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Winter 2010 Newsletter

Our annual camping and road run event at Swinbrook was our most successful yet with 37 vehicles in attendance. Some of these had come from as far away as Brighton, Bournemouth, Birmingham and Norfolk and it was great to have the Champ Camp come to join us once again.

A few days before the event I received a copy of the MVT event Guidance. It was a bit heavy going at first, but after understanding the importance of it we made sure we were fully compliant. On the Friday, just as vehicles were arriving in the field our local Police contact pulled up for a chat. She gave us a bit of a shock when she explained that over the weekend a right wing political group of were coming to the village to lay flowers on the graves of Diana Mitford (wife of Oswald Mosley) and Unity Mitford (confidante of Adolph Hitler). My concern rose when she went on to say that the Anti Nazi League were also planning to come to the village to do a counter demonstration against them. Not sure how either side would take the presence of a large number of military vehicles in a field just a short way from the Church yard I really was at a loss as to what we should do. Checking the MVT event guidance I certainly could not find a chapter relating to such a situation. The Policewoman explained that we should not be too concerned as there were 40 riot Police waiting for them just a few miles away and there were other Police patrolling the Area in unmarked cars. This did not actually reduce my concern very much at all.

On the Saturday morning we started off on our road run. To prevent traffic congestion we split ourselves up into three groups and with our two motorcycle outriders keeping us in order we soon arrived at Windrush airfield. We all squeezed in to the control tower where Bill King gave us a talk on the history of the site. After some exploration we then headed off to the delightful Mill Inn at Withington. The Landlord was prepared for our arrival, but it seems the locals were a little surprised to find the car park full of military vehicles and the Inn packed out. After a fabulous lunch we drove up to Chedworth Airfield where we were treated to a stunning air display of radio controlled aircraft. With time moving on we returned back to Swinbrook for our barbecue and prize giving.

The following morning some more vehicles arrived including a massive Foden Drops carrying a Shorland (which only just squeezed in through the gate) and we then set off to Charlbury station where we met up with David and his K2 ambulance. From there we drove up the hill to the little known country house of Ditchley Park which was used by Winston Churchill as a secret residence during the Blitz. During the war it was often believed that Churchill was staying at Blenheim Palace, but in fact after arriving at Blenheim he would travel in secret to Ditchley Park (just a few miles away) where he would avoid the possibility of attack by German Commandos or bombing by the Luftwaffe. Ditchely Park is a fantastic location and as it is till Government property we were very privileged to be able to see it. A quick tour of the grounds and some history of the property was followed by a photo session outside the front door.

The final entertainment for the day was the drive up to Enstone airfield where there was another barbecue waiting for us after which we split up and headed for home. Overall it was a fantastic weekend and many thanks to everybody who was involved and to those who came so far to enjoy it.


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