Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Meet the team. Andy Ward

Hi there.My names Andy Ward (the one without the dummy !),I'm 41 years old (young ?) and I am the guy who got us all into this mad quest !.

I suppose it's only fair that I give you a quick rundown of my background as I am expecting complete strangers to help our team out on our adventure next September so here goes:

I am currently ,like Glen and Gary, also employed within the NHS but i work for the Kings Mill Hospital as a medical Technical Officer (I repair the machines that "go ping" in hospitals as was featured in a sketch by the Monty Pythons team many years ago !).Before I was employed by the NHS I served for 12 years with the RAF as an Airframes Technician working at several stations including RAF Cranwell,RAF Lyneham,RAF Honington and finally RAF Lossiemouth in the deepest darkest highlands of Scotland.I services and maintained a wide veriety of aeroplanes such Jet provosts,Hercules and Tornado GR1's.

I have been married to my wonderful wife Teresa for 20 years (in July) and we have been blessed with 3 children, Rachel,Lauren and Andrew Jr.

My interests include Ebay,Online games,Messing with my car (yes it's a Scirocco and I have owned 4!) and giving up some spare time (if i can find any these days !) to help out at the Cranwell Aviation Heritage Centre at Rauceby were I maintain their static displayed Jet Provost Tmk4 and other exhibits.

Why am I doing the challenge ? Well in August 2006 I was unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with Chronic Leukaemia, and after a few months in "the wilderness" i got my head back together and decided to turn my efforts to trying to raise money for Leukaemia Research, which is how I ended up together with Teresa, undertaking Roc Around the Clock in August 2007, and at the end of that event we started to think "bigger"....and after a few months of consideration and debate Scirocco 2 Morocco was born and named as such due to the the fact that Morocco just happens to rhyme nicely with Scirocco :-)

I am really glad that we are doing this challenge, and that i will have the company of a very good friend of mine for what i believe will be a memorable trip, and that not just one, but 3 charities are hopefully going to benefit from our efforts.
My fundraising page is at: .

Meet the team.Glen Place.

Now that Scirocco2Morocco is underway, we thought it would be a good idea to tell you all a bit about ourselves, so here goes……

My name is Glen Place, Im 31 (in February) and has worked for the NHS for 12 years!! I currently work in Gravesend as a Rehabilitation assistant, helping patients suffering from a variety of neurological illnesses and conditions including MS, Parkinson’s disease, and Stroke.

My hobbies include ‘trying’ to play the guitar, editing videos (I have a few on youtube under gplace01) and, surprise – Sirocco’s! I have owned 8 of these cars since I passed my driving test in 1995 and still have a keen interest today. I am also the events co-ordinator for the Scirocco Register - the UK’s best Scirocco club, and I’m a regular visitor and contributor to the forum (

So, how did I end up volunteering for this venture? Obviously I heard about the idea from its creator – Andy Ward, after meeting him at a few of the Register meets and events in 2007. I even joined Andy and Teresa on their final leg of their ‘roc around the clock’ challenge this year, helping them to achieve their 35 Hospitals visited. Shortly after this venture Andy mentioned an idea to enter something a little more ‘ambitious’ in 2008 and I quickly jumped at the chance to assist him in his efforts. It was only after this decision that Morocco became the ambitious destination! However, this only boosted my interest and determination to help – what an idea!

We decided to support a charity each on our adventure + the Air Ambulance. I chose to support MacMillan partly because so many of us have lost friends and family to cancer and also because my wife Rachel recently lost her Aunt Nell to cancer. It was during this difficult time that I learned how much help and support this charity gives to sufferers of this terrible disease. This has made me all the more determined to raise as much money for them as possible

So that’s me! If you think you can support us on our perilous quest (thought I would add some drama at this point!) please visit my web page at or if you would prefer to support one of the other charities we are supporting, click the respective links on my page. I will leave Andy to explain more about these.

