Events (2005) pt 5

Yanks 2005

Initial reports I received are that this event was as good as ever, though as with all things, there can be differences of opinion. The campsite at Uppermill was still available making access to the village relatively easy. Last year's convoy may have been bettered with possibly more vehicles than last year. The convoy stopped at a pub half way round the route, filling the large car park. Could this be a trend for future events as the East Lancs Railway (stopping at Rawtenstall) and Rawcliffe Hall (stopping at The Flag) events both had this feature this year.

John Le Page sent the following account of his first time at Yanks. " I went to Yanks for the first time this summer and what follows is a purely personal observation.

Everyone who has spoken of Yanks has told me what a great event it is, how the town is packed with people and the atmosphere is fantastic. Dave, Barry and I drove down in sunshine and had a pleasant trip (if you ignore the urban areas of Oldham)

The site was, as I had been told, on a mill yard but was grassed and level and the tent went up very neatly!

Having had a meal (into which I forgot to put some of the ingredients!! - I'm getting senile) we got changed and went into town. Now I'd been told that it would be heaving with people in forties dress and the pubs would be buzzing with music and packed with folk.

We sat down outside the pub and were the only group in dress. The pub, the street and it seems the town were dead! Indeed we were the only people in forties dress until we were joined by four others from the site. After a drink we went back to the site.

Saturday it rained and this put a bit of a damper on things. We went round the stalls - there were about 8 or 10 mostly selling civilian clothes. The rest of the day was spent in the main playing cards at the tent.

The dance on Saturday was OK but no better than any I'd been to elsewhere - a comment also made by our wives who had come down and booked accommodation for the night.

The convoy on Sunday was the best part of the w/e with lots of vehicles, Dave and I counted 28 jeeps at the half way halt and I guess there may have been upwards of 60 vehicles in all.

So, I came away rather disappointed. Maybe I was expecting too much. Certainly the photos I'd seen suggested a very full and interesting w/e, what I experience was a very ordinary w/e with nothing much to do.

If an event which is supposed to be as big and important as this seems to be, is scuppered by a bit of rain (and bear in mind that this is not a field-based show subject to waterlogging and mud, but a town-based experience) then something is not right. Apparently the Friday night was affected by another dance arranged by the organisers which commandeered the DJ's at the Hall so the pubs didn't do anything. Whatever the reason the whole thing was a letdown for me, but this is only a personal account - others may have had a different experience.

Would I go again? I might go for the day on Sunday and join in the convoy (interestingly, a lot of vehicles appeared on the Sunday just for that but weren't there over the w/e) but I will take some persuading to go for the whole w/e again."

A different experience of Yanks is apparent from the second report I have received from Bob Lindsay. I'll start his report with a couple of the photos Bob sent me.

"Sandra & I arrived at Green Field camp Thursday afternoon and set up camp next to the Northwest Military Collectors group from Bury where we incorporated our tent in to their display and they made us all feel very welcome, especially Gary. That night we went down to Uppermill for a few drinks with Sheila and Richard. The town was very quiet.

Friday started with sunshine and more military vehicles arriving for the weekend. Chris & Tim arrived mid afternoon and it was good to see Chris after her accident the week-end before when she had broken both her arms (you just can't keep a good person down). Nice one Chris! So up with Tim's tent and off to town for beers and a fish & chip tea. We ended up in Uppermill Conservative Club later that night where we were made very welcome, playing 40's CDs for us. Early on Saturday we were greeted with rain so we all sat around the tent for most of the morning, where Phil Russell, his family, and other friends joined us for cups of tea. We took a walk around the stalls later and as usual, Jenny's Military Wardrobe was there, as well as other stalls selling 40s clothes.

Around lunch time the weather looked like drying up, but then it started raining again. It was on and off all afternoon, so we decided to take the free mini bus and went down to the Wagon in Uppermill were we were all greeted by a busy and lively atmosphere. The pub was packed with people dressed in 40's uniforms and Moggi was the DJ for the afternoon. It was good all round entertainment. Later on in the afternoon the weather was kind to us and dried up so out came the speakers to the front of the pub. That attracted even more people outside onto the pavement in front of the pub to enjoy the 40s music. Joyce and Pete Cartner ended up jiving in the middle of the main road (see photo) along with others dancing on the pavement, we even had the Germans dancing and that was a sight to see.

Later that night we did not go to the dance and ended up in the Wellington pub just around the corner from the Camp and had a good night in there. They had a good selection of 40s music on the juke box, which in turn set off Richard dancing, something that needs to be put on video (good on you Richard). Sunday we prepared the GMC to take our friends in the back of the truck on the convoy. It was the best ever. We stopped off for a drink at the top off the moors (152 pints of lager please). It was reported in the
Oldham Chronicle that 92 vehicles attended the convoy on the day, plus a helicopter (that's a one off).

As usual the down side to the week-end was packing up and going home but in all the week-end was a total success.  As usual, our group should support all the events that are in the north west as there are not enough of them going on.

