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January 2014 - Stevie-Boy

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    Posted: 18 Dec 2013 at 11:17pm

Congratulations on winning January 2014 MOTM Steve! How does it feel to be our exclusive Member Of The Month and having your name up in lights?

It's humbling, mind blowing, exciting and terrifying all at the same time. As you all know, I'm not the loudest guy around here so I'm not used to being the centre of attention but this means more to me than you could know. In my years of Primera ownership, it always pained me that I never managed to win COTM, it was like the one that got away and eventually became absolutely unachievable. Getting this award is both unexpected and treasured, thank you!

In my very own COTM feature from October 2007.. I wrote the following (in my ending thanks and shout outs): "Sticking with the Staff Team.. Steve (Stevie-Boy), he does much much more than any of you will ever know for this club and rarely gets a mention for his tireless efforts. One day I'll write a book and the truth will out but until then, trust me when I say my thanks and appreciation for Steve is mahoooosive!".. Well 6 years since writing that out, I finally get to write the book and fook me, it's been long time coming! Are you nervous LOL?

Should I be?! Seriously, we have over 41,500 account holding members in this club and I'm being singled out for a feature, I'm not nervous about that, I'm deeply proud that the club owners hold me in that level of regard. I appreciate your words hugely but honestly, if I wrote the book of everything NPOC has done for me, it would be bigger!

We’d love to find out about you the person. Please tell us about yourself and what you get up to, away from the NPOC.

Well, I'm now just turned 39 years old, Geordie boy living on my own in the Lake District at Stevie Towers. I spend as much time as I can with my best friend in the world, my little 7yr old daughter Kayla. I actually met her mum through NPOC back in 2003. I'd never have my little Kayla without NPOC, see how this club keeps giving to me?!

I work for a large corporate organisation in a software division, I run all the technical support side for the EMEA region. This involves playing with servers and web applications, dealing with clients with any problems they have, supporting the internal teams with any needs they have and just generally sorting out anything that comes up, IIS, SQL etc. Very busy, challenging, often frustrating but it keeps me in whips and jumpers.

My interests have changed a lot over the years, been less into the cars lately, had spells of being big into kickboxing, bass guitar and running. Now I'm addicted to buying clothes and into lifting heavy things up and putting them down again. Back in August I started weight training and I'm obsessed with it now completely. If I'm not training, I'm eating or failing doing those I'm reading about it. I really don't like the commonly used 'skinny' word that I have been called oh so many times through my life, that's the driver for changing myself. I'd opt for svelte or slender instead! I'm changing that though, new body under construction, working for that killer ripped physique, watch this space!

I absolutely love music, listen to it all the time, more likely to be listening to music at home than the TV on. Too many genres and artists to mention but I do particularly love a bit of 80s and particularly electronic, synth pop and all that.

Some of you may remember I was raving about being engaged at the start of 2013. Unfortunately that was ended by just April that year. The move over to England was just too big for my then partner who lived in France and it was all called off. Very saddening of course but things move on and I would always wish her all the best with her future (even though it would have been much better with me ha ha). So I'm single and very much available! Completely house trained, can cook, independent, apply within.

How did you find the NPOC forums and are we any good? Would you happily recommend the club to other Nissan Primera owners?

I found the club in the typical way of searching for an answer to a question and finding a forum topic in my search with the answer. I can't for the life of me remember what I was searching though. Are we any good? Well I'm still here ten years later if that helps! Have recommended before and will do again wherever possible.

You’re an NPOC Legend Member here, our absolute highest award we can give any member and the very fact that there are only a handful of Legend Members, should point out just how exclusive this group is! You were awarded NPOC Legend status, for all your hard work and commitment to the club as a Staff Member here. NPOC Legend status comes with FREE and full membership for life BUT you choose to still pay £4 per month for your membership, hence why you are an NPOC Legend Elite Member. Why do you pay for membership, when you have been given free lifetime membership?

