oldSTAGER No.107
December 2007/January 2008



Published Novels

Nearest FarAway Place

Chapter 1

Reader Reviews

Prototype Covers

Location Photos


Prologue/Chapter 1

Golgonooza Review

Reader Reviews

Cover Photo Shoot



The Shields Gazette

Readers' Review

Evening Gazette

Prologue/Chapter 1

Photos (Marsden)
Photos (Bill Quay)

Geograph (Marsden)

Geograph (Bill Quay)
Chapter 0/Chapter 1
Photos (Aoraki)
Photos (Tekapo)
Look Magazine

Buy on the Internet

Novels In-Progress

Odd Jobs

Downfall or Destiny?

Panglossian Books

Contact Details

Magazine Articles

Author Reference Links

Marsden Grotto

Bill Quay

Geograph (Marsden)
Geograph (Bricklayers)

Author Maintained  Sites

Barclay Reunions

Cathy Logan


Table-Top Rallying

Tom Hood Reunions

 Present Perfect

Christmas? Bah, humbug! But since some will be buying presents for their rally partners, here are a few ideas.

First I should promote the HRCR shop. Lots of good value goodies there. I make good use of the head torch I bought, and the navigator’s starter kit is perfect for a newbie.

How about treating yourself to a new design of “Poti”? The Basic Roamer Company’s RoamerLite-B is a new product with some modern features. I used one on the Beaver Rally recently and it’s light and easy to handle, but its greatest attribute is the clear white light it projects.

An unusual present is a customised 1:50000 map centred on someone’s home with a choice of cover title. Try CentreMaps for the cheapest source or Aqua3 for an all weather plastic paper version. An organisers’ must-have is a copy of the Tracklogs digital maps for their area.

The Historic Car Parts eBay shop (Shon Gosling) sells a range of interesting rally bits and accessories. The Driver’s Mate and Navigator’s Mate are particular useful storage tidies.
If your driver is looking for a concours win, a spray can of WaxOyl for those inaccessible rust nooks or something from the Scratch Doctor to polish out those tiny blemishes in window glass might be welcome. I recently acquired both on eBay for a song.

Whether your driver’s historic car is well sorted or not, enter the vehicle spec and take a look at the paraphernalia you can bid for on eBay. You’re bound to find at least one bargain vehicle component which is slightly shinier, less rusty or more reliable than the one already fitted.

If you’ve got some friends whose historic car is more an ornament than a competition vehicle, buy them an entry on one of the HRCR 100 series of events. This beginner’s introduction to regularities and navigation is perfect and with luck they might come out more often. The first event in Kent has been masterminded by the series coordinator, Andy Gibson, so quality is assured. Send your friends to the garden of England on January 19 for just £30.

If it’s navigational practice that your co-driver wants then buy him/her an entry to the Internet Table-Top Rally Championship for 2008. With classes for Masters, Experts and Novices, every experience level is catered for. In fact the Novice/Expert Route Cards will be straightforward like you might see on the “100's”. Each round will comprise 12 Route Cards with the best 5 or 10 to count. This time the answer process has been automated with marking and results being updated in real time. The first round of four will start in February and results from the best three scores will count.

No need to give you the web addresses of the sites mentioned above just Google the italicised supplier or product names.

Talking of which, Google Maps and Google Earth continue to amaze with their versatility and utility for mapping devotees. Certainly the aerial photos around my home have been updated recently and by the cars in the driveway and Pegularity tracks in the fields I can pinpoint the photos to around August 2006. Someone asked me the other day if they could effectively have a Google Map on their website showing his location and surroundings, and with very little programming this was surprisingly easy to achieve. Follow the tutorial at Mike’s Little Web Page and you could do the same.

I’m not a great TV follower but I do like to watch Top Gear and the occasional rally programme – if reminded. That was the problem: not easily knowing what’s on, what channel and when – until I was introduced to DigiGuide. DigiGuide is an inexpensive piece of software and database that is updated regularly over the Internet and contains the known future schedule of all digital channels. Search for “rally” in the schedule and you find a stack of rally programmes. Some of these are on motoring and sports channels, others will be found on travel channels. You’ll discover some relevant gems like the David Winstanley produced film of the 2005 La Carrera Mediterrana – a three-week long regularity rally in southern Europe. And did you catch Rally Ireland reports on Eurosport? What tremendous roads they were.

Finally, another mapping based website has appeared at GeoGraph. Nothing to buy there, but the site’s objective is to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. You must have some interesting local photos you could upload; can you find mine?