Blowout And The Holiday That Nearly Wasnt

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

BLOWOUT - and the holiday that nearly wasn't

Date: 2nd July 2012

A friend of mine is a  Holiday Property Bond holder and she very kindly invited me to spend a week with her at  Turunç in Turkey.

As she was going for two weeks, it was decided that I should drive us to Gatwick and then either I'd pick her up or she would get a taxi back from the Airport.

We set off at 7.00 am leaving oodles of time to make it to Gatwick.  However, destiny decreed otherwise. There's a stretch of motorway on the M.20 which is particularly noisy because of the materials used in its construction.  We were driving over this part and I commented that I didn't like the noise and that that particular section seemed to have a poor surface.  I was pulling over to the nearside from the middle when everything went haywire and we were heading for the Central Barrier.  I managed to avoid a head on collision and bumped the barrier twice.  Thank goodness there was very little traffic so no one else was involved.  

Two gentlemen stopped their vehicles and came to our aid escorting us off the motorway and on to the hard shoulder.  My friend rang the AA and the police and I contacted my insurers.

The two chaps stayed with us for about 45 minutes and the policewomen remained with us until the pick up truck arrived.  I didn't realise that the AA contract out a great deal of their work so that when the recovery vehicle arrived I assumed it was from my Insurance company and it wasn't until we got into the cab expecting to be taken back home that we were told that the AA only had a duty to get us to the first point of safety.  (Do you read the small print because I have to admit, I never do - there's too much and it really is 'small print' sometimes requiring a magnifying glass).

The policewomen went beyond the call of duty and provided us with the phone numbers of 3 local cab companies.  

Let me just say that due to the kindness of many folk, we reached the airport.  Once there we were told the Gate was closed but the plane was delayed and the kindly check in clerk booked us through.

So we did catch the plane.  I refused to even think about the car on the basis that there was nothing I could do about it from so far away and 'what will be will be'.  

I just want to register my thanks to a number of people.   


Mega thanks to the two guys who stopped to help -              Dan Hanning and Martin Slater

The two delightful Highways Agency Traffic Officers             Marie Beba and Angie Yildiz

To the pick- up chap who went beyond the call of duty -      Lovely Jaz (Jason)

To Kimberley at Brits Insurance

To Brian of Apollo Cars                                                               Thanks for calming us and getting us there in                      time

And last but not least the lovely check-in clerk at Thomas Cook Gatwick (and forgive me but I know your name began with S  - Sheila, Sandra? but mega-thanks anyway)

I'm told that Green Flag offers better cover than the AA so will be looking into that.  It makes me mad when I think that over the four years I had my New car not once did I have to call on the AA and yet I paid them nearly £1,000 over the four years.  When the chips were down I received the minimum help possible.  Of course, they will argue that it's in the small print but, not only was the woman on the line most unhelpful, we waited an inordinately long time for rescue and yet we were two women on our own.

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