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Pier Pressure THE STORY - DAY 7 Thursday 18th August

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Author Topic: Pier Pressure THE STORY - DAY 7 Thursday 18th August  (Read 4183 times)

this user is offline Chad

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on: December 03, 2016, 11:36:25 AM
After yesterday’s monumental trip we were hoping for an easier time today.  However, as we would be ending the day on the Isle of Wight we had a single governing factor; we needed to be at Southampton in time to catch the 7:15pm Red Funnel ferry.

We had already completed 1496 miles and visited 29 piers. Total was relatively short in distance at just 190 miles but was going to be our busiest pier day yet, with 9 piers to visit before wet finally hit our beds in Ryde. We were literally going to be bouncing all the way along the south west coastline, visiting parts of the country new to me.

Our first destination today was Hastings Pier and we had been offered the chance to drive on this newly restored and only just re-opened pier if we arrived before 10am as this is when it opened to the public.

Therefore, despite not arriving at the hotel until the early hours the previous night, we were up early to set the sat-nav and in readiness for an early breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant. We had to be on the road by 8:15 am at the latest so we aimed to be in breakfast by 7:30. When loading the buggies for the day ahead we find Ruben was up and had already been for a swim in the parks heated pool. He said it made up for not having a shower in his T4.



We were informed the night before that breakfast was served between 7:00 and 10:00 and we were really looking forward to a proper full English for once. However, as we entered the restaurant there was no-one to be found, no smells of bacon, no tea brewing, nothing. When we enquired at the main office it turned out the restaurant was leased out externally and it was not unusual for the chefs to turn up late in a morning. Great!!

So with empty bellies and just a couple of granola bars for company we head off towards Hastings, hoping we can find breakfast there.

The weather was once again very kind, with blue skies and an ever warming rising sun. This was 7 days in a row we were driving without hoods and after yesterday we were feeling a little more optimistic about today.

Within 5 miles we were driving down the steep incline into the busy port town of Dover. I have visited Dover many many times through my life, using it as the gateway into Europe and over the past few years we have always used a specific BP garage a mile from the port as the last fill up point before hitting Europe and the first fuel fill up point back in Old Blighty. It is also the garage I once had a loom fire on the forecourt when my ignition shorted right after filling up, after returning from doing over 1000 miles driving to and from the Nürburgring via a Belgium IBW in 2010.

It did feel strange to be filling up here today but not having returned from Europe as I had only been there just 3 months earlier when returning from this year’s German IBW. Thankfully there was also a Subway franchised to the station which at least allowed us to grab a cup of tea to drink on the move.

We had 50 miles to Hastings and had already taken the decision to use major roads (M20, A2070, A259) as the quickest route to Hastings whilst avoiding Felixstowe, knowing we would be seeing a lot of the coast today. The A259 was quite an entertaining road with a nice switchback over a bridge in Rye and a tight 180 bend in Winchelsea. Somewhere on the Rye Road after Winchelsea we suddenly see a flash of orange travelling in the opposite direction and we wave madly to Robert Wren in his well known and superb classic example of a Manx. Robert swiftly u-turns and joins up with us as we home in on Hastings.

Soon we are driving along East Parade with the sea and beach on our left. We can now see Hastings pier in the distance and waiting by the side of the road is James Horsely in his LWB Orange Apal buggy.



I had had some good chats with James earlier in the year as his wife Sarah had also been through breast cancer recently and had helped Ruth immensely by talking with her at length at the Kit Car show earlier in the year. So, it was great to see James along to support our cause.

We arrive at Hastings Pier just 5 minutes before 10:00 am and were shown straight through the gates and onto the pier. We pulled up alongside the carousel and right next door to the café.





So whilst waiting for our contact at the pier to come and meet us, we all head into the café and manage to get a drink and finally something to eat for breakfast. At this point we meet up with Ben Gladwish who I had done a wiring kit for earlier in the year. He just missed out on getting his buggy finished but still came to see us. Nice to put another face to a cyber name.

