25 February, 2014

A few thoughts from an addict

from Rick Naylor:

Published in the Winter 2012 Edition of Quo Vadis? and featured on the cover of the MG Owners' Club Magazine.
First, I must say a huge thank you to Geoff D for just about the only magazine that I always read from cover to cover. In the 6 years I’ve been in the LEJOG Assoc, I’ve always gone through QV? word for word; fascinating accounts of how other people have gone about getting from one end to the other – and it all makes me feel very humble.

I’m sure that Katharine will carry on with the tradition of giving us thought provoking accounts of derring do, tales of success and maybe the odd disaster, all interspersed with bits of info, head-scratching puzzles, and some utter rhubarb thrown in! It will be interesting to see what new twists you put into the format and style of this erudite publication, Katharine!

I did the bottom-to-top route in 2008 with my son, Simon, in the MGC; then in 2010 my little sister, Gill, and I did the top-to-bottom run; 2012 saw us repeating JOGLE – all still in the MG. And now…..oh dear…..we’re going to do it AGAIN in July, trying to raise money and awareness for the MS Trust. And that’s why I think I must be addicted to doing this daft caper! So far we’ve raised £27,000 in sponsorship for various charities – and that’s what makes it all worth while. But I have to say that it is a bit of fun, too!

The first time it took us 16 ½ hours, starting at 4.00 am. That was bottom to top, which – of course, as everybody knows – is up hill all the way; second time it was 16 ¼ hours; then last time it was 16 hours exactly. Anyone like to bet on this year's time? You’ll have to wait for our write-up later in the year to find out the answer!

Best wishes to everyone at LEJOG Assoc,
Rick Naylor

Gill and Rick at Land's End, the finish of their 2012 JOGLE run.

08 February, 2014

Wylie's Watershed Way

Thanks to Malcolm for sending us this photograph of himself with his Association Certificate!

07 February, 2014

Charlie Hankins Cup Winner

from Glyn Brackenbury, this year's recipient of the Charlie Hankins Cup: 

Thank you so much for my trophy. It's taken pride of place at our centre, with the certificate. We teach around 10,000 children a year so I hope they'll all see it and be inspired to be the next generation of LEJOG'ers.

Thanks again

Glyn is Chief Instructor at Skern Lodge, an adventure centre on the north Devon coast.

874 Miles

by Krister Andrén

874 miles (1,406 kilometres). This is the signposted distance between Land´s End and John o´ Groats. Many of our members have chosen routes involving far higher mileages. Before embarking on the journey we all no doubt felt both excitement and some apprehension about the task that lay ahead. Especially for cyclists and walkers the distance may have seemed daunting and unreal but, once completed, it may have taken on understandable proportions.

Have you ever considered where the same distance could take you, if you had started from another point? No? Well, I have and I think that this might put your achievement in a different perspective and make your journey seem even longer and more impressive. It certainly did that for me. For the purpose of this little article let us use the distance 874 miles, as the crow flies, and ignore minor topographical nuisances such as mountains, impenetrable terrain, rivers and seas.

Here are a few arbitrary examples, based on where some of our members are residing:

Most of our members of course live in Great Britain and the first journey starts in Northwood, just west of central London, where our Editor Emeritus Geoff and Anne De´Ath happen to reside. If they should decide to head for Sweden - a good choice, although they would have to negotiate the North Sea and the Kattegat, but they are resourceful people and have already, on bicycles, conquered the Pyrenees, so why not? – they might find themselves in arguably one of the loveliest capitals in the world, Stockholm (895 miles), where I and my wife Maj would give them a warm welcome. If Geoff and Anne should prefer other points of the compass, Zagreb (847 miles) or Palma de Mallorca (846 miles) would also be within range, as would Valencia (840 miles), where a paella valenciana (an important ingredient being chicken) should be easy to find. And avoid the fruity and sweet sangría; it does not go with any food. Order a simple and honest table wine, blanco or tinto, according to your taste.

We have a member from Germany, Reinhard Kuemritz, and if our Berliner started from the capital going north, he might end up in Lycksele (856 miles) in the south-east of Lapland in northern Sweden, which is a very long country (978 miles). He might encounter elks, wolves and bears - beasts best watched from a safe distance. Choosing another direction, it would be possible for him to reach Land´s End (842 miles) or Tullamore (871 miles) in Ireland, perhaps to sample the local whiskey (sic).