Getting the 'Legend' status was such an honour, like you say there are only something like six of us with that, Legend Elite is a badge I wear with great pride. The club has given me so much over the years, I wouldn't be able to accept the offer of free membership, even though it's a cracking offer, I'm happier paying in. I could understand someone maybe retiring from the club and taking the free membership just to pop in now and again and see what's going on, but not a regular. What I do take you up on though is the meet discounts and I'm sure if you look at the JAE discounts and freebie at Ace, I probably broke even anyway. The club must pay out a huge amount in discounts across the board annually so having paying members is a must!! 

Besides, the monthly payment is a pound a week, who wouldn't happily pay a pound a week for everything that goes on here?

So we know you're an NPOC Legend Member, a Staff Team member (I think we bagged you for the Staff Team around 2005?), you've been here since 2003 and have celebrated 10 years as a paying member!! You've probably owned more Nissan Primeras than most of us on here! So let's have a look at the previous Primeras please sir. Give us all a chronological break down, with a lashing of photos and specs:

I've done it all haven't I Shaun, got all the t-shirts! Okay the ones I have owned, let's do this! First up was a silver P11 1.6Si. My only hatchback as this was before I even knew they came in two shapes, not counting the estates. I loved this car, most of the changes were quite minimal such as GT skirts, powerflow exhaust, K&N filter, colour coding the black bumper areas and discreet touches. This was my first proper venture into modifying so I was learning the ropes with this car really. I got interested in audio with this car though and blessed it with Focal components, lovely Pioneer HU and RF 15" sub and it rocked. Also, myself and Kev Shek (Skymera) built the front bumper in his spare room, we were the first to do that cut the top section off another bumper and graft it on mod. I say we, Kev built it, I watched with great skill and precision. Such good times, great memories.

As was always going to happen, I craved more power and moved on to a silver GT saloon. This car was lowered. big exhaust, Infiniti VC, nice alloys, window tints, wing vent, DVD player and screen in the centre console, filter blah blah. Lovely car, looked so fine. Sold this one because I needed some boost in my life. I loved the modding around this time more than ever, it was exciting. I used to hook up with a guy called 'Fraychild' from G20.net to buy Infiniti bits, was always great getting them in the post and then fitting! Don't know if he is still on the scene but he was a cool guy!

I should mention the ten 2.0SRi saloon that Natalie had at this time, we basically owned that together as we were together, I drove it to work all the time.  Lovely car in white, had exhaust and filter, sounded lovely, drove lovely. It always pained her that I basically made her sell this so that I could have a 200SX!!

I had some time out with other models and briefly came back to a nordic 144 Sport+ saloon. Didn't modify it at all, hated it to be honest. Didn't have it long before swapping it for an S13.

Next one was the red GT saloon. Had a huge spec list in NA guise, doubt I would remember it all but here goes some of it. White 18" buddy club wheels, big Brembo brake kit, tein coilovers, JWT S3 cams, that big carbon air intake, header, remus exhaust, lightened fly and pulleys, battery in the boot, Defi heads up display and linked in gauges, very snappy clutch, red bucket seats and custom front bumper. We shall talk about stage two of this car later!

Last up was the red 144 wagon. This was my late entry back into Primera world. I bought this with the idea of a VE conversion, P11 front end swap, massive killer wheels and slammed and dammit I wanted COTM. Plans changed and I decided this wasn't the right quest for me and sold her on, still in the club. This one had different wheels, JDM spoiler, JDM back lights, Nismo backbox, bumper spats, custom front bumper and lovely plasma dials!

What was your favourite out of all of them and why?

That's such a difficult question, they all had their pros and cons. I have to say my favourite was the first phase of the red GT. Such a beautiful looking and very sorted car. Was so quick and every angle of this car was taken care of, it had all the best of parts and was a very well respected car in the club. It was incredible to drive, those coilovers were something.

What got you into a Nissan Primera to start with, was it on the list of cars to own back in the day, or a chance encounter?

