Events (2004) pt 3

16th - 18th July 2004 Rawcliffe Hall

After a year's absence Rawcliffe Hall returned with a 40s styled Fylde at War weekend. The Rawcliffe Hall country club organised a weekend of entertainment and contests for a the owners of a smaller number of vehicles than in the past, and the residents of the caravan park. About 16 vehicles showed up at various times during the weekend to join the camp or simply park up and have a chat. Apart from the 40 entertainment provided by the park, Jon Newbould gave a demo of how to change a thrust bearing on a GMC in the middle of a field.

But watching this hard work was too much for some people! (Sorry Bob. I know the picture was actually taken the day after, but I couldn't resist.)

While John, Barry and Jon worked on the Jimmy, the rest of us went on a road run to Knott End where the two new additions to the group were shown (the two GMCs bought only a couple of weeks ago. On the Sunday we had a Jeep balancing contest, won by Tim Holland, and no, Bob didn't really take his GMC over the see-saw, though Paul tried with his Kettenkrad. Unfortunately as we had not adjusted the ramps to take a vehicle with a trike type configuration, he could only try with one track and this nearly resulted in the vehicle overbalancing. The third picture in this group shows how it should be done with the passengers acting as movable ballast. 

Time was taken to carryout other maintenance on Barry's GMC. The cable on the winch was straightened out by passing the cable through a pulley on Jon's Chevy and back towards Dave's GMC. The cable was then winched in, pulling Barry's GMC towards the Chevy. The handbrake was applied once they met, and Dave's GMC pulled towards them until all the cable had been checked an neatly rolled up.

Sunday afternoon entertainment was provided in the marquee by a 40s DJ playing swing music. He hosted a period dress competition in which our very own Christine came third. Dave and Geoff tried but were not selected.

Those who think that they could not go camping because they miss their breakfasts should think again. In our extended catering area, breakfast comprises bacon, sausage, black pudding, egg, tomato, sauted potatoes, mushrooms, and toast. They may be 40s themed events that we attend but we are restricted to rations. Although I await Susie's first wartime offerings with interest, based on her new wartime recipe books.

We look forward to next year with anticipation.

20-25th July War & Peace Show Beltring

A few of our group went to this, the biggest show of its kind in Europe. I am awaiting a fuller report from those that attended.

23-25th July Cumbria Steam Fair, Flookburgh

A number of vehicles attended this meeting in Cumbria. Although the weather was bad on the Saturday, it improved on Sunday and the report I received was a good time was had by those that attended. Steve and Susannah received yet another merit award, so congratulations to them.

31st July - 1st August Hambleton Steam Fair

A small contingent of 4 vehicles and their owners braved the sun to put on a display at this regular meet. Other vehicles came for a few hours then left, but it added to the numbers for a while. The heat was quite overwhelming as I found out when I visited, minus vehicle, on the Sunday. This event is a mixed bag of classic vehicles of various types, fairground rides, stalls, and car-boot sales. As a result it attracts quite a few visitors, many of whom went round our group members display. The display has been made more welcoming with a sign inviting people to "come inside and walk around" which seems to have done the trick. I caught Steve answering a question about part of the display, a heliograph (a device used to send morse signals using the reflection of the sun or moon). Educational as well as good looking (the display not Steve).

13th - 15th August Yanks, Saddleworth Moor

A large number of our group attended this almost annual pilgrimage to Uppermill to attend the North West Area's annual celebration of the film Yanks that used many of the locations in the film. 3 GMCs, a couple of Dodges, a Bedford water tender and 6 Jeeps attended from our area, which when added to the three GMCs of the North Staffs area plus several other vehicles that set up camp near us, amounted to quite a collection of hardware on our patch of land. There were plenty of other vehicles elsewhere on the camp from the North West area that added to what must have been one of the longest road runs I have ever seen. The Oldham Chronicle reported 60 vehicles were involved in the convoy. The four motorcycle Police officers from Manchester earned their keep. Below are a mixture of vehicles at the event.

