Malvern 4x4 Spares Day
On Sunday 13th January, the club held a stand at the Mark Woodward 4x4 spares day at the Three Counties Showground. Jim Savage had kindly offered to tow the trailer down there for me and I met him there about 8am to set up the stand. Unfortunately the location we were in was not the best as we were put outside… at least the weather was fabulous for the day so we made the most of it. A short while after we’d set up, John Messer, Mike Hayes and Martin Pittaway arrived to come and give us a hand. We spoke to a lot of people which could be potential new members but overall we left with only 1 new member who had signed up with us there and then, so all was not lost. It isn’t the best show we have done, so we may need to re-think about having a stand at these shows. What do you think??
If you would like to share a story or write a report for our club so we can send off to the magazines, or have any ideas/events which would help and benefit the club, then please send them to Sam at or call 07557764088.
Rights of Way
They say that a volunteer is worth 10 enlisted men, so it’s a “Hip Hip Hooray” for Brian East, who has stepped forward to act as caretaker for the Rights of Way section.
Brian will do his best to set up a few green lane trips this year amongst a heavy programme of Recovery events, but I’m sure he will be more than be glad to hear from anyone who wants to suggest a new route or lead a bunch of Land Rovers around the countryside.
If you have any suggestions or you wish to support Brian’s efforts, contact him here
Press & Publicity Update - Jan 2012
It’s a New Year and that’s always a good time to reflect on what has gone before and perhaps challenge the old habits or even start to consider redecoration because you (like me) have pulled off the wall paper with the blu-tac which was holding up the Christmas decorations.
Looking back, the club website is working very well. We’ve recently added Facebook to the media portfolio, and the Journal is looking brilliant these days. This New Year we have decided to freshen-up the Club’s image with a strap line to go with our club logo. Ben Benson mentioned at the AGM that the club name doesn’t do exactly what it says on the tin and needed to somehow refer to “Land Rover”. The marketing experts often talk about a product having a “USP” or Unique Selling Point. MROC’s USP is obvious when you think about it. Hope you like the new logo. You will see it in 5 different formats – See how many you can spot in this and future Journals.
Mike Hayes -
MROC 4x4 Response Promotion
Blind Offroad Experience
Watch that tree!!!… What tree?
Can you begin to imagine what a thrill it is to be driven off road in a Land Rover if you are blind or partially sighted? Well that’s exactly what 10 intrepid members of Sandwell Active Independent Blind Association (SAIBA) decided to find out this summer, with the help of The Midland Rover Owners’ Club. (MROC)
The two groups met up at one of MROC’s trial sites overlooking the Ironbridge Gorge near Buildwas in Shropshire, to share what proved to be a memorable experience for everyone involved. This was a first for most of the SAIBA group, so the atmosphere was absolutely electric.
On arrival at the site, MROC Chairman, John Messer put everyone at ease with a warm welcome and reassurance that whilst the event would be exhilarating, safety risks had been fully considered. Without further ado, the assortment of well-prepared Defenders, a Range Rover and a Discovery set off on a special course, designed to offer a sensory experience to rival a roller coaster ride at nearby Alton Towers, but with added mud, water and no height restrictions for the riders!
Screams of fear soon turned to squeals of laughter as the drivers did a continuous running commentary of the terrain ahead. Sighted or blind, coming to a halt on a 45 degree side slope has the same effect on buttock muscles. Yes, you know that feeling! Some favoured the soft suspension and V8 brute force of the Range Rover, whilst others enjoyed the rugged, agricultural feel of the 90 inch wheelbase Defenders. However the best was saved for last.
One by one, the brave ones were tightly strapped into a growling, caged, V8 cross country trials motor, built and driven by MROC veteran Glynn Phillips, for an exhilarating blast around the course. Glyn tore off up the first hill, spitting dust and rocks out behind him, then dropped off a near-vertical ledge, only to spin around in a gully and blast back up and over the ledge the other way. Once out of view, I suspect Glyn “turned the wick up” but we cannot be sure because nobody was able to speak on their return and Glyn was wearing his favourite big silly grin.
All in all, a fantastic experience, thoroughly enjoyed by all, especially those SAIBA guys who refuse to allow their disabilities get in the way of having a damn good time.
The moral of the story? ….. Be careful what you wish for…. It might just come true!
For 30 years, the Sandwell Active Independent Blind Association (otherwise known as SAIBA) has been helping visually impaired people to enjoy an active social life.
Back in 1981, the two founder members, Sandra and Rob had the idea of setting up a group to help visually impaired people who may otherwise not have the confidence to go it alone to get out and get involved in interesting activities. They knew of some groups that were already in place for blind and partially sighted (visually impaired) people, but these groups seemed to be attended by mostly elderly people. As at the time, both Sandra and Rob were of a younger age group, they wanted to attract people of their own generation. Indeed, in its earlier years the group was known as SAYBA (Sandwell Active Young Blind Association) However, as the members all got a little older it was decided that ‘young’ should be changed for 'Independent' in the title to better reflect and represent the spirit of the membership.
Stuart Hammer coordinates most of the group activities.
If you want know what the SAIBA group are up to, visit them on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/saibagroup
What’s new in PRESS & PUBLICITY?
Firstly, a well-deserved nod of respect and gratitude to John Messer, who has decided to pass on the baton, after managing the club’s relationships with the media for several years. MROC activities are regularly and positively featured in half a dozen or so Land Rover and off-road magazines and this level of coverage has been largely due to John’s strong links with editors, correspondents and photographers. The club is well-recognised and respected in the Land Rover community as a result of John’s influence.
What’s new?..... YES ME!!!.... That’s what’s new!
What new things am I going to do?
Initially, not a lot…. I have no intention of fixing something which isn’t broken, so I will be spending the first few months picking up where John left off, by building links and relationships with the current media contacts.
In the longer term, should I be elected to the role at the next AGM, the rest of the committee and I will be exploring ways in which we can develop the club and increase the membership by promoting club activities to greater effect. There are many more alternative leisure activities and other distractions available now than ever before, so we will need to work harder and smarter to attract new members. I believe that there must be many thousands of Land Rover owners around the Midlands Region who are all potential club members, but have never even seen or heard of MROC.
MROC has Solihull, the home of Land Rover at the centre of its catchment area, so that gives us the unique selling point over other clubs. The opportunities are out there, we just need to raise awareness. The first steps towards greater public awareness have already been made. We recently commissioned new supplies of car stickers for members and promotional leaflets for public distribution under Land Rover windscreen wipers in supermarket car parks.
The next steps need you, the club members, to help out. The committee can turn ideas into action, but we also need YOUR ideas. If you have an idea or suggestion for how we might promote and develop MROC, then please feel free to email me or any committee member.
Now that Carl Gazeley is taking over the running of the RTV Section, I hope to continue trialling, whilst exploring and experiencing more of the other club activities and events.
So, if you don’t know me now, you soon will, whether you like it or not!
Here’s me & Dave Perks on our Marshal duties for the Recovery section.
MROC Press & Publicity