Sunday, 27 July 2008

BBC Coverage of the challenge 27/07/08

Friday, 25 July 2008

10th Anniversary of Air Ambulance crash

Tomorrow will mark the 10th Anniversary of the Air Ambulance crash that killed three crew members in Burham, not far from where I live.

On the 26th July 1998 the helicopter struck power lines and crashed in a field in Burham killing its crew - pilot Graham Budden and paramedics Tony Richardson and Mark Darby. It was the only fatal accident in the UK involving an Air Ambulance.

The picnic site in Burham where the 'Roc-around-the clock' challenge came to a close last year was dedicated to the 3 crew who lost their lives.

A tribute service is to be held today at Rochester Cathederal to celebrate their lives.

Rest in peace chaps.


Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Heron VW fix gearbox selector & local school donates money

Those awfully nice people at Heron Volkswagen have yet again proved what a thoroughly decent lot they are after taking the car in on Tuesday and fitting a new set of gear change linkage bushes !.
The old bushes appeared to have completely worn away, and this would explain why i was having great fun trying to locate first and second gears whilst driving. After Paul Stanney had identified the problem, he wasted no time in getting the parts ordered and the job completed.
Heron have been fantastic supporters of Scirocco 2 Morocco, and myself and Glen would just like to pass on our thanks (yet again !) for the help that they have provided over the last year or so.

Also, I would like to thank all the staff and Kids at Our Lady of Good Counsel school who today (Wednesday) donated a cheque for £50 to Leukaemia Research.The youngsters had paid 50p each to come to school in "civvies", and Mr Weldon, the about to retire headmaster, very generously donated the proceeds of civvies day to one of our charities.
The kids also got a chance to have a good look at Scarlet and her trailer after they went on display in the playground for a while after lunch. Thanks to the kids for asking me all those awkward questions...i just wish that i had some better answers for you !.....must do some research :-). busy ?

As mentioned in a previous post I had a bit of "a do" with a snapped clutch cable the other week. That is now sorted after Glen posted me a new one which arrived a couple of days later and is now fitted to the a good 'un !.
This week saw S2M's first outing into the big world of TV...well regional TV news, but still TV !. After ambushing Rob Sissons (BBC East Midlands Today) at a recent event at Kings MilHospital, and then sebsequently emailing him a few times, he phoned me on Monday morning to ask if it would be alright to pop over to mine and shoot some footage for the Sunday Afternoon news (not quite the news 10, but hey, from little acorns and all that !).
Rob arrived at approx 15.45 and after a brief chat we went into filming first an interview, followed by a few shots of me "messing under the bonnet" (ooeeerrr missus !) for him to use when he got back to the "cutting room" (getting all the TV jargon now you know !)......probably cut the ruddy lot :-). Anyway, this was followed by a drive around the local roads so that he could get some "in car" (a la Top Gear Stylee !), and some video of me driving the car along the road. The funniest part was when a local farmer took interest in Rob whilst he was lying down on the ground just in front of this guys field entrance, complete with flourescent jacket and large "professional" camera. "What are you up to then ?" was the question he asked of Rob, to which he politely pointed out that he was in fact lying quite legaly on a public road...and what did it have to do with him anyway !. The words "Get off my land" were,apparently, not spoken :-).
After about an hour Rob got off and it was " a wrap".....see, told you I was picking up the lingo !.

The story is due to be aired on the East Midlands Today news on Sunday PM.....unless something more interesting comes along !...just hope that Sunday is a boring day :-).

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Thanks to AutoStyle......but more sponsors wanted !

The latest sponsor for S2M is now AutoStyle Bespoke tailored car mats.We received the fantastic tailored mats for the Scirocco the day before the Waddington Airshow, and they really are a great bit of kit !.
Anton and his team have made a wonderful job of producing not only mats that fit like a glove to the Scirocco's footwells, but also bear the S2M logo on them to boot !.Clips are supplied to facilitate a more secure installation, but to be honest the fit is so good that i never bothered to put them on !.
Many thanks to all at AutoStyle for a great (and practical) addition to our list of helpers as we prepare for the start of our challenge within the next 7 weeks (6th September).

If you know of (or maybe have contacts too) any companies that may be able to help out with the completion of our challenge please feel free to get in touch with details. We still have room on the car and trailer for company logo's, and we can also offer links to your websites as an added bonus :-)

We still need help with:

Telecommunications (mobile comms during the drive)

Ferry crossings between Dover/Calais and Spain/Morocco

Breakdown cover (Just in case !)

Petrol costs...getting higher by the day :-(

Any other aspects of the journey that we may have overlooked.....probably !

