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Area Report - Windscreen May/June Issue 154
You can tell it’s spring when the Yorkshire roads thunder to the sound of our cherished vehicles getting their first lengthy road runs of the year. Yorkshire’s famous “Crank Up” rally therefore heralds the start of our official event season.
This annual event In York is always well attended, with our rally point is normally in the shadow of Clifford’s Tower it always attracts a big crowd including many photographers and local residents. This year we were relocated to the nearby Tower Gardens, to accommodate the city’s St. Georges Day parade.

Despite some initial concerns of the potential tricky access along the riverside streets, which may prevent the larger vehicles from joining the party, our recce and marshaling teams did us proud getting 84 vehicles into ( and out ) of the gardens safely.

Whilst most on display were smaller vehicles; 31 Jeeps, 24 Land Rovers and 3 motorcycles we did manage 5 different wartime GMCs, 2 Reos, an Alvis Stalwart and new on the Yorkshire circuit, a fully restored Mk 1 Saracen – splendid! 

According to Dennis Mathewman’s father the last time York’s Tower Gardens hosted any military vehicles, was back in the 1920s when a “Tank Bank” was placed here until the late 1930s, sadly we’ve not been able to locate an archive photograph of that. A great new location for us, and a memorable start to the season!

A few brave members have been venturing out to events before the crank up of course, Crich Tramway Village’s 1940s weekend event over a chilly Easter break, and Masham’s event the following week saw Tony Boyle and his RN bomb disposal display team, deactivating a German parachute mine – always goes off well, if that's the correct expression!?

It is always pleasing to see that the time and resources given by our members in their support of numerous charity and community events is welcomed and occasionally recognised with a note of thanks. Whilst writing this report, we received correspondence from Holland from a veteran’s daughter thanking our “Polar Bears” who represented the 49th (West Riding) Division in their trip to Utrecht last year. Mr Toon Kramer ( 93 years old ) a Dutchman, served with C-Squadron of the same unit from the beginning of '44. Our Hugo Hunter whose has a family connection to this unit was interviewed on Dutch radio and this interview prompted her families letter to us…

In her words “These reconnaissance men were indeed a tough lot with a very special kind of mentality. We're very aware of and grateful for all the things his father and all those boys did, in fact it seems that the awareness only grows with each passing year”

A good thought to end on perhaps – that in preserving the military heritage through our vehicles, whatever the era, we keep safe many precious memories of others, military or civilian.