I was rolling in a Ford Mondeo 2.0GLX at the time which was actually a very good car and had a nice little five character private plate already on it which made me feel like a boss. Turns out that as an owner, you're supposed to look into oil levels and on a trip to the local shop one day, the oil light came on and within ten seconds the car stopped and never worked again, completely seized. Thanks for the advance warning. An expensive lesson, I sold it for £80. My friend who lived next door was a big fan of the Primera and urged me to get a GT as my next car. They were still expensive at that time and as a cheaper alternative, I saw the silver Si in the Auto Trader very local and went to see it.

The owner was quite a large chap called Barry. On the test drive, I commented that the car felt pretty quick and handled nicely for a 1.6 and Barry told me that's because 'it's a sports injection'. With those lush words cemented in my mind forever, I bought the car and never looked back. Who wouldn't have?!

Do you think the Nissan Primera modification scene has changed since you were more involved?

Yes sure. There were more cars to choose from in newer condition and back then it was largely buy a GT, lash a load of good quality proven mods on and job done. Now, there are more turbo installs, VE has become slightly more prevalent and my favourite, people are not scared to buy a non GT model and go to town on that. As it becomes harder to find something in banging condition, more people are thinking hey, why not buy a sorted SE with more standard spec anyway and do the GT bits to it? Bingo, good call. The more time goes by, the more things have been done already and this means people have to look outside of the box to impress and that's great for everyone.

What would it take to get you back into a car with the Nissan Primera badge on? Are you hoping (like the rest of us) that Nissan will bring back the Primera brand, or is there a current Nissan Primera that could entice you? Didn't you used to get wood thinking of a Cobalt Ten?

It would take a pristine P11 saloon shell and some heavy duty power inside to be honest. That's either boosted or screaming VE. I don't want them to bring the model back, I think it should be left where it was. You know with TV and films, when they bring something back, it's never the same, we just hanker over what it used to be. It took many of us this long to accept the P12 and many still don't accept it, we're not ready for a P13!! Yes, I used to love the ten loons in Cobalt, beautiful! If you remember, I was more obsessed by wanting a cerise saloon and then you ended up actually getting one and doing it big style, major props for that!

So moving on... After all of those awesome Nissan Primeras, today we find you driving a Nissan Juke. How did that come about any why?

Well there were some others between which we'll come to soon but yes, I now drive a Nissan Juke and I really like it. I just fancied a new car with no problems, something I could just get in and drive and also wanted a bit of modern diesel economy. I was paying out circa five hundred quid a month fuel on the Lexus and figured for that same money I could have a new car and run it. I had a near brush with a BMW 330D, I was also massively tempted by a 730D. After all that calmed down, I was very tempted by a Toyota Prius or a Toyota Auris Hybrid but in the end, the Juke won out for me, even if it does look a little bit like a frog!

I'm no Juke hater by any means!! I could easily be persuaded by a white Nismo Juke! So whilst we touch on the subject of your Juke, hit us all up with a spec for this one please and let's see some piccies too. We are all Nissan fans in here.

I was sorely tempted by the Nismo but remained sensible and stuck to my plan and went with the heavy oil. This one I have is a 1.5dCi Tekna which means it has enough toys to keep me interested to make up for the lack of brutal power. It has keyless entry and push button starter, auto wipers and lights, nice screen with bluetooth and USB audio, reverse camera, cruise control and I just generally like the funky styling. Only modification is that I bought the black wheels for it pretty much the day I got it.

In between the Primeras and the Juke, you've owned a few other cars, tell us about them.

Yes indeed. After the silver GT, I made a change to a burgundy S13. Just a few mods like exhaust, filter and dump valve but such a great car, I loved it!!

The next non-P was another S13 but this time, bit more modded. It had a bunch of HKS parts on it and it sounded incredible. It wasn't perfect by any means but that just adds to the charm, this is possibly the favourite car I've ever owned, I felt so great driving it and the noises, maaaaan the noises!!

After that was a Volvo S40 T4. I loved this car, it looked great, it was lowered, lovely exhaust, filter, dump valve etc, made lovely noises! Our life circumstances changed and we sold this and bought the Mazda 6 MPS, otherwise we'd have kept this one, it was super!

