This is my last area report as I have stepped down from the Press Officer role after some 7 years. Ironically it’s also the longest yet written and has the most photos! I sincerely hope someone takes up the job and enjoys it as much as I have. As a then relatively new member it certainly provided me with a reason to go and talk to folks and it has been a real pleasure getting to know club members and enthusiasts elsewhere.
Now I think is the time for someone else to have a go and take it forward but I'll still do the odd article if the mood takes me. I am aware that the internet has moved on also in this period and Facebook seems to becoming the preferred method of publishing photos and comments. There is a group called Yorkshire Military Vehicle Club with some familiar faces if this takes your fancy. Although I am on Facebook it is not as a publisher and it really isn't my thing. This media may well be how a lot of things get published in future, but it really can’t replace a report that tries to cover as many members within the area as possible.
Tony Boyle and Jack Ford took their Standard Tilly to Jersey in May. They joined Force 135, the Jersey Liberation Force, as part of the Liberation 70 celebrations .As they both are RN re enactors they had with them a replica Contact Mine as part of their role as a Royal Navy bomb and mine safety squad.
“We were billeted at the old Napoleonic Barracks at Greve De Lecq on the North coast of Jersey. This was a fabulous location with a small sandy beach surrounded by steep hills and imposing cliffs. Over the next few days as a group we had the privilege of touring the island and visiting historical sites representing Force 135.
On the first day we had a group visit to the Batterie Moltke at St Ouen, run by the Channel Islands Occupation Society. This group of volunteers do a fantastic job preserving and restoring many of the German Fortifications on the island. Later we had the chance to set up our display showing how a wartime Contact Mine washed up on a beach was dealt with.
On Liberation Day itself we were able to join over ninety military vehicles in the parade through St Helier organised by the Jersey Military Vehicle Club. The slow parade through the centre of the town was very moving with thousands of flag waving people lining the roads. It seems the emotions still run very deep with the islanders, the only part of the British Isles occupied by the Germans.
Following this we went to the Occupation Museum in the War Tunnels which hosted an excellent display of the occupation years. On our last day I was keen to visit the Jersey Maritime Museum in St Helier. The curator was very kind an allowed us to park our Tilly in front of the museum and gave us free entry.
This was a fabulous place with a vast array of interesting nautical displays and items. The Occupation Tapestry next door was another example of the islanders desire to remember the days of the occupation. Each of its’ twelve panels was embroidered by one of the island’s parishes.
Finally it was time to go home. Despite being tired and exhausted it was a memorable trip, we were overwhelmed by the friendliness and generosity of everyone we met during our stay. Here’s hoping we can make it back next time!”
Whilst Tony and Jack were in Jersey Nick Dunsford was in neighbouring Guernsey and he has promised to give us details of his trip which will be added here when available.
Mike and David Shackleton went along to the Keighley Armed Forces Day Sunday 21 June 2015. Now in it's second year, and a new venue at the Victoria Leisure Centre.
“We attended with the QL and the OX, setting up shop next to Haworth Home Guard. Elements of the Rolling Thunder unit also displayed. This is a very relaxed event which provides an opportunity to mix with the public, particularly the younger ones, and to give them an idea of the equipment used in WW2, and the conditions they faced.
Even more important for us is the chance to share the interesting memories of the many ex-servicemen who attend, many of whom had first hand experience of the vehicles and equipment we now cherish”.
Bob Wales went along to the Batley Vintage Day only to be approached by an older man who said he’d got an Ariel like Bob’s at home which he’d had since he was a kid.
When Bob asked him where he lived he was amazed to learn they both lived in Robertown! Bob took his number and later went round and struck a deal on the bike.
It came with a spare set of girder forks, wheels, engine, gearbox, and bits and bats and Bob thinks was probably built in 1940. I went along too for a quick look round in the morning and took a couple of photos.
You can see a report on Battlegroup North which has been on our web page for some time.
Yorkshire Wartime Experience organised by Stuart Wright, now in its’ 4th year has continued to grow and this year was most impressive. I liked the new layout and the fact that more use was made of the arena. I took the Bedford on Saturday and was most impressed with the line up of British soft skin, mainly Bedfords and the separate Dunkirk section with vehicles of that period.
I did, however, forget to take a camera, but Ian Garbutt and Mike Shackleton have provided me with some for this report. John Gray came over to suggest I had a look at his son Thomas’s
Jeep which ran into trouble in France when something started rattling in the diff. It turned out to be a fractured shaft on the spider gear. Repairs were being carried out whilst the jeep was supported by Simon Fenton’s wrecker. Sat alongside was someone looking pretty much like Oddball from the 1970’s film Kelly’s Heroes! The crowds were certainly there is some numbers on the Saturday and I suspect with Sunday being good as well that it was also busy.
Ashley Walker took the first of his three Scammell Pioneers to be restored along to the show on Sunday and was delighted to help out with the loading of a German halftrack into a curtainsider after it had been originally recovered from the arena by a Scammell Explorer. A short clip of this can be
Mike and David Shackleton were also at YWE and Mike comments.....
“What can I say? Bigger, better and great fun. It was particularly good to see such a great number of British WW2 armoured and soft-skinned vehicles gathered together here "up north", and even better that they were given pride of place in the arena parade on both days.
As a Bedford owner myself, of course it was particularly pleasing to see so many QLs, OYs, my solitary OX and a multitude of MW's all in the same place. The show is obviously rising in status, as this year the BBMF sent a Spitfire instead of the C47 - the sound of a Rolls Royce Merlin never fails to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand
It was heartening to see how well attended the show was this year, it was appreciably busier than in previous years. All in all, a cracking good weekend, and Stuart Wright and his team
( you know who you are ) deserve a big thank you for all their hard work, and I am already looking forward to the 2016 event”.
In June I had a very pleasant run over the moor tops to Oldham with Mel Bean in
my MW to a vehicle evening do organised by the Manchester Military Vehicle Club in Failsworth. Food had been laid on, but although invited to join the very friendly crowd we thought it best to get back whilst it was still light. We were made most welcome and invited to join them at other events.
Mel and family had a weekend in Somerset visiting the Dig for Victory Show on the Saturday held at the North Somerset Showground. Mels says there’s something for everyone here as life on the Home Front is portrayed through displays and practical demonstrations. On the vehicle front were some good displays including vehicles from the Shopland Collection and Jim Clarke’s Sherman.
Whilst on holiday in the Cotswolds in mid June I took the opportunity to visit the MVT Wartime in the Vale at Evesham. I can recommend this show. It is well laid out around a large square arena and there were certainly plenty of vehicles lined up in rows to browse including the only running Buffalo in Europe and a
Jeep on rails! Stalls a plenty, re enactor displays and the wartime camp provide lots to see.
If you fancy putting pen to paper and enjoy taking photos then please get in touch with Brian as he needs all the help he can get in keeping the Yorkshire Area one of the best if not the best MVT area. I hope to see you around.