The event attracts people from all age groups; several of us gave a lift on the road run to some of the senior visitors (met during the Saturday night dance), including a lady whose son in Kentucky, USA may read of her exploits on this site.

Our group also attracts younger members, so as promised, here is their photo (plus one interloper from the NW area). It also attracted the interest of a reporter/photographer from the Oldham Chronicle. A photo of the "models" was sneaked while the professional was at work.

Of course no trip to a Yanks event is complete without a trip to the pub. The village turns the clock back virtually everywhere you go, and as the photos show the punters entered into the spirit.

A number of embarrassing incidents happened; Bob fell out of his Jeep, fortunately it was not moving at the time though he did hurt his ribs, and I managed to fall gracefully off my chair into the soft mud trying to pass a torch. (And you thought I wouldn't admit to it, Bob.) A photo is to follow I am told! The overall view of the event was very good, despite the very heavy rain on Friday making the field very soggy under foot. The weather improved on Saturday and was very sunny and warm on Sunday. It was not as warm as last year when improvised showers were made from a hose pipe, though this time Bob and Tim came prepared with a home made collapsible shower cubicle complete with battery powered pump, genuine shower head, and privacy curtain. Made out of bits from the parts bin, it worked very well. Reuters have provided some interesting footage, received from an anonymous source, click here to guess who is behind the curtain (note this may take a while to download). We are told an MG Midget is required in payment for the original footage.

13th - 15th August Holker Hall (additional reporting by Susannah)

Holker Hall is the home of the Lakeland Motor Museum, and host to this weekend's Historic Motoring Weekend festivities. Lord and Lady Cavendish were on hand should nay problems arise. The visitors to this event seemed to include many of the local landed gentry judging by the number of Rolls Royce and Bentley cars in the car park. As much interest was shown in those cars as the displays. It was the first time a military presence appeared at the show.

Despite the torrential rain at the beginning of the week, a phone call to Mark Woodward confirmed that the ground at Holker Hall would not present a problem to any of our vehicles. With this assurance a number of us, 7adults, 2 children and Toby the much-travelled MVT dog, went to the Historic Motoring Weekend at the aforementioned Hall. Dave and Joanne took the K9, Simon his Land Rover, Paul and Elaine arrived with the Kettenkrad, and Steve and Susannah brought the Bedford MWR and the Hotchkiss M201. It must be said that Joanne had set off in their Austin Champ but due to brake failure and an argument with the trailer being towed by the K9, the Champ was ferried home and Joanne returned in the Volvo. She and Bethany were a little shaken, but no-one was hurt, and the weekend that followed must certainly have helped dispel any bad memories. Camp was set up on Friday afternoon. The weather was very kind and on Saturday morning they were able to set out the large display of WW2 and post-war weapons, kit equipment and memorabilia. There was a lot of interest from the public and the local press, the Westmorland Gazette and the local Mail took photos and conducted interviews. Photos were taken by Holker Hall for their web-site. ( or The Kettenkrad certainly generated a lot of comment; it is such an unusual vehicle.

On Sunday the team made a special effort with their period costume and spent some time walking around the show field in WW2 dress. Joanne gave her Land Army uniform its first outing, and very good it looked, too, complete with Land Army bike. Simon cut quite a dash in his Paras uniform pushing the folding para-bike & Paul looked every inch the German soldier .The judges obviously thought they looked very polished because they were awarded the trophy for Best Period Costumes. They were  presented with an engraved crystal plaque for the team effort and a small engraved plaque each. A wonderful weekend enjoyed by everyone. 

It seems temptation is a problem throughout our group, especially when good beer and food is involved. A trip to the Fish and Chip shop resulted in a diversion for Simon and Steve to a couple of the local hostelries to sample their wares, while the rest stayed in the cool evening warming their hands on the fish and chips. (Simon agreed to take the fish and chips back to the campsite before returning to the pub).

They were made very welcome & felt that their efforts were much appreciated. They will certainly be returning next year.