Events (2010) pt 4

Lytham Battle of Britain Weekend

Fylde Borough Council decided to commemorate 70 years since aircraft filled the skies of wartorn Britain in what came to be known as the Battle of Britain. Allied to the Battle, the town of Lytham St Annes raised enough money in 1941 to buy a Spitfire. Unfortunately it was shot down while escorting bombers on the return from a mission to Morlaix in France. A weekend of displays and activities had been planned including the start of a new Proms season that featured Lesley Garrett. A small number of vehicles turned up on Saturday, with around 20 turning up on Sunday. A lot of interest was shown in the vehicles with photos being taken by proud mums, and some more professional shots  taken with some of the many re-enactors who walked around the Green. Battles were held between the Russian and German armies and later between the German and Allied armies, accompanied by a commentary describing what was going on. Crowds thronged the seafront Green in Lytham to see what was going on, possibly in the tens of thousands over the course of the days.

Some organisational shake up is needed though as valiant efforts by Tim Hardy to find out what was going on was met mostly with a wall of silence. With three to four days to go, we eventually found out camping was allowed and that vehicles needed to display a pass, show their MVT membership and vehicle insurance. Without these, vehicles would be turned away. As it was no checks were made so you could have turned up with nothing, as some people did who had not received the instructions. Better and consistent communication is needed if this event is to be repeated next year which it may be if this year is anything to go by.

Moan over, here are some pictures I took. The mock Spitfire that is being used to raise funds for the Spitfire Memorial was there in all its glory. It was a hot day so knocked out some of the vehicle drivers, including our own Steve Flitcroft in his sand coloured M38A1. Kevin Robertson brought his immaculately restored Cadillac to the show while Helen had to slum it and drive the Jeep. There was a planned flypast by a Hurricane from the BBMF, but earlier we were treated to a flypast by another Hurricane and a Dakota that were not planned and totally surprised the organiser, so thanks to them for their generosity. 

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Hand & Dagger Autumn Meet 

A change in landlord days before this event caused a little concern, but when he said he would open a few days earlier than planned to cater for our event soon settled Dave's nerves. An initial shortage of real ale was resolved in a day or two once the beer had a chance to settle. The weather was mixed with rain sun and wind in equal measure but that did not stop people turning up to camp or simply visit for the day. A road run to Bonds at Elswick for an Ice Cream was arranged for both Saturday and Sunday. This is getting to be a popular destination for the road runs from the Hand & Dagger. Frank and Angela pulled out all the stops to provide a meal fit for a king on the Saturday night, with joints of pork and beef on the barbecue. Their collection of weaponry was also impressive. Once again this was a quiet but social event enjoyed by everyone who turned up, just take a look at Barry in his tent. How relaxed is that! Compare that to the activities of the Ingleton Home Guard and helpers who went on a rescue mission to recover David's Gibson Girl kite that became ensnared in the trees alongside the canal. The kite was an excellent flyer but the chord was not up to the job, resulting in it snapping and the kite taking off on a journey of its own.

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Croft Circuit

 The Durham & Tees Valley area of the MVT arranged an event at the Croft Race Circuit. The following is a report from Ian McCormack on what he saw there.

"A new event appearing on this year's calendar was the Croft Nostalgia Weekend held on 7th & 8th of August at Croft Circuit near Darlington. South Cumbria & North Lancs MVT sent a recce party to check out the show and report back. The event was based around a weekend of racing organised by the Historic Sports Car Club with the added attraction of a Classic Car show, military vehicle display and flying displays. Phil Russell and Ian McCormack made the trek to the North East along with Steve & Simon who took the MVT shop to spread the word to the masses. The show was excellent with a large turnout of interested spectators, a good selection of military vehicles and some exciting motor racing with more thrills and spills than a full season of Formula 1. A 1940s dance was held in the large marquee on the Saturday night and on the Sunday morning the military vehicle owners got the chance to do a parade of the race track. Fortunately everyone was well behave with no red mist descending and leading to Schumacheresque dicing at the chicanes! Definitely not recommended when you're in a Jeep and the other driver has a Diamond T wrecker!

The verdict of the advance party was " A great show and well worth a visit next year". Thanks to Mike Scorer of Durham MVT ably assisted by Steve Carr for putting together the military vehicle element of the show. More pictures can be found at the show website"

Ian also took the photos that follow.

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 Barton Grange

Norman Callaghan, our usually very reliable photographer, went to support the Spitfire fund raising at Barton Grange Garden Centre. On Saturday plenty of pictures of the replica Spitfire were taken but no vehicles turned up. However on Sunday a groups of vehicles turned up to support the event, only for Norman to forget his memory card, so no pictures. Norman gave the following report.

"Lytham Spitfire Memorial Display, Barton Grange.