The pier manager is a great guy and after a nice welcome, invites the four buggies to drive right to the head of the pier for some photos. The pier itself had only reopened some 4 months earlier following a £14 million refurb after fire had destroyed 95% of the pier structure in 2010 hence we felt truly privileged to be allowed on the brand new boards. Half way along the pier is a striking building, build from timbers from the original pier decking and holds offices, toilets and amusements.















spend around 20 minutes at the pier head getting some great shots before having to head off towards our next pier at Eastbourne. The welcome from Hastings Pier was brilliant and before we had even warmed our tyres they had posted up pictures on their Facebook page and wished us good luck on the rest of our trip.

The staff also had a collection for us on the day which we didn’t expect either. It also turned out later that the story was picked up by the local press and we made the Hastings Observer.









It was just a relatively short 17 miles down to Eastbourne and the 4 buggies with T4 rear have a nice uneventful cruise west along the coastline, staying on the A259 through Pevensey Bay to approach the pier using Royal Parade and Grand Parade along the sea front. As we had had no reply from Eastbourne Pier to our e-mail and learning from yesterday’s experience at Clacton, Ruth calls the pier earlier in the morning on the way to Hastings.

It turns out the pier is owned by an oriental company and after some accent and translation issues we were given permission to park up outside the Pier. Technically ‘outside’ was public highway but it was nice to know we weren’t going to get run out of town when we arrived.

The four buggies reverse right up to the footpath directly outside the pier gates.




I really liked Eastbourne Pier which retains much of its original Victorian architecture and still has a large playhouse of the pier head, which many other piers are now lacking due to fire or decay. The weather is warming up nicely and we have a nice 30 minute chilled out stop at Eastbourne.











At this point Robert was intending to head off to work for a meeting but as the weather was so nice and he was really enjoying the ride, he decided to stick with us to our next top at the magnificent Brighton Pier. The ride to Brighton is 25 miles and we take in some amazing coastline scenery on the way. Between Eastbourne and Brighton lies Beachy Head, not only home the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain (531ft) but also one of the most notorious suicide spots in the world.






All too soon we are back on the A259 all the way into Brighton. The road roller coasters up and down the chalk cliffs and passes through Newhaven, crossing the river Ouse here on a pivot bridge.


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this user is offline Chad

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Reply #1 on: December 03, 2016, 11:42:50 AM
Just about 4 miles away from the Pier on Marine Drive we see a yellow buggy driving towards us in the opposite lane. Peter in his well travelled Manx quickly U-turns and joins onto the back of our cruise. Peter’s Manx has travelled over 100,000 miles since he built it and is was a pleasure to have him adding a few more miles on the Pier Pressure journey with us.

Then just another mile up the road it seems to be raining buggies as two more approach us from the opposite direction, followed by a big white and red T5. We wave madly at Chris and Emma in their blue and Red GT, Dave and Louise Higgs in Jack the Bug; his union flagged LWB GP super and Jazzy and Snowy in their T5. Unfortunately Jazzy’s GP was poorly in bed at home and just wasn’t fit enough to make the trip.

Another mass U-turn and suddenly we are 7 buggies strong accompanied by a T4 and T5, heading towards the most iconic of all piers – Brighton. When you ask people to name a pier inevitably it is either Blackpool, Wigan (yes this did get a bit boring for us as everyone thought they were the first to say it) but more often than not, Brighton.

Believe it or not in my 49 and ¾ years on this planet I had never visited Brighton so I was really looking forward to rocking up at the Pier. After contacting the Pier a couple of weeks before our trip they had jumped at the chance of hosting us and supporting our venture, offering up their large front promenade for exclusive buggy parking. They had e-mailed us on a number of occasions to check everything was fine and give us a contact to meet on the day. Once again amazing generosity from another pier team.



Bang on 12:45pm (well that’s what it says on the massive clock at the pier) we all arrive at Brighton Pier amazingly just 5minutes behind our pre-determined and published schedule. The 7 buggies proceed to take over the front promenade, whist the 2 vans manage to find parking on the street right outside the pier too.



Ruth heads off to find our contact and at the entrance to the pier encounters a less than happy security guard. He hadn’t heard anything about our arrival and was getting jittery about us taking over the pier frontage. Not again we thought. Thankfully a quick call up to the office and everything was fine, it was the guard’s mistake. 







