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Thomson Owners Club News - March 1973
1st Edition
March 1973.
Dear Member,
It is a particular pleasure to me to be able to welcome the production of the Club's first magazine edition and I hope very much that you will find the contents interesting. As you know, we have in the past sent out Newsletters and these have tended to suffer from pressure of space which has meant that some things get left out and others are dealt with in a way which has at times been barely adequate. In putting the material in magazine form I would hope to see a more leisurely approach and a wider choice of subject to attract your interest.
The 1973 season will soon by upon us now and both my Wife and I look forward so much to meeting you on the Rally field, that we may continue old friendships and make many new ones. The two aims, of Friendship and Fellowship, make life worth living.
Yours sincerely,
W.H. Smith, President.
Almost every organisation that you care to mention seems to be able to produce its own Club magazine and it has long been an ambition of ours that TOC should do the same. After much debate and indecision it was Roddy Leetham who finally tipped us into action by coming up, quite independently, with almost the self same thoughts. For his pains he was cajoled into contributing an article in this first issue although we do not hold him responsible for any other editorial matter.
We merely credit him, as instigator of the exercise.
So this is the .first issue. There will be another in September this year and after that it will be for the members, to decide which way the future lies. Articles, letters, notes, etc. are always needed and this includes mere snippets of information about members' activities which will be of inter­est to other members. In this first issue we try to suggest guidelines for the future, but your reactions are important and
we hope you will let us know how you would wish the magazine to go.
Both Issues this year are free to members. This is possible only, by courtesy of the advertisers to whom we are always grateful. One immediate improvement in production would be the printing of the reading matter, as distinct from the present duplication method. To achieve this we need more money, i.e. more advertisers. If you have a potential advert­ iser in your area, please let the Club PRO know, get him an introduction if possible and he will do the rest. We thank our many contributors to this issue for their valuable support. We hope you enjoy their subjects.
Just about eight and a half years after the Club's inaugural rally, 1973 sees the one hundredth rally which in order falls on the week end of May 4th - 6th. Because of the importance of this landmark in the Club's history and the natural wish of many members in Scotland, England and Wales to be there a site has been chosen almost equi­distant between London and Glasgow.
Rally Officers from both sides of the Border are co-operating to make this occasion as memorable as possible. Graham Paull and Bill Arnott, with their wives, are in charge, assisted by the vast experience of Reg. Fell and Jimmie Little with their wives. A powerful team indeed.
The rally field is very large, with two main entrances and is situated in lovely countryside with the town of Chorley nearby. Chorley Town Hall has been booked for the Social and a special band is coming down from Scotland with Andy Andrews as MQ.
The Rally Officers are still organising other activities for you and sincerely hope that the weather will be kind. They look forward to a massive turnout of members on this unique week-end.
Your Executive Committee have started to prepare suggested programme for the 1974 rally season. It is felt that the list of venues below gives an even distribution throughout the country and the following areas have been earmarked for rallies'
List 1 List 2
Windsor Cumberland - possibly Holiday Rally, 5 days
Kent - possibly Easter. North Yorkshire
Surrey Lincolnshire
Derbyshire Norfolk
Cheshire Suffolk
Somerset/Bristol Cambridgeshire
Hampshire Worcestershire
South Wales Cotswolds
Berkshire - possibly Bonfire. Mid Wales - possibly Spring Bank Holiday
The Committee envisage that on some weekends two rallies will be held and in this context it may be that Suffolk/ South Wales, Surrey/Cheshire and Hampshire/North Yorkshire could be put together as peripheral rallies.
