Brighton. Hot and sunny. A cool car place.

26 May

brighton vw microbus 1brighton vw microbus 2

To make it easier , we took the train to Brighton. It was my first visit there and I was surprised at it’s size and City atmosphere. Thoroughly enjoyed the day and did what you do at the seaside, excellent cod and chips at a beach cafe then a cooling reak in the Pavillion Gardens on the climb back towards the railway station. Saw this absolutely beautiful VW Microbus on the way. The photos speak for themselves.

brighton vw microbus 3

Had a close call at lunch with only a slight “wound” from a pooing seagull. If that’s lucky I will eat my hat. Some fanastic artwork for sale along the beach level promenade but way too expensive. We did the 60s type tour of the pier and even had a go on the “Tipping Point” penny falls. Great fun in all honesty.

brighton beach cafebrighton pier 1

We loved the cosmopolitan and diverse atmosphere of the people and places. Sadly, a lot of homeless folk in evidence.

On the way back up the hill, we caught an outdoor concert and heard a group of children performing an Indian song.We sat in the shade for an ice cream and chilled water. A very warm day indeed. Suncream much in evidence! Here is Brighton Pavillion. It was much busier than this picture suggests. The lawns were crowded with lovers of all descriptions. A very pleasant vibe on a simply lovely day !

brighton pavillion

In parts, the shopping area resembles the narrow meandering paths between Cornish fishing village shops, cafes and bars. Busier yes. Would we visit Brighton again? Oh yes, definitely!

Another Sunny day out. Polesden Lacey, nr Guildford

25 May

polesden lacey 2

polesden lacey 1

This is the sight that greeted us just a short walk from where we parked our “magic carpet”. “Mrs Greville’s House” or Polesden Lacey to give it it’s name dating back to medieval times,is not far from Guildford, Surrey. The Lady was the daughter of the founder of McEwan’s brewery in Edinburgh. He made huge sums of money re-investing heavily in mining, diamonds, gold and coal plus the railroads of South America.

This beautiful lady was worth some £980 million or so in the 1920s. What’s not to like. She was a huge socialite, throwing very plush parties in the well heated house where each guest had ensuite bathroom etc. Unheard of then. She was generous , to the end, to her Staff and according to accounts, gave away the most lavish of gifts including some to Princess Margaret, The Queen Mother and her senior Maid and friend.

polesden lacey

Here is the Lady herself. From humble and controversial background (in those times) she rose to be accepted into Royal company including foreign dignatories and celebraties of the day. An absolute must place to visit and listen to the Tour.

MARGARET (ANDERSON) McEWAN, THE HON. MRS RONALD GREVILLE (1863-1942), 1891, by Emile-Augustus Carolus-Duran (1838-1917), in the Picture Corridor at Polesden Lacey, Surrey. CMS: 1246442

MARGARET (ANDERSON) McEWAN, THE HON. MRS RONALD GREVILLE (1863-1942), 1891, by Emile-Augustus Carolus-Duran (1838-1917), in the Picture Corridor at Polesden Lacey, Surrey. CMS: 1246442

ps I think I am in Love…………..

Kent, Chartwell House and the E.U. Referendum

23 May

chartwell hse fish pondchurchill at chartwell house

Recently visited Chartwell House in Kent. The family home of Sir Winston Churchill, who died in 1965. But before I get a bit political again, (sorry…….) some advice again on windout awning for the NV200. FIAMMA do an F35 Pro at about 1.9 metres which suits the shorter than VW T4/5 ., NV200 much better. The fixings for VW T4 could probably be adapted to suit but cannot guarentee this.Please check first.

Now, back to the Great Man himself. If you need guidance on how to vote in the forthcoming “Stay” or “Leave” , “EU Referendum” then may I suggest that you search for Churchill’s Wise Sayings on your favourite search engine. Spend some time and I am sure that you will be moved, motivated and inspired in your decision making. He speaks from experience about good friends and bad, democracy and making very difficult and big decisions.I do not advocate anything that he said, decades ago, that can now be considered racist (or hijacked and misquoted to be so!) I refer to his determination to maintain freedom in the main. Not saying anymore but it worked for me!

chartwell hse 3chartwell hse wisteria 2

Chartwell House has beautiful gardens and the house itself is a joy to view. The National Trust has done a great job in presenting England at it’s best. Whilst there we encountered a delightful old German lady whose relative had served under Rommel. She asked questions about almost every painting, photograph and artifact. It was interesting to see her fascination with Winston Churchill. We also visited Scotney Castle.

scotney old castle The old and the new:

scotney castle hse A distant view of the house built above the old site. The old Castle was deliberately ruined to create a “Folly” in the grounds……………. strewth ! Wouldn’t an old Church window frame from Drew  and a brickwork corner have sufficed?

