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After many years in the Royal Air Force and a posting to RAF Coltishall Wally also created the Solarscope mobile disco's with gigs as far as Manchester. He was resident DJ at Scamps Nightclub in Norwich during the 70's and had a show on Hospital Radio Norwich.
Wally joined BBC Radio Norfolk when it began broadcasting on September 11th 1980 and has been there ever since.
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Booze Cruise


One of the day trips we make through the year is a day trip with Cenery coaches. Often referred to as a Booze Cruise most people take advantage of the cheaper tobacco prices in Belgium. Leaving around 5am we usually get to the Eurotunnel terminal at Ashford by about 9am. Boarding the train it takes half an hour to get through into France. Anyone wanting a day at Eurocitie (shopping centre) gets off before the coach takes us down the motorway and into Belgium. It takes about an hour to Adinkerke and "tobacco Road" by the canal. You get about half an hour to visit any of the numerous establishments selling tobacco and cigarettes. Roughly, a packet in the UK costing about £8 is only £4 here. Take sterling to get the best price. Often you can get a better deal by looking around. Some shops offer a discount for cash others will fill your bags with free lighters and Belgian chocolates. A note here about allowances. As part of the EU there's no limit to the quantity of tobacco you bring back. What you should be aware of being able to justify your purchase. It should be for your own consumption or as a gift for a family member. Customs want to catch people who're selling goods on for a profit and they can even raid your home if they think you're doing that. They have guideline amounts which at the time of writing this is 800 cigarettes or 1kg tobacco. That hardly makes it worthwhile going when you pay £45-50 for your ticket. We usually bring back 3200 (the previous recommended limit) and 3Kg tobacco (again previous guideline) In order to avoid problems if we're stopped, I always carry a wage slip and copies of my recent bank statements. If they can see you have a regular income and have drawn cash from your bank for the trip it proves that you're unlikely to be selling goods on to make money. That, and the fact that they can see when you've travelled by checking your passport, should get you through without any problems. On one trip I did notice that they were pulling people aside and grilling them about their purchases and the frequency of their trips but it's never happened to us.
The other part of the day trip is to visit a wine warehouse. This is usually Pidou's with our coach operator. A typical bottle of Californian red wine is £11 for a case of six bottles and the recommended allowance is 120 bottles (90 litres) or 20 cases if you like. Few trippers get that much and most just get the cases of cheap beer which is about 30p a can.
Providing there's no delay with the reurn trip we're usually back home around 10pm and counting up the savings it's usally in the region of £800!

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