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About Stockcroft

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    Being a long term liability to the pension fund
  • Towcar
    Discovery 4
  • Caravan
    Coachman VIP 520/4

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  1. You mention the neighbours' possible reaction. Personally, I would always let them know what was being considered so as to keep things as harmonious as possible. Assuming the house to the left is the same design as both yours and the house to the right then it looks as though where you are proposing to park the caravan may be almost immediately adjacent to your neighbour's lounge window. And the fact that your drive is set higher than next door would presumably exaggerate the height of the parked caravan from their perspective. Only you, and they, know where the light falls and whether this would have a major impact for the neighbours. It may not be any issue to them - but, in my view, a friendly chat is usually best and may help you decide whether siting there is OK or whether a few hundred pounds for remote storage in the interests of a harmonious life might be money well spent.
  2. Link to article quoting Elliot Hibbs: https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/business/sales-up-caravan-builder-coachman-2631549 "On the back of the warm summer we had in 2018, people will look at purchasing new motor homes,” he said. “I am very confident, moving forwards, that the caravan sector will have a good few years ahead of it. Now we need to give people that confidence to buy a caravan.” "A good few years ahead of it....." definitely sounds like a finite horizon envisaged ahead. Will be interesting to see how quickly there is a move to diversify to motorhomes. The new link with Kabe is probably a sensible strategic decision and keeps options open.
  3. I have just received my card having applied well before Christmas. Having read some of the earlier experiences I was pretty certain I wasn't going to use it even if it did arrive. But they have clearly done a lot of work on processes ahead of the new iteration, initial reports here seem to suggest its working better so have looked at things a bit further this morning. The main Esso card website shows the two types of cards issued (National and International). The CMC card received is clearly an international one, useable in Europe. Where it talks about the fuel card network on the site it suggests that the card is also useable at BP and Shell garages - see https://www.essocard.com/en-gb/network/ Am I reading that correctly? But I see that the Pump King T&Cs only refers to Esso stations in its definitions. Not sure which is correct. Apologies if this has all been covered before in this, or other threads. Couldn't see specific discussion of this point.
  4. And with that level of savings he is, presumably, fully self-funding his care home fees at anything up to £1k+ a week whilst possibly many of his fellow residents with less that £20k savings may well be there courtesy of the local council. Enjoy it while you can!
  5. As per my previous comment - the media will always latch onto the worst case scenario which is what they did and was why the Governor was at pains to underline the fact that it was just one scenario. The report does, indeed, show the range of scenarios.
  6. This is symptomatic of the level of debate we have endured over the past couple of years. Rational, sensible analysis with an objective of clearly explaining gets swept aside by the rhetoric of politicians, and sensation seeking media commentators - and people lap it up. Personalising criticism in this way is a cheap shot - the BoE assessment is the product of many months of research undertaken by some of the most able economists and markets experts and factoring in evidence taken from businesses, large and small, around the country. Some 200 people were involved in the project - this wasn't just something Carney conjured up.
  7. Given your scepticism of the value of economists you might like to peruse the info contained in the Bank of England's comprehensive assessment of the various withdrawal scenarios. The background and assumptions in the scenarios used are spelt out in detail as is the means of analysis and the possible outcomes. It would be interesting to hear what reasoned and objective alternative scenarios you think are likely. https://www. bankofengland. co. uk/-/media/boe/files/report/2018/EU-withdrawal-scenarios-and-monetary-and-financial-stability. pdf?la=en&hash=B5F6EDCDF90DCC10286FC0BC599D94CAB8735DFB
  8. I've applied for one (they say 7-10 days for delivery but guess it could be after X'mas now). They send you a text each week telling you how much per litre you will pay if you use it the following week. It's not clear if its all, or selected, Esso stations but from what I can see from the blurb so far its all. If it is, it should be very worthwhile.
  9. I've had my Disco 4 for 3. 5 years now from new. Never had an SUV or 4WD before and have found it to be a fabulously versatile car generally, and especially for towing. I'm thinking of changing and have the opportunity for a good deal on a Jag XF Sportbrake. With the new model having an increased (100kg) noseweight towing capacity, self levelling suspension and available in AWD it looks a good possibility. But will I find a significant difference in towing characteristics when pulling my caravan (1600 kg MTPL)? The Disco has been rock solid when towing and my wife is really nervous about moving to a smaller (lower) tug even though I have assured her the towing matchup sites say it would be a good match. And even if I did change to the Jag I'm not convinced I would need the AWD as we have hardly ever towed over wet grass etc. Grateful for any views and experience.
