BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Events: Newsnight
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

banner
Map

June 5

Jeremy under the van
Here are some of the things we've learnt about 1976 VW camper vans between John o'Groats and Cornwall (where we've just arrived). First, they're air-cooled; so if the engine's overheating there is no point pouring water into it.

Second, if the oil light goes on below the milometer you're already in trouble. It means there's a lack of pressure around the camshaft which could lead to problems with the big end.

Third, fourth, fifth and so on and on - and on - the fuel gauge can be misleading. We've run out twice on dual carriageways. The cupboard door in the back can swing open, obscuring objects that should be visible in the rear view mirror (signposts in Bristol being a prime example). The handbrake doesn't grip very well and so it's worth leaving the van in gear when it's parked. Also there's no power steering, so turning the wheel is equivalent to a workout in the gym.

Tamar Bridge
Despite all of that we crossed the Tamar Bridge into Cornwall today. Obvious as soon as we entered were election posters carrying the name of the LibDem Colin Breed (whom we interviewed in Tedburn St Mary for our discussion on rural issues). He had warned me, when we met in Devon: 'The bridge is very slow. Leave an hour to cross it. There are dreadful roadworks.' And he was absolutely right. But he didn't mention the beauty of that crossing, with sailboats in the river below. We crawled into Cornwall, staggered at the view.


Jeremy's diary entries:

May 8 - John o'Groats

May 10 - Glasgow

May 13 - Newcastle

May 16 - Hartlepool

May 17 - Hartlepool

May 21 - Birmingham

May 25 - Bristol

Jeremy's letter to Bristol Council

May 29 - Dorset

June 5 - Cornwall

June 6 - Land's End

The van's fate


Click here to download the Newsnight Van Screensaver

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE

Newsnight Home Page

Newsnight Review

Watch Newsnight live at 2230 BST or on demand

Another chance to see recent non-election coverage

Non-election items coming up on Newsnight

The history of Newsnight

Details of our team



Email Newsnight

Links to more Newsnight stories