Members Misc

Three Words That Could Save a Life

A company, ‘what3words’, established in 2013 has developed a system for communicating geographical locations with a resolution of three metres. What3words is a really simple way to talk about locations using just 3 words rather than lengthy GPS coordinates which could easily be miscommunicated. Any location can be written as ///word1.word2.word3 and the words are currently available in 37 languages with more on the way.

What3words (W3W) have divided the whole world into 57 trillion 3×3 metre squares and given each square a unique address that will never change. Many locations in the world don’t have an address in the usual format but now every small square in the world has a unique simple address that’s easy to communicate. W3W addresses are easy to say and share and are as accurate as GPS coordinates. The location of the entrance to the What3words head office in London for example is 51.520847, -0.19552100 in GPS coordinate form, or ///filled.count.soap which do you prefer?

What3words make sure that similar sounding W3W addresses are a long way apart so that if a W3W address is entered slightly incorrectly, and the result is still a valid W3W reference, the error will be immediately obvious. For example if the London address in the previous paragraph was mistakenly given as ///filled.counts.soap you will find it is in Oregon USA!

Some manufacturers such as Ford, Mercedes, Jaguar and Land Rover are adding W3W into some SatNavs for voice input. W3W is now also widely used by 80% of UK emergency services and the list is growing all the time as it’s invaluable for accurately locating those in need especially when out ‘in the middle of nowhere’ as we ralliers often are. In addition to emergency situations you may find such addresses useful for locating friends maybe on a beach or in a caravan or tent on a large site or outdoor event. Imagine trying to find a friend’s tent at somewhere like Glastonbury Festival! Now you can.

You can use W3W addresses on a computer or tablet via the Internet or on a smartphone with an iOS or Android app. With the smartphone app you need a good GPS signal, but you don’t have to have mobile data available to find your W3W address. Similarly, when out in the open the app allows you to navigate to a W3W address using the phone’s compass; the accuracy is only limited by your device.

I have added a column of W3W addresses to the printed list of all rally location coordinates which you will find on our website under the Members Area ’Rally Info/UK Rally Locations’ menu. (PDF File icon on the web page). I have also added these to the Online Rally Program web page along with the facility to view the locations on Google Maps. You cannot currently type these W3W addresses directly into Google Maps but you can enter them into the what3words app or their website for viewing and navigation. You will find much more information and examples of usage on the what3words website in the Business and About Us sections. It’s well worth a look.

John Brailsford, 28th September 2019 (Amended February 2021)

HOW TO: Your First Rally

We hope that the following instructions fill in the gaps and explain the whole process of attending your first rally. If you have any questions, the Membership officer, your Area Committee Member and the rally marshal will all be more than happy to help – please pick up the phone or send an e-mail.

  1. Remove the membership card from the welcome letter and put it in a safe place (we recommend the glove box of your tow vehicle). You may need to show this on arrival at a rally and you will need to show it to gain access to the AGM.
  2. Pick a rally. Although you have been allocated an area, this is purely for administration purposes and you can rally in any area. Check the rally book update sheet and/or the members’ section of the club’s website ( – the password is on your membership card) to ensure that the rally details have not changed.
  3. Book yourself onto the rally. There are two possible options as below. Please be aware that rally and social fees are not returnable once the final booking date has passed.
    1. Fill in the rally booking slip and post it to the rally marshal with the complimentary rally voucher and a cheque for any additional payment. Note that the ‘social fee’ is required in advance where a fixed fee is stated.
    2. Where no additional payment is due and where the rally listing states that bookings may be made by e-mail, you may e-mail the rally marshal all the details on the form and the complimentary rally voucher number. You will need to bring the voucher with you when you attend the rally.
  4. The marshal should telephone you to confirm receipt of your booking form and your place on the rally. This contact is for first-time ralliers only – normally, marshals do not contact ralliers unless there is a problem. For future rallies, you should assume that if you do not hear anything, your booking has been accepted.
  5. When you arrive at the rally, you should be met at the “Stop here” sign by the rally marshal who will welcome you and hand you your rally pack. Please ensure that you have sufficient cash to pay the balance of the rally fees due (site fee, hookup, social costs etc.).
  6. Every rally is different, and the contents of the rally pack will depend on the rally, however you may expect it to contain:
    1. Your rally plaque
    2. A list of your fellow ralliers
    3. An itinerary for the rally
    4. Competitions for adults and/or children where appropriate
    5. Relevant tourist information for the area
  7. The marshal will walk you to your pitch and ensure you are correctly and happily sited. He or she will then direct you to the water point, the pit (for emptying chemical toilets) and any other amenities you may need.
  8. Enjoy the rally! If you have any problems or questions, do not hesitate to speak to the marshals.
  9. Towards the end of the rally, ‘Flag’ is held – this is a meeting for all ralliers. Marshals are thanked, competition prizes are awarded and a raffle is usually drawn. We ask all ralliers, where possible, to attend this meeting.
  10. Everything else you need to know should be detailed in the rally book –in the individual rally information, under “Booking Rules & Information” or “Hints for New Ralliers”. If it isn’t, just ask (and let the Membership Officer know so that this document can be updated!).