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North Oxfordshire and Cotswolds Area Report Winter 2009.

This time last year I was writing about how awful the weather had been and the number of shows that had been rained off. This year,
the weather has been certainly a great deal better (although not perfect) and I can’t think of any shows that have had to be cancelled. In fact, with a plethora of shows to attend it has been hard trying to decide which ones to leave out. With many events competing to attract MV’s I do hope that some organisers were not disappointed. There are literally dozens of different shows that our members have gone to over the last three Months and not having enough room to write about them all I will just concentrate on the highlights.

Many of our Area members did their usual run down together to the War and Peace show. Unfortunately, Ian’s Jeep decided it didn’t want to make the journey and after travelling just a few miles the gearbox got stuck in first. Unable to free it up, Ian took it home and had to make alternative arrangements, but was obviously very disappointed. The diverse selection of vehicles on display at the show was as interesting as usual but I admit to not spending much time on the stalls. There was not much there that I wanted and it all seemed to be very expensive. Apart from ice creams I don’t think I spent any money at all.

The highlight of our year must be our annual road runs and weekend get together at Swinbrook. Using the facilities of the Swinbrook cricket club we had over 30 vehicles join us from as far away as Norfolk and the South Coast. What made the event so enjoyable was “David King memorial road run” organised by Don Evason which took us to the WW2 airfields at Broadwell, Macaroni Woods, Southrop and Bibury. Don had obtained permission from the local land owners for us to go on to their land and explore, while our resident historian Bill King took some time to explain the history of each location. These places were fascinating and without Bill being there to explain the history many interesting features would have been otherwise missed. The road run was about 30 miles long and on the way around we stopped off at the Victoria Arms at Eastleach. We had prearranged our stop there so the landlord was not phased by 30 MV’s coming into their car park. What made the day a bit more hectic for the pub was that a Wedding Party also stopped by for lunch as well as a gathering of regulars from “The Rifles” who had just got back from Afghanistan and were having a celebration of their own. They were pleased to see that we were collecting for “Help the Heroes” and we arranged a group photograph of them amongst our vehicles.

On Saturday night we had a barbecue (which went down very well); a prize giving and then everybody enjoyed a few drinks before retiring to their tents. On the Sunday we went out for another road run, this time to the WW2 airfield at Enstone which still has an active flying club. We were made very comfortable in the club house and they laid on a barbecue for us. It was a wonderfully hot and sunny day and we spent some time exploring the site before people started to head for home. All in all the event was our best yet and we hope to hold another one next year.

The following Saturday we undertook a military themed open day at the Hook Norton Brewery. With plenty of vehicles on display; our Area Chairman selling home made cakes and spam sandwiches from a NAAFI and with various other attractions the public could not help but have a good time. With the fantastic support we had from our Area members we raised over £1,200 for Help the Heroes and the Katherine House Hospice. Well done everybody.

We were asked by the RAF whether we could provide some vehicles for their Battle of Britain Day dinner. Brian, Julian, Mike, Don and Dave were happy to oblige and took their vehicles down for a 17:00 start. The RAF were very generous and provided food and drinks followed by a tour of the Vulcan bomber. Back at the Officers mess they met a number of guests including Tony Rogers who had flown Spitfires, Lancasters, Lincolns and Meteors. This was followed up with a very low fly past by a VC10. We hope we can go back there soon.

It has been a very busy year for us and I am actually looking forwards to having an (almost) empty calendar for the next few months. Although I am writing this in September I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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