  10. Wouldn't bet on it arriving next day at the moment. Seems the recent 'Prime' day may be causing delivery havoc - wife is going bananas because stuff she ordered for next day delivery (should have been here yesterday) is still showing as stuck in a distribution hub in Birmingham.
  11. As far as I am aware MyTravelCost is a reliable data comparison site run by economists (yes, yes oxymoron alert!). The source for the data is shown as Eurostat (the statistical office of the EU). Date of data not shown. There are some other interesting comparisons http://www. mytravelcost. com/country_prices/ I'm not buying any meat in Albania. The only time I ever went there (on business) we were taken to a smart basement restaurant in Tirana for lunch by our hosts. My colleague insisted on them ordering what was good and local on the menu. Shortly before the food arrived there was a power cut (frequent in Albania then) so the meal commenced in very, very dull candle light. I couldn't make out the type of meat I was eating but it had a strange blamange like texture. Suddenly the power returned and I lost my appetite. .....a sheep's brain sat staring back at me on the plate!
  12. This may inform the discussion (insofar as it has related to meat). Suggests meat costs in UK are 92% of those in Europe as a whole, whilst France is 119%. PS I'm going veggie before taking the van to Switzerland!
  13. Suggest you have a look at the Isabella Shadow. Comes in a variety of lengths and is as easy as anything to put up and take down. Very lightweight to put through the awning rail and then (depending on size selected) just three lightweight poles. It comes with three guy ropes but most owners get an extra couple of guys so that the end poles are pegged at 45 degrees to each other ensuring a really solid and stable feel to the thing. We took ours with us all around France in June along with our Magnum porch awning. .......only used the Shadow which is all that is really necessary in good weather.
  14. Caravanarfa - from your previous posts it looks like this is your inaugural visit to France with your caravan. You have clearly been doing a good deal of planning, which is very sensible. What is not clear though is whether you have previous experience of driving over there (ie unhitched). I'm going to assume you haven't so please forgive me if, what I say, is already known. The first thing to say is that driving in France is, generally speaking, a pleasure in comparison with over here. The main roads (and most of the minor ones) are pot hole free, and the drive down from St Malo to the Vendee is easy on good dual carriageways. If you have planned to travel on a Sunday so much the better as traffic levels (specifically lorries) will be low. You will find that there are frequent, well maintained and signposted, stopping places along the road. There are two types. Firstly, the picnic type stops which typically have nice green areas, picnic tables and a toilet block and (generally speaking) plenty of parking and secondly, what we know as service stations with shops, restaurants petrol etc. Most of these also have picnic areas. The advance signposting on the roads is good so you know what sort of facilities the next Aire will have. If you are travelling down from the morning boat at St Malo to the Vendee you will probably be looking at a mid to late afternoon arrival at your site so you probably won't want to spend too much time hunting for refreshments off the main roads - the Aires will be your best bet. If you are a family of 5 on a budget my recommendation would be to have whatever you need for the journey pre-bought in UK and carried in a cool box/bag if necessary. A family picnic at one of the smaller Aires is almost a pleasure. Yes, you can stop at one of the main service stations and you will see delicious looking filled baguettes and the like (and they are yummy). But at around 4-5 euro each plus drinks, the cost for your family won't be cheap - but you may be reconciled to that. Parking with a caravan in these Aires can be interesting. They will all have some signposting as you exit the entrance slip indicating the direction for caravans. That's fine but we found a) many French car drivers are quite happy to park in the caravan spaces if it saves them a bit of a walk to to the facilities or shops and b) whoever designed some of the larger Aires and decided where to put the caravan parking had never towed a caravan as you may sometimes have to weave through a laybyrinth of concrete to get to the designated picnic areas. But if you pay close attention to the signposting and take it slowly you will be fine. The fallback option is to stop in the lorry parking areas although you are sometimes past that before you realise that caravan spaces are full. And if you really can't park just carry on as there will be another Aire just a few miles further down the road. Hope you have fun.
  15. We have rollout Duvalays so the bed making process is just a matter of unzipping the bag and rolling them out. We had initially tried constructing the cushion base in double bed format but found it really difficult to get the middle seat cushions to fit in the available gap on our Coachman. So for the majority of first year we used as two singles. But with my height I struggled with the available space so eventually revisited the double option - and eventually discovered a technique to get the backrest cushions into situ quickly and easily (positioning them pointing upwards at 45 degrees with their bottom seams supporting each other and then pushing sharply downwards). Sooooo much more length sleeping across the van and, with our van, oodles of space width wise for both of us - much better nights sleep for all concerned.
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