding geographic catchment area, we have a growing list of Associates waiting to start training. We are desperately short of Tutors to satisfy this demand.

Are you looking at the next step in your advanced driving journey? 

Becoming a Tutor helps keep your skills up to date and is a rewarding role. If you are passionate about encouraging your friends, colleagues and your local community to become better and safer drivers you can help in our goal to improve road safety and help reduce accident and injury rates.

Can you remember the feeling when you passed your Advanced Test? With your knowledge and skills you can pass this on to others!

Becoming a Tutor is easy. 

We’ll pair you up with an Advanced Tutor who will coach and mentor you in practical on-road scenarios, covering driving techniques, theory aspects and tutoring tips. Becoming a Group Tutor is a local sign-off – there is no external test!

If you hold a Gold or Silver award, and would like to help like-minded people on their journey to advanced driving and passing the advanced car test, then please contact our Car Coordinator Mike Hall in the first instance at
Technical Talk: Positioning

On Thursday 2 March Geoff Brown, Treasurer, presented our first Technical Talk of the year: Positioning.
Geoff is one of our most knowledgeable Motorcycle Advanced Tutors, qualified at Diploma level, with extensive riding experience as both a Blood Biker (with Severn Freewheelers) and on many track days around Europe.

This was a very popular event attended by Examiners, Tutors, potential Tutors and Members with a  ⅓ Car / ⅔ Motorcycle audience.

Geoff covered a range of positioning elements asking the question: "What's the best position to adopt?" He kindly gave us a clue right at the start...

Geoff covered the most important aspects of positioning as it is probably the key that unlocks all the other aspects of the System of Car / Motorcycle Control.

We were then asked to discuss the ideal position on a number of different roads (The arrows relate to how motorcyclists are taught to position themself in a lane: Nearside, Centre or Offside).

By this time the audience was really warming up and when Geoff began reviewing the concept of the 'Safety bubble', Shaun Cooper, Car Tutor / ADI, revealed that he talks about it in the context of bubble gum and that you can squeeze the bubble a little but squeeze it too much and mayhem ensues! 

There were many audience questions especially about where a motorcycle Tutor might position themself when training an Associate (not such an issue for car Tutors!).

This was an excellent presentation and really good reminder about one of the four core elements of the System. 

You'll never guess what the answer was to Geoff's original question...

Many thanks to Geoff for such an interesting and informative presentation. Thanks also to the audience for their participation and helping to make this evening a success.

See you at the next event I hope.

Car Shows in 2023

This is one of the most complete listings of car events in 2023 from The Mud Life 4x4 Magazine (click for link).

I missed the Goodwood show last year and am determined to get there this time round.

Here's a screengrab so you can see how events are listed:  
Secret Gloucester Canal

Not long ago I saw an article about Gloucester's secret canal at Llanthony Lock and decided to find it.

It turns out it's on Alney Island and is just 853 meters in a straight line from my front door! 

The orange bit south of the A40 is the 56 hectare Alney Island Nature reserve. Downloadable map is here.

Llanthony Lock is at the southern tip of the nature reserve.

I couldn't quite work out where the secret canal was so dug a bit deeper and found this 1901 map that shows what was there over 120 years ago.

This 1928 aerial photograph clearly shows the weir, the footbridge and the lock.
Llanthony Lock was built in 1871 to allow boats, passing up and down the River Severn, avoid the new weir that was constructed to ensure there was always a minimum depth of six feet in the river above Gloucester.

The weir in 2023 (Lock House hidden behind trees on the left)
The area is being restored by the Hereford & Gloucester Canal Trust and currently the only public access is the footpath through the lock itself. 

There's a history website compiled by the Friends of Alney Island that tells you almost everything you'd want to know about the Island: click here

Llanthony Lock is quite easy to find. Park at the Castle Meads pay & display car park and there's a footpath to the lock from the southern end.

On that footpath are direction signs for long-distance footpaths I'd never heard of.

They are: Wysis Way - info here and Geopark Way- info here
Intriguing...                                                    Footbridge (access to Lock House)

Llanthony Lock in the early 1900s

Llanthony Lock in February 2023

The lock was closed permanently in 1924 when the walls began moving inward.
Fascinating history of the Lock and future plans for canal restoration.
It's a very short canal with room for perhaps four narrowboats.
The Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal is being restored (sounds expensive) and should promote tourism and a renewed interest in UK waterways. Information here.
I had no idea there are such interesting sights almost on my doorstep.

If you'd like to explore then these links may help you find your way (click on the red text):
Castle Meads Pay & Display Car Park footpath entrance:
Llanthony Lock centre:
Footbridge access point (it's a gated footpath):
Weir view spot footpath access (best views in winter but muddy):
Stephen Wilkinson-Carr
28 February 2023
SkillShare 2023
Voter ID
Technical Talk: Avoiding SMISDY Collisions
  After last year's AGM I had multiple requests to re-present the SMIDSY talk as many
  of you missed it. Here's your chance.
Wales Speed Change - Sep 2023
More information available here.
Brecon Classic Motorcycle Show

A full day of classic cars and motorcycles with on-site catering.
All proceeds to Blood Bikers.

Market Hall, Brecon LD3 9AH
Exhibitors' booking form available here.
1st April (no, it's not an April Fools item) 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Information about other bike shows and events in April available here.
Biker Down 2023
Google Drive for Members

  How to access Google Drive
  There are two options for access, both are equal so choose either.
     Option 1 – Click on this link and request access.
     Option 2 – E-mail and you will be added.

Wanted - Marketing Officer

It's time to capitalise on all the foundation work done by the Committee, and many other volunteers since October 2021, to attract more new members in support of our core mission: to improve road safety.
We have run / are running a number of promotional and recruiting initiatives such as: Technical talks, Prescott Bike Festival Exhibitor Stand; BikeSafe; CourierSafe; SkillShare as well as online advertising with local driving and riding groups (mainly on Facebook) and need help.

We're looking for a volunteer, with some marketing expertise, who can help us publicise our road safety mission and refine the way we engage with the public. 

If you have some marketing knowledge / experience and would like to join the Committee as Marketing / Publicity Officer then please e-mail any Committee Member, listed at the end of this newsletter, and let us know.
 Please help. 

Did You Know? 

Archaeologist Jon Hoyle has announced the discovery of a 4000-year-old stone circle in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. He identified a prehistoric stone circle, often known as a ring cairn, that possibly dates to between 2200-1500 BC.
The exact location is secret to avoid the attention of looters
and illegal treasure hunters.
 Representation of the ring cairn. 
 More information here
The monument was identified using LiDAR (light detection and ranging) that allowed surveyors to examine the Forest of Dean as if all the trees were removed. LiDAR’s been used to locate lost Maya cities in the impenetrable jungles of Central America.
BBC Video here
Despite the fact that these stone rings are quite common in parts of the British Isles, no one knows for sure what they were used for or why Bronze Age societies built them. 
Who knew?
Recommended Books (Clickable)

The Committee

Chair - Stephen Wilkinson-Carr

Secretary - Rebekah Yarranton

Treasurer - Geoff Brown

Membership Secretary - Duncan Keen

Car Coordinator - Mike Hall

Motorcycle Coordinator - Paul Smith

WebMaster - Phil Wesley

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Membership Secretary: Duncan Keen
Secretary: Rebekah Yarranton