I had spells of two cars at the same time for a while after that, so yes MPS came next. No modifications, just out of the box 256bhp of boosted treat! Absolutely awful on fuel though!

I had an Almera 2.2dCi SXE at one point also, lovely car that was. Insanely economical but pretty quick and torquey too.

I had a need for something very cheap at one point in between cars and Ant called me up one day to say a relative was getting rid of an N14 Sunny 1.4LX. Fitted the bill perfectly, nipped up and collected it and I loved that little thing. Lovely car because it was so cheap and cheerful that I got the modding bug back and just had a really good laugh getting all the GTiR bits for it!! Start and end pictures here before moving it on.

Then came the MX5. I had wanted a soft top for years and finally decided to get one. Loved this car, was a special edition with LSD, lovely red leather and whatever else. I added a K&N typhoon kit to it which made wonderful noises! Eventually this just sat in my garage as a weekend toy that never got used.

I decided to get shot of both my cars and go back to having one. This meant I fancied something a bit different and a bit mad. A mate at work suggested I should lord it up and get a Lexus LS400 for some automatic luxury goodness. I decided he was absolutely right and bought this lovely dark blue luxury cruise liner. It was my first ever auto car and it made me laugh every time I drove it. Huge comfy chairs, electric everything, 4.0 V8 engine, lovely big smooth luxury barge. Only problem was the economy whilst hilarious, did get tiresome after a while. She loved a drink that girl.

After that came 144 wagon so yes, that brings us all up to date into the Juke!

So we can all establish that you have owned a load of cars in the last 10 years LOL! Do you find it hard to stick to just 1 car for any sort of time, or do you get easily bored or just fancy a change?  What comes next for you?!

I'm a vehement believer that it's fine to change your cars. There are so many lovely treats out there, why just stick to one? Have a go of as many as you can, just try not to lose too much money along the way. If you find one that you can't live without then fair enough. For me, I keep changing my mind, it's just like that. One week I want newness and economy, the next week I want old skool and big power. I really would operate better as a two car person but I had that and don't want it again at this time because I can't be bothered to bring the other car out of the garage, it wouldn't get used as I found with the MX5. I've basically decided to try and rotate on a 1/1 basis. One year with a sedate car, one year with a mentalist car. Might work.

Already decided the next car should maybe be something stupid. I'm 40 next year, single bloke, could be time for a Skyline R33 GTR. I change my mind often though so it could easily be a Supra TT, RX7 or Nismo Juke. Could equally fancy another S13 or try a 14a and I'd also really love a PS13. In reality I should buy a clean P11 GT and buy an investment property but that won't make nice noises. If there is a nice clean P11 VE up for sale when the time comes, who knows. That VZR N1 that G has floats my boat! Ideally a GTR or PS13 though but it's all just talk until it happens so erm yeah.

Now it must be noted that this is not your actual 1st time being featured. The other time was more a feature about the awesome club spirit that forms the very basis of our successful club here. Here's a reminder of that feature:

http://www.npoc.co.uk/forum/april-2006-stevies-engine-swap-p11_topic3109.html

Whilst it was based on your car and yourself, thinking back to the feature.. What will always stay in your mind?

The feature I would happily have not had! So many things stay in my mind about that time. It's all documented in the feature but for anyone that doesn't know, I drove my red GT into the Irish Sea. Specifically, a road that the tide comes over, I drove into that. I forgot that my air intake was routed straight through to the lower bumper and was actively sucking all the time. It sucked the water straight up and of course the inside of my engine became wetter than an otter's pocket and hydrolocked.

That was my own stupidity and as the feature states, four guys from the club (Lurch, Ant-Dat, Nabber and Disco) came to my place under their own steam and performed an engine swap for me. I'm not mechanical with cars at all, I'm a 'pay someone else' kinda guy and this day was just beyond anything I'd known before. Where else could you get four strong mechanical guys turn up at your place and swap your engine out and not charge you a penny? Seriously, think about that!