At this stage the Rally Secretary and his Assistant are sitting by their telephones waiting for calls from volunteers to run the rallies. For LIST ONE above they think they already have their victims, but for LIST Two names are required. Needless to say there are many well known members in the areas on list two but an approach has been deliberately avoided on the grounds that newer members may wish to come forward if they can see that there is a wish for a rally on their home territory. So here, is your chance. If you feel that you would like to run a rally but have never done so before let the Rally Sec. (or Graham Paull) know. Rest assured that the "old hands" will give you all the help you need.
Treasurer John Cockle tells of many overdue subscriptions. If you are one of the guilty parties please do the right thing by John and let him have your remittance-forthwith. We realise that the Rolls and that original Canaletto might leave you a bit short for a while but the non arrival of your sub is giving John sleepless nights. In all seriousness it is a big help if he can get the paperwork done during the winter months. Like you, he wants to enjoy his caravanning week-ends with his family.
Fifty pence for'73 then please to J. W. COCKLE, Esq.
Our P.R.O. suggested that I might write a few words for our first Club Magazine and my initial reaction was - I couldn't do that. My family's reaction was - "We didn't think you would ever be at a loss for words Mum".
About eighteen months ago when I was elected Secretary of the Thomson Owners Club, I was told the longer one does a job the easier it becomes, and in some ways I suppose this is true. The main attribute needed for a Secretary of a Club is self discipline; otherwise the work gets out of hand. One cannot leave things till tomorrow, because when tomorrow comes it brings more work with it, usually delivered by the postman. I have never received .so much post in my life! Luckily, the busiest part of the year for the Secretary is out of the rally season. I spent the majority of last weekend packing Rally Books. Up to the time of writing, we have enrolled 115 new members, 23 members have resigned and 583 members have renewed which leaves about 400 members still to pay their subscription. If you are one of the 400, please post your 50p to the Treasurer right away. Remember no subs. no rally book, and you only have until the end of April before membership lapses.
When I joined the Committee in 1971 I was the second lady to become a T.O.C. Committee member. In 1972 a further lady was elected t5 the Committee. If we are elected at the rate of one a year, the Thomson Owners Club will have g lady in the Chair in ten years time!!! Life being what it is of course, this could never happen; it is still a man's world. In actual fact I am not an advocate of Women's Lib. I am all in favour of equality of opportunity but not absolute equality especially with regard to caravanning. I can think of quite a number of jobs usually undertaken by men which I wouldn't care to undertake regularly - one especially springs to mind! I have done this particular job when my husband has been left at home while I am on holiday, but I always leave it until after dark - can't think why. I don't care for erecting awnings or carrying water either, especially when it's raining. Given true equality we would have to take out turn with these jobs as a matter of course and not when circumstances made it necessary.
However, back to business. In view of the ever increasing costs of postage and duplicating the Executive Committee have decided to distribute Minutes, Balance Sheets etc., at the Annual General Meeting. If you are unable to attend the A.G.M. and wish to receive the above literature I shall be pleased to supply same on request. Notice of meeting for the A.G.M. included in the Rally Book.
As I write this it is snowing, but we are still looking forward to the commencement of the rally season.
Pauline Hughes Hon. Secretary.
Welcome back to Mrs. Cathie Smith-Denny after her holiday in Hew Zealand. Just in time, we hear, to nurse husband Bill who had influenza in early February and, missed the Ceilidh.
Ken Miles, the Club Equipment Officer, has been successful in obtaining supplies of a new style of Club tie which has been seen and approved by the Executive Committee as an alternative to (not a replacement for) the well known existing pattern.
The new design bears a single TOC thistle motif positioned just below the knot, the motif being picked out in gold. There is a choice of colour of tie, navy blue, maroon or dark green. The material is Terylene.
Price £1.05, including postage, direct from Ken Miles.
The following letter has been received:-
Dear Sir,
I wonder if there are several TOC members considering the International Rally this year.

