Beamish "Dig for Victory" - August
30th ~ Sept 2nd
Photos and report by Stephen Carr
Beamish open air museum in Co Durham, is a well known award winning museum. The "Dig for Victory" event is unique in many ways from other 1940's events. Part of its appeal is that it is a four day show, set in a unique 350 acre site, which contains many original period buildings that have been painstakingly dismantled from their original locations, and rebuilt on site to preserve them. A big part of its appeal to me, is the ability to drive singularly or in convoy around the site and display pretty much anywhere during each day. This gives the public the opportunity to see the vehicles in action and also to have many different photo opportunities at different locations.
The vehicles start the morning at the show field where the dioramas are also set up. After a safety briefing each morning, vehicle owners can tour the site and park up anywhere clear of the tram lines and bus routes. 2018 saw the biggest turn out yet with at least two dozen vehicles with a good selection of British as well as American hardware on show. If this is an event you haven't been to, then it's worth travelling for. There's so much to see in addition to the military displays, you won't be disappointed.
I'd originally only planned to attend for Saturday and Sunday, but finding myself free and on my own on Friday, I took "Jessie" along to see what was happening. There were a good number of vehicles there and after a couple of weeks of very average English weather, the four days of the show saw plenty of sun and very nice temperatures.
Below are a couple of shots from the show field and also two from the loading bay area at Rowley Station. Several GI's were seen doing some "Midnight Requisitioning" of boxes of whiskey and smokes, along with some bully beef!!
Since there were a decent number of vehicles there, even with several driving off around the site, there was still a good display in the main show field. There were usually a few parked in the town, some at the pit village, near the tram sheds and farm and at a few other random locations dotted around the site.
Following the lead of
Radzi, one of the current Blue Peter presenters who took a ride in a
British Army Challenger for the show; my daughter got to sit in the commander's position in
Malcolm's Chaffee tank which made her day.
Further pictures of the GI's "Midnight Requisitioning", but their getaway vehicle had a few ignition problems.
Scenes from around the pit village, including 'Val' the Chaffee tank, Jeep 'Jessy B' and my Jeeps, 'Hope' and 'Jessie'.