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Area Report - Windscreen Summer Issue 143
It’s unseasonably warm as I write this, but at least it has given me the chance to wash off the winter grime from my Bedford MW which has been there since its outings to Leeds for film purposes last December. Sadly I’ll miss our Crank up, but I trust a lot of you will enjoy the day. By the decided lack of e-mails or any other form of communication, it would seem that there is very little happening across our area or everyone is still in hibernation!

A few kind souls have let me have some news, but I’ll start with a purchase with which I had a direct involvement. My friend, and YMVT member Jack Ford, and his mate Tony Boyle are Royal Navy re enactors and have been looking for suitable vehicle for some time. I contacted Jack in February regarding a Bedford MW with RN markings for sale on Milweb.

Jack - “Our initial enquiries proved that the vehicle fitted the bill exceedingly well being in tip top road worthy condition and – most importantly for me and my fellow purchaser Tony Boyle - it had Royal Navy markings. After an initial viewing by Tony with strong support and guidance by Mike we decided on the purchase, plans were made and a collection date set. For extra technical back up we invited my old mate and mechanical sage Denis Matthewman a person I have known for over 20 years. As he seems to know a little of the old internal combustion engine we thought it would be an added insurance to have Denis riding as shotgun."

"So off we went on our 300 mile round trip to the deepest Leicestershire countryside stopping en route for breakfast– especially for Denis. By late one March Saturday morning we took control of our new toy for the long haul back to Yorkshire. First stop was to fuel up which, with backup fuel cans, came to a painful £100. She started immediately, ran smoothly and the journey proved a joy with us all taking turns in driving the old girl part of the way, stopping only twice for refuelling and another for a welcome lunch. By 7.00pm we were home and happy to note that not all the fuel purchased was used proving she is not as heavy on petrol as expected. She also used just short of a quart of oil. Not so bad for an old girl of 72 years. 

Since then we have already had her rolling around the Yorkshire lanes as we get to know her little ways and temperament and do plan to have her out attending some of the military and wartime shows this year. Hopefully she will be fully on show at Battle Group North Event, Elvington this summer so do come along and say hello. You will always know our vehicle as she will always proudly display her ROYAL NAVY markings reminding all who see her of the excellent efforts of Britain’s SENIOR SERVICE.”

Bill Hodgson continues with his replica RAF Fordson Armoured car which can be seen on our website under Articles. In February he was busy making the boxes for the back and a replica Vickers machine gun for the turret. He hopes to be at our annual show so there will be a chance to see his excellent handywork there.

On the Morris Quad front Mike Peacock’s Quad has just had a new engine fitted and is going on loan to the Garrison down south and will be at Tankfest in June. His other, a No 5 bodied Quad, is nearing a complete rebuild in the workshop of Mel Bean. Chris Smyth had head gasket problems with his, but that is now sorted. Mel Bean has rebuilt a 6 cylinder engine for Chris’s Morris CDSW so that should be fitted soon and, lastly, Denis has been busy building his Quad and we hope to see it at Elvington if not at York in April.

Richard Clegg tells me his Kaiser Jeep M715 is back on the road after 2-5 years - just had a new fly wheel fitted, new card and headlights, and now has a new MOT and tyres.

Simon Roberts took his Jeep to the Belgium winter rally along with the other regulars. “During our tour of the Ardennes the jeep started miss firing when pulling up hill. At that point a dodgy valve was the suspected fault, but the jeep like all other jeeps kept going and going and the plan was to repair it when back home.”

However, he was struck down with the very debilitating Glandular Fever for 7 weeks! Simon “Good old Uncle Cliff and Mike Hemingway washed, cleaned and oiled the jeep for me.” Now recovered and with less than a week to the Crank up Simon has found that not only has the head gasket gone but two valve seats are burnt out and all valves and valve seats require re-grinding. Will he make it?

Simon Daymond has had a brief trip to France and the Juno Centre to paint a 25pdr and a Bofors outside the museum which are memorials to the French Canadians who fought in Europe. Simon says “I was happy with the result, which I undertook voluntarily for the veterans visiting this year, and for those who did it 70 years ago.”

He says it was 3 days of hard slog, but he did get to appear on French TV and in a local paper. Others had promised to help but never appeared which is poor. So very well done Simon. Photo shows the 25 pdr in primer.

Finally, welcome help with publicity for Battlegroup North and the Crank Up has been forthcoming from Ian Garbutt who has also undertaken to do a report on the latter in my absence.

Mike Humphreys