To finish this report, I would just like to say thanks to Joyce & Pete Cartner, and Ian & Stella Bailey for yet again a fantastic week-end, and even with the weather against them they still pulled off a brilliant show. Nice one Pete & Joyce, Ian & Stella."

Dave McCoull remembers attending all the Yanks events from the very first one when the football pitch was ripped up by the vehicles, and reckons the event has improved year on year. He could only attend on Sunday this year but was mightily impressed with the size of the convoy.


Dave McCoull plus Reo, Andy and Canadian Jeep, Pete Morgan and Jeep, Dave Stewart and Stalwart, and Chris Sutcliffe and his M201 attended this small, static show on the 28th August. Andy's Jeep won a section prize, and they all got wet in the process due to the rain.

West Lancs Festival of Transport, Scarisbrick Hall

The West Lancs MVT group made arrangements with the MG Owners Club who run this event, for a section of field to be made available for the MVT to display their vehicles. Despite the event being a single day event on the Sunday (4th September), a small number of our group and the West Lancs group set up camp on the Saturday afternoon/evening. A few more joined in on the Sunday. Overall the turnout was not as good as might have been expected for a local show, but several members were at War Wheels so could not make it (see later report). As a result out of the 7 or 8 military vehicles that attended, third prize in the class went to Geoff's Dodge WC54 ambulance (driven by me), second prize to Jon Newbould's CMP Chevrolet, and first prize to a Jeep owned by one of the West Lancs group.

The small turn out of military vehicles was not an issue to the organisers as there were plenty of MGs, Ford Capris, Cortinas, American cars and other historical classic cars, mostly supported by their individual clubs. The show is organised primarily for these cars to be displayed.

Altogether a quiet, but interesting show set in the beautiful grounds of Scarisbrick Hall.


John Holland provided the following report on a regular gathering at Sawley:

"Sawley is a particularly favourite show of mine, not to mention the free fireworks display that we get from the BNP rally in a nearby field. Along with myself and Katie attending were Bob and Sandra with the GMC, Dave Salisbury, Barry Marshall and John le Page in their fleet of Jeeps and Richard and Sheila with the Mack. Paul Marshall and his wife brought the Kettenkrad which created a lot of interest. John and Margaret also attended from the West Lancs group. Another couple attended with a Jeep although they were staying in a local B+B. I can't for the life of me remember their names. Tim and Christine attended on Saturday afternoon and Tanker Dave landed on Sunday with his Bedford tanker. In all approx 15 military vehicles attended along with many classic cars, commercials and tractors. If anyone attended and I have forgotten them I apologise as I wrote this report about a month after the event.

On the Saturday afternoon I had an in depth conversation with a gentleman about the joys of carrying a Bren gun for 11 miles. I gave him a ride around the show area in the Jeep and later that evening he presented me with a QLR beret (soon to become extinct (the regiment, not the beret - ed)) which was very unexpected The Saturday afternoon saw the Jeeps taking on the tractors in balancing competitions and again on the Sunday. I have to say I think the Jeeps won the thing. Saturday night saw us return to the Ashington Arms which we had visited 2 years before (the venue for this year's Christmas get together). Johnnie and Suzie Newbould joined us for the meal but Barn reconstruction meant they were unable to stay the whole weekend. The meal was very much enjoyed as was the company. The show also had entertainment in the evening in the form of a very blue comic (Bob's words) and a beer tent. The BNP were camped in a nearby field having their own local rally and so we were able to enjoy their fireworks display later on. Sunday was pretty much the same as Saturday as is the way of these shows. The show finished about 5ish and on the way back Katie and myself saw Dave Salisbury enjoying the delights of a well earned 99 ice cream in Clitheroe.

Thanks to all who attended, it was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend."

Poulton-le-Sands Heritage festival

Despite the damp start on Friday morning, the weekend weather blessed us with sunshine from then on. The main campsite at the now disused Frontierland site was not used, having been told we could use the field by the village hall. The site was ideal, compared to the open and desolate looking main site. Entertainment was provided on both Friday and Saturday nights, though competing events thinned potential attendees. 

A convoy was arranged for the Saturday along the sea front, followed shortly by a battle re-enactment. Steve Tyson's Leyland Hippo and Bofors gun took pride of place over the re-enactment battlefield on Morecambe's beach. Some blank shells should have been delivered but weren't, to Steve's disappointment. Geoff Brogden and Martin Russell were invited to take part in the battle; Geoff firing his Colt 45, and Martin supporting a Bren gun.

An early morning start was called for on Sunday so we could carry a number of the less able veterans on the Sunday parade along Morecambe's sea front. A memorial service was held at the cenotaph. The rest of the day was ours to enjoy the other entertainment like the Red Arrows who diverted from the Southport Air Show to do a display over Morecambe, and the Lancaster and fighter support from the Battle Of Britain Flight.