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April 11, 2021, 02:06:40 AM

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Members Buggies / Added to my collection
« on: March 12, 2020, 12:23:46 AM »
I know a few of you already know but thought it was about time I let others know, if you know what I mean  ;D ;D

I have purchased another buggy  ;-)up

No, I am not getting rid of my beloved Doon SWB 002 and never will, but I have only gone and agreed a deal to bring Doon SWB 001 home to keep it company.

Yes I have agreed to buy the first ever production Doon that was moulded, off Rich (my original co-conspirator in the design of the Doon).

Ruth has already marked it as hers, after a few modifications or so she tells me  ;D

Need to get the dust off it and get it started, but hopefully it will be heading back with me to Worcester way very shortly..

For those of you contemplating joining us next year for Swanage 13 - this may give you an idea that its not like most other events in the UK and what it is about, i.e. a chilled weekend with mates a a right good laugh.

Swanage 2019 'Show us Yours' results in the order of Award, Recipient, Prize

CLEANEST BUGGY - Dave TV Coleman - Tube of Slime

DIRTIEST BUGGY  - Chris Barker - Hoola Girl Air Freshener

BIGGEST CHROMO - Allan - Pack of Chrome Paper Cups

SPARKLIEST BUGGY - Colin Chapman (I think, help me out someone) - Bottle of Glitter Glue (There were many many candidates for this award but as I am on the none sparkly side of the garage and don't have a clue about flake size, colour etc, we decided because his wheels were also painted in metal flake, this is what tipped the balance ;D)

DUDE WHERE's YOUR CAR; aka ANYONE GOT A SPARE SEAT AWARD - Dom Grandhaie - Up-Cycled indoor bowls trophy supplied by the football club, with sand glued to it. Basically a balnk trophy on which Dom can glue n a model beach buggy once his car is finished


STAINLESS EXHAUST IN NEED OF MOST HELP - George Meakin - Bottle f Harpic and pair of gloves

BREAKDOWN AWARD #1 - Dave Dnd for IBW trip home this year- Bottle of Metalflake Green Glitter Glue for the toolbox.

BREAKDOWN AWARD #2 - Flags for consistent need of minor roadsaide fixes - Bottle of Metalflake Orange Glitter Glue for the toolbox.

LONG DISTANCE AWARD - Patrick Hermans - 2 cans of energy drink and some Cadbury's choclate fingers.

BUGGY OWNER WHO HAS EVERYTHING - Matt Manxter Williams - Candle driven chrome dangly mobile

BUGGY NUMBER RAFFLE - Jason Bear Bartley - Paint your own racing car set

More Serious Awards

DRIVER's CHOICE aka READER's DRIVES - Matt Manxter Williams - Bespoke, hand made, one off, up-cycled capet bowls silver plate trophy with Buggy Daddy hot wheels model glued on top (with maker's own superglue thumbprint in the paintwork  ;D)

SPIRIT OF PADDY AWARD (awarded by Sonya, MAx and Tayte) - Flags - Hancrafted wood and model buggy display board with engraved silver piston mounted on the board)

Hi guys,


This is a local'ish show for me that is now in its 6th year. Its on the main road between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth.

I have been to the last 4 on just the Sunday and really enjoyed it. It feels like a smaller version of Tatton Park and has all types of VW's (not just campers and T5's).

I know the organiser relatively well and he was one of the companies that sponsored our Pier Pressure cars to enable us to take on the charity run we did in 2016.

There are live bands in a small marquee on the Saturday night (more akin to the IBW nights than any big show) and I really fancy doing the weekend this year.

The cost is about £28 for the whole weekend but I have also been offered a club stand plot in the main show area (not around in th ecamping area) with plenty of camping behind the stand, for a reduced rate - basically the more that come the cheaper it will be. I will get exact prices next week but just offering it up to see if folk would be interested.?

Kath and David Ojamma came for the day last year and really enjoyed it.

Parts Wanted / beetle fuse board - one with plug in relay part
« on: April 11, 2018, 11:23:40 PM »
Anyone got a beetle fuseboard / fusebox that has the bit that takes the relays that they would like to part with.

Need it for Lawson's wiring job.


BACK FOR SALE as original sale has fallen through. (6th Sept 2017)

I have had this chassis for a number of years and is an original brand new VW supplied bettle chassis. I intended to keep it for my Long Wheel Base but now have a full rolling chassis I am going to use instead.

Therefore I am now offering this up for sale. This was listed by VW as a full replacement part for your beetle and hence comes completely ID free.

You are legally allowed to transfer your existing chassis number to it as it is classed as a VW replacement part.

Being VW, this has proper thickness floorpans, is sprayed in rust protector, I have had this over 10 years propbably and as you can see it looks as good as new, all joints are seam sealed and from the pictures you can see inside the tunnel is as good as the outside (no big flakes of rust in there).

For sake of completeness it is Left Hand Drive and would need converting to RHD if you wished. This would entail drilling holes for the brake master cylinder fixing screws and a plate putting on the floor to hold the RHD pedals.

Before listing on e-bay with a good reserve I am offering to you, my wider beach buggy family, for £900.

You will obviously have to come and collect from Worcester if you want it.  ;-)up

Pier Pressure 2016 / One year on.......
« on: August 24, 2017, 12:38:57 PM »

This week marks the 1 year anniversary of the end of our mad 10 day Pier Pressure challenge and also marks the official end of our fundraising through this particular adventure.

I can therefore officially announce that Pier Pressure 2016 raised £15,286.00 for our 3 chosen charities.

Each charity will receive just over £5,000 each and we couldn't be any happier with this, considering our target was to raise around £3000 in total when we first thought of the idea.

Ruth, Alex, George and myself would like to thank everyone who helped and contributed to our fundraiser. It means more than you will ever know.

However there are some special thanks that need a mention.

