Anoraks Off-road Club at Battle 20 September 1998

For some reason, I was lumbered with writing the report of the days events for posting to uk.rec.cars.4x4, and here it is:

Newsgroups: uk.rec.cars.4x4
Subject: Anoraks at Battle, eye-witness report
Date: Sun, 20 Sep 98 23:21:03 GMT
Stuck

It seems somewhat strange that I should consider writing the report of today's events at Battle, when I consider my inability to remember names and my lack of mechanical knowledge. However, if you can put up with reports of whatshisname breaking his thingamyjig, then read on. Please also make allowances for the onset of exhaustion caused by the long, noisy journey home. Oh, the sacrifices we make.

Daisy, myself, and my passenger for the day, Lisa, arrived at the Battle 4x4 site at around 1015. As always, the further you travel the earlier you arrive. John and his Patrol were the next arrivals, and it was not long until the CB crackled into life as Geoff's convoy came into range, led by the Forduki. Jennie's Suzuki was in the convoy, along with Phil and his Nuttyzuki, Simon and the Wrangler (Betsie?) and Keith in his Discovery (complete with 4-legged security system). A warm welcome was made to all Anoraks, old, new and honorary. Our ranks continue to swell. Geoff enjoying himself

The journey down to the booking-in office / tea hut gave a taste of things to come. We had started to slip and slide in the mud before we had even paid. We paid our 20UKP per vehicle and after a coffee (thanks, Steve), we set off into the depths of the site.

Stuck again The site provides a map of black and white routes, dotted along which are various bog pits for playing in. Naturally we were drawn straight to the black route. However, it became apparent that the ruts were deeper and the surface muddier than expected. It wasn't long until the ropes were out. We took Daisy swimming and having become completely stuck, up to the doors in mud and water, we called upon the help of a passing Range Rover to give us a pull, as Daisy is somewhat heavier than most.
Meanwhile, up ahead Phil had converted his Nuttyzuki to one wheel drive. The half shaft had come away from the bearing (I'm making this up as I go along) and one of his rear wheels looked like it no longer wanted to remain on the vehicle. We provided the repair crew with a hammer (otherwise known as a length of scaffold pipe, standard LR toolkit part) and as it was obvious they were going to be sometime we moved on to a play area. Free at last!
Picture by S.Banks
Geoff deep in mud The appeal of mud, water and steep slopes should not be underestimated, as it can keep a bunch of Anoraks happy all day. A group of interlopers using a LR pickup as a chariot provided us with someone to laugh at, as they put as much effort into getting stuck as we put in to keep moving. Geoff and Phil caught us up and we moved on to the next entertainment - a group of Belgians trying to sink a Jeep in a combination of a whole, deep ruts, and a small lake of mud. The fact that they had to resort to a winch to get out only spurred Geoff on. Once again, the Forduki made it all look too easy. However, most of us decided, sensibly, that we should go around.
Sadly, it was not long until Phil started breaking things again. Certainly worthy of the Broken Prop award. As he limped back to the site entrance with Geoff, sending out an SOS to the approaching Ian with high lift jack equipped playbus, we carried on. Another bog pit provided entertainment until the urge for lunch was upon us. The party split, those with more valuable vehicles taking the white route, the others taking the black. The white route was certainly the most sensible, as having taken the black route we spent forever pulling the Ben Hur impersonating interlopers out of trouble, and we got lost. Ben Hur
Picture by S.Banks
Daisy pulling the Playbus Being lost, we discovered just how useful the CBs were. Geoff tried to guide us back, but his query 'where are you?' was only responded with 'we don't know, that's why we're lost.' However, we did manage to find Ian with the Jack beacon. Jack alone makes the investment in CB worthwhile! The black route was suitably described, although the Anoraks rarely had much trouble (will modesty ever prevail?). Eventually we found Geoff and headed back for lunch, at the somewhat unusual time of 1600.
After lunch we said farewell to John and Keith, and went back to our favourite pits of mud. Ian made it through Geoff's previous battlefield and we spent some time getting as muddy as possible. Sadly, Simon redesigned his exhaust so that it bent straight down, creating a plough-like accessory. Runners-up Broken Prop award earned, we tried to bend it back. A selection of jacks at strange angles served well, but as dusk approached, we realised how long it had taken. Daisy climbing
Picture by S.Banks
Simon leads the Anoraks through interlopers We headed back to the exit to find ourselves locked in. A search for the keyholder proved fruitless. Once again, we came up with an innovative solution. However, for reasons of national security, I cannot reveal it. Suffice it to say, we didn't climb over the fence and pass the vehicles over. A welcome jetwash helped remove a day's mud collection and we moved on to the nearest pub. Those who had remained clean enough to set foot on the premises were ordered to ferry drinks. All that was left was for someone to get lumbered with writing the report (hmmm) and discuss plans for next time.

Another good day, I hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did. Today's lessons seemed to be tyres (especially Ben Hur) and the value of CBs. A good set of tyres can do wonders to a standard vehicle (am I right, Simon?) and a CB is very useful for when the tyres aren't enough.

Remember, drive safely, but never take it easy,

Jag.

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JAG 24th September 2001

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