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2011 News Letter

Our Area seems to keep going from strength to strength. Over the last few months we have been very successful in bringing in new members. Dave and Jon each bring with them a number of ex-military motorcycles which our Area has always been a little bit short of. They will both be much valued at our annual gathering and road run event at Swinbrook (which we plan to hold over the 13th and 14th of August) to help with keeping our convoys in some form of order. We also now have our first East European MV, a mint GAZ69 imported from Poland by another new member Voytek. He is itching to take it out on the road so we will no doubt see it out and about quite soon. Neil is another new member who has just imported a slat grill Willys which will be another unique vehicle in our Area. It looks to be very complete but needs a little bit of attention. I am sure it will be ready by the Spring.

We have always been very lucky in finding local people who are happy to talk to us. Some of the time they come with the pre-conception that their stories will not be of much interest to us and are usually surprised to see us hanging on their every word. One such guest speaker was David Mckenzie, a British Army Officer based in Berlin during the time of the airlift. He told us that within his unit they had a flame thrower bren gun carrier (Wasp) which they were to use for crowd control if the Berlin population were to start rioting. Most of us thought that this might be a little bit over the top for crowd control until he explained that instead of flames it would fire old engine sump oil. Not quite so lethal but would make one heck of a mess of the crowd. He seemed genuinely disappointed that the Berlin population were very compliant and that they never actually had to use it.

Local Jeep owner Dave Bayliss gave an excellent talk about his tour on the Falklands with the RAF. The photographs he showed of the location and the wildlife were quite amazing and which gave a fabulous insight as to what life down there must have been like. Dave flew out to South Georgia to make a parachute drop of supplies to the Marines based there. The aerial photographs were stunning, but Dave explained that due to the severe turbulence he was not really able to enjoy the view as much as he had hoped. In fact I felt quite queasy just listening to him.

Another Area member who spoke about his experiences was Norman Cole who used to work in the film industry. Norman spoke about some of the films that he had worked on and also the "art" of the film editor using a propaganda film to demonstrate that. This was something that I had not really thought about before and was a very interesting subject.

We were very lucky to be able to arrange a trip to the Defence Academy at Shrivenham and we relied on a great deal of hard work and goodwill from a lot of people. Many thanks to you all. All of their hard work was gratefully appreciated as we had a fabulous time. Their collection (which is not intended to be a historical collection, but relevant to current and future conflicts) is very broad and different elements appealed to the visitors in different ways. I think my favourite element was the artillery, although the vehicles and armoury were fascinating as well. Certainly Voytek was very pleased to be reunited with the same model of BMP armoured personnel carrier and folding stock AK47 that he used while in the army.

After a group photograph in the car park using a high power speed boat (currently being trialled) as a back drop we put the hat around and raised £87 for Help the Heroes. This will go with a similar amount that was given to our members as petrol money for attending the Silverstone event and also the contents of our collecting box that has not yet been counted for this very worthy charity.

In August 1940 trainee pilot Sgt Bruce Hancock sacrificed his life by crashing his unarmed Avro Anson into a Heinkel 111 which was bombing the local Windrush airfield. Both planes crashed and there were no survivors. On rememberance day a bench and plaque commemorating Sgt Hancocks brave act was dedicated outside the Church at Windrush. Our Area donated £50 to the cost. A small donation on our part for Sgt Hancock who paid the ultimate price.

We have an exciting year lined up with the "frost bite" road run, our Swinbrook weekend and a show at the Hook Norton Brewery currently being planned. If anybody is interested or would like some more information please send me an e-mail. Our Monthly get togethers are still held at the Hook Norton Brewery visitor centre. At our last one we had 50 people in attendance which is the highest number we have ever had. Luckily we have plenty of room (and chairs) for everybody even if it did get a little tight around the bar.

Do please come along or you can contact me on
01608 811698 or at Goshahn@AOL.com

Best Regards.

Tim Gosling
(Area Secretary North Oxon and Cotswolds MVT).


2011 Newsletter
2010 Newsletter
2009 Newsletter
2008 Newsletter
2007 Newsletter

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