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Area Report - January '12
Pickering’s WW2 Weekend, or Railway in Wartime to give it its correct title, in mid October was the last major event of the year in Yorkshire. Whilst the focus of activity is in Pickering, there are vehicles and events at all the village stations on the line best visited by travelling on the crowded trains. Le Visham, usually occupied by the Germans, even featured a V1 rocket and launch pad! 

Blessed with excellent weather the crowds were out in force to see highlight, the Saturday parade. This winds itself through the town squeezing through the narrow gap between the shops at the top of the High Street before descending past thousands to a light hearted commentary by Paul Harper. The new feature of a scheduled stop at the main road traffic lights to let frustrated ordinary motorists get through the town was held up longer than planned by an emergency ambulance attending the scene pulling up alongside me within a couple of inches of my offside wing. The parade had to reverse up so I could extricate my Bedford and be ready to roll on command. 

Rather amusingly we were treated to another siren and flashing light attending the scene, but this time the paramedic was on a bicycle! Quite bizarre. 

jan9.jpg (107433 bytes)  A lovely Ford WOT 15 cwt, which had been driven over from near Amsterdam, joined us this year as did what must be a unique pre war Albion Ambulance in RAF livery spotted by Colin Carr but which I failed to see over the weekend. Who does that belong to? Colin makes large scale models and would like to make one of the Albion. 

If you can help him his no is 01904 763194. On a personal note I was delighted when Mike Shackleton bought my Bedford OXD at Pickering and am pleased to report it will, therefore, be staying in Yorkshire. Just prior to leaving home for the weekend I had received an offer from Italy and really wanted it to stay in Britain given its’ rarity and so it has. On the same day Graham Golder also sold his Bedford OY which has returned to Essex. Graham’s ‘fleet’ has, in fact, changed completely with the sale of his 1/2 ton Dodge WC43 in late summer and he now owns a Dodge WC54 Ambulance.

Garforth town centre was blitzed by mv’s in support of the annual Poppy Appeal with Simon’s AEC Militant towing Mel’s 5.5” gun, Dave’s Series 1, John’s Defender, Stuart’s K2, and Ken Pugh’s GMC. 

Big Dave reports on a very long successful day, despite the rain, with everyone supplied with plenty to eat. “Simon must have told all the cafes to supply sandwiches, tea, fish and chips, and cakes.” Meanwhile Simon Roberts was doing the same in near the Cenotaph in Harrogate but on his own which he says was not good on the bladder.
 If he can secure this busy location again next year then this would be an ideal chance for other members who live nearby to support him.
On the mv front Denis has bought a partly, but immaculately, restored Morris Quad from Mel Bean and has since been beavering away in his barn with his new project. With Denis’s penchant for canvas and mobile sleeping arrangements it will be interesting to see the interior when it rolls out. It’s big enough for an en-suite Denis! 

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A friend of mine, and rejoining member, Ashley Walker, has now got his Scammell Pioneer and is keen as mustard to get on with the sizeable task of restoring it with the help of his sons Sam and John. Bill Hodgson is building “a loose copy of a 1940’s Fordson Armoured Car” whilst Mel Bean can now start the restoration of another AEC Matador that I helped him collect from Holland. Both the AEC and Quad feature in the MVT 2012 calendar.

Stuart Wright is making rapid progress on the restoration of his rare International M16 halftrack which he bought on the Continent - he really does get stuck in. One of the last things to be done will be the refitting of a M45 Maxim Quad turret. With half tracks being my favourite wartime vehicle I hope we can see the finished article at Elvington. 

If you have projects on the go, or have bought something new please let me know so we can feature them in future. I would encourage you to add your vehicles to the Members vehicle pages of our website by sending photos to Steve Carr. If you would like me to do this on your behalf please ask at any show and I will take the photos and send them on.

Our annual Christmas party at the Wetherby Sports Association building saw our biggest turnout ever and went on until after 11pm. The raffle was a huge success and the prize table looked like it was about to collapse with so much on it, so thanks to one and all who brought prizes along to donate. Brian “We were treated to lovely fresh pork pie and peas, followed by the edge of your seat game of 'higher and lower' from Brian Fox, where the tension was unbearable. Thanks, Brian. A small, but teasing, letter quiz from me and then a mixed Christmas and military quiz from the ex university challenge team of John and Helen Gray. Total points available 42, with the winning team of Ivor and part of his table (I think?) getting 33 points and pulling off the win with a very tense tie breaker, well done!”

Over the Christmas holidays, Wednesday 28th December to be precise, our last run of the year took place, quite miraculously, in decent weather. The start was from Lotherton Hall, Leeds to Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, where the NAAFI was open to refresh everyone with hot food and drink. 

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Almost 20 vehicles took part and after lunch we were invited to see a film called Flight Path, made by Ian Reed of the Museum about Phyllis Pattismore of York who was in love with a Henri Martin, a French airman based at Elvington ( sadly K.I.A. ). She operated in occupied France for the SOE and later became Churchill’s French translator. She died in 2011.The film was shown in the new 50 seat cinema. 

Our annual show at the end of May, also at The Yorkshire Air Museum Elvington, promises to be a much bigger and better event and will have the added benefit of use of the adjoining runway. Please see the separate feature in the Green Sheet.

Ken Pugh and Stuart Wright are organising a new show in the Area just off J26 of the M62  between Leeds/Bradford, off Hunsworth Lane, Hunsworth, BD4 9RN. The name is The Yorkshire Wartime Experience and it will cover all periods from WW1 to present day. Their website is www.ywe-event.info and is live as of 13th January. Entry forms are also available to download from the YMVT Events Diary page.

On a final note I am pleased to report that Brian was re elected as Secretary and Treasurer at the December meeting so we can look forward to another year in his very experienced and safe hands.

Mike Humphreys.