RUNNING BOARD RALLY - is on again at Swiss Farm Campsite in Henley-on-Thames, Oxon - find more details and an application form in the Member's Area under "Events".
Traditionally the sprind see the start of a new Merlin year when the cars get their annual spruce up and the tax goes on for another 6
months of bliss. In accordance with all this activity, the 2008 newsletter was published late last month and, for those whose copy got chewed up by the family Rotweiller, then we have brought it on-line also - so no need to fret - you can read yur copy here instead.
Enjoy (from your friendly Merlin Webteam)
Well it's been a quiet Christmas - at least as far as the website has been concerned. And this has been a worry in that we thought that some members might have wanted to order some of the new Merchandise - but so far no orders have been placed.
We have had our first input from our roving reporter in Europe and Rudi has sent us some pictures of the Chateau that some of us will be enjoying as a holiday base later this year - check out Events in the Member's Area for links.
And talking holidays and quiet web-site, there has been virtually no response to the August Bank Holiday - it's a shame because that last Bank Holiday suffered through late booking when all the vest sites were taken. Our David Daniels has put in some preparation for this year's August Bank Holiday but he really does need some numbers so as to book good campsite and guest house. So If you're thinking of joining in then please let David know as soon as possible while the event is still on the cards. See the Member's Area Events page for details.
Yes, folks it's a busy month is this September - we have two more pages for Members only to look at...
- we now have the eagerly awaited Merchandise page live - so go take a look at the jackets and shirts that you can order.
- Our Events 2008 pages are online.
The May Bank Holiday week in France is almost at it's full complement but if you do want to join in then it might just be possible.
The August Bank Holiday is now open and we are collecting names - if France is too far or too long then come join us down in Pembroke.
Details for both these events will be found on the Events Page within the Members Area.
In the Member's section we have the August 2007 Newsletter - exactly the same as your printed copy except that we have all the pictures in full glorious COLOUR!
Meanwhile, for non members, the previous year's newsletter has been released to general view so that you can see reports for 2006 events including Stoneleigh, Newark, Running Board Rally, Donnington and our holiday in France. Plus, check out the Technical section for someone's close encounter with a stressed iRS suspension assembly (and his remedy)
And, waiting in the wings, we are about to launch a new range of Merlin Badged Clothing and other Accessories- watch this space for details very soon.
The new year is getting set although there's been little activity on the website other that Andy's continuing build reports (well worth reading). And we have had a few Bought and Sold Merlin cars pass through our Classifieds page.
The Running Board Rally is soon upon us once again and we do have Rally Forms available for members - simply go into the Member's area and open the Events page - where you'll find a link for the Rally Form. Closer still is Newark and a site is booked although we're not sure who will be there this year.
The first Anglo-German was a great success such that voices are already asking whether we will be doing it again next year - answer is definitely YES - so pop over to the Public Forum to add your thoughts and let us know whether you want to join in in 2008.
It's been quiet lately but the website does get a sprinkling of new reading matter now and again. Three areas we would point you to are:
1) In the Technical Area, Andy Hogg's Merlin has progressed further, despite hectic work commitments - we think the spray job looks stunning with a new colour choice.
2) In the Members area we have the start of the 2007 Calendar with dates of most regular events such as Stoneleigh and Newark - check your diary as soon as you get one from Father Christmas.
3) In the Merlin Holidays area there is a report and photos from the August Bank Holiday at Telford - read and enjoy. We just hope that it gives a little inspiration for someone to take up the organiser's hat next year.
The Forums have changed this month according to:
a) Members requests that Technical Queries (and answers) belong in the Member's Only area so it becomes an asset to paid up members (and if you want to join then it doesn't cost a lot.)
b) in moving over to the Member's Area we had to change the format form a partially secure CGI script to a much more secure PHP script (there, that's the technical bit). This mean that we had to manually copy many of the topics from the old Technical Queries into the new Members Technical Queries and although the order and dates may be jumbled the vast majority of your questions and answers are still there - nothing too important has been lost.
Yes it's a little different but you'll soon get used to it - and if you have trouble logging on then remember that you'll need to type in your full name (as found in the Memberlist) at the New Forum Login panel (even though it asks for "Username")
Well it may be old hat but the last years Newsletter content has finally been added and even though you may have read it in the printed copy then it may be worth a second visit as there are extra colour pix in these pages.
The West Midlands Area was delighted that their Shropshire Bank Holiday weekend went down a treat - and if you missed it then you can either:
c) get your own area group started and get some friends to help you put one together.
For those joining in the August Club Bank holiday there is now a full itinerary for the weekend available on the Events pages in the Member's Area
"New" Members Pages come on line - specifically these new pages bring you an active Members database online so that you can look up basic details for other members. You can check and address or phone number should you want to get in touch or send a Christmas card. And you can look through the list to see if anyone else has a Monro or TF - or you can look to see who else is in your area should you care to organise a get-together event. There may be other aspects that we haven't even thought of - but take a look and let us know if you find it useful or want it extended.
Another facility is the ability to update your details - so if you move, change email address or put a bigger engine in your Merlin, you can change your own details - so there's no excuse for losing that phone call or Christmas Card.
As if you hadn't already noticed, we've revamped the website to make it easier to navigate. It's also in preparation for a change to the Membership directory which will soon be coming on-line. This will make it easy to check out the current member's list, find contact details, update your own details, and receive auto prompts when membership falls due.
