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Area Report - Windscreen Spring Issue 142
How many of you have been busying yourselves with new projects or fettling in readiness for the coming season? If you have, let’s be hearing about it please for the next issue.  I saw a number of area members at Newark in November, where Mel Bean and I were selling surplus parts and other collectables, and had a successful day. What we could do with, however, is a large fair somewhere along the M62 corridor to cater for all us Northerners. Wouldn’t you agree?

I missed the Christmas ‘party’ meeting ( busy on a film set, more later ) which had the usual mixture, of free pie and peas which always goes down well, a good game of ‘higher lower’ from Brian Fox which this year almost went the full distance, and helping to increase the tension waiting for a winner. We also had a visit and a talk from our current Chairman, Terry Till, who explained some of the changes that are being made at high command level, that will inevitably be filtering through to us. Finally, the raffle kept all entertained with lots of prizes up for grabs.

Quite a number of films have been made in Yorkshire recently. In November Dale Shipley and Nick Calvert were at Ferrybridge with their Reos for ‘Utopia Series 2’. They found out that, having arrived on set, they should have reported to the Base camp, so not a good start.

Their involvement in the film turned out to be a little more active than they had imagined with troops piling into the back of the truck whilst moving and the fun being taken out of Dale as he struggled running to his truck after endless takes.

Someone shouted “Run Forest Run” which tickled him no end. This is a moniker he’s now adopted. In December I acted as organiser for several vehicles for ‘Residue’ being filmed in Leeds and Bradford. This is a futuristic supernatural thriller and surprisingly they requested a most unusual mix of vehicles. 

Dale and Nick again with the Reos, John Wymark-Hoar and Denis Matthewman with their Land Rovers, Craig Dixon’s Ferret, Ken Pugh’s GMC352, Stuart Wright’s M16 Halftrack and my Bedford MW. Most of us stood around shivering during the long days and moved vehicles on set as requested. Dale and Craig got to drive around parts of Leeds to relieve the boredom. Poor old Nick had the worst of it with shooting going on through the night until 4.00am at Cartwright Hall in Lister Park requiring some very difficult if not almost impossible manoeuvring into an archway so that ‘bodies’ could be loaded in the back. 
Disaster struck during the very stormy night of the 4th/5th December when the set was completely destroyed. Luckily for our vehicles parked there overnight all the debris from the set, which included some large items, was blown past the vehicles and missed them! An interesting point is that the film’s vehicle co-ordinator went ‘shopping’ by looking at our website. So if you like the idea of being involved with a film in future and your vehicle(s) photo is not currently shown or is out of date please send new ones to Steve Carr with a copy to me, together with contact details, just in case we are asked again.
The Christmas Cracker run on the 29th December followed the usual format. Brian says, “It seems to be well liked, so to use the old adage of ‘if it's not broken don’t fix it’ I kept to the same routine. We met at Lotherton Hall, just outside Tadcaster/Leeds which is quite a good venue for a small event like ours. It has a warm café and free toilets, both of which are essential before the start due to the cold we suffer just getting there. 19 vehicles and over 40 bodies turned out this year, which I think could almost be a record.

It was helped very much, of course, by the nice weather, dry and sunny, but cold. Just about perfect for our trip. The route took us along the smaller roads, more or less covering two big loops around Tadcaster where we had a stop to leg stretch and regroup. It’s amazing how big a convoy of 19 vehicles is and how hard it is to keep together. The final stretch into Wetherby went along smoothly and we arrived at the sports centre, 37 miles later on time for our warm lunch provided by the ever accommodating staff at the Wetherby Sports Association. An excellent day out without breakdowns from the mixture of Jeeps, Land Rovers and one or two miscellaneous other small vehicles. We had no large ones this year; I wonder how much the cost of fuel is affecting our events? Quite a lot I guess.”

On the vehicle front Brian Slingsby has sold his immaculate Dodge Command car and, sadly, it has crossed the border into Lancashire. Brian says his Ford Jeep is coming along well and, whilst he is very busy at work, he hopes to get it finished by Easter.

Denis Matthewman has been making steady progress on his Morris quad and it now looks like a complete vehicle and moves under its’ own power. He has still to fit all the internal lockers which is a fiddly job, have a canvas cover made for the cab roof area and have it verified by the MVT.

Our annual Crank Up is planned for Sunday 13th April outside the York Museum with the usual convoy leaving the Tadcaster slip road at 10.30am. The dates for this year’s Battlegroup North Show at the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington will be 9th-11th May. Please see our website for entry details.

On the event front, it’s the time of year to plan our outings, consequently Brian needs any event information you have or get hold of to put into our own event calendar. If you have a favourite local event or even if you hear of one, then get the details, i.e. location, type of event and organiser contact details, and ring him or send it to him.

Mike Humphreys