A few minutes later the pier manager came to meet us all and give us a grand welcome, along with a massive tray of complimentary teas and coffees.





Speaking with him it turns out he had done a similar trip to ours a few years back doing it none stop in a transit van with his mates to raise money for a local kids charity. He therefore understood the size of the challenge we were undertaking more than most.

As its now lunchtime we decide to spend a good hour at the pier, grab some food and make use of the facilities. The pier was really busy as you would expect and we got loads of attention and plenty of donations in the tins for our cause. It did feel good to be at Brighton and I really enjoyed the stop there.



The savory Crepe we had for dinner also made a nice change to burgers or chips we had been surviving on recently. I also took advantage of a nice picture taking vantage point too.




Chris then comes up to me with some amazing news. He had just been informed that the people behind the Paddle Round the Pier had made a massive donation of £500 to our Pier Pressure cause. Amazing generosity by the VW wider family.

Brighton Pier didn’t disappoint and I am glad it lived up to my expectations but unfortunately, the clocks moved all to quickly and soon we were off to our next destination. At this point we said goodbye to Robert and Peter to headed of home, thankful of their support today. Having the two vans with us turns out to be our trump card as they merrily block off all approaching traffic at the roundabout outside the pier to allow 7 buggies to all pull out as one long train. Thanks guys.

Our next stop was another new place for me and just 11 miles further up the coast we had another pre-planned rendezvous with Worthing Pier. The team at Worthing has arranged for the electric bollards to be lowered on our arrival to allow access to the promenade at the front of the pier. This part of the world had shown amazing hospitality with all four of the piers visited today allowing close access to their piers and giving us a great deal of support in the process.

We travel between Brighton and Worthing right along the coast.  Louise is doing some great stunt camera work, by standing up in the back of Jack the Bug taking photos along the way.







We stop for a quick fuel up at the BP station just a mile from Worthing pier, not only for the buggies, but for Snowy too.







Thankfully the weather is still warm and sunny with loads of blue sky to accompany us on our way.

Ruth calls our contact at the pier and as we arrive the bollard is dropped right on cue to allow us access to the normally closed off promenade. As a bonus, Jazzy and Ruben in their vans are also allowed access to park. The only think we had to do was drive between some fixed bollards by the pier, some fairly widely spaced bollards and easy to drive through the gap bollards. Ones with a massive sized gap, easily navigated bollards, you know the ‘I could get a bus through that’ sized gap ….. Well I a manage to hit one of the bollards and trap my rear wing beneath the lip. Only thing I can do is reverse out and I still have the body scar to prove my stupidity. My excuse was I was looking for a suitable place to park up outside the pier and just got a little close.

We were met by both the Promenade’s caretaker and the pier’s manager who were really happy to have us there. Unfortunately we only have 30 minutes here as we are still conscious we need to make Southampton docks at a set time and need to be super strict today.







Worthing is Jim’s home town and his wife Sarah also joins us at the pier for support and a chat with Ruth too. The pier itself is a lovely example with the main northern (shore end) pavilion still in place having been built in 1888 and now being Grade II listed. What I have noticed with all the 4 piers we have visited so far today is that they have all retained their traditional Victorian charm without resorting to the need of adding a 1970’s amusement arcade in the entrance pavilion.

30 minutes rolls around quickly and all too soon we are all back in the buggies and ready for pier visit number 5 of the day. The time is now moving on towards 3:00pm and Jim says goodbye at this point as he lives in Worthing, leaving 4 buggies and 2 vans to drive the next 17 miles down to Bognor Regis. The man drops the bollard for us and off we head back onto the A259, with Jazzy and Ruben once again blocking the traffic on the road for us.



The drive to Bognor is nice and uneventful. Then suddenly we find ourselves faced by the biggest pyramided tent I have ever seen, which turns out to be Butlin’s entertainment hub at Bognor. All I know is it took a while to drive in a big square around the parks perimeter and it must take up half the land mass of Bognor as well as being visible from space.

We approach the pier from the east along the Esplanade.



We then proceed to drive straight passed the pier as the front is completely sealed off from vehicle encroachment by a 3 foot high brick wall. There is a small locked barrier but as we had heard nothing back from our e-mail to Bognor, this meant we had to find an alternative. A quick u-turn is needed.