The thing that sticks in my mind is friendship. What a fantastic day we had, it was such a laugh, Nabber and I were even talking about it just at Ace in December. Friendship, community spirit, selfless acts and laughing sums up that day. I think about it from time to time and it mostly just makes me laugh but it was very emotional too to receive that level of treatment.

I got a lot of stick in the club afterwards for killing my car and rightly so, it was all in good spirits and very funny!

Is there any rumour that you now own a Nissan Juke for it's road height and the fact that no puddles can trouble you anymore hahahaha?

Strangely enough yes, but for other reasons! I'd been using the MX5 for work and it's so low down, trucks were pulling out in front of me sometimes.  In really bad wet weather, I'd often not be able to see because of spray and I'll be honest and say there were journeys to work where I was actually scared because the car was being pulled to the side or nearly wiped out by trucks. With that in mind, I did want a higher ride height and to avoid those motorway puddles!

The car in that feature from April 2006, is sadly no longer with us - BUT as some of us Old Skool members will remember, following that incident, the car went on to have major engine work done, involving some top shelf parts and a mighty dollop of boost! We see the old number plate P11 GTT (which stood for GT Turbo) now proudly displayed on Mad Maru's Nordic and rightly so, as he also ended up with the monster engine as well. I never really did understand why you bailed on the original project, so much hard work went into building the engine and car and then you had a few niggles and kinda lost heart. So tell us all, what actually happened and do you regret selling her on?

You know, I should never have tampered with that car when it was in original guise. Just me wanting more power as usual. It was a very different time of my life and I was in a family and money wasn't freely available.

However, it was a completely unmissable opportunity. Back then, I used to bend Ant's ear daily on MSN, talking about ideas and what I could do to take the car further. We were already discussing a Pulsar swap to the point where I was just about to buy the full front clip and then this major break came up. Ant had been building an engine for Kev (phat-gadgy) to a serious spec, some major money and time had gone into this build. Kev had a change in his life at that point and needed to bail, Ant set up the deal with Kev and I stepped in and bought everything including Kev's P11 to use as a daily whilst mine was being worked on. The build continued as planned with the difference being it all went into my car, superb!

I was naive in how much money it would take to get that car where I wanted it. You've already spent a fortune but you still just need one more silicone hose, and one more this and one more that, it never ended. This shot is taken on the night before JAE 2006. I was picking her up from having the bumper job completed, we'd fitted it two minutes before this picture. So this is the way she looked before the turbo look. If you remember, I basically broke the car before going turbo though. I sold off the brakes, the wheels, the defi system, the engine mods, exhaust, coilovers, all of it.  Started with nigh on a standard car for the turbo build.

The end though, came just after the car got mapped, that was supposed to be the end of the problems and to start enjoying the car. It was actually the beginning of the end. I had run out of money and put the car on hold until I had a spare £500 to pay for the mapping. Fellow club member Daz (Lurch) wouldn't take no for an answer and wired the money into my account on a loan basis to get this done straight away as we were all desperate to see what this car could do! Another example of what NPOC has done for me over the years right there!!!!

Natalie and I drove down the other end of the country, had the car mapped and stopped at a services on the way back. When we came out, it wouldn't start. It hadn't been mapped for hot starts and we were sat there after the expense of the mapping, the hotel and all the travel in a car that wouldn't start. She was in tears and I knew instantly, it had to go. That's why it ended, there was nowhere else to go from there except to sell. How could I sit there and say yes, we need to go back down to the other end of the country and arrange more mapping and more travel and more hotels and more parts? No, it had reached the maximum level of what was reasonable when in a family situation and it had to go.

The car was sold to Rich as you know and what he got was a fabulous start for what he has managed to achieve. In hindsight what he got was a plot of land with wonderful foundations built to the highest standard, what he has achieved is building the dream house on top of that. I don't regret selling it for one second because at that time in my life, I wasn't able to finance what the car needed. Longer term though sure, would have been great to get the enjoyment out of that build.