Firstly Lee Southerton from Volksmagic. Without his relentless help the total would have been less than half of what it was, sorting out business sponsers, t-shirt sales, sweatshirt printing and donnating parts. Also for going above and beyond to help start my fickle re-built engine very early one morning on the way to work and providing continued use of his workshop and staff whenever we needed it on the run up to the event. Simply amazing.
Steven Davis for repairing my engine when all looked lost a couple of weeks before we set off and refusing payment.
Absolute Control Signs & Graphics Limited for doing all the livery on the two buggies and giving up a whole 2 days form their busy schedule
Peter Mario Whiteside for sorting out a mahassive discount with Travel Lodge for us
Andrew D Robinson for providing all the flyers, business cards and event banners.
Ian Oliver at Beeltemagic for stopping everything he was doing to make a lightening repair and swap out my Alternator on busy Day 8 of our challenge
Ian Craddock for cutting off his lovely flowing long locks and donnating the proceeds to the cause
Gary Martin, Emma Barker Chris Barker Jan Snowball Michael Burlinson for manning the tables at Slough Swap Meet and bringing in over a £1000
Patrick Hermans and Thomas Schmied for translating and explaining our challenge to our europeans buggy family, resulting in over another 1000 euro donnation
Dave Dnd for providing another repair stop at hi splace and his Beachbuggy.info forum for providing an invaluable resource on which to share ideas, promote the challenge and host the pictures and write up.
I can't forget Martin Wilkinson Martin Dando Peter Baggott Rob Clarke and Alison Wilkinson, my old band mukkas who came out of a ten year retirement just for the challenge, to reheasre and play a one off re-union gig on day 8 to raise over £400 for the cause
GSF Car Parts for providing the two buggies with a spares box each for the journey
Dave Fisher for covering the ferry costs to and from the Isle of Wight
And of course to the Midland Buggy Club, The Southern buggy Club and all our beach buggy friends around the country for comming out to support us on each and every turn of the journey.
We would also like to thank my work Sandwell Council who promoted our challenge across all media forms and provided a brilliant start and finish gathering in the square outside the main Council House.
And finally a huge thanks to all but one of the piers, their staff and their visitors for making all so welcome, providing access to places we thought were impossible to get to, providing refreshments and organising press calls all the way around.

We have some wonderful memories and some great people we are proud to call friends.

Please, if we have missed someone it is not on purpose, you know you have our deepest thanks. It is still really a bit of a blur in all honesty and at my age, memory isn't what it used to be... :-)


Hi Guys,

I'm pretty sure I may know the answer but.....

I think I have a problem that started to rear its ugly head in Germany but has since got worse.

With the engine running and in neutral, if I let the clutch out and leave the car ticking over I get a loud grumbling / grinding noise from near from somewhere in the vicinity of the gearbox. If I then push the clutch in the noise goes away.

Am I right in thinking the release bearing is on its way out ?  Can  still run the buggy until such time I get to change to out?


Parts Wanted / Standard beetle front disc callipers
« on: May 07, 2017, 07:16:54 PM »
Hi all.
I had a problem coming back from Kit car show. Thought it may have been a bearing but now looks like it was a sticking front caliper. Goes out but not in. They have been on there for 17 years and been in the sea too so I suppose it was bound to happen

 So before I fork out for new parts, does anyone have a pair tucked in their garage they haven't used and want to sell?


Admit my frantic house selling and house buying this month I have managed o find a few hours to draw up this years IBW T-shirt.

Hope you like it?

Now to ensure the T-shirts arrive in time I really need to get the order off this week. I have dragged a names list off the IBW thread but if anyone knows of others making the trip can you please add them onto the end.

Could you all please just add your size preference to the list. I can order Mens, Womens cut and V neck womens so please also state the preference as well as the size.

Cost is going to be a flat £10 per shirt, payable to me via a paypal gift at paypal@chad.me.uk   ;-)up

I probably won't get time to post them out so you will receive them on route as we meet if thats's OK. Unless anyone has a really burning requirement to get them before hand, when you are more than welcome to come and collect or sort out a rapid courier service yourself.

If folk know of people on the list who don't frequent this site could you please get in touch with them and add their preference for me too, just like I have done for George.  ;-)up

Thanks all
Chad   8)


Dave Oojamaflip
Dave Doon L001
George  -  XL
Big GP
Dave DND  -  XXL
Liz DND  -  XXL
Dave Dream
Snoopy -  XXL
Vicky  -   
Chad  -  XL
TV Dave C
Hudge  -  XXL
The Shadow  -  M
Mark Darby  -  XXL
Steve Baggybuggy
Claire Baggybuggy
Arran Apmaman
Alan Mathie
GP Jools
Dave – Krug’s Mate

Hi Buggy folk

We have been invited to display at the Avoncroft Air-cooled shown on Sunday 14th May Weekend after next.
The show is at the avoncroft museum in Bromsgrove Junction 5 M5 area
Looks like a really nice event and they have set aside Buggy area.
Think I'll pop down.


« on: February 08, 2017, 12:57:43 PM »
Just got the final figures together and I thought I would let you lot know first...

The grand total of all donnations was...........


 ;-)(-; :D :D ;-)up

I really can't thank every one enough for your help, support and donnations.

I will be putting together a very long thank you list soon, but for now can I just say

'Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts'

Chad, Ruth, George and Alex.. :-*

Pier Pressure Day 11

I dreamt of piers. All night I dreamt of piers.

It was a strange feeling to awaken and realise that today we wouldn’t be on the trail of platforms sticking out to sea. As a celebration we had allowed ourselves a lie in, not meeting up until at least 9:00am that morning. The only thing on our itinerary today was to end up where it all started and finish at my work in Oldbury. Sandwell Council’s press team we keen on seeing us return there to take a picture or two, as I assumed, for the staff newsletter. So we had provisionally arranged to get back around 1:00pm.

Technically we had completed our challenge of visiting all 57 Piers in 10 days. We were over the moon, ecstatic, chipper, quite chuffed and pretty proud of ourselves.  However, we were still in Swansea and needed to get home.

