Events (2005) pt 6
Arvin Meritor Open Day
Elvis is not dead; he's alive, in the British Home Guard and singing at the Arvin Meritor Charity Open Day from the back of a Leyland Hippo. Also providing entertainment on the day was Hepcat Mike with his Swing Shift
A Charity Open Day was organised at the Arvin Meritor Engine Test site at Warton, Lancashire, and where we were invited to set up our vehicles as part of the display. Large amounts of cammo netting had been given to Bob so it was decided to drape it over Dave's Reo, Richard's Mack and Bob's GMC to show how it would be used in the field. Unfortunately it worked too well and nobody could see the vehicles. Other netting was spread between three US tents, one of which was used for a display of different military uniforms.
The dedication of some of our members has to be mentioned; John Holland turned up despite it being his birthday, to set up a hill top gun position and run the disco for us on the Saturday night. Special thanks to Andy for bringing his Abbot self-propelled gun.
The amount raised was £2700 from gate admissions and sales of raffle tickets etc. Altogether there were about 20 vehicles which is very good for a non specific military event. Well done! Thanks have been sent from the director of the company to our secretary for the support we gave.
Oswestry - Operation Home Front
Ian and Esther provided this write up following a visit to Oswestry.
"Ian and Esther set off early Friday morning to drive the 105 miles to Oswestry in their Jeep. The trip took them five hours including stops for breakfast - Morrisons comes highly recommended - and brews. Camp was set up in the grounds of the Park Hall Countryside Experience in time to register at Home Front HQ. There was just time to eat before the evening's entertainment - the George Formby Experience - which proved to be both enjoyable and informative.
Up early on the Saturday morning (by nine the ice had thawed off the tent!) in time for the first parade of the weekend. The parade was admirably led by Ian and Esther in the "Screaming Eagles" Jeep, with Winston Churchill standing on the front of the Jeep complete with cigar and V sign, adding a touch of realism to the proceedings.
The main event of the day was staged in the town centre memorial park where there were various stall, sideshows and exhibitions featuring many aspects of 1940's life. The centrepiece was a stage that featured ENSA type entertainment virtually all day. The military vehicles attracted a lot of attention as always. Ian and Esther had to point out on numerous occasions that the "Screaming Eagles" was named for a Boeing B-17G flying out of an airbase "somewhere in England", and not after the airborne division.
The Saturday night dance entitled The Black Market Ball, lived up to its name with an excellent buffet, but could have been improved by a more experienced dance band. All in all a good night out.
A memorial parade and service opened the days events on Sunday, the salute being taken by the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire and the Mayor of Oswestry from the back of the "Screaming Eagles" Jeep .
The afternoon events were similar to the day before until four o'clock when the church bells rang out to signify the end of the war - we won! The weekend was rounded off with a packed house for the Victory Concert. The patriotic sing-a-long rivalled the Last Night of the Proms, and a good time was had by all."
Padiham VE/VJ Celebration
Creating something a person will always remember is a very pleasing experience. So it was as Richard carried a couple of enthusiastic supporters of the weekend in the back of his Mack, following the ex-servicemen's parade around Padiham. As one of them commented to me, "If I had been told 25 years ago that sometime in the future I'd be riding in the back of an American truck, I'd never had believed them." Well it happened, and they both had the time of their lives, especially climbing in and out of the Mack on a ladder. They both agreed the whole weekend of activities, including the dance on the Saturday night, was excellent.
We were also joined by a new purchase to this area; a Bedford QL. Dave "Tanker Dave" Forshaw is now a happy bunny as he has another sand coloured vehicle to accompany him to events. I hope to see more of this QL in the months to come.
Charlie Brown turned up in his Militant, with his daughter sporting a new secret weapon. Is it a blowpipe of some sort?
Other vehicles that turned up were Bob and Sandra in their Jeep, Tim and Christine in a Jeep, John and Katie in Tim's Dodge Command Car, the vehicle organiser for this event Dave McCoull in his REO, Pete Morgan in his Jeep, and (I must improve my memory as I can't remember his name) also in a Jeep. New members of the MVT, Timothy Hardy (Military Police) and his son James (US 101st Airborne), who came down from the North of Cumbria for the day, managed to get a lift on the parade in Pete Morgan's Military Police Jeep. His Jeep is not yet ready for the road, so we'll allow him a little slack. Other special arrivals were David and Spencer from the Pickering Home Guard who were asked to walk in the parade. Bargain of the weekend had to have been the curry Bob ate on the Saturday night; it cost £1.00. If only all curry houses were like that. Apparently Bob was not too well on Monday and was considering going home from work early as a result; could this have any connection?
Inskip Militia Dance
The dance was held on Saturday 12th November, with music supplied by Hep Cat Mike. From our group John, Barry, Martin, Ian, Esther, George and Peter went and had a great time. A number of others from West Lancs area turned up, together with locals and friends helped to swell the numbers. Dave particularly wants to thank Judy for sorting out the pies, and George and Peter together with Jon from West Lancs for their help during the evening. The main raffle prize of the remote control Tiger tank was won by Chris Alsop.
Thornton-Cleveleys Heritage Event
Thornton-Cleveleys held a small event in the Little Theatre commemorating the events during the War and life in Thornton-Cleveleys afterwards. Ian and Tim Esther arrived in their Jeep with Steve in his Austin Ruby. Bob and Sandra turned up in the GMC and parked it at the front of the theatre; not an easy task as there isn't much room there. Tim Hardy arrived from Carlisle in his Jeep with his son looking frozen through to the bone. They both said they were OK though. Tim supplied the following.
"I drove Kitty down from near Carlisle to Blackpool on 19th November 05 for the Thornton Heritage Festival. My son James came with me & it will be many a year before he forgets how cold it was (I've promised to put the FULL canvas on next time).
It was a bright sunny day & we met several other MVT members & had a little drive about & a general good time. When parking up I noticed a small amount of water dripping from the water pump, but nothing to get too excited about. We spent the night at my parents, in Blackpool. Kitty managed to depose my dad's car & she spent the night in the garage!
Sunday morning saw Kitty under full canvas heading back up the motorway. A check of the water level revealed no major water loss.
Kitty behaved well on the motorway & we pulled in at Tebay services for a breather. We stopped in a busy car park to several smiles from onlookers & I applied the handbrake.
At this point James asked "Is it meant to steam like that?" On looking up I saw a cloud of steam rising. A check under the bonnet revealed that Kitty was depositing all the coolant, from her waterpump, onto the carpark.
Fortunately the time it takes for a recovery truck to arrive (God bless the AA) gave James & I time for a hot meal. This Sunday will see me trying to replace the waterpump gasket, I have a swear box ready!!
I've noticed that since I've bought the Jeep, my hands are usually dirty & smell of oil. Is this normal?"
Inskip Fun Day
Apologies to anyone, like myself, who turned up at Inskip on Sunday the 4th for the Fun Day, as advertised on this site, only to find it had been held on Saturday 3rd. I hope no-one traveled far only to be disappointed. Jon reports that there were about 5 Jeeps and one of his Chevy Trucks there, amongst the static steam engines.
About 30 of our members and their partners and family gathered at the Preston Grasshoppers Rugby club to start a convoy the Assheton Arms in Downham, picking up others at the Edisford Bridge on the way. Most of the vehicles made it to the pub, apart from the newly acquired Jeep of "The Allsop Brothers" that was on its first outing since being rebuilt. A possible fault in the distributor has been found. The food was good and the company friendly as usual. Thanks to Dave Salisbury for organising the venue and the run.