Perhaps the Spring Newsletter could be used to give them a chance to contact each other.

Yours faithfully,

(If any TOC members are going, perhaps they would like to contact Mr. Bower direct. - Ed.

Charles Auld, our roving reporter north of the Border who is also more formally recognised as Chairman of the Scottish Division, has filed the following report-:
The Editor and Staff of the Scottish Division newsletter wish every success to the TOC in their new venture in producing this magazine and welcome the opportunity of contributing. It is hoped that the items will be of interest to ALL TOG members.
All Club members are warmly invited to the Scottish Division rallies to be held in 1973, details of which appear in the Rally book.
The 1973 programme was launched in traditional style with the Winter Ceilidh at Seafield on February 3rd when about 200 adults and children crammed into the Community Centre. In spite of only limited publicity of the event due to late delivery of the Rally books we were pleased to see Club Chairman Peter Ward and Margaret, Rally Secretary Reg. Fell and Elsie and Executive Committee member Mrs. Olwen Cawley with son Ian, Chairman of the Teenagers committee. We also welcomed our own members from as far afield as Perth to Castle Douglas, Ayrshire to East Lothian. During the course of the evening we were entertained by songs from Morag McCowan and Andrew Kirkhope, Scottish readings by Elizabeth McCowan and music from Marion McLaren(piano) and Ian Arnott(accordion) Our thanks to these members, especially the children, for coming forward so willingly to provide our entertainment. At the Ceilidh a presentation was made to John Gillon to mark his retirement after serving on the committee of the Division since its formation in 1969.
Dates for your diary.
April 27-29. First rally of the season, to be held at Scone Palace, Perthshire. Slips to John Gillon.
May 4-6, The Club's 100th rally at Chorley, Lanes. This very important occasion includes Bill Arnott and Jim Little as Rally Officers and Andrew Andrews will have a hand in the Social.
May 11 - 13. Why not make it three in a row and be a quarter of the way to your gold plaque by coming to the Sorn rally? Slips to Ian Joss.
June 29 - July 1. Whitburn, West Lothian. Slips to W. Marshall.
July 20-25. The most northerly and longest rally in our history will be held at Dornoch, Sutherland. Holiday plans? We hope so.
For other dates, please see your rally book.
A first meeting to form a teenagers section of the Division was held at the Ceilidh, a further meeting will be held at the Scone rally when we hope to get it off the ground.
Supplies of the new Scottish Division pennants are now available from Mrs. Elizabeth McCowan, price 85p incl. Postage. Sorry, but these are restricted to Scottish members. Most other items of club equipment are also available from Elizabeth either by post or on the rally field.
Finally Our thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Softly and Taz for the gift of an urn for use at rallies. This was handed over at the Ceilidh and has an engraved plate to mark the occasion.

We wish all members good caravanning 'in 1973 and may you meet many old and new friends."

1968 Thomson GLENGARRY.
Fully equipped, and in excellent condition. Includes gas bottles, awning, etc. Family bereavement the only cause for sale and this is a rare chance to purchase an outstanding example of this model. Enquiries please to Ken Miles who is acting on behalf of vendor in first instance.
AWNING for 1969 Glenalmond,
Made June 1972 by firm of sailmakers to suit caravan. Orange. Depth 4ft. 9ins. Two panel zipped front with windows and zipped doors in end walls £-45. Apply to Mr. A. Stephen.

Suitable for 1967 onwards. Tyre size 5.90 x -13. Distance, between studs 4 inches. 4 stud type £1.50 Apply to Mr. A. Higher.


WINE MAKING by Roddy Leetham.
After being greeted by the Rally Officer following a long haul to the TOC rally, we meet our friends; get out a bottle of homemade wine and soon the worries of the week's work melt away as we start another joyful and relaxing weekend with our fellow members. We can think of no better way of relaxing and socialising than over a glass of homemade wine which is the result of efforts probably started at a rally twelve months previously. What two hobbies are so closely allied as those of caravanning and winemaking? (Drinking? - Ed.) Between cups of coffee, socials, flagpoles, etc., one might find time to go for a walk along the nearby country lanes and pick the ingredients for making wine. It is quite surprising when talking to our caravan neighbours how many do go in for this hobby of making their own wines or beer. So many of the ingredients are free for the picking in the countryside and, although one must be prepared to spend time making the wine over the following twelve months or so, the rewards are most gratifying. Whereas we are not mean towards our friends, we do feel that we can be more generous towards them with our own chateau bottled wines than we could with commercial wine or spirits.

Chateau Leetham...... or Maidstenier Domtal...... or even Elderflower Wine.