And this is where our 10 day challenge actually became and 11 day trip – still with me? This did confuse some people on the run up to Pier Pressure when they realised our 10 day challenge would take 11 days.

Even though the M4 services had a myriad of food options available to us, the draw of a £7 breakfast of any 5 re-heated items didn’t really attract us for some reason. So we decided to look for alternatives on our way home.

We Chadwick’s, being last out as usual, met up with George and Hugh on the car park in readiness for the relatively short 130 mile skip home., when compared to the past 10 days shenanigans. And once again, as it is wanton to do in Wales, it was raining. I personally love Wales (we live less than an hour from the border and I have many fantastic memories of visiting Snowdonia through the my years), but it does rain an awful lot; I am sure Welsh people must be born with webbed feet and gills.

After a quick fill up at the overpriced petrol station, we finally hit the road about 9:30’ish, (I can’t remember exactly what time it was and actually I have no photo evidence for once – I think I was just too relaxed and unfocused that morning). Normally from that part of the world I would take the M4 then either head up the M5 or up via Monmouth and Ross-on-Wye, following the Severn estuary and take the M50 the M5 home.

However, we had decided that for the sake of Pier Pressure, we would prefer to take a more scenic and sedate route home. This would involve us passing through the Brecon Beacons national park, through Brecon Town and passing over the border before heading through Leominster, Kidderminster and home.

We couldn’t avoid a quick brush with the M4 but after just 8 miles we peeled off onto the A465 towards Hirwaun. The A465 was just an uninspiring straight’ish wide dual carriageway and the rain was now lashing down.

Visibility was poor and the only way I could tell that Hugh was still with us was by counting the headlights in the yellow blur that was all I could see through my water soaked rear window. That was the difficulty with George’s and Hugh’s buggies both being yellow, I had to count 4 headlights to be sure o-one had broken down. Then a couple of miles before the roundabout with the A4059 which would take us up into the Brecon Beacons National Park proper, we hit congestion. The signs did warn us that queues were likely, but two miles worth was a bit much.
Luckily the queue did move slowly and soon we were leaving the masses behind us as we turned and started to climb up into the Brecon Hills. The national park is blessed with stunning scenery and makes for a brilliant drive, or so we are told. All we ended up doing was climbing further into the heavy wet cloud and getting even more rained on. Then suddenly, as we passed the highest point and started descending towards Brecon, the rain began to ease and then remarkably stopped as we hit the valley floor.

We skirted around Brecon centre on the town’s bypass and continued on our north-east diagonal path back towards the English border. I was now acutely aware that breakfast had been a hastily eaten muesli bar on the M4 and our bellies were starting to protest a little. We needed to find somewhere to eat and soon. Then, as we drove around the outside of the little village Bronilys we spotted a sign for what looked like a nice place – The Honey Café. A quick u-turn and around 11:15am we pulled onto the car park which amazingly was dry and looked like it had seen no rain at all today. It must be the Brecon hills which collect all the water and shield the area inland from wetter weather. We were now almost half way home.

The Honey café was great which was a converted country house which had been owned and run for three generations. Brunch was great, the pot of tea was great and importantly they had toilets too. The Pier Pressure team were no looking pretty jaded and thankfully Hugh was there to gee us along otherwise we would probably have spent all day just sat there drinking tea.
But on we had to go, and with just over 70 miles left to travel we left the café around 12:15pm. Before we restarted, I got in touch with my contact at work to let them know our estimated arrival was likely to be around 2:15pm rather that the 1:30 pm time originally planned. The weather had now dried up completely and had warmed up significantly enough that we all stowed our hoods away to do the last part of the trip as we started; topless.

The drive back towards the ever nearing Midlands was actually very pleasant in the sun and also very uneventful. The only stress was now getting back into Oldbury at a sensible time (as we knew people were waiting for us)and trying to avoid rush hour traffic. Before we knew it we were back in England and the only way we knew was that the road signs were now a lot smaller and in a single Language.

Then I knew we were close to home and finally completing our round trip as we passed the West Midlands Safari Park in Bewdley. Around that time I received a message from Dave Dream who was off work and had come out to play again, wanting to give us an honour guard as we arrived back in Oldbury. He said he was waiting patiently by Junction 4 M5 for us to come by. I got Alex to reply and suggest that it would be better to wait by Junction 3 as this is the junction we would be joining at.
Through Kidderminster, watching out for the very active speed camera that has caught many a friend and family and soon I was on very familiar ground. No need for the sat-nav anymore. Before too long we are coming up Manor Way towards the M5 and waiting for us in the layby was Dave as promised. We didn’t even break stride as he joined on the back of the passing three buggies.

Just a single 2 mile trip along the M5 down to junction 2 and we were heading down the slip road, back to my home town. We made one last small diversion onto Toys R US car park to collect Snoopy and Vicki and Dave and Gail in their blue Doon, who also had come out to see us home. The time was around 2:15pm as we turned left up Freeth Street back to the very place the trip had all began some 11 days previously.

What we really didn’t expect was the welcome awaiting us. There was waving flags, cameras galore, press people and loads of work colleagues and friends on the square to welcome us home. The Mayor, Sandwell’s Town Crier  and other dignitaries we on hand and like 4 zombies we were suddenly being moved here and there, being asked to manoeuvre the buggies, wave flags, ring bells and smile. To be truly frank, all we wanted to do was go home and George in Particular was proper knackered and, as he admitted later, a little cranky with the press man and his constant demands.

But before we could go we were treated, and I mean treated, to a brilliant rendition from the Town Crier who had written a great poem for us about our travels and the trip and announced at full volume to the surrounding crowd.