There are loads of pictures here that I knocked up into a little video ages ago if anyone is interested:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUuwY6hOQRI

Time for the quick fire question round!

What makes you smile? 

Amazing car noises, my daughter, being in lurve, but mostly lady boobies (you did ask!)

What makes you sad? 

Unnecessary drama 

Tell us something we don't know about you..

Tricky question, I tell you guys everything!  I've only ever been to one other country, France and that has been four times! Used to be a raver, was a regular on the early 90s scene in Newcastle and Scotland. Those were the days of dancing all night, now I can barely be arsed to sleep all night!

Your favourite colour? 

Red

Your lucky number? 

21

What will it say on your gravestone?

Originally: Canny Lad

Subsequently Vandalised: Geordie Wanker 

Your favourite drink (any)? 

Nice cup of splosh, milk one sugar

Celebrity and Non Celebrity Crushes?

Cameron Diaz. She's so lovely, it's just beyond ridiculous. Watch 'The Holiday' and tell me you wouldn't marry her on the spot. On the other part yes two, but no chance you're getting that out of me, this site is public!

Your sub £10K second hand dream car would be? 

Depends what mood I was in on the day. Skyline R33 GTR but possibly Sapphire Cosworth or a MK2 Escort. Once you remove the 8k scene tax from the MK2 Escort though, you're left with a very old basic car for a lot of money! Growing up, things around me were Ford and the Cosworth was the ultimate so that will always sit in my mind. Ooh hang on, a lovely red Evo 6 Tommi Mak, now there's a spanner in the works!

Your sub £30K second hand dream car would be? 

Ouch tough call. Well, it would be between an R34 GTR and a Honda NSX. I have much love for both of those cars. I'd love the NSX so badly but feel with cash in hand I'd probably take the R34.

If you could steal the keys to someone else’s car (on NPOC) for 1 day, which car would you steal and why? 

I'd take GTT, I've never been out in it and I want to know how it feels!

What’s been your favourite Club Meet (Regional or National) of all time and why?

I'm calling JAE 2013 for this one. Such a lovely group of people, I felt really relaxed at this meet, four days of enjoyment and friendship and as usual, the legendary time with Nabbs and Col. Two of the loveliest gents you'll ever meet in your life and they'd do anything for you but honestly, they do make me cry laughing. We were all worried before the event that numbers were down but what an amazing time together.

I love it how partners come along are quickly adopted into the club and become just as part of everything as the person they came with and this was hugely evident at JAE, Laura is a steady at meets with yourself, Rocker Kev with Linda, Kris and Gemma, Phil and Terri, all lovely and all part of the family now. Who knows, maybe one day I'll turn up with someone!

After not seeing you out for a while, we saw you at a whole bunch of meets in 2013, all enjoyed?  First ever Ace Café Meet too?!

Yeah I took a lot of time away from meets, I'm quite a shy lad in person and I just struggle to walk up to people and say 'Hi I'm Stevie, what's your name' etc. I find it hard to have a conversation just because of feeling a bit anxious but I've come further with that and really enjoyed this year. I still find it difficult so I don't meet half the people I'd like to but this year I did Japfest2, a North East regional meet, JAE, Peterborough and yes, Ace Cafe!

I'd always saw Ace Cafe as too far to travel but it's really not, fantastic weekender! I always had the memory of Ace as that video of Andy Batch leaving the car park in Evo, that short video was always Ace Cafe to me. After ten years I went along and was delighted to see Andy was there, just brilliant.

Tell everyone who has never come out and joined us at a Club Meet, why they should..

It's the community element, once you meet people, it adds a face to the name and it boosts your activity on the forums massively. This club is like a massive warm cuddle, allow it to embrace you and it will hold you close and give you love.

I can think of three people instantly who joined pretty recently, Maximus Rob, Nordic Michael and P10 Zed who came out to meets and have instantly become part of the club like they'd always been around, all doing new things and bringing fresh enthusiasm and that's absolutely vital in any club. That's the way it's done!

