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Area Report - Windscreen July/August Issue 155
British Summer Time – a time for events and parades

With the arrival of June many of our members make their pilgrimages to Normandy, Mike Humphreys, Nicky Dunsford, Mark Turner, Chris Smyth and Mell Bean were amongst them and have provided us with images of their trip, including Sunday’s traditional liberation British Units and vehicle parade through Bayeux and the Pontoon causeway jeep rides. 

These trips are always bitter-sweet an opportunity to visit those landmarks and meet many veterans and local residents who recall those times clearly - Mike’s group met a very spritely WW2 veteran in Port en Bessin.

Captain Ron Rogers ( 92 years old ) of the Suffolk Regiment. He served with the 55th Anti Tank regiment (Suffolk Yeomanry) part of 49th Division ( West Riding ) 'The Polar Bears' equipped with 6pdr anti tank guns.

Originally a unit Despatch Rider on D-Day later promoted to Captain. As many of you will remember from previous reports, Yorkshire area has a very special connection to “The Polar Bears”.

Closer to home these events were well attended events including several new events Frontline – Sedgefield, event in County Durham was a change from the norm as a multi-period event featuring re-enactors from across world history; WW2, American Civil War, Tudor, Roman to mention a few. Large arena with demonstrations and battles, well attended despite poor weather, worth exploring again.

Keeping with new events were Bridlington and Barnard Castle’s 1940's Weekend. Bridlington Old Town’s event was following their local success as the new Warmington-On-Sea for the remake of the Dad’s Army movie, and Barnard Castle was based more fact than fiction, recreating the early days of the Battle of Britain with an RAF "Operations Room" with busy re-enactors, replaying a raid on the North East coast on August 15th 1940.

Sedgefield - See Events Gallery for more pictures.
Barnard Castle - See Events Gallery for more pictures.
Harrogate’s 1940s Day in the town’s Valley Gardens is perhaps one of the best-attended events by our members and the general public, over 30,000 visitors this year. Wartime period military vehicles and vintage cars, were again expertly organised and safely marshaled by Simon Roberts and MVT team members was first class and the biggest vehicle entry yet, once again proving to be a real honeypot for photographers. This charity event has something for everyone – vintage performers, the Echo 42 Big Band and their vocalists keeping the crowds dancing all afternoon, a BBMF fly-past, re-enactor displays, a vintage fair and of course well over 100 vehicles incl Steam Traction Engines – and all free to the public, put simply this is one of the seasons events that YOU DON’T want to miss.

Valley Gardens - See Events Gallery for more pictures.

Sadly, what we had planned to be a new Yorkshire MVT special was to have been the Yorkshire Airfest at Church Fenton. Cancelled sadly as a victim of post Shoreham aviation restrictions and increased insurance costs. Fortunately, our friends at Fishburn Airfield including our webmaster, Stephen Carr and his 'Jessie the Jeep', had their event on that weekend. Fishburn were able to keep their Jet Provost and Harvard flying, with even a small aerobatic display. As they say, where there’s a will there will always be a way!

 Fishburn- See Events Gallery for more pictures.

During the many events in the season, we often hear tales from military veterans and families, prompted by the sight of restored vehicles. One source of tales comes from Simon Balding’s father’s diaries who served in North Africa with 396 Company, Royal Army Service Corps who were supporting UK 8th and US 5th Armies. So we’ve added a picture of one of the many cuttings from 396 Company. Wartime magazine typifying British Military humour.

To close, we mentioned in our last report that Dennis Mathewman’s father had recalled seeing a WW1 Tank in York’s Tower gardens after the Yorkshire “Crank Up” event. Well - we have found an archive picture from the local press, which we can now show – the tank was placed there in 1919 until the early 1930s. Very suitable timing, as we mark the 100 anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme, during which the world first saw the start of tank warfare.