05 May 2023
Former Editor, Pat, takes a trip down his own LRM memory lane
When you work for a magazine for the best part of a decade then you do tend to rack up a memory or two. I have always considered being a journalist a privilege and while deadlines always seem to loom large, the many memorable moments more than make up for it.
I have decided to share with you my ten best-ever assignments during my time at LRM magazine. Prepare for some nostalgia...
1. Defender production ends
A day that will be forever etched in the memories of Land Rover fans – some might say for all the wrong reasons. There were so many journalists and fans in attendance that the production line reminded me of a busy African market during a big sale. Being there to watch the last old Defender roll off the production line was just extraordinary and emotional. To top it all off, I had to do a live interview with Sky News which was broadcast around the world. A day that will never be repeated.
2. The Last Overland Expedition
While you can now read the book or watch the TV series, I was there in 2019 when this incredible expedition started in a sweaty Singapore. Thirteen thousand miles later and I was once again there to welcome Alex Bescoby and his team of weary travellers to London.
3. Crossing the Simpson Desert
When ARB turned 40 years old, the team invited a select few journos from around the world to cross the Simpson Desert with them in an assortment of new and old 4x4s. The convoy only had one Land Rover in it, a Defender 110 300Tdi. A trip highlight for me was when the Defender towed a Land Cruiser for a few hundred miles!
4. Defender Trophy
This southern Africa-based event has been running for the best part of two decades and I have covered over ten of them. One of the undoubted highlights occurred during the Swaziland event where we had to spend a whole night building a new road as the old one had been washed away. Proper adventuring. Hopefully I will attend another in the future.
5. North Coast 500
Not long after this tourist route opened I did it with photographer and friend Craig Dutton. In all my travels never have I driven such scenic coastal roads. The single malt and smoked salmon were also rather impressive.
6. Isle of Skye with Isaac
During the summer of 2022 I went on holiday to the Isle of Skye with my son. I’ve been several times before but this time was different. I had my best friend with me and we were looking for wild camping spots. Time spent with my son, wild camping and away from the crowds is just priceless. And if it makes a good story for LRM, then that’s even better.
7. Overland in Iceland
The dramatic landscapes of Iceland are like no other on planet earth. It’s as if they were made for Land Rovers. Iceland is one of those countries that I will visit again. Driving a ‘big foot’ Defender up a glacier certainly got my blood flowing rather quickly.
8. New Defender in Germany
The new Defender was launched to the world at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany and I drove over in an old Defender to witness it. I think this was a watershed moment for JLR as things have not been going particularly well for them since then. Makes you think doesn’t it?
9. Breaking the world record at Billing
Lots of blood, sweat and tears went into making this happen. I am so proud of the fact that the world record was broken in the UK. Even though I’m leaving LRM I will hopefully still be seeing the Arrowsmiths from the Billing Off Road Show from time to time. What a place to go off-roading and for breaking the world record for the biggest Land Rover convoy ever.
10. Hanging with my homies
I have been lucky enough to include some of my mates on various LRM trips, stories and adventures. A good example of this was the Abenteur-Allrad overland show in Germany last year. Having one of the best jobs in the world is made even better if occasionally you can take your mates along too.
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