He presented us with a copy of the poem afterwards which said;

To all here gathered to greet Simon Chadwick and George Meakin
I am here to tell you about where they have bin
They set themselves a challenge, it was clear for all to see
To visit 57 piers, in 2 buggies in 10 days to raise money for charity
They have been on 6 ferries and bridges they have crossed
Covered 2,500 miles without getting lost
Through the Mersey tunnel and passed Snowdon, no hassle
They even had time to visit Edinburgh Castle
They have raised thousands of pounds to date
But it is not too late for you to still donate
Just giving, Pier Pressure 2016, Cruising Against Cancer the place to go
So come on the Black Country dig deep and go with the flow
Thanks to Ruth, Alex, the support team and all those involved
This is a challenge that for years will be told.
By Adrian Holmes, Town Crier-Sandwell
“him who rings that bell”

This was great as I have worked for Sandwell now for 31 years and never knew we had a Town Crier.
And then it was all over. Colleagues went back to work, friends drifted off home, the other buggy guys saddled up and got ready to leave and the press man finally buggered off and left us alone. Finally the 4 of us with and our two amazing buggies were on our own, travelling the short 2 miles back to my place.

We arrived back at home just about 3:30pm and it was done, all finished, the end. 9 months of planning, 2500 miles and 57 piers later we had circumnavigated Britain in two home build cars, with just a few minor troubles but many many marvellous memories. But most importantly we had done what we had set out to do and raised a great deal of funds for some really marvellous charities, Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer Care and the Georgina Ward of Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley. We were truly thankful of everyone’s help, donations and support over the 11 days of our challenge.

But I have to thank one person above all else and that is George. Without George’s agreement to join us on the trip I doubt we would have ever undertaken the challenge. He was there to share the highs, the lows, was a sounding board and someone to moan to. Without hesitation, he agreed to do the trip, using up valuable work’s holiday time. His help also meant we could take Alex with us too to share the whole experience. He even allowed me to cover his paintwork with stickers and livery. And if nothing else he will always be my hero for just putting up with the Chadwick’s for a full 11 day 24/7 period. Thanks George, you’re a star.

It was time for a well -earned cup of tea and an afternoon of doing bugger all.



But it wasn’t quite the end.
•   George still had another 44 miles to reach home that day and technically travelled a further 88 miles to the Chadwick’s to complete his challenge.
•   However, the Chadwick’s then added another 3oo miles to their total as they travelled back down to the Travelodge in Swansea to collect the collection cans that we had inadvertently left there on the Monday with all the silver and coppers we had collected on the trip. Thankfully they had simply put them in their safe until such time we could go and collect them.

Pier Pressure 2016 / Pier Pressure THE STORY - Day 10 Sunday 21st August
« on: January 23, 2017, 06:55:52 PM »
I actually slept quite well.

The stresses and weather of the last few days had meant our early enthusiasm had been tested more than a little and we were all feeling quite jaded. Even Alex was looking tired last night and he had been the brightest of us all.

However, today was our last Pier visiting Day. We had already visited 51 piers and travelled over 2000 miles in the previous 9 days and we had woken with renewed vigour. And if we ever needed any further geeing up, then possibly the best person to do that in the whole of the big wide buggy world would be Dave Wainman; AKA. Dave Dream; Mad Dave; Oi Dave.

Luckily for us then, as we emerged from Barnstaple Travelodge Dave was waiting for us on the car park in his bright green sparkly Sidewinder machine. It was great to see Dave who had come down the night before and spent the night on a campsite nearby before getting up early to come and join us for the day.

Dave Wainman – Pier Pressure Vehicle Number 49.

Whilst Dave regaled us in his always jovial mood with tales of his drive down the night before in heavy rain, his sleeping in his tiny tent, people having sex in the tent next door and eating McD’s out of their breakfast stock that morning, we loaded up the buggies for the day ahead.

Then I saw George under the back of his buggy with spanners. Had George finally got a problem with the old girl? Luckily it was a simple loose exhaust stud bolt, that was quickly nipped up and ready to go. It also turned out that the rain of the last 2 days had lubricated his squeaky shock absorbers to such a point that Gordon the Goffer had all but disappeared.

The first Pier of the day was at Burnham on Sea, some 70 miles away, but this wouldn’t be our first stop of the day. A week or two before heading off on Pier Pressure I had been chatting with Paul Branfield, (South West Buggy Club man, Swanage weekend regular and long time buggy owner), who had arranged for us to stop off for tea and cake at his local Custom and American car show a few miles outside of Burnham. Paul and Sarah had arranged with Blueridge Runners for us to gate crash their show for free and even promote Pier Pressure on their facebook page and at the show itself. Great support form Paul and Sarah.

The weather this morning was much kinder than it had been night before and although cloudy and quite cold, was dry with a promise of sun. Rather than a simple blast along the A361 and up the M5, we decided to take a really nice scenic route right through the heart of Exmoor.

We left the Travelodge around 8:30am and after a quick splash and dash at the BP next door, we did a short 10 mile cruise up the A361 before peeling off into Exmoor proper. We took a turn towards a small place called Simonsbath along a narrow road that was actually signposted ‘Not suitable for Long Vehicles’ – no problems there then. Dave told me later that he thought we had taken a wrong turn as the road was so narrow, but the views along the route were stunning. We didn’t see any ponies though!.

A few miles on and we joined the more ‘normal’ B3233, well at least it had two lanes, which took us through the town of Exford. To me Exford felt a bit like an alpine village for some reason. I think it was the little bridge over the river and large ivy covered hotel / lodge.

Eventually  we join the A396 which took us into the lovely town of Dunstar on the north east edge of Exmoor. I say an A road, but you wouldn’t have wanted to meet an HGV in Dunstar that’s for sure.

Dunstar is a medieval castle town, dating from Norman times and the road through the centre around the church was a single track road (A road remember) controlled by traffic signals. Whilst we sat at the lights it gave me a great opportunity to get a nice picture of the guys and girl behind, I have grabbed a couple of screen shots from Googlemaps to illustrate the ‘A-road’ as I didn’t manage to get any pictures as I was too busy concentrating getting through the town.