Again , a stunning place to visit and so different from previous N.T. properties we have seen.

Moving home? Get a campervan.

22 May

mobile vehicle weigh-pads

Could have done with one of these (above) yesterday. Loaded the campervan with a half sized dishwasher ( no! not me……) a couple of flat screen TVs and misc household “stuff”. By mis-judgement we managed to also help load AND then unload the removal van on the trip from Rugby to South London. There was a convenient 50mph roadworks limit at the start of the trip and we kept the speed down before checking the tyre temperatures at the first services we reached. All OK.

small van big capacity  The NV200. It does what it says on the tin.Fully laden, we still got 48mpg according to the on board computer. We had changed one tyre prior to the trip due to unusual  wear still under investigation. 13,250miles done but not sure how good or bad that is. There is still 4mm left on the other three. The one we changed was still legal but it just did not look right (?) with the very fine swipes on the outer edge of the Michelin Primacy worn away. Tyre fitter suggested some wheel wobble due to  curbing and rim distortion. I could detect some wobble wiith the wheel/tyre on the balancer and there is some feedback on the steering of a wobble (more of a wibble really…) at slow speeds in high gears. Watching the replacement Avon carefully and insisting on old style swapping around in future.

Do you want to register your conversion?

20 May

The DVLA will re-register your conversion as a Motor Caravan subject to it’s list of requirements. Martin sent in this link which will be valid for the next 20 odd days from now. Be quick and have a listen to the problems somebody had re-registering a converted bus.

minibusautocruise tempo

If we each drew our impression of a motorhome they would all be very different. There appears to be little correlation between our ideas on motor home, motor caravan, campervan and van conversion. The DVLA work within a legalised framework but who makes the judgement at the DVLA whether or not your conversion has the appearance of a motorhome?

Above we see a rural minibus and below that a stunning Autocruise Tempo. Makes you think doesn’t it?

Some people want a stealth campervan that looks very van-like. That’s freedom of choice. Others want to insure as a motor caravan and need that DVLA approval. I bet that you could get away with simply painting on the service access hatches and a catchy name for a motorhome. Like Nevada perhaps. A bit too subjective for me.


Pre-used double and single seat for sale NV200

16 May

retrofit nv200 seats one

Rob Evans has been in touch. He had seen my request for retrofit seats for the NV200. They were for my brother’s van but the posting was 8th MAY 2015 and my brother is now sorted with the items shown above.

Rob has some 3 year old seats. A double unit and a single unit. He is in TAVISTOCK , West Devon. They are NOT the ones shown but would probably fit in similar fashion. If you are interested , comment directly below here, under “comments” and  I will put you in touch with Rob.

Sorry if the dates were not clear on the original posting.

nv200 shawbury

Today’s picnic lunch near Shawbury . Kampa got cluttered:-

nv200 cluttr

It was not half as bad as this looks. Honest….  Then , Antiques again:-

church stretton antiques

East to the Peak District today

14 May

axe edge may 2016axe edge may 2016 4

Near to Axe Edge, on the road from Leek to Buxton, in the Staffordshire Moorlands ,lays an old stretch of road. A “U” shaped detour into the hillside, it used to be a favourite road rally route in the days of 12 car Rallies and “adjusted” clocks…. ahem….. With the Bi-Oscars relayed to all be on together and a huge alternator installed, you would see the light pick out the deep chasm within the hairpin, then the hillside itself before shining east over the moorlands far below as you roared right, towards The Roaches and the Winking witch. I once helped recover a Mk I  Escort Mexico which rolled off Axe Edge itself. Roll cage kept both occupants alive but the navigator had all his biscuits crushed! The big arches on the Mexico didn’t fair well either!

Today we had lunch in the camper just where the new road cuts short the route, bypassing that marvellous bit of dangerous tarmac. We had visited what turned out to be a disappointingly high end fine art fair at the Pavillion.Much more peaceful! I bored the wife silly over a hot chocolate and pastry snack, with my tales of Rallying of Yore! She eventually hid behind today’s newspapers. I swear that I could smell Castrol “R” in the Kampa!

cat and fiddle

The Goyt valley and the Cat and Fiddle pass are not far from Buxton. The Goyt is a must visit if you have a campervan. If you have a motorcycle then the Cat and Fiddle is a challenging ride if you can dodge the cameras, the unmarked Police vehicles and sometimes the helicopter. Beware, it has claimed many lives over the last few decades.


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