We hope you like the new site - enjoy!
We are slowly gathering more pictures of members cars and this month, Mike Woolridge has sent in a couple of shots of his Cortina-based Merlin looking wonderful in its British Racing Green paint - check out the Cortina pages of the Gallery
Some new Merlin pictures have been put in the Gallery - they didn't quite fit in with the rest so we decided to create a new "Special" gallery for pictures of Merlin appearing in unique circumstances or settings. These a certain unique as the Merlin TF in question was being slightly disguised as a fictitious car ready to feature in a new pilot film for Inspector Lewis (a follow on from "Morse").
The page contains a few shots from the pilot film plus a link to an edited download that covers the opening seconds in which the Griffon, sorry Merlin, appeared.
So we now have a Special gallery and if you have any pictures that place a Merlin in any unique situation then please do send them in and we'll add them in.
For those following the developing story of Andy Hogg's build up then turn to the Technical Section to see how Andy has got on during the winter months.
Oh...and please do help Andy by sending him any pictures that you have of close up detail taken during your build up. Especially if it is based on a Sierra iRS model.
The West Midlands Area group had their first meeting this month with four members present. They are hoping to get together again in April and start planning possible events for later in the year - check out the member's area for details soon.
There are new pictures of a Merlin iRS based on Sierra with Capri 2.8i engine added to the Club Gallery. Many thanks to Ian and Paula Poulter for sending in some lovely pictures of their car
Some members have said that they would like to see something like area groups that meet two to three times a year at a venue more central to that particular area. The first of these to get under way in the West Midlands Area Group which is meeting in the Kidderminster Area (on the border between Worcestershire and the West Midlands). If you want to join in then see the Member's Area for more details.
Andy Hogg has recently bought a barely started Merlin iRS and has been in touch with the webteam to offer his serial report about building the Merlin.
To date we have his first two reports and you can find them within the Technical section. Andy reckons that he'll probably need some tips along the way so if you've had any experience about building the iRS Sierra model or have any information that might help with getting an old car through a modern SVA then stay tuned - you might be needed!
Well, according to the technical blurb it should use fewer but streamlined resources so it won't task the system so heavily and should appear to work quicker. It will also give the WebTeam more control and there should also be some new functions.
So far we are still investigating the new site. However, at least we have been able to migrate all the old members and their messages into the new board. But if we lost anything on the way or if you are having problems then please let us know and we'll see what we can do.
2006 Holidays - As 2005 fades away we must start thinking about next years outings. One extra trip is under consideration which will be a join up with the German Merlin club for a weekend to include a trip to the Nurburgring circuit. There's more information in the Member's area Forum plus your chance to give some input. Take a look now.
2004 Newsletter For the last six months this has been available to members only, but now that the next issue is about to be released we have moved some of the general interest articles, like holidays and shows, into the public galleries
Classifieds This continues to be an active area and we have sold, or helped to sell, two or three cars over the recent months.
Discussions Now this has become the most active part of the Merlin site we have changed the "Discussions" link to go straight into the Forum
Well, we've released a full list of Events for the year 2005 and you can read where we're all going to be meeting up through the year. 2004 had a generally good turnout at various events with Stoneleigh being the natural major focus of the year.
In order to improve the Security of the Member's Area we have had to change the access which now requires a "Username" as well as a "Password".
For now the new "Username" is "merlin" (lowercase, without the quotes) while the "Password" remains the same as before.
If you visit the Member Pages then you'll find a full copy of this last year's Newsletter and another new item - the PostBox. This is a simple posting forum where you can send letters, comments, requests and suggestions for the club and other members to consider or mull over.
Those who are keen eyed may spot the addition of two new areas which are labeled "Merlins at Shows" and "Merlins on Holiday".
This has been changed with an eye to the future as "Owners Stories " Doesn't really convey that it contains reports on Shows and Holidays as well as Owners individual stories. We've now split them up so that each can grow as the years add in new reports - hope you like the changes.
The Discussion page has been a recent addition to the site and already it has overtaken the old Yahoo Merlin Group for popularity and support. It's an open forum so anyone can register and look into the discussions. It's where people can come in and ask about Merlins or where Merlin people can talk about forthcoming events (like who's going to the annual show?)
The Forum is fairly self-explanatory. You can go to the Discussion page and view the existing mails but you cannot make any contribution until you register. Having made that simple move, the website will then send you a personal password that you can use to login. Once you've logged in you can set your own profile, change your password and set other things like a personal picture if you want. More importantly, you're free to contribute to the Forum.
(However, we do ask contributors to use the forum with sense and decorum. We shall take steps to remove anyone who makes offensive or derogatory comments)
That possibly only leaves the August Bank Holiday weekend to be sorted in the Merlin Events Programme. The last two or three years have been very well supported and we regularly get members come form all over the country to enjoy a social weekend. So far there is no set venue on the books, but if you live in an are of interest or natural beauty and you would like to show it off to other club members then why no volunteer to organise such. There's plenty of help if you want it so don't hesitate, Call Helen now with any ideas that you may have or, alternatively, come and discuss it at Stoneleigh where you'll get some instant feedback on your ideas.
Alternatively post it on the Members pages Postbox and let us know 'tween times. It's your club after all.