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Off Road Day at Venture 4x4, Wisbech - 24 September 2000

The sun shone off the dappled dints in the bonnets, light bounced from grimy windscreens as the group descended upon Three Holes near Wisbech. It was to be a glorious, exciting day with little damage.

Venture 4x4 is a small ten-acre site, which, if compared to Wild Tracks, seems less than impressive. It is very deceptive however, and one should not worry about size, or so I have been told. It actually offers a real challenge to the 4x4 driver and can lead to the undoing of a few.

Range Rover patrolling The turnout was excellent, with eight vehicles tackling the undulating tracks and gullies. There was John Sturdy and Andy C in their well equipped 110s; John Holland screaming around the course in his 88” and Tony cruising in his ninety. Steve Gardner and myself crept around in the109s, while Dave Brooke attacked everything going in his Lightweight. Steve and Carol patrolled in the Range Rover assisting when things went pear-shaped; which it often seemed to. We even had a number of spectators for a change with John Lawson revelling in the misfortunes of others, while Ben offered help and advice to those in need.

There were many hidden traps to catch the unwary, and soon the ropes and winches were being used with great enthusiasm as people pulled themselves or others out of sticky, muddy situations. There was a great atmosphere as people worked and played in the sun, the owner of the course seemed happy and all seemed well with the world. Then Dave Brooke decides to go down the quad-bike track! A gentle reminder, and everyone is smiling again, although this adventure did cost Dave both his wing mirrors!

Poppy reclining As the rain clouds began to gather I should have known… it was bound to happen… I managed to tip Poppy onto her side again! A moment of indecision and a side slope… well, it gave everyone a good laugh. Tony tried to extract me….failed. Then John Sturdy arrived and saved the day with his big new mechanical winchy thing. I wonder where he got it from?…’cos I want one!….. Well we had to provide some entertainment for the spectators. The problem was compounded later when I discovered that Kennedy had shot the whole day with a filmless camera! (I hope someone has some nice shots to show?)

The rain didn’t dampen the spirits, but added a new challenge to the driving. Tyres became far more important and I discovered that I’d spent most of the day in two-wheel drive. On reflection, I’m quite impressed how I coped without 4- wheel drive. Engaging the free - wheeling hubs certainly helped though, and I was able to sail round with ease as the rain poured down. The end of the day saw four of us helping each other around a very slippery track, before we called time and wearily drove home, muddy, but happy.

Thanks for the great turnout and the help when needed. The owners at Venture 4x4 were also extremely helpful and were visible throughout the day. They have invited us to take part in a ‘NITE RAID’ which involves driving Three Holes in the dark!! They’ll even provide a B.B.Q. Anyone interested?

David Hunns (Photos by John Lawson)