In our usual round-up of member correspondence, you have your say on a range of topics from staycations to cycling
The things we publish at Boundless often generate lively debate on a variety of topics and we love sharing your views.
Our inbox continues to be filled with letters and emails covering all sorts of areas, from air shows to the highway code. We published edited versions of your correspondence in the Boundless Magazine, but here's what you wrote in all its unabridged glory...
Appeal for previous issues
Do you have any old issues of boundless tucked away? Archivist Bradley McCreary has been in touch to ask If you have a copy of the Jan/Feb 2016; Nov/Dec 2016 or Jan/Feb 2017 issues, and you’re happy to donate them to the Boundless/CSMA archive, could you please email Bradley McCreary at Bradley.McCreary@cotswoldmotormuseum.co.uk
Breaking and entering
I was tickled by Mark Walter's tale [Your Views, Sept/Oct issue, Boundless Magazine] about getting into the wrong red mini. Forty-odd years ago, my Morris keys would open many of the British Leyland cars of that era. In more recent years, I used to joke about people getting their silver Focuses mixed up in the car park, and then had my own adventure getting into what I thought was my red Mark II Fiesta, being confused by the tapes left out (yes, that was 20 years ago) before realising my mistake. Even a couple of years ago, we got into our white four-wheel drive hire car in British Columbia and I couldn't find how to start it using the keyless fob, until I realised this vehicle had a conventional keyed ignition and we had climbed into another similar car that had been left unlocked.
The same year I had come across a small police exhibition of classic vehicles just by the London Eye. "I had one of those," I said (my first car being a Morris 1100). “Let's take a photo for your family,” said the police officer – but the door was locked. So, out came my keys, and my Triumph Herald key, being a British Leyland car of the same era, of course, opened it. Sadly, he wouldn't let me try the ignition! Maybe the first time a police officer approved of break and entry into a police car.
I am writing to you after reading the latest Boundless Magazine [Sept/Oct issue] and reading the letter from Janet Maughan, which I thoroughly agree with. Like Janet, I thought originally that a staycation was referring to going out for days rather than staying away from home, and I feel that it seems to have acquired a kind of derogatory implication that staying in the UK for a holiday is second best.
I really enjoy reading Boundless Magazine and am very pleased with the way that you promote travelling around our beautiful country. What does concern me, though, is that many other magazines – and even the BBC and other TV channels – are not so kind to our country and when they refer to people taking a ‘staycation’, it is usually with the idea that a holiday in the UK is second best because we would all rather be going abroad somewhere.
I have travelled all over the world and still find that the British Isles are incredibly hard to beat for beauty and variety of places to visit, and love discovering new places here. I have never thought of a holiday in the UK as second best to a holiday abroad and am always meeting people who have been hardly anywhere because the lure of Spain or Florida, for example, has always been there, and they imagine that a holiday ‘at home’ would have little to offer them.
Just thought I would share with you the bad experience my daughter had when a stone hit her windscreen and cracked it. he immediately contacted her insurance company, Churchill, who put her on to Autoglass. She has a Ford Fiesta, not an uncommon car, but there were no replacement screens in stock and none were expected. They registered her on their system and said they would contact her when a replacement was available.
As she was due to go on holiday in three days, she decided not to gamble on driving from Bucks to Cornwall with a cracked screen and had to hire a car for a week, costing over £200. Churchill were unable to help as courtesy cars are not included when windscreen problems force you not to drive your vehicle.
After she returned from holiday, she rang Autoglass – who said she was still in the system and gave her a provisional appointment of 12 August, a full month from the date she first contacted them. Currently, she is driving around locally, though she suspects illegally, but there seems to be a gap in insurance cover which needs to be plugged. Fingers crossed she gets the windscreen actually fitted soon.
Are other drivers having this experience when trying to replace damaged windscreens? Autoglass were blaming Brexit and COVID, but who knows? Years ago, the windscreens were replaced in your own drive within 24 hours. More recently ours took fourworking days, but we live in Devon and Skodas aren't as common.
Jill & Colin Chapman
I am finding it increasingly difficult to read boundless as it seems to be going in a direction that increasingly caters for the well heeled with environmental pretentions. In the most recent issue, hardly a mention was given to new cars that are affordable to the average Joe. I consider myself comfortable, perhaps even wealthy by most standards, but I wince at the prices of cars that dominate your magazine, eg the Polestar 2 – from £39,000, or £57,900 as tested – four times my annual pension after tax! The cheapest alternative you suggest is from £32,000! Is this supposed to make me feel included in the Boundless family, or just an impoverished relation?
Yaris media system
I do not know the answer to P Dunn's query about the potentially very expensive cost of replacing the media system on a Toyota Yaris [Your Views, Sept/Oct issue]. However, I can recommend joining one of the relevant groups on Facebook. I have found a lot of information there on our Nissans and members can often suggest answers if a problem is posted.
