Events (2007) pt 2

Highfield School - Veterans Week July 2007

Steve and Susannah Barton-Rossall, Ian and Esther, Tanker Dave, Brian and Dave all arrived to celebrate Veteran's Week in Blackpool at Highfield School. They spent the morning there showing their vehicles and answering questions from the pupils. Ian and Esther provided the following report.

"The morning of Thursday 3rd July dawned overcast, but cold and dry - at least it wasn't raining as it had been for the last few days. This was good news for MVT members  Steve and Sue, Tanker Dave, Brian and Dave from Chorley and Ian and Esther, who were to spend the best part of the morning in the grounds of Highfield College of the Humanities.

World War II was on the curriculum and the MVT was to bring a small part of it to life. The first onslaught of students was likened to the Normandy Landings but it was always good humoured with the majority of the boys wanting to drive and the girls fascinated by the fact that vehicles had been actually driven to the event.

Tea and biscuits were provided for the intrepid group midway through the morning (always welcome) and by lunchtime all members of year 9 had been out to see, sit in, climb on and look under the assembled machinery. All queries and questions had been answered and the teachers were especially grateful for the visit.

The college has over 600 students and as they were scheduled to be "released" into the grounds discretion proved to be the better part of valour and the MVT crew had all relocated by lunchtime, with the words of thanks and invitations to come again soon ringing in their ears..

Another successful MVT expedition."

Ingleton Home Guard Weekend

John and Elaine Ward persuaded the local businesses after last year's Ingleton Gala to support them in putting on a wartime weekend in 2007, or was it the other way around? Either way, July 7th and 8th saw many vehicles and re-enactors gathered in the streets of Ingleton for a weekend to remember. I was worried the rain would spoil the weekend but after a downpour in Hornby on my way there on the Saturday, we were blessed with good weather for the rest of the weekend. Entertainment in the street was provided by the Ovaltinies (a group of local school children trained to sing and dance by Elaine. The children were excellent, and not worried by the crowds. A band led the parade through the village on the Sunday prior to a memorial service in the village centre. The vehicles continued on their way on a road run through the countryside around Ingleton. The appearance of a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Flight attracted our attention for a while as it flew down the valley alongside Ingleton.

The campsite was dry despite the rain, probably due to the elevation draining the water away, and provided a good base only ten minutes walk from the village centre (so I'm told as I'm too lazy and drove in). The Falls cafe provided a very good cup of freshly ground coffee on my Saturday visit there, and was also the venue for the dance that night. Homefront Tommy provided the music, and the Falls cafe itself provided the best hotpot I've ever had at a 40s event, and trifle to die for. For the first time of going it alone, it was a very successful event, and I heard many people saying they hope it continues next year. Well done John and Elaine.

War & Peace Show, Beltring, Kent

Despite the distance and the heavy rain we have experienced over the past few weeks, several members decided to still go to the  biggest military vehicle show in Europe. The roads around the site were churned into mud, and access to many of the stall holders tents was restricted by puddles of mud, but I am told this did not stop people enjoying themselves. These photos from Liz show the state of the roads. For further pictures take a look at the official website www.warandpeaceshow.co.uk. It was bad, but enjoyable.

Salute to the 40s - Rawcliffe Hall

Well the weather did us proud. Weeks of rain beforehand but when it mattered we had sunshine. Friday saw the early birds arrive but they could not be stationed in the main arena field as in earlier years as the field was too wet and muddy to use. The contingency plan kicked into action with tents and vehicles parked on the grass verges around the campsite. Some said they preferred this as there was more shelter from the trees and made access to the displays much easier. The ground staff had a job though keeping track of where spaces remained.  Friday night we let our hair down in the marquee with some brave souls singing Karaoke. The marquee was almost full, quite a change from previous years.

Saturday was bright and sunny again. The road run was led by Dave Salisbury around Inskip and St Michaels with about 25 vehicles going on it. According to the feedback I received, it seems the route was enjoyed by many of those taking part. They returned in time to see the only flying Huey helicopter in the UK come in to land on the main arena field. It stayed for about three quarters of an hour while photos were taken. I heard some Vietnam era re-enactors with tears in their eyes saying it was a dream come true; well worth the effort of asking Phil Connolly to bring it down (Thanks Phil). The dance in the marquee that night included the Mark Gillbanks band, GI Jive, and Andy Eastwood. If you missed the show make sure you see Andy Eastwood in the future; he received a rapturous round of applause for his very funny and entertaining playing of various stringed instruments.

Sunday was the day for the general public to come and have a look around. A steady stream of people came in to view the vehicles and displays and be entertained by the City of Preston Pipe band and Roy Chappell. A memorial service was held in the Memorial Garden, led by a two pipers and guard of honour from the Royal British Legion. A tribute was read out by one of the RBL representatives, and another by Arnold Mostyn's Dad (sorry I don't know your name if you're reading this). Tony Martin brought his Spartan to the event for the day making it the only tracked vehicle there. A battle was re-enacted by the North West Military Collectors Association featuring a 30 cal machine gun fixed to a Jeep that fired a propane/oxygen mix that sounded exactly like a standard gun but without the shell casings to pick up. A forties fashion contest was held in the marquee for which there were a good number of entries.

I had the time of my life helping organise the the camping on a Quad bike; thanks to the supplier of these vehicles. I have been warned a rather unflattering photo of me will appear on a neighbouring group website soon. (West Lancs). Thanks to Dave Bagot and the staff at Rawcliffe Hall for making us all very welcome, and organising the entertainment.

Photos of the event are here.

A late addition to the story, we made it into the local paper on the 23rd August. Our visit to the Ship at Elswick prompted the landlord and staff to donate their takings and tips to the Elswick Children's Play area appeal. A princely sum of 482 was donated. What a surprise outcome. See article here.

Yanks - Saddleworth Moor

Pete & Joyce Cartner and Ian Bailey managed to pull off another great weekend when the weather smiled favourably on them for the 2007 Yanks event. The new site (Saddleworth School) seems to be a hit with the camping fraternity with close access to Uppermill village. Notable events included a battle on Sunday featuring the North West Military Collectors Association, and a few re-enactments of scenes from the film Yanks. Pete Cartner starred in one where a chamber pot was emptied out of a window all over Pete. He assures me it was only water. The road run took the vehicles out across the Moor over to the A52 and a stop for refreshment in a pub. Bob tells me there was a genuine American in one of the local hostelries correcting everyone's ribbons and badges, that is until he approached Bob and tried the same. To say that Bob could sell sand to the Arabs is an understatement. The Yank must now be thinking he has been wrong all this time, so convincing was Bob's description of the badges. I was only there for the day on Sunday, but everyone I spoke to had enjoyed the full weekend.

Special mention must be made of Graham who having declared he had smashing legs, was dressed up in a manner to show off his assets to the best. I am now waiting for the picture to post here and let you judge for yourselves.