Tony Holland now lives in Norfolk but he used to reside in France, in Palluau, not far from Nantes. From there it would have been possible to reach Sweden´s third largest city, Malmö (875 miles), birthplace of Anita Ekberg, or Copenhagen (865 miles), to feast on Danish smørrebrød, open sandwiches with a wide choice of delicious toppings, and local beer, or Vienna (844 miles), where, preferably on a bleak autumn day, you could walk its streets and, perhaps, also explore its sewers while, with an earpiece, listening to Anton Karas´ haunting rendition of The Harry Lime Theme. If you are of a certain age – old enough to have seen the 1949 black-and-white movie The Third Man, directed by Carol Reed - and not totally insensitive, you might feel a frisson down your back. The movie starred Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten and Trevor Howard but who was the leading lady? See end of article. Geoff will know the answer!

If, like Barry Bias, you reside in Loule, in the south of Portugal, and head north, you would almost get to Land´s End (901 miles), of all places! In the north-east lies Marseille (825 miles), where the original bouillabaisse with aїoli can be enjoyed. Annaba – formerly Bône - (870 miles) is within reach. This is a city in the north-west corner of Algeria. Three miles outside the city is the Bone War Cemetery, a memorial site for the British forces who fought in the region in the Second World War.

The North American continent will here be represented by Alex Dick, who lives in Vancouver in the south-west corner of Canada. If he travelled north, he would get to Lituya Bay (876 miles) in Alaska. Here, in the evening of 9 July, 1958, an earthquake triggered a landslide resulting in a monster wave 1,720 feet (516 metres) in height, the highest recorded megatsunami in modern times. Fortunately, it was an unpopulated area but three fishing boats were anchored at the mouth of the bay. The crews of two of them survived to tell the tale. In the opposite direction lies Monterey (878 miles) on California´s Pacific coast. There used to be abundant fishery here but it collapsed in the 1950s due to overfishing. The Ocean View Boulevard was in 1953 renamed Cannery Row in honour of John Steinbeck (Nobel Laureate in 1962) and his eponymous novel.

John and Helen Taylor reside in Australia, in Melton, near Melbourne, Victoria. If travelling to the east coast, they could reach Brisbane (860 miles) in Queensland. This is a major city with 2.2 million inhabitants. During the Second World War General Douglas MacArthur had his South West Pacific headquarters here. To the north-west, there is a lot of inhospitable and arid to semi-arid country. It is 889 miles to Nullarbor Station and the Nullarbor Plain. The name derives from the Latin and means “no tree”. Temperatures can soar to around 48° Celsius and can, on winter nights, drop below zero. En route, the only major city is Adelaide (384 miles), named after Queen Adelaide, the German consort of King William IV. To the south there is Tasmania and the state capital Hobart (388 miles), where Errol Flynn was born on 20 June, 1909. It is not advisable to go further south. There is a lot of ocean, before you reach the Antarctic region and what would you be doing there anyway?

Malcolm Bowers resides in the Waikato region on the North Island of New Zealand. Whichever direction you choose, the 874-mile radius ends up in the drink. However, in the north, there is Norfolk Island (about 738 miles), which is an interesting place. It was originally settled by Polynesians. In 1774 it was sighted by Captain James Cook. Colonized by Great Britain in 1788, it served as a penal colony until 1855. In 1856 descendants of the HMS Bounty mutineers and Tahitians resettled here from Pitcairn Islands, a staggering 3,904 miles away in the South Pacific.

Cape Town in South Africa is home to Elaine Crawford and our new editor, Katharine Arzul, lives only some nine miles SSW of Cape Town, in Hout Bay. In the vicinity you will, surprisingly, find Llandudno, named after the North Wales seaside resort. No really famous places in the north near the radius but there is for instance Mahalapye (905 miles), a small town in Botswana. The name seems to refer to the hot springs near the town centre. Mahalapye is located on the Tropic of Capricorn. At approximately 13:11 hours on 21 December the sun will be directly overhead here, so no shadows. Useful knowledge! Pretoria (813 miles) is one of South Africa´s three capital cities and is also called the Jacaranda City. South of Cape Town the journey would end in a great ocean, the only solid ground within a reasonable distance being in a vertical direction, straight down to the bottom.

As mentioned earlier, Maj and I live in Stockholm and, if we were to go north, which we are not, we would get our feet wet in Barent´s Sea. To the east, where we are not going either, we might end up in Rjazan (874 miles) - more than 100 miles beyond Moscow! It is an important industrial city but we would rather go south to France and Reims (894 miles) and taste some champagne, or to Torshavn (856 miles), capital of the Faroe Islands but, on reflection, being Anglophiles and to take us back to the starting point, we would prefer to pay a visit to Northwood (895 miles) and buy Geoff and Anne a pint or two in their favourite pub.

