How does the winter weather always manage to find its way into an old Land Rover?! I recently renewed the tatty rubber door seals on my Series IIA, but it’s made no difference whatsoever.
So much dampness gets in that the steering wheel goes mouldy if I don’t drive it for a week. Perhaps if I leave it long enough, new life forms will start to develop. Who said Land Rovers were bad for biodiversity?
If that isn’t enough incentive for me to keep driving it, the ageing battery means that every few days I have to whip the starting handle out and fire her up the old-fashioned way – which usually works, but not without making me late for work.
An excuse was needed for me to keep the cold and damp out of the old girl, and one of the Evening Greenlane Safaris (run by LRO Adventure Club’s Vince Cobley) fitted the bill perfectly.
These outings make the most of the lengthening winter dark, and showcase the rolling Northamptonshire countryside in a whole new, er… light.
So it was that, armed with a new Britpart LED light bar to play with (see December 2015 issue for installation), I met up with Vince and his crew at Rockingham one weekday evening. Our convoy of six Land Rovers – ranging from TDCi 110s to an old V8 hybrid – ventured off into the countryside twilight to the north-west of Corby.
The darkness deepened as we hit our first lane, a gentle farm track between fields near Medbourne, and by the time we reached a high, rutted route along the side of a valley near East Norton, all light had vanished from the sky.
We hopped out for a leg-stretch as a barn owl shrieked from the trees below, and the lights from a scattering of homesteads began to sparkle softly around about the nearby hills.
Big ruts and badger setts lay ahead, making me glad of the supporting vehicles fore and aft, and further still a fantastic wading opportunity at Thorpe Langton would provide a fun climax to the evening’s laning.
If you haven’t yet tried one of LROAC’s greenlane outings, do give one a go. They’re not strenuous, just entertaining, with the promise of a friendly atmosphere among the convoy and all the support you need as you put your vehicle and any new toys through their paces.
As for that LED light bar… blimey, what a cool piece of kit!