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Area Report - October '09

Well another season will be over when you read this. Despite a poor summer (again) the events I managed to get to all enjoyed sunshine. I hope other members were as lucky. The Armed Forces Day resulted in a last minute request for some vehicles to line the High St in Skipton, and five of us including Maurice and Peter Clarke and Wayne were happy to oblige. 

Those of you who did the annual pilgrimage to Beltring will have had a great time and no doubt spent quite sufficient. Stall numbers I thought were down on last year. I had some sympathy for the owls in the sanctuary having to put up with deafening disco music on their pitch late into the night. Quite bizarre! Some sanctuary!

We had several, mainly WW2 vehicles, creating interest, tucked away under the trees at the Annual Trans Pennine gathering at Harrogate . This must have been one of the best attended events of recent years and our vehicles were some of the oldest there. 


John Gray and Dennis Smith have been on a selling trip to Ursel militaria fair in Belgium which is only 20 minutes from Zeebrugge.  John could not praise this highly enough. He said facilities were excellent and clean unlike some of the UK shows. The vehicles, of any period, and stalls were all on hard standing. Perhaps a coach trip for the future? They made the most of their trip by visiting WW1 sites at Passchendaele and Tyne Cot amongst others.


Ray Dobson reports. “The Wensleydale Railway War Weekend was a nice do, with steam and diesel trains running, and successful despite floods the day before.” Hull , East Park , is a show he really likes. “This is mixed period event with everything from cowboys, gold miners, Home Guard, Russians etc and 2 good battles”. After their memorable trip to Normandy, Colin Dixon and Mick Edmondson pointed their WD Matchless bikes northwards in July to the Ingleton War Weekend and Operation Dalesman, in Wensleydale, skirmishing with the Germans and later escorting ‘Winston’.


Also in July several members were in Ireland to witness the last firing of 25 pounders in Europe as the Irish Army bade farewell to these famous guns. A full battery of 8 live firing ones was also ‘in action’ against the Germans at the Victory Show helped by some impressive pyrotechnics. The quality of the living history exhibits and the air display were outstanding. Tim was spotted on yet another tank. A good event to visit, but out of sensible range for most of us in a mv. 


Andrew Fleming, Gail, Paul and Val Cornish, Sue and myself, Melvyn Bean and his mate, Andy, all enjoyed the sizeable Sunday convoy at the Saddleworth War Weekend. The route takes you through some of the villages used in the film Yanks. We were also treated to several low passes by the Lancaster later in the day. Ian Anderson and Gary Cottingham were at Arnhem in September camping at Oosterbeek. Sites visited included Hartenstein, Nijmegen and Arnhem bridges, the Airborne Cemetery and the Polish Memorial at Driel. He says his desert sand coloured Tilly looked a little out of place!! and does not recommend para bikes for touring.


Returning member Stuart Wright has been on a spending spree acquiring a 1942 Austin Tilly, and in conjunction with Gordon Trousdale a 1942 Chevrolet 1.5 ton truck. He intends to do the Tilly in brown/black Mickey Mouse camouflage. Brian Slingsby and Chris Smyth organised what turned out to be a fantastic weekend Dales Run at the end of September. Fifteen Jeeps and Land Rovers accompanied by 2 outriders chased round some fairly narrow roads on successive days. Basic overnight camping had been organised at Kettlewell. On Saturday night a great evening was had by all sat round an open wood fire tucking into BBQ food and knocking back beers. Some were notably worse for wear on Sunday, but still set off again up to Hawes for lunch and then back down the western Dales to end the tour.

Mike Humphreys