I really liked our flying visit to Exmoor and particularly Dunstar and will hopefully visit the area for a little longer in the future. The roads, although still damp, were drying nicely and the weather was starting to warm up by the time we joined the A39 and headed towards Bridgewater.

As a slight side story, prior to starting our challenge we had received great support from Ian Stent and Complete Kit Car, who had published a number of articles in their magazine about our impending challenge. Ian had even planned to join us for the whole of Day 8 and come along to the gig at Ottery St Mary, but due to a big accident on the M4 he had to turn back for home after huge delays. However, Ian didn’t stop there and arranged for members of his own kit car club to come and support us on Day 10 instead. Brilliant.

We didn’t actually drive through Bridgwater, but took the ring road to the north. Just before we reach the ring road, three kit cars are there waiting for us by the side of the road, Allan in his Lotus 7 replica, Brian in his Westfield and Dave and his wife in their Marlin Roadster. I actually nearly bought a Marlin many many years ago and it was nice to see one out on the road. Really great support from the wider kit car family.

Soon we were heading directly north, running parallel to the M5, on to our first stop at the Blueridge Runners car show. Less than a mile from the show, there, waiting for us in a bus stop were Snoopy, Hugh, Carl and Dyliss from the MBC, in their three respective buggies. A nice welcome sight. Carl and Hugh already had joined us on the first day (which now seemed a million years ago) and had come back for more.

We were now six buggies and 3 kit cars as we drove up to the gates of the custom show in Dunball, just 6 miles from Burnham-on-Sea. We arrived bang on our planned scheduled time of 10:40am and waiting for us at the gate was a madly waving Paul and Damien the event organiser, who was very welcoming and had even saved a spot for us all alongside Paul’s Blue Mantaray.

As we climbed out of the cars it was nice to see we had collected another buggy at the gate, Matt (madmatt on BBI) in his red sparkly sidewinder. We now had Mad Matt and Mad Dave with us today, or were we just all mad? We had planned for a 30 minute stop at the show which gave us ample time to take a look around the stunning custom, classic, trucks and American cars on show. It also gave Ruth time to hand out the latest bunch of Pier Pressure stickers and we were now up to a total of 54 cars that had joined us since we began.

It really was a well organised local show and one I would like to re-visit for longer next year. Thanks to Damien, Paul, Sarah and the crew for the invite, for the opportunity to collect donations and for looking after us.
The stop also allowed us to sample Sarah’s wonderful pink ribbon topped home made muffins and a very welcome cup of tea. (I had jokingly said to Paul previously that we would stop for cake and teas and Sarah had thankfully obliged).

Somehow I also managed to enter a competition to win a car. Sadly I didn’t win a car but I did seem to win a weekly postal invite to buy insurance, change my electricity supplier or try out the latest pile cream !!. That will teach me.

Ruth also used the time to try and contact today’s piers as we had not heard back from them. In reality the one we were most concerned about was Weston Super Mare which we knew would be very busy this time of year. Thankfully they were more than happy for us to display on the promenade outside, a huge relief considering we had such a large cruise going on today.

It was good to catch up with Paul and Sarah again, as they had been to watch the band on Friday night, but all too soon we need to make our goodbyes and head off. As I approached the gate and looked right, there was Mick Bull (Chinashop) in his dark blue JAS SWB. He was franticly fixing his steering wheel which had come loose. It turns out Mick and his lovely partner had left Bristol very early that morning to come and met us at Barnstaple, however due to the breakage had only just caught up with us. Thankfully I think people at the show had helped him out with tools etc., whilst we had been swanning around eating cake and drinking tea, making sure he could join us for the next part of the trip.

The weather was warming up nicely and the quick 6 mile trip down to our first pier of the day at Burnham on Sea was really pleasant. We now had 8 buggies and 3 kit cars in our convoy.

Paul was to catch us up later on as he still had stuff to do at the car show – which we somehow managed to keep together. We had already travelled 70 miles today and arrived at Burnham Pier (number 52) just before 11:30 and only 10 minutes behind our planned schedule.

Burnham on Sea Pier is Britain's shortest pier and is just basically a shoreward end pavilion on concrete piles which still retains its Edwardian features. It was the first concrete structure of its kind in Europe but today, is essentially a large café to the front, with the main pavilion housing an amusement arcade.

The only place to park is on the double yellow lines on the road right outside the pier café. At least the parking restrictions meant that no one else had parked there, which allowed all 11 of us to park up together and made for some great photos.

I actually got talking to an older couple outside the pier who, after a bit of chat, turned out to be Black Country folk and live just a couple of streets away from me. To be fair Midland accents can be heard a lot along the coast between Burnham and Weston as it is only 100 mile door to door along the M5 with the most easily reached from Birmingham and the Black Country.

Pier Pressure 2016 / Pier Pressure THE STORY - Day 9 Saturday 20th August
« on: December 30, 2016, 01:50:30 AM »
After the epic day yesterday and the previous long days on Day 6 and 7, we all decided that today we would have a small lie in. As it happens I was still awake by 7:30 and found myself having a cup of tea with George, Ruben and Alison in the kitchen not too long after. Alison had kindly offered to cook us breakfast and it made a nice change to be treated to a proper breakfast before we hit the road.

Ruben had never visited England before this trip, and now 2 days later he was sat in a very English kitchen, in very English countryside, being served tea and a traditional full English. I think it’s great the experiences buggy friendship can bring.

Over the next ½ hour the kitchen filled up with Ruth, Alex, Mart and his kids, Rob, Rach and their kids. Al and Mart had kindly offered to do our washing for us and had thrown it all in that morning. e were actually all feeling quite relaxed after the previous day’s stresses and night time performance, and it was nice just to take a moment for once and enjoy a chinwag with our breakfast. I even found time to set the Sat Nav for the day ahead.

Today we had just 4 piers to visit after visiting an average of 8 per day over the 4 days, although we did have 231 miles to travel. We would be visiting Falmouth later in the day, the furthest southerly and westerly pier we would be visiting on our journey.