So 10 years of NPOC life WOW!... That's a lot of years matey! There's been some very good club memories and moments in the last decade. Do you have a defining one? Was it the epic (life event for me personally) LEJOG fundraiser that yourself, Matt and me took on, the events surrounding the April 2006 feature, or something completely different?

So many to choose from, such a long time and such great times. I'd like to talk about four though for sure.

LEJOG. Where do you even start with that?  I should briefly talk about what that was for anyone who doesn't know. My then partner Natalie had breast cancer at the age of 31. I approached the club and said I'd love to do a charity event to raise some cash for an organisation called CancerCare who had been so lovely to us and the club was all over it. Myself, Matt (Blue) and Shaun did a charity drive from Gosport to Lands End, to John O'Groats and back down to Gosport, non stop taking turns driving my Almera. We raised over £1800 and it was tough, brutal, exhausting but utterly magical. I keep trying to talk Matt back onto the forums and I feel hopeful he'll return in 2014, love you man!

Everyone who sponsored us, everyone who came out and met us on the way to wish us well, the guys up in Scotland (Ant and Gizz) who saved us and gave us so much support, PDPA who was out at crazy o'clock to meet us and still up all night wishing us well online afterwards, I particularly remember getting texts in the early hours from Jonny Young wishing us well, it was so special. If I think about that weekend it brings a tear to my eye. We blogged the whole journey, we even had a real time GPS location tracker on the blog so everyone knew where we were at. Life event, absolutely. As Shaun knows, I periodically talk to him about doing another one, maybe one day with the right purpose and a momentary lapse of sanity!

In the early days, I have fond memories of meeting up with Gav, Liam and Rhino over at Kev Shek's place and just chatting and messing with the cars on a Saturday night.  That led to a great friendship that remains to this day, mates for life with Kev.

I loved the day when my friend and I drove over to Revolution in Gateshead to buy some car bits. I was in my Si, he was in his GT and who should pull up but Danny (Skint). We knew him off the forum but not in person so as he pulled up, I said, 'Are you Skint?' Back came the inevitable 'not yet, but I will be after I come out of there'!! That led to another fantastic friendship but sadly he's not around on the club anyone, miss you Danny! That day though, yet another GT pulled up and this was the completely unknown Nordic Les! We told him about the forum and he joined up of course.

Fourth was JAE 2006. I'd turned up late as I got lost on the way down!  I was parked right at the edge of our plot and was feeling a bit down about that really. The weather was awful and when it absolutely lashed down, NikC hopped into my car to keep me company and we chatted whilst it rained.  We got on so well and from that, another friendship spawned that still lasts now. We chat often and we're great friends, that was such a great time!

Stupid question I know, given the fact that you are an NPOC Legend and die hard NPOC'r and long time Staff Team Member but NPOC for life, regardless of what car you ever find yourself owning?

It's always NPOC for life. The motto of the club is members first, cars second and that is why everyone who doesn't own the car anymore is still here. I always join the forum of any car I own because information is a great thing but I never find the community element anywhere else.

I'm a paid up member of the Juke forums but haven't been on there for a few months, I'm on here every day. This place goes way beyond cars, this is where my friends are and this is where the great things happen.

Talking about you being a Staff Member here, is this something you truly enjoy LOL? I know at times it can be hard work and I also know at times, I can even be hard work too! But would you rather be a front of house normal member, or is being in the back of house bunker, where it's at?

I love it, absolutely love it. I knew from the very early days of Kev Shek being a moderator and having those mysterious 'magic buttons' that I wanted to be involved more and I thrive on that, not being part of the team would make it a very different experience for me. So, if you ever sack me I'll hunt you down, seriously!

I'd like to think I'm a fair moderator, I always play to the rules and to keep harmony. Back in the day I had a few run ins with people as we all have but I grew up and hopefully that comes across in my style of moderating. You'll always get someone arguing the case at some point and even being a little heated from time to time but that's all part and parcel. It's like being a doorman without ever having to deck anyone! It's a great forum to moderate, one big happy family.