We find a suitable space on the footpath just to the left of the pier, which allowed us to put our back wheels almost on the sand.














Amazingly we are still almost on schedule, but this did mean a slightly shorter stop at Bognor. As we are about to set off we realise we are missing someone only to spot Jazzy emerging from the shop opposite with freshly cooked fish and chips in hand. I haven’t a clue how he stays so thin as I rarely see him without food or booze in hand.

I pull left off the sea front and immediately right and pull up alongside the kerb o wait for the others as there is little room on the road outside the pier. George follows and then I spot Chris & Emma, Dave & Louise and Ruben drive straight passed the side road and off down the Esplanade.

I am not quite sure what happens to Jazzy and Snowy but I look in my mirror a couple of miles on and they are sat behind George. I think Snowy was tracking us on Glympse which allowed them to find us. Therefore, we are now two separate groups heading merrily off towards our next stop 25 miles away at Southsea near Portsmouth.
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this user is offline Chad

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Reply #2 on: December 03, 2016, 11:57:45 AM
To be honest considering we had been kissing the seafront and coast road for most of the day since Hastings, the drive to Southsea was quite a boring 55mph slog along the A27 dual carriageway. 

There are two piers in Southsea just a mile apart, and the first on our schedule was Southesea South Parade. By now Snowy had thankfully managed to get in touch with Chris and Emma and had arranged to meet them at the second pier, namely Southsea Clarence.

The Grade II listed South Parade pier was unfortunately closed in 2012 due to public safety reasons and although the new owners have promised to re-open it in time, it was still closed to the public when we arrived. The pier itself looked like a nice traditional seaside pier with large ballroom and entertainment building. Hopefully it can be restored and not left to rot away.



The front of South Parade Pier is almost impossible to get near with a vehicle, as it stands higher than the road and is protected by steps, pedestrian railings and 3 foot high walls. Therefore, for a 3rd time today we threw a u-turn and headed back along the promenade until we found a suitable place to mount the kerb and park up with the pier in the background. Thankfully Jazzy is on hand to take our obligatory ‘proof of visit’ number photo.




We quickly get moving again and head off towards Southsea Clarence Pier, to meet up with the other half of our cruise. Southsea Clarence Pier was just a 5 minute drive away up the promenade and on arrival looked and felt like a completely different beast to all of the other south coast piers we had already visited today.

Clarence Pier is unusual as unlike most other UK piers as it runs more along the coast rather than extending too far out to sea. Originally built in 1861 as a ferry terminal for the Isle of Wight, it was damaged by air raids in WW2 and reopened in its current form in 1961. Although the fast IOW hovercraft ferry service still operates off the beach to the side of the pier, It now has more of a theme park, 1970’s feel than Victorian. The original Victorian pier frame is now completely covered by one of the south coast’s largest amusement parks, which to me gave it all quite a tacky, ‘kiss me quick’ un-pier like seaside feel.

Outside the pier is a large bus terminus which meant a large expanse of tarmac, ideal to park up on and take photos. Thankfully our splinter group and forward raiding party are already there waiting for us nearby. 





After taking our proof of visit shot, and whilst the rest of us are parked up and chin wagging Ruth, Alex and Emma head off behind the pier frontage to take a look at the hovercraft which was just taking off.

Myself and George are then summoned around the back of the pier by Alex. I was expecting Alex to just want tokens to get on one of the rides, but actually Emma had found a newly installed high ropes course on the Pier aptly named ‘Pier Pressure’ !!!  It would have been foolish to miss the opportunity, so of course we didn’t and got some great shots for our scrap book. Thanks Clarence Pier for doing that for us!





It was now time to say goodbye to Emma and Chris who had to head home. I was super happy to their support today and really enjoyed having them with us. It seemed quite poignant in a way particularly with Chris’ own health battle against the terrible disease we were cruising against.

Just 1 mile from Clarence Pier lies Portsmouth Harbour from where the car ferry to Fishbourne on the Isle Of Wight disembarks. Fishbourne is just an hour ferry journey  away and 3 or so miles from Ryde, our last pier visit of Day 7. This would have been great for us as the time was still relatively early at 5:30pm.