You may wonder how I figured out the distances between the various places. Well, I did not. I made an attempt a couple of years ago with very small scale maps, often 1: 17,500,000 and, like the ancient mariners, used a pair of compasses. I soon found that this method, despite the modern maps, produced unreliable results so, at the time, I gave up the idea of writing an article on the subject. Recently I found, by chance, a website (Free Map Tools) which, miraculously, can draw a radius, hopefully correct, from any location and at any distance away that you specify. You can also get the distance between any two places you wish. Modern technology is fantastic. So much information just a few clicks away!

(The name of the actress: Alida Valli)

Dave is off again!

from Dave:

Yes, done Street to Land's End and back. Had to stop on the way though Somerset for minor repairs and a slow puncture. Off from here on Thursday or Friday, heading for John O’Groats. Hopefully it should take about three days if all goes well, and then the home run. Then it will have been done with a vintage Ambulance!

Fingers crossed,

Long-Serving Members

Some of our members were recently sent medals for being long-standing members of the Association, and Adrian, our membership secretary, received the following from Rick:

Dear Adrian,

Thanks so much for sending me the long service medal – how wonderful! In the nearly 6 years since I’ve been in the LEJOG Assoc, I’ve done 3 end-to-ends, and there’s a chance I may do another this year, to raise funds for the MS Trust. It would be in the old MG again with my little sister (we’re both pensioners of course!). It’s just a lot of fun – I really do think I’m addicted. ….. or barmy?

Best wishes
Rick Naylor

03 February, 2014

a letter from Neville Tetley

116 Back of the pump,
Near the big chocolate factory,

30th January 2014.

Dear Katharine,

May I wish you every success as the new editor of Quo Vadis? The old editor, shortly after starting his editorship some fifteen years ago, ordered me to write something of a light-hearted nature to liven up Quo Vadis? Now being of a helpful disposition I foolishly agreed with this instruction and I have been saddled with the job ever since. Furthermore, he then started compiling quizzes which were so difficult for most members that very few tried to solve them. To date, I have calculated that I have suffered at least three dozen headaches due to the complexity of them. Hopefully members will not have headaches anymore!

Maybe you would like to know of some happenings at the Toorak last weekend? Well, as a minor committee member I am given the rubbish jobs that none of the others will do. Here is an example. I was told by the tall man who thinks that he is in charge, “Go to the shops and get me a mug with a smiley face on it”. To get to the shops I had to clamber through roadworks, got drenched in sea water (the tide was in flow), avoid falling rocks from the unsafe cliffs and perform the Palais Glide to get through the shoppers – and you’ll never guess that THREE times I was stopped and checked on by one of the tall man’s tough henchmen who incidentally can never decide which end of the tandem to sit on when doing the End to End. Returning along the promenade, after an unsuccessful mission, the tide had ebbed, a strong gale had got up and blew my hat 50 yards backwards only managing to retrieve it before it dropped into the harbour. I crawled back into the Toorak terrified of having to report my failure. The tall man took pity on me and forgave me. He is not such a discouraging man after all. As no smiley face mug was found, a box of chocolates, I think, was substituted and walking through the diners the tall man gave it to the person (a lady) with the smiliest face.

Another imbroglio that I got into was a Saturday breakfast when I unintentionally dipped the end of my tie into my baked beans. Wiping the tie end clean others at the table told me to be more careful next time. At Sunday breakfast I was told that the stain was still visible. How strange, I thought, that this should happen to me as none of the others at the table even had a tie on. Murphy’s Law seems to apply.

After the Saturday evening dinner various people were given their awards for their achievements during 2013. The tall man then asked (sorry, I mean, told) certain of his pals to come up front and say something sensible, which fortunately they were able to do. He then asked a young lady to say a few words about the old editor (I found out later that they are husband and wife). She acclaimed his many accomplishments (some of which seemed a bit far-fetched to me) – how he had burnt the midnight oil, how he had burnt the candle a both ends, collapsing over the typewriter the Emu, sorry, I mean Emale, which apparently is a new-fangled gadget he has acquired. Anne went on to say that endless cups of tea would revive him and gave a list of all the brands of tea that he drank and kept on mentioning the brand – Tetley. It was then that I smelt a rat. The whole speech was a parting wind-up to humiliate me in front of everyone in the room. I use the surname of Tetley because it is the same as my mother and father. (Tetley have been producing tea since 1837, not a lot of people know this). Suddenly the penny dropped, as the saying goes, - it was all a wind-up and I was the real victim. I was duly told to come up and receive a presentation as the old editor had actually appreciated my past contributions to Quo Vadis? The old shoe box was wrapped in the most expensive paper that one could buy to give a good impression to all assembled. My good friends, Liz and Jem, asked me what was inside – well, we couldn’t believe our eyes:- !. A child’s baby tortoise about 2” long, as stiff as a poker and still trying to get there and no sell by date. 2. A bag tag with a silly face and no sell by date. 3. A broken packet of Cadbury’s Bournville chocolate , sell by date – September 2012. 4. A packet of Tetley tea, sell by date – April 2013. 5. A can of Tetley beer, sell by date – 16th August 2012. I shall consume the contents of nos. 3 – 5 and let you know of my findings in due course.