Thanks for your support

Glen Place

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Goodbye GT2 :-(

Today I said a very sad goodbye to my Lovely GT2 Scirocco,but it had to go as running 2 Scirocco's was proving far to expensive a luxury these days what with Christmas and all the associated costs pertaining to the demands of 3 enthusiastic children :-).The car has now moved a little further up north, and i can only hope that the young fella that bought her gets as much pleasure out of owning her as i did.
To be honest though, i suppose that still keeping our charity car "Scarlet" softens the blow somewhat :-) and now i can concentrate all my efforts in ensuring her best condition when we set off on our "jolly jape" in September.
After i waved the GT2 off it suddenly occured to me that i had neglected to take into account the fact that the last time Scarlet went on an outing (her MOT test) i had to loan the battery from the GT2 as the Scala's was flat as the proverbial pancake, and now the GT2 's battery was winging it's way north (along with it's battery!) so i now had a red Scirocco sat on the drive without any power...damn!.Thankfully a quick call to John at Pitstop garage in Sleaford soon sorted out my little oversight, and he duly supplied me with the required battery free of charge...or should that be cost, as a battery without charge is.....well you know :)..Anyway,many thanks to John for helping me out with that little problem.
Oh yes, i had to change the insurance back from the GT2 to the Scala (again) and as i expected Norwich Onion (you know who i mean!)duly charged me yet more money because apparently the Scala is group 14 and the GT2 was group 12, although i did try to stress that the version of the Scala was the carbed variety, not the FI version...that still cut no ice with them "they are all the same group" i was even though the injection version of the car benefits from an extra 22+ BHP i would still have to pay the unfair :-(.The insurance is due for renewal on the 14th January, so i will have to make some enquiries to see if i can get the cost down as at the mo the insurance premium is more than i would get for the car !.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Wouldn't it be nice to get on Top Gear ?

Having spent countless hours pondering about things we can do to improve our exposure within the community of the W3, i came to the conclusion that in order to gain more attention, you need to gain more profile, and to gain more of a profile you need to get on TV !.
The last time i tried anything like this (Roc Around the Clock) i found that once you get into local papers and local radio it sets in motion something that i refer to as a "snowball effect", in other words once the first steps have been taken, you've appeared (or been heard on !) local radio,or seen in the press, you seem to gain a lot more interest in your project !...that's why we need to get onto BBC Top Gear, because that would be the metaphorical "springboard" that would give us the exposure that we need, and thus more funds would be raised for our selected charities :-).
If anyone knows James May,Richard Hammond or Jeremy Clarkson...put us a good word in !

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Bought a camera...i love Ebay !

I bought a video camera for the trip on Tuesday, a Panasonic Full sized S-VHS (on the shoilder job !) that uses your standard full size VHS video cassettes.It comes complete with charger,all leads,battery and carry case, all in full working order and for the pricely sum of...wait for it.....£14.99 :-).
Ok, so its about 19 years old, but that still makes it 2 years younger than the car, and a LOT younger than me and i work ok..well most of the time (my boss says i sometimes don't work at all !...what can he mean ?).
The reason for buying such an antique peice of video history ? Well someone on another Blog ( i think) suggested (after i winged that people doing documentries always get more help cos they have a camera crew) that we invest in a camera, not just any camera, but one that looks like a "proffessional" one (is it 2 ff's or 2 ss's...oh well i'll use both !), so that we can appear (to the unannitiated) to be making a documentry during the drive, and thus gain the trust/help of the locals if we need any "favours"....crafty eh ?.....and of course we will be using it to film our progress also !.
Is that the time...damn, that's lunch finished...better get back :-).

Monday, 17 December 2007

Scirocco 2 Morocco 2008 idea's for filming trip

Some Idea’s for making a video blog of our journey:

A) Make a list of interesting locations along our route.
B) Take at least 3 camera’s (still and video) with suitable mounts
C) Contact aero club to discuss possibility of aerial shots from glider/micro light
D) Plan ahead to get pictures of the car travelling down road
E) Get 3rd party to film car other Scirocco owners?

