Events (2006) pt 3
The sun shone for the whole weekend making the scenery around Hornby Castle all the more pleasant, and encouraged plenty of visitors to look around the vehicle display and tour the castle and gardens. The event this year was solely organised by our group (Barry and John) with some help from David Battersby the owner of Hornby Castle. The village secured the funding for the village institute hall last year so did not feel the need to be involved.
The field was awash with green and grey vehicles, including some very nice looking Kubelwagens. Accompanying the Kubelwagens was a large contingent of German soldiers that gave the event the opportunity to hold a mock battle on the Sunday afternoon. Stalls were set up selling clothes of various types and toys for the kids, and the ubiquitous Paul Higginson with his chuck wagon who appears at many of the MVT and 40s events to keep us all fed.
A convoy was held each day touring round the villages near to Hornby, led as usual by Keith on his Harley WLC. Sunday's was the best according to those that took part as it lasted the longest, due in part to Dave Salisbury's navigation on Saturday. A dance was held in the newly extended and refurbished village hall with music provided by a big band that played all the old favourites that had the floor full of dancers. A raffle was held with a remote control model of a Tiger tank as the first prize.
Among the vehicles there were displays of military artifacts, set in the type of surroundings in which they would have been used. One notable example was Henry Lisowski's medical collection.
Blackpool Veterans Week
Early July this year coincided with the final stages of the World Cup and this seemed to have an effect on both our group and the spectators at the Lawson's Field Showground in Blackpool. Saturday saw both heading off early to prepare for the England game. Unlike last year when an American area and a British area were created, each with its own style of displays, this year there was primarily a static display of vehicle. Tim Hardy put on a small display around his Jeep as did Arnold Mostyn with his Jeep. I am told a number of army cadets who spoke to Arnold were fascinated by his collection of smaller personal artefacts such as pre-decimal money and ration books. There was not much to do around the vehicles during the day, and the number of stalls could not occupy you for long. Having said that there was entertainment for most of both the days in the arena. Bands played, a dog trainer showed off his dogs and three artillery regiments competed in a gun pull. We showed off the vehicles in the arena on the Saturday.
Entertainment on the Saturday night was at the Plough in Staining where Hepcat Mike played 40s music, and a number of the group danced swing. The evening finished about 4 on Sunday morning following a dip in a pool with Simon being thrown out minus his pants. Photos revealed his pride hidden by a small MVT badge, strategically placed.
There were no volunteers for the seafront parade on the following weekend.
Ingleton 40s Gala
This could be the start of another regular venue hosting a 40s theme within a village. Ingleton Gala Day on the Saturday (15th July) is a regular occurrence but this year with the support of local traders and publicans, a 40s theme was added to the village. The Gala Committee were not very supportive of the idea and banned us from the parade. It did not stop us joining in and from the comments made to me throughout the day it looks like it was the right decision. The crowd loved the spectacle. Even the cavers as they passed through the village were impressed, so much so that they mentioned it to Rebecca who works in the caves cafe. (She also celebrated her 40th birthday by joining in the 40s evening in the Ex-Servicemen's club on Saturday night.) John and Elaine put on a spread for the arrival of the bulk of the vehicles on Friday, and arranged toilet facilities on the field out of their own pocket, together with supplying water to everyone on the field including the Army Cadet Force. Well done the the ACF for looking after the site and watching over the vehicles while they were parked in the village.
The surprise for the ACF came when Herr Flick examined them while on parade.
A surprise stop over on the site was Dave McCoull in his REO. Usually Dave calls in for the day then leaves, but this time he stayed in the camp though I think he regretted it on Sunday morning as he woke up with a massive hangover due to copious amounts of Buds. Richard & Sheila and Bob & Sandra used the event as their start point before setting off for the War & Peace Show in Kent. I hope they give me a report on their return.
Andy Overhall's Jeep marked up in Royal Canadian Air Force colours joined us on the field, along with Rupert's and Simon's Dodge Weapons Carriers. Here's Simon's having a much needed cool down.
SIMPLY THE BEST is one of the comments received at the end of the event. People started gathering from Thursday night onwards, with many more vehicles arriving on Friday and Saturday. Saturday was a relaxing day, a chance to set out displays and tinker with vehicles, with the road run to The Flag being the only planned activity. Jive dance lessons were given by Tulula in the marquee during the afternoon to prepare for the evening's dance. The marquee was full during the evening and the entertainment went down very well. The weather was superb apart from a short but heavy burst of rain on the road run.
Sunday events included the Jeep trial that featured 7 teams. The winner was Geoff Brogden in 49 seconds, second was North West 101st Airborne in 57 seconds, and third Martin Russell in 1 minute dead. Geoff retains the trophy for another year. Following music from the Preston Pipe Band, a parade of vehicles occupied the time up to the battle. I put together a makeshift commentary for the vehicles when the owners would not take the microphone, which seemed to fool most of the audience. The battle was carried out by the North West Collectors, with some of the MVT group's vehicles to add to the spectacle. Some lucky members also got to take part in the battle and shoot some blanks.
I would estimate about 40 vehicles attended the meet, but with the displays that accompanied some of them, the field certainly looked full. Thanks to everyone for bringing them, without them of course, there would be no show.
A few stall holders provided something extra for people to look at. Thanks to Jenny's Wardrobe for designing and supplying flyers for the event and distributing them at Bury, Haworth and Ingleton. Also to Billy and Chris for helping to push the event from their stall at similar events. Debbie and Steve completed the stall section. Food was provided for almost 24 hours a day by Paul Higginson's chuck wagon, especially welcome to soak up the beer at the end of the night.
Of course a big thanks to Dave Bagot and Rawcliffe Hall for supplying us with such a great location and the staff for helping put on a great weekend.
Chris Brook has supplied the following pictures. They show amongst other things, a workshop GMC, complete with vice attached to the front bumper, and an unusual copy of a 6 wheel Jeep.
Some more pictures supplied by Fred Higgins. The 25 pounder formed the entrance display to Rawcliffe Hall and is owned by Frank and Angela Brown who also own the Pegasus collection, the largest privately owned collection of militaria in the UK. Another feature gun was the Bofors of Steve Tyson and John Ward. Axis and Allied re-enactors were welcome at the event, some seen here having a friendly chat. Henry Lisowski tried to recreate St Marie-Eglise by hanging a parachutist from a telegraph pole. It was certainly noticed by many. We also managed to get a tank on display; well people call it a tank although it is really an Abbott self-propelled gun.