I bid you good luck in your adventure with Quo Vadis?
With kind regards,

02 February, 2014

The Minutes from the January 2014 AGM

taken by Kath Bagley 

L.E.J.O.G. Association A.G.M. Held at the Toorak Hotel, Torquay January 25th. 2014.

The Chairman, Brian Dawson welcomed all those present to the 31st A.G.M. of the Association and requested that all those in attendance introduce themselves.

A) Apologies for absence: Peter Hume Spry, Carol Webb, Trevor Cole, Henry Cole, Mark Dawson.

B) Minutes of previous Meeting: These had been published in QuoVadis? Acceptance proposed by Jack Adams and seconded by Cliff Harrison; carried via a show of hands.

C) Matters arising: None.

D) Reports from Officers: All reports were circulated.

Social Secretary: This was the final report from Julie Jones who was standing down after many successful and sometimes frustrating years. Thanks were recorded.

Route Advisor: Jack Adams reported an up-turn on the last month after a slow year, and queried the continuation of this service. Don Dyer felt that it encouraged new Members and should be continued as did Chris Adam. This would be discussed at the Committee Meeting later. Thanks to Jack were recorded.

Treasurer: Jeff Chambers gave a brief outline including a problem with a Member who had booked for last year's event, and then cancelled without payment, which was borne by the Association. There was also a problem with a Member who had not cancelled a Standing order for a number of years with Lloyds Bank; this was settled without cost to the Association. Jeff mentioned that a number of merchandise items were either out of stock or depleted; again this would be discussed at the following Committee Meeting. All present voted to accept the Accounts and thanks were recorded.

Membership Secretary: Adrian Cole reported that there were 27 new members but 24 resignations for the past year, giving a current total of 180. He spoke of some of the recorded journeys for the year and modes of transport used. The 30/13 run resulted in 5 new full members. Thanks were recorded.

Magazine Editor: Geoff De 'Ath gave his final report and thanked all for the articles and mentioned the rapport with Neville, over the years, who had a similar sense of humour! Many thanks were recorded for his Editorship. [See below for full Editor's Report]

Website Officer: Colin Jones gave his report and up-dates and again thanks were recorded.

Chairman: Brian Dawson reported on the year's events and thanked Jack, Don and Geoff for all the work involved planning the 30/13 run. Anne De 'Ath was thanked for all her assistance over the years both as Minutes Secretary, and Editor's assistant. She would now be overseeing the Editors Retirement! Mention was made regarding the new Editor, Katharine, in South Africa, and Geoff would still be offering assistance to her. Brian asked that all members should try and encourage new members and thanked the committee and all members for their continued support.

E) Nominations: - New Editor Katharine Arzul voted in. - Jeff Chambers would continue for another year as Treasurer and Mike Stiff would act as his Deputy before eventually taking on the role. - Adrian Cole would continue as Membership Secretary. - A new Social Secretary was required as the Autumn Event would need planning: Geoff De 'Ath volunteered to undertake this for September. - Colin Jones would continue with the Website. - Kath Bagley would act as temporary Minutes Secretary. - All of the Officers were-voted to continue en-block.

Roy Walker, President, proposed that Brian Dawson continue as Chairman. This was accepted by all those present.

F) Other Business:

Eddie Sedgemore thanked all who had either attended Beryl's funeral or sent messages of condolence. He also mentioned the events he had planned to raise monies for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The Chairman closed the Meeting at 10.38am.

The following members were in attendance: Brian Dawson, Jeff Chambers, Jack Adams, Neville Tetley, Don Dyer, Eldon Mackridge, C.J. Hatton, Margaret Desborough, John Desborough, John Beresford, John Blanchard, Eddie Sedgemore, Ken Ascott, Ronnie Dykstra, Cliff Harrison, Roy Walker, Tony Bagley, Adrian Cole, Geoff De'Ath, Kath Bagley, Derek Bootyman, Janus Bootyman, Meriel Shotton, Michael Riley, Colin Jones, Anne De'Ath.