I think we all got a little comfortable at breakfast and took our time, and eventually we get our gear packed up in the buggies. Although there looks like there had been rain over night, the weather is now dry and quite warm. The forecast said it was likely to be a mix of sun and showers today, so we decide to drive topless until such time weather dictated otherwise.

Unfortunately, our washing was not dry by the time we came to leave so Mart agreed to catch up with us later in the day to pass on our clean clothes.

We say our goodbyes and give massive thanks to Mart and Al for putting us up and, along with Purple Rob, thank them for playing the gig the previous night. We finally hit the road at 9:20am, some 50 minutes later than our previously published schedule. My buggy still sounded like an old diesel powered tractor but I hoped Dave DnD had managed to sort something out.

Our first stop of the day was at Teignmouth, 24 miles away, and after a slight detour through the country lanes (after missing a turn) we refuelled on the A3052 on the way towards Exeter. As they would say on the F1, we were driving on a drying track although there was still a fair bit of water about. We had a nice drive along the western banks of the River Exe, through Starcross , Dawlish and then onto Teignmouth.

We arrived at Pier No. 48 - Teignmouth Grand Pier around 10:10am, and on approach along the esplanade I see a guy wearing a Pier Pressure t-shirt and waving madly. It turns out Jim from Absolute Graphics was on holiday down south and had come to see us before heading home. Jim and his crew had done all the Pier Pressure graphics on the buggies as their donation to the cause and it was great to see him.

The Grand Pier is a traditional looking seaside pier, built in 1865 to receive steamers for wealthy Victorians. The front pavilion was built around 1875 and was completely revamped in 2014 following severe damage by storms that year. IF you look closely you can see the dates etched on the façade of the Pavilion. As with most pleasure piers of today the pavilion is now an amusement arcade and café.

Waiting for us at the Pier, and nicely saving us a parking space right outside were Dave DnD and Liz in their Hustler GT and some new faces - Phil and Ria Sanders in their Black SWB JAS. It was good to meet up with Dave again and even better to hear he had managed to track down some exhaust gaskets for me. Dave had arranged to collect them in Paignton form a local VW parts place and also offered me his facilities to replace them.

We took our proof of visit picture, Alex touched the pier as he had done with all the previous 47 piers.

We managed a quick chat with Jim, Dave and Phil, before saddling up and heading off following Dave towards the next pier at Torquay. Here we were meeting the mayor of Torquay and the local press on the pier, a meeting that had curiously been arranged by two separate people without the knowledge of the other. By all accounts the Mayor is a car nut and Dave DnD had used his local contacts and friendship to get the Mayor involved.

Quite separately my ex-work colleague and ex-Doon owner John Clewer had also used his contact through his employer Torbay Council Highways Dept., to arrange for the mayor to visit us and to get the bollards on the footpath lowered to allow us special access onto the pier. I had already contacted JC in the morning to let him know we were running about 45minutes behind schedule due to our lazy start that morning.

The 9 mile drive to Torquay was really pleasurable, and was a route George and myself had already driven a couple of years back when spending a few days down in Devon at Dave DnD’s buggy meet. We drove through the Georgian town of Teignmouth, across the mouth of the River Teign and Estuary on the Shaldon Bridge, through Babbacombe (famous for its model village I went to as a kid) and on into Torquay.

True to his word, JC was waiting for us at the kerbside in Torquay with the key to drop the bollard and allow access to the pier area. We passed down between the Princess Theatre and the Pier Point Café and were met with the Mayor of Torquay and a local press photographer at the pier itself.

Pier number 49 - Torquay Princess Pier forms one side of the harbour and is built as a steel framed structure with wooden deck boards over a concrete groyne (breakwater). There is no land end pavilion or amusements and the pier is refreshingly open. It is used in the main for promenading and fishing although there is a small wharf on one side for small boats to moor against.

We parked on a nice promenade area at the shore end of the pier and set about having our pictures taken.

As we were having ‘proper’ pictures taken we put up one of our Pier Pressure flag banners (we didn’t always put up the flags at each pier, as it depended on the crowds around, the space available and the weather). This almost turned out to be a disaster as over the course of the last half hour black clouds had started to form and the wind had picked up considerably.

Whilst having the pictures with the mayor a particularly strong gust of wind almost lifted the flag out of its stand and take myself, George and the 70 year old mayor with it. We only just managed to hold it for the picture and soon had it taken down and packed away before any damage could be caused.

It was also nice to see some of Ruth’s extended family at the pier who had come out to support us. In the 1950’s some of Ruth’s mom’s family had moved to Paignton to open a guesthouse. Therefore Ruth had spent the first 25 years of her life having her summer holidays in Goodrington, Paignton visiting the family. Today her mom’s cousins Margaret and Warwick, born and bred in Torquay, had come to say hello and make a nice donation.

Looking across the bay to Paignton the clouds looked ready to burst and not wanting to get too wet, George, Dave and myself decided to hood up for the next leg of the journey, whilst Phil had no choice having no hood. Our next stop at Paignton was just a very short 3 mile spin along the English Riviera and less than 10 minutes later we were pulling up at the wide grassed area called, imaginatively, The Green.

The Green sits between the road and the promenade and this weekend the area was covered by a large fair. This meant the access road through The Green was barriered off and therefore by default so was the access to the pier.

Thankfully, as Dave knows a few of the local Paignton Mafia, his dad was there to open up the barrier and allow us through to the pier frontage. We were still running around 45 minutes late for the day. The rain that threatened didn’t actually arrive at that point in the day although it would find us again later in a big way.

Paignton Pier marked our half century of pier visits and was a very typically traditional English seaside pier. To the shore end are retail buildings either side of the decking, with amusements and café. There are a number of smaller kiosks along the pier, a pavilion half way along and a fair on the end with a traditional Helter Sketler.

JC was on hand again with his set of step ladders to get some nice shots of the buggies and also obliged us with taking our number shot too and a picture Alex with a long lost relative.