As always you can also make donations to any of our 3 charities via our online donation page at:

Come on !...and help us to help others :-)

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Scirocco with semi auto gearbox.....

It was bound to happen really !. Today was the last day at work for a week or two.Paul at Heron Volkswagen had emailed to say that the bushing for the gearbox selectors had arrived and was ready to be fitted at the earliest opportunity.

The sun was beating down,traffic was light, life was good and I was now on my way home after a short detour to pick up an anniversary card (Our 20th !)...then "CRACK"...and the clutch cable ceased to operate !.

After sticking on the hazards, and pulling over on the side of the road approx 10ft away from the entrance onto a very busy roundabout near Ollerton (I sure pick good spots to break down !). I decided that to prevent causing an obstruction to other traffic (And to prevent the chance of some huge HGV from shortening the Roc's rear end !)I would push the car up onto the kerb......not an easy job when trying to dodge fast moving cars with inattentive drivers at the wheel, and the small problem of a kerb that must have been at least 6" high !.

After a few goes I somehow got the car half way off of the road and then began the job of investigating the problem, which (to make a long story very brief!) involved dismantling the underside of the drivers dash and having a gander at the end of the clutch cable. This was not too difficult as upon removing the panels, the end of the cable dropped onto the floor !.....not a good sign as it was not attached to the rest of the cable which can cause problems when pressing the pedal :-(.

After diagnosing the cause of the failure i now had to figure out a way of driving the 33 miles back home minus clutch.......mmmmmm !

My journey home was interesting to say the least.Approaching roundabouts required a new approach, namely snatching the gearshift out of gear, coasting along and trying to ensure that my arrival at the said roundabout coincided with a Scirocco sized gap in the traffic.This was achieved in 90% of cases, but on one occasion a frantic stirring of gears, erratic braking and numerous prayers did the trick !.I was also attempting to contact Glen and Rachel to see if they could bid on an Ebay item that i had been chasing for the last week (a set of matching Alloy wheels for the trailer) , this auction was about to close in the next 10 mins and i would not be home to put a higher bid on as i was currently nursing the car back to Sleaford !
We got outbid, but i got Scarlet back home by 8PM...then found that i was locked out of my home due to the wife going out to pick the kids up from a party...Oh bliss !

The photo's below illustrate the broken cable, and the damage to my shoulder that i attained whilst pushing a 1000 KG car up a 6" Kerb.
Anyone got a spare clutch cable ?

Monday, 7 July 2008

Cpl 'Nooky' Nauyokas supports S2M at Waddo.

This Weekend, Rachel and I made the journey up to Waddington to attend the Waddington Airshow. We met up with Andy at the gate at 7am on the Saturday morning so that we could get set up and display Scarlett in front of our 'Scirocco2Morocco HQ gazebo'. We set up plenty of displays and information for people to read, and it certainly seemed to attract a lot of attention! We ran a competition to guess how many balls were in the trailer having filled it up with a combination of plastic balls and Euro 2008 footballs, the first prize was a go in a flight simulator. Although the weather was awful to start with, it soon brightened up into a lovely day which attracted more interest and allowed us to see some fine aircraft displays in the skies above. We also had a classic car stand behind us with some lovely looking motors on display. We eventually got a bit peckish, so Andy made his way over to one of our neighbours during the show - the Spam stand - who gave us some free spam fritters, which prompted plenty of Spam, Spam, Spam chants for the rest of the day!

We stayed on the airfield on the Saturday night, so once the crowds had dispersed we had a perfect opportunity to take some shots of the aircraft on the ground before settling down for some pizza and beer and retiring to our Galert tents for the night.

The Sunday was a bit dull weather-wise, but was soon brightened up by the arrival of Cpl 'Nooky' Nauyokas, One of the drill instructors from 'Bad Lads Army'. He set to work on the passing crowds and soon we were collecting donations from people wanting to have their picture taken. We managed to get a few minutes on Airshow radio when a few of the staff made their way down to our stand to interview Andy and the Cpl. A few mouthy comments from the 'guy on the other end of the mike' saw 'Nooky' making his way up the the Radio station which was situated in the old control tower, for a confrontation on air! This we have on tape (No Radio staff were injured in the making of that film!)

As the day drew to a close we had counted up the donations for the weekend and were pleasantly surprised by the donations we managed to raise. We also made a few contacts from local businesses that might be interested in sponsoring the event as well - Result! The only downside to the whole weekend aside form the weather, was music that was repeated over and over from the nearby fairground ride. Made us want to Freak-out!

If you want to see pictures of the weekends antics, feel free to visit these links:
People shots
Aircraft Shots
Classic car shots

Or see the video here