Unfortunately, we weren’t leaving from Portsmouth as more fortunately someone had managed to secure a fantastic deal with Red Funnel ferries in and out of Southampton, some 20 miles away. Dave Fisher, of Kingfisher Kustoms fame, had put us in touch with his niece Angie who worked for the tourist board on the Isle of Wight. She gave us a sympathetic contact at red funnel who gave us a heavily subsidised fare of just £35 return for each car (normally £120) to allow more funds to go into the Pier Pressure fund.

The three remaining buggies and two vans head off towards Southampton and our 8th pier of the day, the Royal Pier. Thankfully the Royal Pier is right next door to the Red Funnel ferry terminal so we could kill two birds with one stone.

Uninspiringly the ride between Portsmouth and Southampton meant a slog up the M275 and M27 before turning off at the extremely busy Windhover Roundabout towards the center and the quay. This way did, however, take us up and over the Itchen Toll Bridge and we made a quick stop pulling up at the side of the road just before the tool booths to ensure we all have the requisite 50p Toll on board. I wouldn’t say the bridge was one of the most spectacular we had crossed on our travels, but it did the job and saved us a few good miles detour.




Finally we arrive at Southampton Royal Pier around 6:15pm, just a mere 30 minutes behind our planned schedule but more importantly an hour before our ferry to the IOW is due to sail.

The last time I was in the Isle of Wight was in April early in the year at my bestest friend’s wedding. I had taken the opportunity then to scope out Southampton Pier and therefore knew that all that remained of the pier was the entrance pavilion. After closure in 1979, the pier had succumbed to fire in the 1980’s. The entrance pavilion had been restored in 2008 and is now simply a Thai restaurant on the ground floor and posh grill house on the first floor. We had managed a meal in the grill house in April and it was a pity we didn’t have time to eat there today before our ferry sailed.

We spend no more than 10 minutes taking photos right in front of the Thai restaurant entrance before saying goodbye to Dave and Lousie, Jazzy and Snowy and Ruben and heading for the ferry arrivals gateway.





We would be catching up with Jazzy, Snowy and Ruben the following day as they were stopping on the mainland for the evening. Jazzy, Snowy, Dave and Louise sample the delights of the Grill House whilst watching us board the ferry whilst Ruben headed off for his pre-boked campsite for the night.

The days were now being to merge into one but I am pretty sure today was Thursday. It turns out that Friday to Sunday was the one and only VW show on the IOW – VW Island. This was the reason that there were a few Type 2’s in the rows of cars waiting to board the ferry with us and why we were mistakenly thought of as heading for the same show. We ended up waiting right next to a nice peppermint green splitty and chatting with the guy and his wife for a while. It turned out his family had recently suffered from cancer and he made a nice donation to our cause too.



Soon enough the ferry arrives, disgorges its load and invites us to board for the hour and half trip across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. This would be the second time we had left the mainland in search of piers. It seems a long time since we woke up in Dover and yet we still had one final pier date of the date at Ryde.




We set sail bang on time at 7:30pm and set about grabbing some nice food and a well earned rest on board. What we actually got was a very soggy and tasteless barely warm chicken pie, raw broccoli and limp potatoes and a very noisy and hot lounge area. Thankfully George’s fish and chips were just passable as a meal. Alex and myself managed to eat our pies reluctantly but Ruth was less than impressed and there was little else to wet her appetite on board.

In all honesty, I think this was about the point we realised we were all starting to feel a little jaded and that the challenge was indeed harder than perhaps any of us had expected. I think we naively expected more down time at the end of each day in which to relax and reflect rather than having to chase food and catch a few hours sleep before it all began again the next morning.

