Events (2012) pt 1

New Year run and meal

The New Year saw us return to the Longlands Hotel for a belated Xmas get together. Friends from the area that we have not seen for some time turned up to add to the largest Xmas meal our area has seen. The hotel set aside a room especially for us there were that many. The meal was the final part of a couple of road runs, one from the south of the area starting in Fulwood, just outside Preston, and the other from the north of the area setting off from Crookland. There are some photos of the southern contingent gathering at the Grasshoppers rugby ground before setting off for the meal via Lancaster and Upper Kellett. I'll have to wait for some photos of the northern group. We arranged for a group photo to be taken that features just about everyone who was at the meal, though some faces do appear to be missing for whatever the reason. The food was served very efficiently and was enjoyed by everyone so a big thank you to the Longlands Hotel. I can't wait for the next time. Just one point to note, do make sure you put enough fuel in your vehicles before setting off. A Gaz was towed to the hotel having run out, thanks to Martin for the photo!

Imperial War Museum

Norman Callaghan provided this report from the group's day trip to London.

“First Class” Day Out In London.

An early start was the order of the day for our trip to the Imperial War Museum in London. Nine members met at Preston railway station for the 7.00 Virgin train to London, Ollie Newbould traveled from Nottingham and met us at Euston station, in time for breakfast, which I’m sure everyone enjoyed, a hearty full English breakfast with tea or coffee for £4.50!. After buying our tickets for the underground, we made our way to the Embankment , where we changed lines and traveled to Lambeth North. The museum is only a four or five minute walk from the station. After having a group photo taken in front of the 15 inch Naval guns situated at the entrance, we made our way in.

With the museum being used for corporate events, such as the Military awards, a few of the items on display in the concourse have been relocated, one of them being a 1943 British Red Cross Willys Jeep, very closely looked at by Jeep owners. Jonny Newbould inspected a Chevrolet 30cwt Long Range Desert truck and informed a member of the museum staff that he would like to restore it. Mid way through the day, a few of us went for liquid refreshment, £4.80 a pint!. Whilst changing lines on the Tube, Ian Coats gave everyone a demonstration on how to walk up on a downwards escalator. Sadly, no photographs. After having nearly a full day of viewing, we made our way back to the Embankment for some tea. In readiness for our return to Preston, we arrived at Euston station with time to wind down after a very long day and had liquid refreshment.

Members who made the trip were; Norman, Jonny and Ollie Newbould, Dave Salisbury, Ian Coats, Kev Robertson, Paul Lomax, R.E.M.E. Jim, “Tanker” Dave and Heather. I’m sure we would all like to thank “Tanker” Dave for the seating arrangements.

“I counted them all out and I counted them all back.” 

Looking at the photos it must have been a long tiring day, despite failing to negotiate a deal on a restoration.


Belgium 2012

Tony Lee and others braved the cold of Winter in Belgium. Here is his story. "Belgium MVT winter rally Feb 2012. what an event !! Firstly my thank you's.... Tony Duncan for driving/towing the whole journey from Bury to Houffalize [apart from the north sea bit], Brian Slingsby and the guys from Yorkshire MVT for letting us Lancashire softies tag along and organising the package for us. Brian even gave us all a bit of spending money on the ferry, what a nice man. The people of the Belgium MVT, who welcome everybody.

Well after the usual wait for Dangerous Dave Parsons off we set. Hull via M62 what a delight. We arrived at the dockside just after our Yorkshire friends got out of warm cars and decided to talk cold weather !! That was after we had been made to remove our axes from the jeeps [weapons/health and safety] we could leave the spade on !! Apparently not too many people have been killed on Hull dockside with a WW2 spade. {The straps make it a tad tricky !!] We decided to really splash out and get the extra large cabin with a sea view, not bad for a £5 er. Couldn't see the sea as by now it had gone dark and the sea seems very dark in Hull docks! But hey, great food on board and as much as you can eat. After receiving our spending money off Brian Slingsby we had a few pints then off to bed for the early start the next day. Myself and Tony Duncan decided to serenade our two cabin chums Dangerous Dave and Young Jimmy Paterson to sleep with stereo snoring, it worked a treat, I had to hand out ear plugs as they were enjoying it so much.

Morning, breakfast, off the big boat, and onto Houffalize. It's an easy drive when you're sat in the back reading your book and shouting the odd junction number out. But just keep up with the Yorkshire guys and all will be fine. At times it did remind me of Wacky Races. I realised that Belgium is basically two countries in one. From the coast to Liege it's like Holland, but after that it changes dramatically. You start traveling upwards and the countryside becomes, well, what you see when photos of the Ardenne are passed around or your favourite films are on. Covered with snow, looks fantastic. Houffalize, hotel, check in. a quick hello, unpack, start the jeep, and off to Bastogne, via Foy woods, before it get dark. This was my first introduction to a new type of cold !! Saturday is the day of the road run, approx 100 miles. Mainly what we would class as C roads, farm tracks, and tracks that go over snowy hills. Brilliantly signposted and a sheet with every village on that you pass through. Artillery pieces, King Tiger, Panzer mk iv I think [I'm not a tank buff] and the temp !!!! -20. D-d-d-dinner in the beautiful town of Spa [not the spa]. 20 mins before I could feel the heels of my feet. People were leaving their engines running to keep warm and one GMC had a small camping stove under its engine!! We huddled around the exhaust pipe in turn trying to get feeling back into our fingers. Coffee and cake for lunch then off on our way back to the hotel. The last hour of the journey was very quiet just concentrating on keeping warm.