I visited Barton Grange on the Saturday morning to take a few shots and then to take my wife shopping there. (Two birds, one stone).

The management had set aside a good size area for the Spitfire and also military vehicles. Keith Maddocks and the team were kept very busy while I was there, with Keith giving a very informative talk on the Spitfire.

I had a parachute and the West Lancs Area MVT banner in the boot of the Volvo, (BOOH! - Webmaster) the parachute added a little bit more to the display and the banner was fixed to the fencing.

Brian Prentile, in his R.A.F. regiment uniform and Jack Pearson arrived in the afternoon with their jeeps which added more attraction to the display.

Just after three o’clock we were all treated to two waves of the Red Arrows flying directly overhead, too fast for me to change lenses.

On the Sunday afternoon, I returned to collect the ‘chute and banner, to find many members had brought their vehicles. I would have included photo’s, but I had left the memory card in my computer at home. Doh!!"

Thanks Norman.

Fulwood Barracks, Museum visit

Norman has provided a report on a recent visit by some members to Fulwood Barracks, home to the Queen's Lancashire Regiment Museum. The museum is trying to grow in size and with the participation of the MVT it is hoping to build up its collection. This visit was the first of many to see the Colonel in charge and discuss the way forward. Initial discussions involved the restoration of the 25 pounder gun back to operational paint scheme rather than the ceremonial scheme currently used (see Norman's photo below). There will be more to report on these discussions I would hope. Norman's report is below.

"As part of the National Heritage Open Days, the Queens Lancashire Regiment Museum at Fulwood Barracks, Preston, opened its doors to the public. Guided tours were on offer of the museum and also of the barracks.

Members of the M.V.T. were invited to take part and display their vehicles after we had visited there back in April.

The museum was open from 10.00hrs until 16.00hrs and many groups of visitors were to be seen taking part in the guided tours.

Two Bedford trucks, five Jeeps and a Morris Traveller made the journey, with Barry Marshall putting on an excellent display of military memorabilia over his Jeep bonnet and bumper, with Roger Stam displaying an interesting and concise part of his collection in the rear of his estate car. Dave Salisbury had given me his Bren Gun, magazines, magazine box and mount, together with his Browning .30 calibre machine gun to put on display, which raised eyebrows when I took them out of the back of my Volvo into my house at night by a couple walking their dog!.

For more information on the museum, please visit , I met a couple today who only live five hundred yards away and did not know about this “hidden gem” in Preston. A museum such as this needs support and visitors, if not the threat of closure may happen and a vital piece of local history will be gone forever. If you operate a web site, please put a link to the museum Internet address.

Never been to the museum?, do you hate shopping?, the Deepdale Retail Park is not far away, two birds, one stone. Drop the shoppers off and visit the museum and meet them hours later. There is no admission charge to the museum, (donations gratefully received), although the shopping trip to the stores may cost you!!!.)

The museum trustees and staff were very thankful to everyone who made the journey, next year can we try and fill the parade ground with more vehicles and displays?"

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BAe Samlesbury

Tony Lee and friends spent the day at BAe Samlesbury to collect for The Soldier's Charity (used to be the Army Benevolent Fund) using Tony's Jeep as an attraction and it seemed to work as they collected over £1300. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the persuasive young ladies the squaddies and Tony had taken along. While Tony is not a member of our group he is known to many of us and the collection was sort of on our patch. Well done Tony and friends (Carol Wade, Caroline Dugdale, Lauren Case, Ian Wood, Sarah Waterhouse, Mel Yates, Andrew Ashworth, Paddy McQuaide (the last two from Fulwood Barracks). Tony told me "Hi Paul, did a collection thingy at BAe. Paddy and Andy came from Fulwood to help us collect. Me and them weren't much good, but the girls seem to get plenty £ and attention. We raised more than £1300 for the soldiers charity. Paddy was 25 years old on the day and he really enjoyed himself, who wouldn't! Andy and Paddy were great lads, good luck and keep your heads down next tour. The photo is OK to use the girls OK'd it."

Update - 30/09/2010 Total amount raised £1,475 which we understand will be matched pound for pound by BAe making £2,950 in all. Well done.

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Hand & Dagger Wind-down 2010

The wind down in October took a break from normal. Instead of the usual trip to Bond’s Ice Cream we went to Glasson Dock, where those that wanted one could still get an ice cream, but others preferred something hot. But that was later on in the weekend. We had been warned the field at the pub was wet so we needed to camp at one end only. Some failed to heed the warning and had to be towed to safer ground. Numbers were good for a wind-down with about 10-12 vehicles being there. Most of them went on the road run to Glasson Dock which must have been one of the furthest we have organised, taking just over an hour to get there. I haven’t many stories from the event as I could only attend for part of Saturday but if any come to light I’ll add them if anyone is willing to confess all.