JC, being a semi-pro motor photographer then directed us to the side of the pier for more arty shots. At this point Ruth took Alex up the pier for a ride on the Helter Skelter as she had been promising him a slide as soon as a suitable opportunity arouse.  She also managed to get a shot back across the pier from the top of the Helter Skelter and you can just see the buggies on the promenade if you look closely.

We said our goodbyes to JC and it had been great to spend a few hours with my old friend as well as catching up with him the night before at the gig. He was also happy that his old Doon (SWB003) was now being well looked after and used regularly by Dave ‘as seen on TV’ Coleman back up in the Midlands.

Pier Pressure 2016 / Pier Pressure THE STORY - Day 8 Friday 19th August
« on: December 22, 2016, 09:27:21 PM »
From a really early stage in the planning, Day 8 was always going to be one of our most challenging of the whole Pier Pressure experience. Although not one of the longest days in terms of pure distance to travel, we were starting the day on the Isle of Wight, had 9 piers to visit, two ferries to cross and originally planned to end up at Exeter for the night.

As time went on, the challenges for day 8 began to mount, some through no fault of our own, some through decisions I made and some through plain old stupidity. To set the complexities and challenge of Day 8 in context I need to set the scene with some background information before getting into my story in full.

Back Story 1….. Waiting for Bonaparte

I need to take you all the way back to 1986. Imagine a very skinny, pimply and slightly more hairy 19 year old black country bloke and his mate who have just left 6th form. They had decided to hook up with a couple of mates form school and form a band…

Below is an extract from the now defunct band web site which gives a potted (or slightly potty) history of the Midlands band that would become to be known as Waiting for Bonaparte.

WFB basically came about when one day, sometime in the last century, two spotty faced (and decidedly hairier) schoolchums decided to purchase two guitars at the grand price of £2 per week over 40 weeks (thank you Grattans!). Now Chad, being slightly better at maths than Mart W (Fingers) soon realised that a Bass having only four strings, would be easier to plonk a tune out of than the more complicated 6 string lead variety thingy.
2 weeks later and the lads took delivery of a pair of Encore guitars, a glaring white lead and a black heavy piece of 3" x 2" cleverly disguised as a bass.

Chad and Mart then spent the next few weeks learning about notes and those damned chourdy things and joined up with singer, songwriter (and keyboardist) Big Chris Tarplee. Sounds grand, but Chris was in fact another mate from school who had actually had a couple of music lessons thereby making him the most 'talented' at that time.
The next few months saw the three make an awful racket in either of their respective bedrooms, much to the annoyance of all families concerned. This was until Chris's mate from down the pub, the even bigger Austin Massey, was persuaded to drum with the lads, due mainly at the time to:

1. he was the only drummer they knew and
2. they could practice in his parent’s front room on a Sunday.

The four lads now needed a name. Now this is where Chris can never be forgiven, "I've had this name in my head for a while" said he, "how about JUSTICE LIMITED?".  For some unknown reason the rest, probably in a state of complete apathy, agreed.
So on to their first gig at Chad's, Chris' and Austin's local boozer - The Prince of Wales in Rounds Green, Oldbury. A tough test in front of a home crowd but the guys performed great, 6 numbers went down a storm, 3 self-penned, 3 covers (2 Beatles and a U2!) and they even won the Christmas talent contest that night.  Flush with success, they agreed to perform on Boxing Night at the same venue (only 7 days on) and this time for cash.  Problem was stretching 6 songs over a two hour set was impossible making for a less than memorable night. 

Soon after Chris left to pursue a career of drinking gambling and boozing, leaving the way open for a new singer to slot in.
Now Mart came home one day proclaiming a friend at work had a mate who had done a little bit of backing and wouldn't mind singing with 'the band'. In step Alison Dixon (as she was in those days). A very quick name change to the SMALL HOURS (the band not AL!), a few months learning some quite dreadful cover versions and once again the bright lights and big stage of the Prince of Wales opened its doors to the new line up. In fact, the SMALL HOURS only ever performed once outside of the POW, guesting at Ruth (Chad's girlfriend) 21st party.

A few weeks later, the threat of stardom and a court case form an American Band called The Small Hours, scared Austin so much he had to leave (in fact it was more like the threat of his girlfriend who was jealous of a girl being in the band). A few months rest was taken before Alison called to say her young sister, Jo was seeing a lad who was drumming in a band but was interested in joining up with 'the band'. Walking into the Red Room at Rich Bitch studios the three were met not only by Connel (the would be drummer) but also a skinny, long haired strip of nothing 16 year old Rob Clarke (later to become known to the world as 'Purple Robbie').
This meeting resulted in the new somewhat larger line up of Chad on Bass, Mart W on Lead, Al on Vocals, Jo on Backing Vocals, Connel on Drums and Rob C on Rhythm.  Little did the guys know that Rob C only knew three chords at the time and would hide the fact well until the first rehearsal the week later, by which time no one had the heart to kick him out.
A few heavy months of rehearsing a myriad of covers and the band was ready to face an audience. The opportunity arose to perform at Chad's VW Club's Crimbo Bash at the infamous Hen and Chickens pub in Warley but they needed a name. Chad, in a drunken stupor, laughingly said to the guy organizing the event, just bill us as THREE MEN AND A CROWBAR in honour of some tight nickered girl he had met on a ski trip that year.
The gig was a surprising success, spurring the band into doing more gigs. However, for some reason unknown, the rest of the band didn't much like the name and a new one was sought. After much deliberation, the name 'Waiting For Bonaparte' was settled upon (sometime in 1990), coming from an album by 'The Men They Couldn't Hang', a particular favourite of a number of the band members.

The next two years saw numerous gigs around the Birmingham area and one unforgettable gig in Coventry where there were six in the band and only five in the audience (including the dog!). During this time WFB ventured into the song writing world and penned their first track Her Song, closely followed by Weekend In Paradise and Lamb to the Slaughter. After dabbling with a few poor quality home 4 track recordings, The Demo Tapes Part One was recorded 'properly' at the Depot Studios, Coventry in August 1991.