The query does raise the issue of how many modern cars are going to be written off because of costly electronic or software problems, even though mechanically healthy and rust free. Most smartphones and tablets seem to last about six years at the most, and I fear cars will now go the same way. We are unlikely to see many of them lasting like my wife's 21-year-old Nissan Micra. That has no central locking, no electric windows, no air conditioning and the ‘media system’ is a radio cassette!
Heed the Highway Code
A road cyclist from the age of eight, a motorist 10 years later, and still cycling around 150 miles a week in my mid-seventies, I welcome the changes to the Highway Code, which aims to offer greater priority and safety to all vulnerable road users.
It is not unusual for readers letters in these pages to highlight the perceived errors of cyclists. Perhaps motorists could set an example by following the current edition, which requires drivers to stop at all red lights, and observe speed limits, not just those with a camera.
Tailgating to intimidate vehicles keeping to the limit is normal. On an average 50-mile cycle ride, I encounter many vehicles passing within inches, at speed, on bends, brows and with no regard for oncoming traffic, far closer than the passing distance required by the current Highway Code. A cyclist needs that space to avoid potholes, roadside debris of bottles, cans etc, expelled from vehicles, all of which could bring a cyclist down. They could also be affected by a crosswind. If you will give a horse the space, why not a cyclist?
Cycling is a great way to keep fit, active, and one of the few activities not affected by Covid lockdowns. Indeed, quite the reverse, with many more taking up the activity, especially families riding with young children. Why are a few seconds so important that an impatient motorist will risk a life, maybe their own? But will changing words in a revised book that few will read alter drivers’ behaviour
Calling all riders
Throughout the ‘Covid’ period the Thames Valley Group (TVG) has been running motorcycle ride-outs whenever possible, even to the extent of organising not two, but four rides a month when the just-six limit was in force – each ride being led by Allan Goddard (TVG Chairman) with Hugh Johnstone as TEC – 'tail-end-charlie'. Both AG and HJ have real passion; it is inspiring to work with them, their commitment is outstanding. Thus more recently other committee members have led ride-outs and taken on the 'TEC' role whilst Hugh recovers from heart surgery.
Only recently have the regular (unrestricted numbers) rides resumed, varying from 100 to 140 miles with three 'interesting' stops on the way. We ride the second Thursday and last Tuesday, March-Oct inclusive. On the last Tuesday rides finish around 6pm at the Pinewood Cafe's bike-night near Crowthorne (RG40 3AQ).
The TVG would love to have new riders join us, either on a ride (£5 fee) or at Pinewood. There is no obligation for riders to live locally or to be a member of Boundless, so members can bring guests. For further details contact me – Graham Holt. Mobile: 07971 296758 Email: email@example.com
Graham Holt (Secretary Boundless TVG)
My castle tent
I read the magazine and see the recent holiday snaps, and also see pictures of old cars. Mine is an old picture. I am sure people remember when you had to turn the spool on to take the next picture and many were spoilt. I never considered the attached photo spoilt – my tent became my castle.
Bournemouth Air Festival
What a wonderful time we had at Bournemouth Air Show. The Members’ Area was right under the flight path on the beach. The staff were wonderful and worked really hard. The drinks, coffees and nibbles were perfect. Yes, on the Saturday we were too late to get a seat in the Members’ Area but, with our deck chairs right in front of it, we were still in prime position. To top it all it was sunny every day. We certainly hope to join you again next year. Thank you so much.
I do not normally comment on websites or give feedback but feel that I would like to congratulate the boundless staff who ran the hospitality venue at the Bournemouth air show in September.
My wife and I went to the show on a whim and we couldn't have been more delighted by the helpfulness shown by the boundless staff at the hospitality site. We didn’t realise this was there but having asked if we could view the show from this point the staff found us a seats and even offered to carry our bags. We enjoyed free tea and coffee and a very good view of the display.
So just an acknowledgement of this great service and a thank you to the people working at the venue on the 2nd September 2021.
Covid passport scam
Got this email today purporting to be from the NHS, the link button takes you to a site very like a real NHS site. After numerous reasonable questions, you are told there is a nominal fee of £1.99 payable to the Passport Office and asks for bank account and sort code info. The message is a scam pressing the details button on the message reveals it is not from the NHS. This is a message worth putting out in your next members’ email.
Camping with canines
With reference to Simon Beer's question in the last magazine about recommendations for dog-friendly caravan sites, it was very opportune that at the recent Cotton Arms caravan rally, we had a short talk by a lady who has recently had a book published that gives details of walks based on caravan sites around the UK, and each site chosen includes a dog's eye view of those sites and their facilities.
