Issue 13 - April 1997
Geof Miller, ARC Press & Publicity
Following discussion in Council, a decision was taken that the ARC should have a President. We are very pleased to announce that Nick J. Stephenson, Director, Design and Engineering, for the Rover Group has agreed to take on this role - welcome aboard Mr. President!
ARC News Circulation
Andrew Neaves reports the receipt of yet more club listings, so total circulation of this edition will be in the multi-thousands. Issue 12 was delayed due to a hiccup between Rover and its mailing house, but future issues should be on time.
I am receiving one or two change of address notes from individual club members, but we cannot cope with such notifications I'm afraid, we have to rely on an updated list/disc from your club.
Clubs whose members now receive ARC News direct are:-
101 FCC&R E. Northants LROC Notts LRC Shetland LRC 3 Spires LRC Essex LRC P&D LRC Somerset & Wilts ROC Breckland LRC L&C ROC RRR Southern ROC C&C LRC Lincs LRC RSR W&W ROC C&D LRC Lightweight LRC S&S LRC Yorkshire ROC Cumbrian ROC Midland ROC LR Series I Club Dorset L&RROC N. Wales LRC LR Series II Club
Shows & Displays Co-ordinators
Please note that June & Jack Green have moved house to:-
'Arncot', 13 Stewartsfield, Rowlands Gill, Tyne & Wear NE39 1PF
ARC Handbook 1998
1998 being the "50th year and all that", Steve Kirby would like lots of stories from the Clubs, for the 'club section' of the 1998 Handbook. The copy deadline is end of June 97, so please send him something, he gets very cynical if you don't! Perhaps a good starting point would be some historical reminiscences from the 'Elder Statesmen' of the movement - you know- like "my first Land Rover cost me £625-10s-6d"!
Derek Spooner, our International Liaison Officer, reports:-
During February, I had a short but interesting meeting with the Chairman and Secretary (Igor and Lena) of the Moscow Land Rover Club when they visited England for a short business trip. We had lunch in Leamington Spa and were able to discuss many aspects of "Land Rovers in Russia".
The club has about 100 members, now split into 30 Discovery's, 50 Range Rovers (Classic) and 20 Defenders. They seem to share much the same problems of ownership as most of us, but car theft is a major concern. Vehicles are stolen and hardly ever recovered. They are shipped complete to other parts of the old USSR. The main advertisement in the local motor magazine was of anti-theft features.
Import duty is very high and there is no real network of spares outlets. The club is helping to source spare parts. Although about 50% of Land Rovers have diesel engines, petrol is the preferred fuel as it is of a much more consistent quality. Diesel can be very variable and cause expensive problems. There is plenty of opportunity to drive off road and it would appear that there are few regulations!
Members of the Moscow Club are interested in coming to England to compete, but as the fare is rather prohibitive they have asked if it would be possible to borrow a vehicle whilst here. I am looking into the problems of overseas visitors competing in ARC events. The time was soon over for the meeting and I had to wish Igor and Lena farewell and hope they could understand my Birmingham accent!
Tony Kempster, Rights of Way & Land Use Officer, reports:-
Following LARA's recent AGM it seems likely that Tim Stevens will become the Motor Recreation Development Officer (MRDO) as well as continuing to be the Information Officer. The AGM also agreed to create a new post of Planning Officer, with interviewing of applicants taking place in April. The role of the person appointed will be to integrate motorised sport and recreation into the planning system. Further details to be published in future ARC News.
A short series of three national workshops took place in April with a view to producing a Best Practice Guide for use by local and government agencies and by motor sport and recreation participants. I attended the first one at Swindon, along with representatives of other motor sport groups, planners and government agencies. It is hoped that the Guide will be published later in the year.
It is reported that many club members participated in the national Green Lane Day 1997. Brief details of all voluntary work done should be sent to the national co-ordinator, Andy Bush, at 19 Wildwood Glade, Hempstead, Kent ME7 3SX
Land Rover History
Some of you will be aware of my ongoing 15 year battle to find all of the surviving 'Velar' Range Rover prototypes. James Taylor is trying to avoid a similar struggle with 110's and Discovery prototypes, and has appealed for info on any early vehicles (see Roverphile column in the May 97 issue of Land Rover Owner). If you know of any CWK...Y reg. 110's, or any Discovery's on C or D plates, or Discovery press cars on G...WAC plates, please let me know and I'll pass the info on. Reg. No., VIN No., colour, and owner details would be most welcome.
As Others See Us....
After the soap-box orators had their say on the Future Competition Policy, lambasting Peter Oakden, the Council, and all and sundry, it's nice to see some 'level headed' comments like those of Steve Mallam, Chairman of NERO in the March issue of the NERO magazine:-
Obviously as a Rover Owners club we shall continue to support the ARC and take guidance from the council, while remaining an independent organisation managed according to our 'constitution' and maintained by the enthusiasm of our North East membership. The only alteration I would suggest to our objective would be to add the word 'enjoyment' in an appropriate place. I get the impression that there are those outside our region who have lost sight of this concept
In the 'Club World Wide' column of Land Rover World, March 97 issue, is an interesting snippet of information. One Dieter Sikorski is quoted:
... The premier English (British?) club event has mutated to something akin to the German Nürburgring. Most people come along, park up their vehicles.... and then have to watch specially prepared 'racing machines' in action. The RTV trial is small fry in comparison." He also comments "Most people just come to win trophies. What we in the Deutscher Rover Club believe is that the essence of Land Rover club meets - communication, enjoying the countryside in your vehicles and getting to know other peoples' vehicles - doesn't seem to be the in-thing in England any more.
All I can say to Dieter is "come to Llangollen" - Dave Kelly and his team are working their socks off to create a multi-activity family rally, and they are pushing the competition pendulum well over to include the good old-fashioned factory built Land Rovers that so many of us love. North Wales LRC have, of course, a long established tradition of enjoying the social side of Land Rovering, as well as the vehicular bit. By the way, have you seen the team in their rally uniforms - pilot shirts with embroidered logos and names - they look like a very well-dressed ambulance crew - very smart!
Rover Group Support
On a fairly regular basis, the comment is heard "Why doesn't 'the Company' support the Clubs?", so maybe the following facts will help to answer the question:-
This year 'The Company', as in past years, supported the issue of the 1997 ARC Handbook to the tune of approx. £5,500.
'The Company' has sponsored this year's International Rally, to a similar sum.
'The Company' is now printing and circulating ARC News for us. If the ARC tried to do this on this scale, using the methods I used for my previous 120-odd circulation, the cost would have been in excess of £20,000 per annum.
'The Company' allows us the use of meeting rooms at Lode Lane at no charge, worth towards £1,000 per annum at 'market' rates.
So - now that we all have the same hymn-sheet, perhaps we should all sing one chorus of "Well done the Company, and thanks for your continued support"!
And whilst on the subject - don't forget that one of the objectives of the formation of the old Rover Owners Association, many years ago, was that the Company could interface with one body of people, rather than a multitude of different clubs. Of course, that principle is just as important today, with the ARC.
Disclaimer, October 1997