Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Quiz Evening

Quiz Evening



Thank you to all the Mid Kent Group members and friends who turned up last night for the quiz evening and made it such an enjoyable success.

Special thanks go to Christine for making the fantastic food and drink buffet, which everyone enjoyed.

Special mention to our guests from, ROSPA, East Kent Group, (even though they won the quiz) Geoff and Liz Pretty.

Monday, 19 December 2011

A thank you letter

The Institute Of Advanced Motorists

IAM House

510 Chiswick High Road


W4 5RG


4th December 2011

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to express my appreciation of the observers & examiners associated with the Mid Kent Group of the IAM based in Maidstone, Kent. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences of the lectures and observed drives, and sharing knowledge with other candidates.


Being a keen driver, and having treated myself to a high performance car, I thought that taking a course leading to the advanced driving test seemed like a good idea – particularly if it helped reduce rises in insurance premiums!


After my first lesson, I was sceptical about some of the techniques (eg. separation of braking and gear changing), but my mentors encouraged me to persevere, telling me that most newcomers to advanced driving experienced similar feelings in one way or another.

With practice and moving through subsequent observed drives, I recognised that instead of getting worse, my driving had started to improve – it was smoother and I was making better progress – traffic permitting!


I was very impressed with the standard of teaching from my observers. They each had their own style, but their advice was consistent and from time to time embellished with personal tips.

I am very grateful to all the volunteers from the Mid Kent Group along with the local examiners who do a fantastic job helping to improve driving standards and safety in Kent. Not to be forgotten are the group's social events too – my son and I had a thoroughly exhilarating (and educational) morning with a police instructor on a skid pan recently.

Particular thanks go to organisers John Bowman & Mick Cranford, and observers Dave Hudson, Lee Wallis, Nick Skew, David Cobham and then Steve Poile who stood in at short notice to take me on an extra drive due to my delayed test.


Lastly, but not least, thanks go to my examiner, Terry Friday. I don't think I've ever enjoyed myself so much under 'exam' conditions before. Terry's experience shone though in all the advice he passed to me during and after the test, and it was great to hear some of his stories too!


Having passed the IAM advanced test, I am now enjoying my driving even more and believe that as a result of all the knowledge and advice from the Mid Kent Group and examiners, I am a more skilled, a more confident and a safer driver.


So I'd like to close with a big thank-you to the IAM, The Mid Kent Group and the local Examiners.


Yours sincerely,


Mr Adrian Caws

Friday, 16 December 2011

A heavy lunch could make you a dangerous driver


Tucking into a big lunch could make you more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel, say scientists from
Loughborough University.
A new study has found that eating a fatty and sugary meal can make it harder to concentrate on the road.
Men under 30 are statistically most likely to fall asleep behind the wheel, so 12 young men attended the university's sleep research centre, where they ate beef lasagne and toffee yoghurt for lunch.
Half were given diet versions containing 305 calories and the rest were given the normal versions which contained 922 calories.
All of them normally slept well but had only slept for five hours the night before.
After lunch they were put into a driving simulator where they began a two-hour-long boring 'drive' along a dual carriageway.
Those who ate the fatty lunch started off the same as those who had the light lunch but after the first half hour they were more likely to drift into the other lane - and didn't even realise that they were becoming tired.   This happens because a big lunch, and a high fat intake, can exacerbate the effects of a poor night's sleep.
Racing drivers tend to have high-protein, high-energy food and not masses of it, something like a dish of pasta with small strips of smoked salmon so if that works for Michael Schumacher and other racing drivers and keeps them alert for 45 laps of the track, perhaps that's something that other drivers can learn from!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Open Day at Kent Fire Station, Canterbury.

On Sunday 4th December 2011 the Institute of Advanced Motorists was invited to participate in a Road Safety Campaign hosted by the Kent Fire Service in Canterbury.  In addition to Kent Fire and Rescue;  Kent Police, Kent and Medway Safety Camera Partnership, Crimestoppers and the British Red Cross all had exhibitions which entertained the public on a very chilly day.

Trevor Dickenson and Amanda Smith from the IAM and Alan Rowe and myself from the Mid Kent Group were there to promote the Skill for Life programme, Momentum for the younger drivers as well as the various Drive Checks.  Although most visitors were from Canterbury Alan and I did our best to promote the benefits of the Mid Kent Group ( Alan can be very persuasive)  and we had interest in the Skill for Life and a possible Observer.  Trevor and Amanda persuaded several Advanced Drivers from the ranks of the police and Fire Service to join the IAM on the concessionary basis as their driving skill has already been established.  One person may be interested in becoming an examiner if Trevor can twist his arm.

One lady was definitely our Highlight of the Day.  She came to our stand and said, 'That's it, Christmas presents, Advanced Driving courses for my daughters'  'If you sign up now you can have them at the special rate of £125 each', I said. ' How many daughters do you have?'  'Three she said'

That really made our day.  Unfortunately only one lives locally but we look forward to her joining us next year.

Our second Highlight of the Day was the Kent Fire and Rescue demonstration of cutting someone our of a wrecked car in four easy stages.

1. Break all the glass in a controlled way to avoid accidental injury later

2. Using a pair of giant pliers crush the door panels

3. Lever open the wing to expose the hinges

4.  Cut through the hinges and remove the door.

It makes one hell of a mess of the car but as the fireman said, you can replace  the car, we can't replace you.

from Phil Mason
Outside Events Coordinator

Monday, 5 December 2011

Annual Dinner

31 members had a great time at the annual dinner, held at the Hilltop Hotel Stanstead near Brands Hatch.
Everyone enjoyed themselves and the dinner was fantastic. Up to Daren's, mine host's, usual amazing standard.
Lester, our groups guest, gave his usual engaging talk on the unusual happenings at the funeral parlour he works in.


The IAM F1RST Register recognises excellence during the IAM advanced driving test.
F1RST membership is attained by taking the advanced test and achieving a score of 1 in every category.

Mid Kent Group are pleased to announce their

First ever F1RST

Congratulations to Andrew Wedderburn-Day what a wonderful achievement – well done!!