The booked is called Wonderful Walks from Dog Friendly Campsites throughout the UK, by Anna Chelmicka, published by Hubble and Hattie (ISBN - 978-1-787110-45-8) and is available direct from the publishers or the usual sources.
I'm not a dog person, but the walks look very interesting and have good descriptions and details, and the doggie’s reviews are quite funny. Even better, Anna is now writing another dog-walking guide book based on pubs with campsites. Now that does interest me!!
(Camping & Caravanning Group leader)
CSMA oil cans
Yesterday (1st Aug)I went to the Classic Car Show and Autojumble at Brooklands Museum. Whilst browsing the stalls I came across one selling oil cans. Amongst them were some CSMA oil cans of varying ages. Despite being a CSMA for quite a number of years I have never come across these oil cans before. Please can you tell me anything about these cans and their ages. The stall holders knew nothing about their origins so at least I was able to provide them with some information. The cans are for sale so if any members are interested in purchasing them please will you point them in my direction and I will pass their details onto the vendors.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and I hope the following is of interest – the I found this information in A Short History of the CSMA (unpublished) by the late Peter Jones, CSMA Historian.
Snowdon Oils was appointed as the Association's official oil suppliers in 1937. By the end of the year, they had supplied more than 50,000 gallons of oil to CSMA members. In the first full year (1938) some 90,000 gallons of oil were sold to members through this scheme and over the next few years the annual amount went over the 100,000 gallons mark.
The oil provided by Snowden was in Drums badged “CSMA”.
To give you an idea as to how successful the Oil Scheme was, in 1937 we supplied 68,495 gallons of oil to our members.
In January 1938 the price of a five-gallon drum went up from 11/- to 12/6, but this was reduced to 11/6 per five-gallon drum in September – possibly due to the fact it was selling so well for, during 1938, we sold some 90,000 gallons to members.
Something strange happened in 1939, for we were advised by Messrs Snowden in October that the formation of a ‘Lubricating Oil Poll’ had resulted in the need for them to cancel the Oil Contract. But then, in November of that year, they advised that they would continue to supply oil for as long as they could although the price would now be 15/= per five-gallon drum.
No doubt the outbreak of World War Two was beginning to interfere with daily life but, despite this, in 1939 we sold 122,462 gallons of oil through this scheme.
We sold 2 gallon cans of Extreme Pressure gear oil (highly viscous lubricants specifically for manual gearbox) and sold motor oil (used for engine component maintenance, lubrication, heat protection and cleaning) in give-gallon drums.
World War Two, of course, affected both our members and the supplies of goods and, as a result of members being called up for the armed services, petrol rationing and a shortage of rubber for tyres etc, many cars were laid up during the period 1939 to 1944. We did, however, manage to produce some information bulletins during 1939 to 1944, and these record that Snowden had increased the price of a five-gallon Drum to 17/6 in January 1940.
I’m not sure when the CSMA Oil Scheme ceased without doing more research, but it does seem that it continued during World War Two, albeit on a much lower scale. (However, there are cans displaying the much later CSMA logo in square with the QEII crown which was used from 1970 and ,infrequently,until the 1980s. The can dispaying such logo is likely to be from the early 1970s. The can displaying the oval CSMA logo is likely to have been produced in the 1930s or post-war 1940s. The smaller EP cans are likely from the 1930s.)
Scooter-friendly car boots
In your September/October issue, Your Views, Sue Beattie enquires about cars with boots big enough for her mobility scooter. Can I recommend ridc.org.uk, who give a lot of data on hundreds of car models, including boot dimensions, height of sill, whether the space is flat and much more.
While we can fit my boot scooter comfortably in my Zafira Tourer, it would have been much easier in my old Alhambra.
As is becoming the norm now, the September issue of Boundless featured several one-sided articles and letters extolling the merits of electric cars. Of course, Boundless must be careful not to bite the hand that feeds it by maintaining its loyal and unquestioning support of the motor industry. But it is sad that, like the rest of the media, Boundless rarely prints, or even considers, anything approaching a 'contrary view.' Rarely does anyone ask questions about the wisdom of importing heavy, foreign-built batteries, or our unprepared, inadequate infrastructure. No-one challenges the environmental madness of scrapping perfectly good cars and replacing them with millions of new, imported, and expensive electric vehicles. And no-one has discussed the likely collapse in trade-in values of our current vehicles. Above all, of course, no-one ever nails our government down on its woeful failure to promote alternative, affordable, reliable, and safe public transport.
But if forcing us all into electrical cars is inevitable, where would that leave the walker who wrote to tell Boundless that he had driven from Southampton to the Cairngorms in 72 hours to climb a mountain? Would his journey have been feasible in an electric vehicle given the paucity of recharge points north of Watford? I have no doubt that on this occasion, our intrepid climber used a good old internal combustion engine, carbon footprint be blowed. Greta Thunberg would have been horrified.