West Midlands: Stourbridge and Brierley Hill Round Table’s Santa scooped £2,042 for charity. The group sent their sleigh out on its rounds in the run up to Christmas as temperatures crashed to minus ten degrees celsius. Funds from this year’s collection will be donated to the Rollercoasters charity, which caters for children from Dudley Borough who have multiple disabilities and additional physical and learning disabilities. Stourbridge and Brierley Hill Round Table chairman, Marco Di-Leo, said, 'As always we are so grateful for the generosity of the people of Stourbridge and Brierley Hill in supporting our collection in these difficult economic times. We would also like to say thank you to everyone who helped out with this year’s collection and a big thank you to Land Rover for providing a Land Rover Defender to pull the sleigh.'
For more information visit www.rtbi.co.uk click here for Round Table
West Midlands: An Erdington couple's Land Rover trip across the globe continues and the duo have made it all the way across Africa. David Turner and Jayne Wilkinson, from Erdington, jacked in their jobs and sold their possessions to travel the world in a Land Rover Defender. Since leaving Brum in August 2009, they have covered almost 25,000 miles and made it across Africa. After travelling through Zambia, Nambia, Botswana and Angola, ex-call centre worker Jayne and former legal rep David have halted temporarily in South Africa to fly back to Birmingham following the birth of Jayne’s first grandchild before returning to Johannesburg to continue the journey. So far the couple's adventure has taken them through towns and villages and seen them encounter visa delays and leaking tents during the rainy season. The journey so far is only the start of their adventure, which they have planned to take six years. Despite the sometimes challenging circumstances, mum-of-two Jayne said it was still proving to be the trip of a lifetime aboard the trusty Land Rover, nicknamed the LizzyBus. Jayne has said, 'I always knew this would be a totally awe-inspiring but challenging journey. If it wasn’t for David, I would have not have made it to Spain, let alone Africa.'
The trip, which took five years to plan, has included breathtaking sights such as Table Mountain in Cape Town, but Jayne said it was the smaller things that were most special, 'The most magical has been sharing porridge at the side of the road, sharing a handful of sultanas or chunk of salami with villagers or families opening up their home for a meal with one precious piece of meat.'
Follow Jayne and David’s adventures online at www.lizzybus.com click here for Lizzy Bus
North East: Joiner Neil Hales showed plenty of Christmas spirit to come to the rescue of three sheltered housing residents. The South Tyneside Homes joiner was carrying out work at Glenthorpe House sheltered accommodation in South Shields, when he heard that the snow was preventing three elderly residents going to the shops so Neil jumped in his Range Rover and took the ladies to Morrisons.
Leicestershire: A driver in a stolen Range-Rover caused more than £33,000 of damage to five police cars during a 110mph pursuit. Peter James Berry, who deliberately rammed the vehicles, was jailed for 28 months at Leicester Crown Court.
Judge Michael Pert QC, who saw footage of the high-speed chase on the M1 southbound in Leicestershire, described the driving as 'truly appalling' and added that 'This involved significant organised crime, playing for high stakes. Within hours of being taken, the vehicle had false number plates and he’s driving it like something out of a movie.' Berry admitted handling the stolen Range-Rover, dangerous driving and having no insurance. Victoria Rose, prosecuting, said the vehicle was stolen in Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, in the early hours but a tracker device revealed the car was near junction 27 of the M1 at 1.30pm the same day. The defendant failed to stop for police, making off at up to 110mph and swerving around traffic.
Judge Pert said, 'I’ve seen the footage from one of the police cars. It was a crowded motorway and you were weaving in and out of traffic. When the police saw you were about to leave the motorway, they professionally shepherded you back on to it. They had four vehicles positioned and, after a prolonged chase, you barged your way through. It was only after ramming another police vehicle that you swerved and they were able to stop you.' The footage picked up the pursuit at Leicester Forest East, continuing to Lutterworth, where the Range-Rover eventually stopped. Philip Gibbs, in mitigation, said that Berry played no part in the taking of the car and was offered £100 to deliver it.
East Sussex; Police are trying to trace a blue Land Rover 4x4, registration K199 YKV, reported stolen from outside a house in Wrestwood Road, Bexhill. Anyone with information that may lead to the vehicle’s recovery or the thief responsible should contact Bexhill police station via 0845 60 70 999 or call the free, anonymous Crimestoppers linkline on 0800 555 111. Nationwide, Land Rovers are currently being stolen at a rate of more than one a week and police are urging owners to take special care over securing their vehicles, perhaps fitting good-quality steering wheel and pedal locks to deter thieves.
North Yorkshire: Joanne Lloyd was determined to get to her wedding reception and she wasn’t going to let a stuck Range Rover get in her way.
Everything had been going fine for Joanne and Matthew for their big day. With the threat of snow, the couple, from Sutton-in-Craven, had ordered a Range Rover to get Joanne and her bridesmaids to Kirkby Malham Church. The service went to plan and the couple decided to drive the scenic route to the reception at Cracoe Village Hall, to get some snowy wedding pictures but a mile outside of Winterburn, on a snow covered hill, the Range Rover got stuck. Luckily, they were able to phone Wendy Hutchinson, who had organised the wedding flowers, to rescue them in her Land Rover and get them to the reception. 'We ended up 50 minutes late for the reception, but we were there in time for the food,' said Joanne. A guest at the reception arranged for a farmer friend to rescue the Range Rover driver.