I found it amazing how the cold effects you, and your mood keeps changing. How the hell anybody fought in this I cannot comprehend. The whole of my energy was used just keeping warm. Finally we made it back to the hotel, and the hotel bar for a brandy then try and thaw out in the shower. The Belgium MVT put a great show on Saturday night, but to us English maybe a bit bizarre. 40's singers miming on stage so we hogged the bar, but our eyebrows and interest suddenly rose at the sight of three nuns appearing on stage. Well they sang and then yes, the clothes came off reveal another outfit and they carried on into the next song. So back to the bar. You are so worn from the road run that only a few beers and it's time for bed!!! [as if !!, that's for all our wives that may read this] Mmm lots more nuns I hope.

Sunday we did our own thing. St Vith, Malmedy, and the Baugnez crossroads. A great museum with restaurant and of course the spot where the Americans were shot. They have some great museums in the area. Bastogne and Baugnez were my favourites. The diorama's really life like. The hotel is great and if you want to spend a weekend with 190 military vehicles and hundreds of quality re-enactors trying to keep warm this is the one, I wont be missing it again.

Heaton's Bridge Inn Military Vehicle Weekend

Mark Lancaster has provided this report on and Photographs of the first Heaton's Bridge Event.

"After a rather ropey forecast for the weekend, I was slightly nervous! First to arrive was Kevin Reilly from Cheshire & Merseyside area with his Abbott SPG, GKN FV432, Mighty Antar, Diamond T and his Swiss made Saurer truck, a great start to what would turn out to be a superb collection of military vehicles throughout the weekend. More vehicles started to turn up throughout the day with the Jeeps of Boyan & Jonathan, Jim & Ken. Our centrepiece turned up around mid afternoon with Frank and Angela Brown's Morris Quad, Limber and 25 Pounder set up, their first outing since Jonny's rebuild of the engine and went pretty much with out a hitch. More members turned up-Norman with Sarge and Private Sankey, Tony Cosgrove and Steve 'the stone mason' Walling with their Ferret and Land Rover Defender. After an afternoon of setting up we all retired to the pub for a drink or two and some dinner. The food, drink and service was absolutely superb. Saturday started out a little overcast with a few spots of rain. More people turned up throughout the morning with their vehicles as did a few public. We attracted quite a lot of media interest from the local rags with about 3 or 4 of them turning up. We got setup for the road run around 12:45pm (this had been designed by Keith Ball -Thanks Keith!). We set off through some lovely country roads ending up on the Tarleton bypass which led us to our destination of Tootsies Ice Cream. After braving their rather superb ice cream despite the coolness of the weather, we came back on another more straight forward route. When we got back there was a lot more public about.

Sunday started out nice and stayed nice all day if still a little cold. More vehicles turned out bringing the total for the weekend to 38 (not bad for a first effort). There were hundreds of public throughout the day which kept us all very busy. The pub was that busy on the Sunday that the Landlord had to close the kitchens for a short while to catch up with themselves. Sunday was also the 1st outing of Bill Tipping's Austin Tilly which looked absolutely stunning. Steve the Landlord of The Heatons Bridge was absolutely made up with what we did and has said we would be welcome back there anytime we want, so watch this space!.

Also a BIG thank you to everyone who managed to support the event, with out you all it wouldn't have been the success it was!!

Riverside Steam & Vintage Vehicle Weekend

Mark has also provided a report and photographs on this vehicle weekend.

"This event was attended by seven of our members, myself with the Navy Jeep, Jim & Ken with their Jeeps, Paul Connolly, lan McCormack & Keith Ball (not in person as he was slumming it in Antigua!!) and Martin Ford with his Morris Commercial CS8. There were a few other military vehicles there as well. The weather again was cold and a bit mixed although better on Sunday Afternoon. There were plenty of attractions to see with Full size and Miniature Steam Engines including Fred Dibnah's Road roller and Landrover still owned by his sons and Daughter. There was a lovely WD Foden steam truck as well. Other attractions were vintage lorries, cars, tractors and motor cycles including our very own lan and Esters Russian Side car combination. There was a vintage steam driven fair ground and some superb food outlets including Shelly's Pies (well I do work in Wigan!) and entertainment in the beer tent with the group the Lancashire Hotpots. All in all a very enjoyable weekend."