What we didn’t expect was that the challenge was about to become even harder.
I mentioned earlier that we had been really lucky with both the weather and the reliability of our buggies throughout the trip so far. Other than a few spots of rain over Snowdon and early one morning in Scotland and George’s front shocks doing a mean Gordon the Goffer impression, everything was going fine. Therefore the law of sod would say that the second you leave the safety of the mainland and head for an island with no VW spare shops something will break…

Literally as the ramp on the ferry opens and hits the ground in East Cowes, I start up my buggy and instantly my volt meter spikes past 17 volts – not good. This also had the result of blowing my electronic speedo, effectively losing all our trip data collected so far. I stop the buggy, restart and the volts now read 15 – a little over the normal 14.5 but workable. However the volts start to increase slowly again, the rev -counter wobbles about and the charging light flashes on and off. As we now only have about 8 miles to Ryde from East Cowes, I take the decision to chance it and take a look when we get to the hotel later on.
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this user is offline Chad

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Reply #3 on: December 03, 2016, 12:00:39 PM
Time for a little sub story. Lee at Volksmagic had a white LWB Doon shell that due to some manufacturing errors was only suitable for painting. The guy who did his electrics on the workshop building, Nick, had decided he wanted a buggy built to use down at his holiday caravan on the Isle of Wight. He also wanted to get his three grown up kids in the back, so they set about widening the back arches which allowed the inside of the rear tub to be widened to fit three in the back. Over and above that Nick wanted the Doon to be a tribute to his mom who had been through breast cancer and commissioned Lee to get it finished in time for Pier Pressure. All well and good but Lee was only given just 4 weeks to do it, a brand new custom build.

The tribute buggy, as it has come to be known was, sprayed bright pink and has loads of custom pink ribbon touches including air brushing of the tank and seat backs, 3D custom printed wheel centres, custom speedo design and custom roll cage. When I left to start Pier Pressure a week before the buggy was still in pieces at the Volksmagic workshop and it looked a million miles from being finished…





















Well against all odds, as we left the ferry there sat on the car park at East Cowes was Nick and his family in the Pink Doon Breast Cancer Tribute buggy. Lee and his team had pulled out all the stops, got the buggy finished and delivered the buggy down Southampton docks just a few hours earlier in the day. This was a brilliant sight and it was unfortunate I was that concerned about the health of my buggy at that point that I didn’t make as much of the moment as I should (i.e. I actually didn’t take a picture for once – doh!).

The time was now just before 9:00pm and Angie (IOW tourist board) had arranged to meet up with us at Ryde Pier for a photo shoot and chinwag. It therefore looked very much like we would be doing another pier visit in the dark. Other than a quick stop on route to Ryde to wiggle wires to check this wasn’t the problem (which it wasn’t) and we arrived at Ryde Pier as the sun was setting.

Ryde Pier is the world’s oldest seaside pleasure pier and is the second longest in Britain next to Southend, at 745 yards.



At the pier head there is still an active working passenger ferry terminal, running passenger ferries across to the mainland everyday. The end of the pier is basically a large car park out at sea for commuters using the ferry as well as a station for the train that also runs along the pier.

As promised, Angie was there waiting with a couple of friends / colleagues, as well as some pound coins to pay the pier toll, which allowed the buggies to drive all the way out to the car park on the end of the pier (which thankfully was lit all the way) for some nice photos against the far railing. This gave us time to also have a chat with Nick and take a good look over the Tribute buggy. An amazing job by the Magic boys to get it all done in time.







Nick and his family head off to their holiday place leaving just the two pier pressure buggies on their own for the first time today.  Before heading off to find the hotel, we decide to move the buggies right up to the ferry office entrance to make use of the bright lights, and I mean right into the ferry port entrance.




It is now proper dark, so we say goodbye to Angie and finally we head off back down the long pier towards our hotel for the night. I have the fleeting hope that my buggy is fixed, but the volts start to creep up once more, although the headlights do help hold them at about 15.5 (still not good). As Ruth had not actually eaten on the boat, we stop off at the local Chinese takeaway opposite the pier to grab a quick chow mein.

The hotel for the night was the Dorset hotel on Dover Street. The Chadwicks had stayed there in April and my best buddy’s wedding so we knew it was nice, clean and more importantly had a private secluded car park. They also gave us a discount when we booked in April because of what we were doing.

The hotel was only ½ mile from Ryde pier and soon we arrive on the rear car park around 9:45pm. Whilst Ruth took the bags up to the room and scoffed her chinese, I set about trying to temporary fix the charging issue on my buggy. Now at this point I will hold my hand up and as someone who does know a bit about buggy wiring I had made a small faux pas when building my buggy.

