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Area Report - September '11

 I write this at the end of September during a mini heatwave. Yet again, in the north at least, we’ve had a poor summer with some particularly cold and wet spells. We had our Crank Down run in the Dales over the weekend of the 24/25th September in weather that resembled the summer as a whole which ranged from quite cold and wet to very warm and sunny. More on that later.

Croft Circuit Nostalgia Weekend ( just to prove we did get some sun )

The Croft Circuit weekend, at the beginning of August, is within reach of members who live north of Leeds and was attended by Tony Paling, Ivor Waterhouse and Stuart Wright amongst others. Sadly, for a major mixed event, the bad weather ruined some features, such as the BBMF flypast, but things brightened up on the Sunday. 

On the same weekend the annual HCVS Trans Pennine event on the Stray in Harrogate which is great, was thinly attended by military vehicles. This is an event I enjoy because of the run itself, but neither of my Bedfords were available.

 Paul and Val Cornish, with their jeep, are regulars at the Ingleton War Weekend, in July, as are our Matchless biking trio of Colin Dixon, his son Craig, and Mick Edmondson. They report about 25 mv’s being there, and enjoy the battle in the main street watched by large crowds. If you like dancing, then there is an evening dance in the Community Centre. I have not yet been to this so if anyone has some photos of the weekend please send them off to our website so we can see what the event looks like.

Gordon Trousdale told me of an gigantic vintage vehicle event at Thornes Park, Wakefield which this year was on the 2nd July. Some 15 mv’s were there along with a reported 1000 other cars, commercials, tractors and motorbikes. He really recommends this to everyone as an evening only event. Dare I say it’s great to look at vehicles that are not green from time to time. Being in the heart of the area this is something we could support. Funds raised go to a charity of the organiser’s choice.

I suspect a lot of you enjoyed the War & Peace Show, but I bumped into very few familiar faces. I travelled south with Melvyn Bean towing a trailer containing a 25 pdr gun barrel which was being collected by a Belgian for his Sexton. With the help of a fork lift this was transferred very successfully into his Dodge. Ivor Waterhouse, by comparison, towed a carvan with his jeep for a full weeks stay. We availed ourselves of Mike Peacock’s camp during the day and roughed it in a hotel at night! He had been in Kent since the previous weekend to take part in a Garrison event at Leeds Castle where they were providing the bangs for a performance of the 1812 Overture!

Ian Anderson, Gary Cottingham and Denis Matthewman again supported the North East Military Vehicle Club’s annual rally at the end of August, in the grounds of the Durham Light Infantry Museum. They looked as bright and breezy as possible after a good night and clearly enjoy this compact show. I must say that their Club brochure listing the vehicles and exhibits is first class. Sat on a trailer at the entrance was a very rare 1916 British 3.7” howitzer, recently acquired by Rob Nixon, awaiting its turn to be restored.

 North East Military Vehicle Club at the DLI Museum 

A large gathering of military vehicles, of all ages, can be seen at Chatsworth Country Show and form one of the shows attractions. The vehicles are spread out on a grassy slope near the river, and next to one of the main entrances to the show. Organised by Paul Sykes and our very own Dave Reape, this is an excellent opportunity to combine things military with attractions for all the family. 

Our area was well represented with Ivor Waterhouse, Dale Shipley Nick Calvert, Brian Fox, Nev Johnson, Bob Fenton, Brandon Young, Chris Smyth and myself amongst the gathering. Over 50 very varied vehicles were on show over the weekend for the public to wander around. This Country Fair has to be one of the best in the country. How many shows enjoy the splendour of the Household Cavalry, or provide an early morning hot air balloon extravangaza? We really enjoyed the two days and the drive there and back over the tops on virtually empty roads. 

In September the areas’ 25pdr gun detachments were in action at Rufford and at the Victory Show. At the latter they were ‘firing’ from a hill across the road from the battle arena, with simulated fall of shot explosions in the arena.

Chatsworth Country Fair

The end of the summer is marked by our Dales Run planned, organised and led by Chris Smyth, with the support of his wife Val. I blagged a lift with them at the eleventh hour and very glad I did. An outstanding journey through a marvellously varied landscape was the reward. A serious distance was travelled by the convoy of Jeeps and Land Rovers, some of it off road on the moor tops. Many grateful thanks go to Maurice Clarke for the Friday evening camping facilities on his Cardale estate at Beckwithshaw. There was talk of new event next year earlier in the summer in addition to this. Watch this space.

A full report with photos can be found HERE.

Brian Slingsby is looking forward to winter and plenty of snow ( well he does have vested interests! ). Seriously though, he is particularly looking forward to next years Belgian winter rally between 3/6th Feb 2012. If you fancy a fun weekend away in Belgium let him know and he will help you to do your entry. Having been myself I would say you can’t have enough warm clothing, but it is spectacular.

The Christmas Party will be on the same night as the monthly meeting, Wednesday 7th December. All are welcome and Brian says “we will endeavour to have some fun of the Christmas variety, and maybe some food thrown in too.” If you plan to come along, please do, as all are welcome.

Mike Humphreys.