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BBC Wales' Gavin Thomas
"Drivers of 2CVs have also been told to look elsewhere for love"
 real 28k

Howard James, Cascade chairman
"The white van driver is frazzled because of his daily occupancy - therefore socially he has little to offer"
 real 28k

Thursday, 17 August, 2000, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
'White van' man's chance of romance

A singles club which banned 'undesirable' white van drivers has offered them the chance to join - if they pass a web IQ test.

The Cascade Club in Gwent, faced a backlash after saying white van drivers need not apply because they lacked an adequate command of the English language.

The Pontypool-based group, which matches people aged 30 to 50 looking for the partner of their dreams, said that the drivers, financial advisers and counsellors "should sort their own lives out first."

There is the 1% to 2% with four rings in each ear and not many marbles in between. But most have far more intelligence than that

National Courier Association's Peter Anderson
But after the National Courier Association criticised the restriction, club officials agreed to give the groups a chance if they answer seven out of 10 questions correctly.

Applicants must answer posers including:

  • What was the total number of civil servants in 1914?
  • What is 'pomology' the science of?
  • In which year was Tintoretto born?

Club boss Howard James said: "We thought it would be good for van drivers to prove their eligibility for the organisation by entering the quiz as most of our members have got a bit more upstairs.

"White van drivers don't fall into the high ground of conversationalists.

"Counsellors approach us as parasites on society and and financial advisers are on a par with double glazing salesman - they are looking for commissions."

'Stereotype is unfair'

The Cascade Club, which claims to have 1,500 members, offers "civilised social events for unattached professionals". Previously, it had banned Citroen 2CV drivers.

Members meet in Cardiff, Castleton, Newport, Chepstow, Bristol, Newbury and Birmingham.

We are trying with our advertising to say we are not oddballs or a group of morose people at the back of a church hall, we just want to have fun

Cascade Club's Howard James
After the club took out the advert in Private Eye, the National Courier Association, which represents white van drivers, hit back.

Administrator Peter Anderson said: "The stereotype is unfair. I have got people on the books ranging from ex-high-ranking police officers and military workers to graduates."

Hopeful romantics must now give their 'white van driver status' on the Cascade Club's web site.

If they score enough points, they are given a password which should be entered on the application form.

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13 Jan 99 | UK
Rude White Van Man 'a myth'
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