As I have an electronic speedo my charging light is a separate entity and for some stupid reason I chose to use an LED. Obviously I now know the charging system works best as a two-way arrangement and using an LED eventually causes issues with the alternator. I know this because 5 years ago I blew an internal regulator on the alternator on my way back from Swanage, which massively overcharged the system and boiled my battery. What I didn’t then do is change out the LED for a normal bulb, due to a good dose of apathy at the time and then just because I simply forgot. So 5 years on I am now sat on the IOW with an overcharged system once again. George of course took a little bit too much pleasure saying ‘I told you so 5 years ago !!’.

So I set about using the trusted Snoopy fix, used on Dave C’s buggy in Germany at the IBW earlier in the year, and temporary wired in a normal bulb taped to the back of the buggy and fed off the +ve feed on the coil. Also, knowing that tomorrow we would be passing through Dorset, I made an emergency call to Flags and asked if he could contact Ollie at Beetle Magic for me to see if he had a second hand alternator I could buy off him and fit on our way passed tomorrow. Flags soon calls me back to say Ollie will happily sort me out tomorrow, which helped put my mind at rest.

It is now well passed 10:30 and it seemed a hell of a long time since we left Dover that morning, so we decided to skip the normal last thing cup of tea and catch up and head for bed. This decision was also driven by the fact that we needed to be on the road at 7:00am the next morning for reasons that will become clear later.

Tonight we had two rooms, one a twin and one a double. Now as much as I like George a lot, I really did fancy spending the night with my family so whilst George headed off to his room, I headed off to find Alex and Ruth.

By the time I got there Alex was already soundly asleep in the double bed, so we pushed the two U shaped arm chairs together to make essentially a large soft cot and carfeully lifted him into it. It was funny the following morning to see his face when he realised he had gone to sleep in a double bed but woke on a bed made from two chairs.

That night I simply had no energy or will left to update social media, so no-one other than us 4, Flags and Ollie knew of my predicament. I found enough energy to punch the first part of our day 8 journey into the Sat Nav knowing we would have a 1 ½ on the ferry tomorrow for me to set the rest.

We had now been on the road constantly for 7 full days and it was time to reflect on a brilliant day of sunny weather, great company and support, 9 pier visits (taking the tally to 38), another ferry crossing, first major breakdown (car not people) and a total number of miles now exceeding 1700.

When arranging the Pier Pressure challenge I knew Day 8 was going to be our nemesis day, simply by virtue of what we needed to accomplish and now adding in the possibility of a long pit stop at Beetle Magic, tomorrow’s challenge had become even more daunting.

Finally I get to bed and sleep happens almost instantly.
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Reply #4 on: December 03, 2016, 01:17:18 PM
that road near beachy head is one, if not the best road i've ever driven. to go there and still decide to end it all?  :-\
i remember a sign saying the cat and fidle, and reckoned it was the infamous biker death road. (seen once on some tv program)

someone mentioned a spitfire circling the Clarence pier, anyone got a photo of that?
what a stunning write up once again. what’s the big plan for next year and can i come ;)
"Yes Ruben, you are indeed a Championship Tosser" DnD, september 2016
Remember kids, polyglotism will get you nowhere


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Reply #5 on: December 03, 2016, 02:40:11 PM
Wow what a day Chad - a bit of a gruelling one for the challenge . I grew up in Sussex, about 4 miles from Pevensey, so lots of memories for me like seeing Hawkwind live on Hastings pier in the 70's.

My hat goes off to you guys. Beginning to see now just what the extent of this effort entailed.
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Reply #6 on: December 04, 2016, 04:31:38 PM
By the time I got there Alex was already soundly asleep in the double bed, so we pushed the two U shaped arm chairs together to make essentially a large soft cot and carfeully lifted him into it. It was funny the following morning to see his face when he realised he had gone to sleep in a double bed but woke on a bed made from two chairs.



I mis teleporting too. 'Sept it was tother way round when I were a kid. ;D ;D :D
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Reply #7 on: December 04, 2016, 05:49:01 PM
As much as I would like to take credit for finding Pier Pressure at Southsea, it was actually Snowy.  ;-)up


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Reply #8 on: December 04, 2016, 06:27:58 PM
Another cracking write up Chad.