The Facebook group on the other hand is another matter! Moderate on the forums and people usually say 'yeah, fair cop'. Moderate on the Facebook group and you get FCKKK YOU ADMIN etc, it's a very different ball game where people are much more aggressive.

We all read the debate in the December 2013 COTM about my decision to change the name of our monthly feature to "Member Of The Month" and also change the criteria and so on.. You've always been straight up with me, which is why you're such a valuable member of the Staff Team, I appreciate you're our very 1st MOTM winner and I know this won't make you hold your tongue or be biased either.. Did I make the right call in changing things around here? Or should I have left it as it was?

Yes, you know full well that you get the truth from me as I see it, no bias here! My very initial reaction was not great, I was worried for the people who spend a lot of time and work aiming for COTM, it was a very sought after award and held in massively high regard even after running for ten years. After thinking about it rationally, I think the decision was absolutely the right one. The feature is actually very similar to a COTM feature anyway, the features always had more about the member than people realised.

I may have never won one, but the feature was special to me because I wrote quite a lot of them, another great thing to be involved in.

The main thing here is that you've opened up the pool of who can win this award and that's a wonderful thing, everyone should be on their toes now! Everyone who could win before still can, nothing has been taken away. That's key here, can't say it enough, nothing has been taken away. Will be interesting to see what the members think.

And as we come to the end of this virginal feature and you get to say your thanks and shouts.. I just wanted to end with a lil' something from me. A MASSIVE thank you Stevie, for all the hard work you have ever done here at NPOC. A lot of the ideas and changes we have ever put in place here, have either come from you, or been shaped with your help. You give your time here for free and you have always worked tirelessly to keep the NPOC forums running. You've had some cracking whips over the years and I've had some cracking memories and times with you! You're one of my closest online friends and one of my most cherished offline friends too. Thank you!

So over to you Stevie and many thanks for telling us all about yourself and your cars, past and present! Congratulations once again for winning Member Of The Month for January 2014! Please end this feature, in your own words and feel free to thank anyone who’s made this one possible.

Thanks so much for this feature, I'm really honoured and delighted to get it and really appreciate the recognition and nice words. Sometimes you just have to forget being modest and quiet and just stand up and accept the praise that is being sent your way, now is that time!

I'll try to keep this as short as I possibly can. Some people will absolutely need a mention but it's impossible to mention everyone, for anyone I forget that deserved a mention, I'm sorry. Not often you really get a full chance to thank people, so yeah let's have it!

Major thanks to NPOC as a club for being so awesome and to the club owners for allowing me to be a big part of the place. Standing by me in my younger days when I was a bit more spring loaded and always recognising that there was a good team member in me, I'm proud to represent the club in any way possible.

I want to thank friends new and old really, everyone that makes the meets so special or has become a friend outside the club, both include G, Ade, Gaz, Laura, Dyp, Gemma, Kris, Alex, Tom, Gizz, Roy, Tim, Nabber, Col, Geordie Chris, Katie, Rich and Caroline.

Big thanks to NikC for all his friendship and the laughs we've had for years.

Big thanks to Ant for all his friendship and help over the years, all the hours we've spent discussing crazy plans and even making some happen!

A great big 'get your ass back' to the good guys who have drifted away over the years. Matty Blue, Danny Skint, Big Daz Lurch, Shunky, Ridcullly and of course Disco needs to be around more!

Thanks to all friends online and off the club, you all make this a great place to be. I love it when people come to visit me at Stevie Towers so hook me up on that! The Lakes are a relaxing place to be, seriously. Thanks for reading this feature and indulging me in talking about my little life!

Huge final thanks to Shaun for being one of my best friends on this Earth. Every club needs a Shaun. A guy that can lead from the front, organise, make things happen, turn a club into a community and we are all extremely lucky to have our Shaun. I could talk for hours about him but for now, 'love you maaaan' should suffice.

So anyway, ten years service....where's my watch?  I'll put my order in, Swiss Automatic please!

Congratulations once again to Steve!

January 2014 MOTM - Stevie-Boy

Written by essNchill
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