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Area Report - September '12
Annus Horribilus, no other way to describe this year as far as the weather is concerned. Coupled with rising fuel costs and the temperamental nature of the vehicles we own, well mine anyway and I know of some others, I suspect that most of you will have been to very few events this summer. I have managed two! I would be very pleased to hear otherwise, so e mail or ring me with your stories of events that you have attended good or bad. After 5 years of such summers I’m surprised that the price of DUKWs hasn’t soared. Clearly they are the future.

Chris Smyth took his Quad, limber and 25pdr to the local classic car show on the cricket ground in Burley in Wharfedale in August and it’s fair to say that it attracted more attention there than at a military show. Martin Laker was also enjoying the day in his jeep. This is a great event and I believe the organisers would welcome more of us turning up. I’ll keep you posted.

I hear regularly from Stuart Wright and am happy to report that his White M16 Halftrack is now fully restored/painted/lettered and on the road. See photo. Work is continuing on the quad 50s to go in it which he says will be gas firing. Gordon Trousdale has recently acquired a 37mm anti tank gun that will eventually be towed behind his jeep or his 1941 GPA when restored. That combination should be good to see.


Our own 69th Field gave an excellent display in front of two of the Deputy Lieutenants of West Yorkshire at Eccup on the 16th Sept. It involved twenty six uniformed personnel, three 25pdr gun sets, a jeep, a tilly and a motor bike. A 21 round gun salute was included. This event was originally scheduled for a park in central Leeds but had to be moved at the last minute after some truly spectacular incompetence by the ‘powers that be’.

Mike Shackleton is a member of the re-enactment group, D-Day to '45, and was at Peak Rail at Matlock in August with his QL. He says a good time was had by all, apart from the 3 hour drive up and down the M1. The lovely B&W photo is of his QL alongside the QLT of John Walker.

A couple of weeks ago the group was at Embsay, to which he and his son David took both their Bedfords. He says the event was very poorly attended last year, but was slightly improved this year. 

Brian went to the Jeep and Cheerful event which was very pleasant and attended by quite a number of YMVT members. This he says is very low key, but nice and relaxing. The organizer Steve Hague wants to include an overnight stay, with free camping next year so one to think about.

The end of season Crank Down started as a quiet affair on the Friday night at Nev’s with the threat of poor weather putting most off, apart from our visitors who came up in two vehicles from Dorset and Hampshire! However, some dozen vehicles set off on Saturday morning despite what I have just said, and enjoyed an almost dry run around the N. York Moors taking in a real mixture of roads and terrain.

Saturday night camp was at a spectacular site on the cliff tops at Robin Hoods Bay. Sunday saw more of the same terrain with a stop over to see the engine sheds at Grosmont, and then back to Nev’s for about 4.30 for everybody to toddle off home. The excellent ‘splash’ jeep photo was taken by Sharon Annot and stars Hugo Hunter and Dave Reape.

Denis Matthewman in his Standard Tilly really enjoyed the trip and thought Simon Roberts had done a marvellous job planning the route. Denis is known to enjoy breakdowns and the occasional beer and reports “Our erstwhile leader had trouble with his Dodge Command Car with a bad water leak out the header part of his radiator, but he was quite unmoved! just pouring a bit of radseal in.

Bad starting both days was down to a tired battery, but British Land Rover power got him going both days - dramatically off the cliff top at Robin Hoods Bay camp and back to civilisation. By gum some beer was supped - too much by young Nick or was it the uncomfortable sleep twisted round his gear knob in the Mahindra”.

On the last day of September I popped over to the Manchester Militaria show and was pleasantly surprised by the venue and what was on offer. This is a great venue and deserves to grow.

Mike Humphreys