4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
Wellington Drive Round Day – 30th May 09
Words and Pictures by James Trembath

With the Bristol and West Scott Williams Memorial Challenge due to take place in July we were not that surprised to see a day booking by the club by some of the keener members – all of which were no doubt aspiring to remind themselves of the site and try and glean some information prior to the event!!! Well they certainly had a reminder of the site although I don’t think anything else was given away!

Mark Bunting in his new to him TD90 hardtop booked the day and brought along many a familiar face from the club with him. Robin Watson was back having completed previous training days with us this time co-driving in Jo’s ex-military 90 which he had recently helped completed a lot of mechanical work on. Meanwhile Rob’s big boots discovery was driven by another club member – Rich (Tango) who just about managed to squeeze it between the trees!

Austin and Sally were along in their ragtop 90 again, along with Jo showing how well a standard vehicle can go with a little care and forethought – even if Sally did think it may tipple over into a small bog at one point. She got her own back by covering Austin in mud anyway! (see the photos!) Kevin and Debs were back in Kevin’s well prepared 90, now sporting a new TDS with Dyneema rope, which having being received as a Christmas present he was keen to test out! Keeping up the Toyota names sake was a return visit for Steve and Anne who in the short wheel base proved just how capable the vehicle was, again with a little forethought and route selection.

After taking on the tight angled corner to get everyone out and working together we headed down some of the harder tracks into the moor. With the logging machines having passed recently the going was much tougher than normal and we were only 50m into the first track before the TDS was being called into use. In fact all less Rich (who was the only one not to get stuck all day) needed recovering from the section. It was interesting to see at this point must of the lads stepped back to let the ladies drive – so the blame could be passed maybe!!! Down near the duck ponds a particularly (new) deep hole had appeared in one of the tracks and the even the lead vehicle had to winch itself through, with this a new route was made to bypass the section thus giving time to allow repair work to be conducted and time for the ground to settle again.

From the ponds we headed on down through ‘Sam’s pond’ after the tight wooded twists, before taking on some of the stream sections enroute to poachers wood. It was soon back down and approaching the area of Sams’ pond again this time down through the boggier section that Sally momentarily parked the vehicle allowing Austin to get muddy. Kevin had a good drive down through this section and had to work hard clearing the route(!) for the others after a slight diversion off the intended route. Jo again pushed the standard 90 hard and cleared the section with relative ease having decided to plunge straight for the bypass section.

Back up at the main site we headed over to our first real descent before taking on the side slope to the bumps and dips area where a little driving test with the key being route selection sorted the ‘men from the boys’ – or not as the case may be!

With a gentle meander back to the main field we took on a new diversion through the think forest cut complete with side slopes and a tricky climb out (although the dry weather helping immensely) before taking on the last of the routes down through the woods, combing some steep descents and climbs before heading back for the debrief and clean up in the main field.

Excellent weather and a great day out, although a little slow in the morning it certainly got everyone out and working together. With some good driving skills displayed the day proved an ideal opportunity for the club to get out and brush up on the site and their ability prior to the big 2 day event.

A big thank you to David and Edward for bringing up the rear and overseeing the tricker recovery during the day.

Some pictures from the day