1 pint elderflowers. ½lb raisins
1 gallon water Juice 3 lemons
3½Ib white sugar. Yeast; Nutrient.

Gather the flowers on a sunny day when they are fully opened trimming them from the stems until you have a pint (pressed down lightly) of petals. Bring the water to the boil and pour over the flowers» add the sugar, chopped raisins and lemon juice. When cool to 70 deg. F. add the yeast and nutrient. (Prepared wine yeast is best but a level teaspoon of granulated yeast can be used). The nutrient is most important. Cover well and leave to foment in a warm place for four or five days. Strain into another jar, fit air lock and Leave to ferment. When the liquid clears siphon it off the deposit for the first time: two months later rack it again and then bottle it.
Would any reader like to follow this article in the next issue of the magazine? Ed.
LYTHAM RALLY, April '6th-8th

The first rally of the new season will be held in Lancashire and is in the hands of some of the Club's greatest friends. Fred Dain is one of our best known international caravanners. Attendee at many FICC rallies he has also organised overseas rallies for International Caravanning and probably knows his way around Europe as well as any man.
Like Fred, Harold Hanson no longer needs to turn out of bed on a Monday morning for a five day slog at the Office but it would be ludicrous to suggest that either of them are "retired". Also like Fred, Harold and Carrie are vastly experienced overseas caravanners, having travelled in recent years to many parts of Western Europe and North Africa. If therefore you are planning to go continental for your holidays this year this rally at Lytham could be just the ticket for sorting out your problems. You will find your trio of Rally Officers charming, interesting and always ready with time to talk.

As in 1972 the Club is going to Henley for Easter to the same very popular site. The rally is being run by Don, Egon and Brian. Or as the Rally book says. Frankly I do not believe it. Don without Olive, Egon without Hazel and' Brian without Loretta would be a funny old rally and my guess is that the ladies will be taking their usual competent and quietly efficient parts as always. The rally programme is a full and varied one and with four evening get-togethers of one sort or another promises to be a rare chance to develop new friendships and re-establish the old ones. The Easter bonnet parade is always well supported so be giving the matter some thought ladies and let us all see just how artistic you can be.
We also understand in a late telephone call from Mrs. Olive Goodwin that there will be a MEN'S beauty contest on the Sunday evening. Sounds very interesting.
Please see your rally book for further rally programme.
Gold and Silver Plaques 1972
You will, by now have submitted your application for either a gold (12 rallies) or a silver (6 rallies) plaque, and at time of writing, we have received 37 for gold and 44 for silver. It is hoped those who supplied return envelopes will have received their plaques by the end of March to display them proudly at the first rally of the season.
Notes from Bill Neagle-Jones, Competition Secretary.
We have widened the range of competitions that are held annually for various trophies. However, while those which are held at the AGM rally bring out a fair representation of the members, those which give com­petitors their own time to produce results are less popular. I'm referring to the Adventure. Caravanning Log competitors and the photographic competitions. A few words on these may therefore encourage you to send in your efforts. After all, while the term "pot hunter" many not be applied in a complimentary manner, there are some very nice trophies to display in your caravan for the rallying season.
This is in two sections, one for those who holiday in the British Isles and another for those who venture farther afield across the English Channel.
All you are requested to do is to keep a record of a caravanning holiday. A short description of the events of each day, perhaps illustrated with photo­ graphs, picture postcards, site receipts, menus, ferry tickets and anything else you may collect of interest, is all that is required. You will find that this builds up into a very interesting record of your holiday. As we only need to borrow it from you for it to be judged
against other-members similar records, you will have it to retain for many years, to compare with future holidays, perhaps to look back and recall particular events with special enjoyment.
So in this coming rally season, bear this in mind and send your logs to the Competition Secretary by the end of January next year. The winners are presented with trophies generously donated to the club by Colins Caravans Ltd. Aldermaston at the Easter Rally following, and are held for the season. The winners also receive replicas which become their own.
Photographic Competitions

