Events (2005) pt 2
Haworth 40s Weekend
This year we returned to stay at the Bunkhouse at Westfield Lodge just outside Haworth. Three Jeeps and a Mack truck went from our group, but with plenty of passengers, and a few traveling by ordinary cars. There should have been a GMC Deuce and a half, but a faulty coil, it is thought, stopped Dennis bringing his pride and joy. Some of us went for the social atmosphere of the event rather than the vehicles. Especially Christine's niece and her three wild/mad/looney (choose your own description) friends. Thankfully though, Richard's Mack had plenty of space in the back for passengers, and he did want to display the truck on Haworth's notorious hill. It caused quite a stir when it arrived due to the size of the truck, and the narrowness of the street.
The Saturday night dance was a scream, well it was for the girls, when a mouse decided to make itself known under the seating. We had some success in the raffle with me winning the lowest prize of a teddy, and Kate winning first prize of a weekend in a posh hotel, dinner for two, and other treats.
Mornings were started with a breakfast cooked for us in the cafe part of the bunkhouse. Good healthy portions kept most, but not all, full for the rest of the day.
As usual the street was busy with visitors and people dressing in 40 costumes. The shops on the street all decorated their shops with white tape and bunting, and the sales staff dressed for the period. It is well worth a visit even if you don't want to dress up. Dave McCoull called in on Sunday but could not find anywhere to stop with his REO, so he carried on home. Dave had earlier been to a show at Shipley Glen Tramway, but due to the low turnout of vehicles of any sort, he left early.
Pete and Dennis were drafted in to escort Mr Churchill on his rounds.
Dave was up to his usual tricks when this wall decided to jump out at him, so he tells me. Well, OK, his handbrake isn't quite good enough for the Haworth hill so he used the wall to stop him rolling down the hill instead.
Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
Three of our groups vehicles attended this festival on the same weekend as Haworth. We are privileged to have some professional photos of the vehicles at this event (Paul France at www.paulfrance.co.uk) . They were Rupert's Dodge Weapons Carrier, Phil's Ford GPW and Martin's Willys MB. A lot of interest was shown in the vehicles and another Jeep owner was recruited to the group.
East Lancs Railway - Bury
A sunny bank holiday weekend saw the East Lancs Railway celebrating 60 years since VE day. Five vehicles met at Broughton (counting a Jeep on a trailer) and headed off on the Friday afternoon for the camp site at Irwell Vale. This is the first year they have had the main military vehicle camp there, although a group of Vietnam enthusiasts have used the station car park as their base for the past five years. The village is a perfect setting, but not accessible to vehicles over 7.5 tons due to a weak bridge. Richard joined us on the Saturday with his Mack, but had to leave it on the other side of the bridge as we did not fancy winching it out if the bridge collapsed. The first thing you notice in the morning, providing you survive the bitter cold nights, is being woken by the first train of the day blowing its whistle. The site was occupied by our group and the 101st Airborne re-enactment group, so was quite busy. Being so close to the station meant most of our traveling over the three days was on the train, with the exception of Sunday when we went on a road run. Plenty of visitors passed by over the weekend with other attractions/entertainment to tempt them to the village, such as the Pickering Home Guard.
A number of other members stayed at The Burrs site used in the past. We met up with them during the course of the weekend.
A few of us took a break from the ELR event to visit Todmordon where they were having a festival, and where a few of our other members were in attendance. Dave McCoull's Reo was dressed up for the festival, as were one or two other vehicles but not quite so brightly. Judge for yourself. Richard's Mack looks quite tame by comparison. I received news later that the Woodpecker pub that we supported with our vehicles had won first prize for their part in the carnival. A big party was held to celebrate the award. The owner has passed on his grateful thanks through Dave McCoull to those that turned up. The winner's plaque is now sat proudly behind the bar.
The vehicle display at Bury Station was quite impressive with some unusual vehicles being shown including a six wheeled Dodge, and a Vietnam Reo gun wagon, for want of a better description.
A new feature this year, but unfortunately for any spectators, not many vehicles joined in, was the 4x4 course. Our intrepid explorer Dave Salisbury did have a go though, and bent his rear number plate to prove it.
Blackpool 2005- Warm-up
As a lead up to the events scheduled for July, Blackpool has been hosting a number of displays and other events to commemorate VE and VJ Day. One such event was at Blackpool Library with the opening of a display of memorabilia by the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackpool. Paul & Sue Waterworth and Ian Wray displayed their Jeeps. Ian's and Sue's pictures featured in the local Evening Gazette. These picture were taken by Paul. About eight veterans attended with various standards and Julian Mineur gave a little speech about what was going to be happening in Blackpool this summer for the VE Day celebrations and then the mayor cut the cake.
A few weeks later Ian Wray had his picture taken with the staff of the Blackpool Pleasure to promote the involvement of the Pleasure Beach in this year's commemorations. And a few weeks after that a number of vehicles were displayed outside the Odeon cinema complex to promote a show of the sights, sounds and smells of the wartime period. Sandra Lindsay and Paul Waterworth had their pictures in the local paper. See later for a report on the main events.