However, the WFB ship sailed less than smoothly, due in the main to a conflict of attitudes between Connel and all bar one other in the band. This resulted in Connel being 'persuaded to take a different path' to the rest of the band, with Jo unfortunately following loyally behind.
WFB were faced with the eternal problem on needing to find a drummer. Following up on an advert on a studio wall, Jane Clews joined the band in the summer of 1992. Jane was a left handed woman drummer, now that was different. However, Jane's stay was very short and only after a couple of gigs, she left the band due to pressures of work, boyfriend and a family band requiring her services.
Drummer four came in the guise of the boyfriend of a work colleague of Al's, namely Kevin Dogherty. With Kev in the hot seat, WFB started once more producing their own music and gigs were now becoming more of a 50/50 own music to covers affair.

Unfortunately Kev was playing with two bands at the time and once again, after what seemed a very short time, Kev left WFB to concentrate full time on his first band, 'Suicidal Sperm'! (A band in which Chad moonlighted for one gig as the regular bassist had broke him wrist playing footy!)

1994 had now arrived and once again WFB found themselves without someone to bang the skins. At this time they could easily have jacked it all in and taken up a more simple and less time consuming hobby. Staring sense and reason straight between the eyes, before blissfully stepping aside and walking straight past, the 4 remaining members of the band decided to hunt for a new drummer and carry on. As luck would have it, Chad's neighbour from a couple of doors down played drums and was currently without band.
In step (or sit!) Rich 'Bouncy' Ball. Taking up the hot (or at least slightly sweaty vinyl drummer's) seat, Rich, although being as young as Rob Purple, soon fitted in perfectly.

After nearly four years since their first recording, WFB had penned more and more of their own material and in 1995 the band went on to record their second (Worship and Rhyme), third (Behind the Veil) and fourth (Hope) demo tapes in the space of 11 months at the Magic Garden studios in Wolverhampton.
Through 1996 things started to take a bit more of a serious direction and saw the band planning a number of gigs at more  illustrious venues such as the Robin R n B Club and JB's in Dudley as well as venturing as far as the Isle of Wight for the infamous Appledurcombe Tour.

In that year WFB also entered the Bass Breweries Battle of the Bands contest, held at JB's in Dudley. Judged by judges on musical prowess rather than the more typical 'who's got the most mates' format, WFB went on to finish runners up from 148 bands. Every round win was met with much surprise as JB's was traditionally associated with heavy styles of music. The most memorable of the rounds was the semi-final, watched t the time by over 600 people, but one of those in particular would have more to add to this tale than most.

At the time Chad worked in the same building as a guy who played Keyboards who came along to one or two of the rounds to give support. 3 months later Mr Martin P Dando had been squeezed into the rehearsal room and WFB had finally become their now familiar 6 piece. Also at this time, Chad's longest serving friend Jon Boz decided to help out the band and became an unofficial manager for a while.

After a hectic summer of gigs and competitions the band took time out to write and record their fifth demo tape - How Many are the Faces, which had a more rockier and folkier (if that makes sense?) feel to it than much of the others before, with the added bonus of Mr Dando's keyboards and pianos filling out the sound.  At the same Time Mart W and Al somehow managed to fit in a wedding (to each other) to at least ensure neither would leave the band.

In 1998, after spending another 18 months or so playing, writing, having radio interviews on 107.7 Wolf FM and recording the sixth and final WFB offering on tape, Blackened Land, it came to pass that Rich needed to take a rest from the band due to increasing real work commitments.  Its fair to say that in Rich's 4 or so years with the band they had progressed into a more solid, dare say, professional group and had even managed to collect a bag full of record company rejections along the way. At around the same time Jon Boz also had to also withdrawn his services to concentrate on his real job of selling ceramic tiles.
In the following 6 months WFB carried on writing new material, released their first CD The Magic Sessions (a compilation of tracks taken from their 5 previous demo tapes) and even laid a track down using a drum machine in Rich's absence.

This track, As the Silence Ends, can be found on WFB's CD EP Older Wiser? Unfortunately Rich wasn't able to return to the band and once more WFB found themselves without a drummer. In February 1999 a simple advert was run in the local Express and Star paper: 'Folk rock band seeks drummer, own transport and good sense of humour essential, sense of rhythm and timing favourable'.
After auditioning a number of hopeful applicants (OK, there were 2), it was more than obvious that one was perfect for the job, in that 1. He didn't smoke, 2. He had his own car, 3. He was older than Mart W (much to his joy) and 4. He held a musket license, being an active member in the Sealed Knot re-enactment society... oh and he could hold a rhythm, (unlike the other bloke). In March 1999 WFB bid a much needed welcome to Mr Pete Baggott. Pete soon fitted in perfectly and was (and still is) actually interested in the folk rock style WFB were now favouring more and more.

Since March 1999 the WFB line up has remained stable and Pete has well and truly been stuck to the infamous Bonaparte drummer's seat..(suppose he should wear underwear!). During Mr Baggott's reign WFB went on to record two CD EP's, Older Wiser? released in November 1999 and Odd Ones in August 2001, both recorded in Mart W's all new 16 track digital recording studio, the 'Boiler Room', based at his home at the time in earthquake ridden Dudley.

During the time that followed WFB took to playing regularly around the Midlands at such venues as the Rock Cafe 2000, The Robin 2 and basically anywhere that will have them. Highlights of this time involve entertaining 4000 people at the annual Sealed Knot muster in Peterborough during September 2001, supporting that bloke who sung 'where ever I lay my hat' in Stourbridge and finally moving to a rehearsal rooms that have good equipment, The Madhouse in Birmingham.


In 2005 WFB released their last final CD of self penned tracks, named ironically ‘Thanks but No Thanks’ as a homage to the pile of rejection letters collected from short sighted record PnR guy through the years.

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