I. When the club was formed, Summertown Caravans Ltd., Oxford presented a beautiful rose bowl trophy which, it was decided, would be awarded for the best colour slide submitted by a member, taken during the current rally season and including an identifiable part of a Thomson Caravan in the picture. This has been well supported in past years.
II. However, some members felt that this limited the field, so your committee decided last year to include another section for the benefit of those who prefer to work in black and white with enlargements. Thus, all that is required is a black and white print up to ½ plate size depicting a subject appropriate to caravanning,, The Club has provided a trophy, again a rose-bowl, for the winner of this section.
III. Since our younger members also have a keen interest in photography, a junior section (up to 18 years) has been included, where a black and white print up to ^ plate size of any subject is required. A trophy, presented by Ennis Caravans Ltd., will be awarded to the winner at the Easter Rally, as will the trophies for the two adult sections. Entries for these three sections are required by the Competition Secretary by the end of January 1974, for photographs taken during the 1973 season.
So keep your camera shutters clicking away during the weeks ahead, you are sure to find many interesting subjects.

Ladies Competition
This competition was designed to bring out the skills and artistic merits of our lady members, and in past years the various judges who have kindly helped us had not had easy tasks. Another problem for the Committee has been .the choice of subject on which our lady members can really express themselves. This year, therefore, the Committee has decided to ask you to decorate a sponge cake.
To ensure consistent conditions, we ask that you provide a 7" sponge, filled to your own preference since the competition concerns the decoration of the top. This will be done at a time and place to be indicated at the AGM Rally. Therefore, bring your 7" sponge cake with you, and the materials for the decoration. We look forward to some very interest­ing and mouth-watering results.
The remainder of the competitions will also be held at the AGM Rally, but I would like to remind our Christmas Card competitors that their entries should be submitted at that Rally. This will give us time t» judge the winner and print the card in time for Christmas 1973. Remember that we want a design for the outside of the card from any young member up' to 18 years of age, and a motif suitable for the inside from those up to 12 years of age. Trophies will be awarded at next year's Easter Rally.
In December there was news of a seriously ill Dave Turner. For a time there was thought that he may have to give up caravanning. In reply to a "Get Well" message from the Christmas Rally Dave tells us that his treatment was very successful. He is most grateful for our wishes, a little overwhelmed to realise how many friends he has in TOC, but best of all he is now so improved that he and Sybil hope to be attending the Easter Rally at Henley.
Cynthia Burgess, younger daughter of Mike and Gladys, left for a working 'holiday ' in New Zealand in early February and expects to be away about 18 months. We wish her 'Bon Voyage'.
Roy Whatley, Brian Brinkler, Tony Middleton, Roy Preston, Alan Smith, Ken Miles and Trevor Marsh will all, they hope, be com­peting in the British Caravan Road Rally at Silverstone from 11th to 14th April. The date does not clash with a TOC rally so why not go along and give them your support?
Jim and Doris Harper have joined the ranks of Caravan Club site wardens, having been allotted seasonal duties at the Club site at HOLSWORTHY, Devon. This is not far from the holiday rally site at Bude and Jim and Doris are very hopeful of seeing many TOC members during the year. No concessionary rates for TOC members, but be assured of the warmest welcome possible.
So ends edition number one. Produced at the direction of the Executive Committee it does not, however, necessarily reflect the official views of the committee except where specifically stated.
The Editor wishes to thank all those people who have helped to get this magazine to you. These include:-
Bill Rouse, (Coventry) for the cover drawing.
Walter Amer (Nottingham) for technical assistance.
Mrs. Pauline Hughes for "Secretary's Secrets".
Roddy Leetham for "Wine Making".
Bill Neagle-Jones for "Competitions 7"
Nene Graphics Limited, for cover printing.
Our advertisers, without whom we would REALLY have been in trouble,
Graham Paull for rally details. (100th rally)
Charlie Auld for the Scottish report.
The next issue will contain, one hopes, rally reports, a Teenage Page, more news of members and one or two articles specifically for the Ladies.
Thank you for reading this far.
Trevor Marsh, Editor.

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