We should draw up a storyboard of our journey and ensure that we don’t rush!If we take our time to get the right footage we can make sure that we will have plenty of good footage when we come to edit and produce the video.

Does Glen have some camera mounts to enable fitting camera to car?
What cameras do we have between us?
Will we need a good inverter to supply power for the laptop/chargers?

Scirocco 2 Morocco 2008 ...why ?

Why do you do it?

This is a question that I have been asked numerous times, and the answer I suppose is quite simple…because I can!

Even though I have been diagnosed with Chronic Leukaemia so far it is not giving me too many (if any) problems except for the regular blood tests that I have to have in my “watch and wait” regime. And I suppose this is what drives me (excuse the terrible pun!) to do what I can in the way of raising money for cancer charities.
I always told people that in my case I am fortunate to have a relatively slow developing form of the cancer, so I have been given a chance, I suppose you could call it a gift of being able to help not only my self, but also to help other sufferers, some with types a lot more aggressive that mine, and for whom time is not on their side.

Until my diagnosis in 2006 my idea of donating or raising money for charity was probably much the same as anyone else’s….a few quid in a box, a couple of raffle tickets now and then, and perhaps sponsoring someone to do…well something all in the name of a good cause, of course now I have what you would term “a vested interest” in raising money for Leukaemia charities….funny how things seem more interesting and important when they effect you!

You know it really breaks my heart when I see events such as Children in need and comic relief becoming no more than an excuse for “Stars” to peddle and plug their new records and DVD’s. Next time you watch one of these televised extravaganzas just note how long the camera and the presenter spend talking to “ordinary” people who have raised sometimes a few hundred, but often several thousand pounds for a good cause, only to be cut off mid sentence so the “action” can switch back to yet another celebrity who’s main concern seems to be milking as much publicity out of supporting (aren’t they honoured!) a charity. My question is…would they be so enthusiastic to do the gig if it was not televised and they couldn’t mime. Sorry, sing their latest pop offering?The sad reality of the matter is that if all the celebs put a hand deeply into their metaphorical pocket and donated say 5% of their annual earnings, the charity would probably hit their target figure without the need for a show, then they could then dedicate a programme to the mere mortals who carry out charity work time upon time again, without publicity, without drama and without any gain for themselves.

Scirocco 2 Morocco 2008

Wednesday 12th December 2008

Not a lot to report really. I had an email from a journalist at the Sleaford Standard newspaper on Monday asking if he could do a story covering our planned trip. I explained that at the mo we don’t really have anything sorted except for some small details such as the justgiving pages (we now have 2).The car is still resplendent in the logo for the Roc Around the Clock adventure, so no point in getting any snaps of her yet and the trailer is still very much in it’s concept stage, nothing more than a “virtual” image exists….I mean we haven’t brought the car back from Derby yet, never mind actually started chopping and cropping! (Or is that “cut and shut”?).
On Tuesday I gave Gary a hand setting up his S2M page, and we decided to call it “Scirocco2Morocco-Air” to set it apart from the page I have started that is tailored to raise money for Leukaemia Research. Glen will hopefully get his page sorted some time this week and he will have the suffix “-Mac” to identify it as being there to raise money for the Macmillan Cancer Support group.

I heard a lady on BBC Radio Nottingham talking to John Holmes this evening. It appears that she is raising money for a cancer charity group in Nottingham, and she hopes to raise 3 million quid eventually through a wide range of events. Coffee mornings, sponsored walks, fashion shows etc, I remember thinking to myself “maybe we are under valuing our event. Maybe we should set our targets a lot higher than the £1500 we have posted on our respective pages….not sure what we should do, will have a think !.

Must sort out getting the donor car sometime in the near future before Paul changes his mind J.