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North Oxfordshire and Cotswolds Area Report Autumn 2011.

Well it has been a very busy few Months and we have had another influx of new members and new vehicles which is marvellous news. Although they have been in our Area for a while we have also recently made contact with Ian Litchfield and Pete Dorward who each have an RAF Jeep and also Alan Hames who has a Jeep and a Dodge carryall. Ian has had his Jeep for some years, but only became re-interested in it recently when in his role of working for the RAC he went to the assistance of Julian who had broken down in his RAF Fordson WOT2 and they started talking about military vehicles. In just the last two Months Ian has done a complete nut and bolt rebuild on his Jeep and I very much look forward to seeing that one out and about. Pete still has a few teething problems with his Jeep but I am sure he will overcome them soon.

There have been some vehicle movements in the Area with Tobin buying Julians M2 half track, Ian Spicer buying Tobins jeep and trailer and Julian embarking on an epic journey to Ireland and coming back with a 1942 Humber FWD with a ton of spares and a 1940 Norton 6H and a 1941 BSA on a trailer. After landing at Birkenhead docks he had an 8 hour drive in the rain back to Oxfordshire. Julian is very pleased with his new purchase which he said “did not miss a beat” on the drive home and which will soon I understand be repainted in an RAF scheme. Tony King has now sold his Jeep of 30 years to new member Paul Clayson and is looking for a Tilly to replace it with.

Several of our members made it down to Trucks and Troops this year and had a very enjoyable time. The reports I have heard back described it as a very laid back and relaxing event. With the way the price of petrol has gone many of us have been looking at events closer to home. Brian Tegg (our hardworking events co-ordinator) told us about a new event only 1 mile away from my front door. This was the Cotswolds Classic car and motorcycle Show. Five military vehicles came to this one, including Voytek’s Gaz 69 which was on its first outing. I think the rarity of this vehicle was lost on a good deal of the public. I certainly found it fascinating and because of the hard top exceptionally difficult to get into. At the end of the event Tony King was awarded a trophy for the best military vehicle and us as a group for the best club display. We passed this award to Dave Bayliss to look after as he set up the display and fielded questions from the general public. A local TV station filmed the event and interviewed us about the MVT. I think we came across very well, certainly much better than some of the other vehicle enthusiasts who were interviewed who came across as being a little odd. At the end of the clip they had filmed my daughter walking up and down on my Jeep bumper. I wasn’t aware that she was doing this or that they were in fact filming her. Just goes to show you’re sins will always find you out

We had our first Area get together at the Hook Norton brewery on the18th June. Despite distinctly changeable weather we mustered 15 vehicles and two static displays (which were set up inside the museum). The firm favourite with the crowd was Robert Jervis’s immaculate looking Abbot. Watching it and listening to it driving up the lane to the brewery was a real delight. With the brewery providing excellent beer at a very reasonable price and what is probably the best burger van I have ever encountered a great time was had by all and the brewery has already invited us back for next year.

We have always been very lucky in finding guest speakers happy to talk to us. Or at least Don has a wealth of friends and acquaintances who he manages to persuade to come in and talk to us. We had a very interesting talk by a Mr Mills on the Battle of Britain who witnessed it at first hand (although while still at school at the time). Also, new member Voytek gave a fascinating talk of his time in the Polish army where he was an instructor on the BMP armoured personnel carrier. If any of our members have one and require some instruction on driving or maintaining it do let us know and I am sure Voytek would be happy to assist.

For our May meeting we were unable to get a speaker so I laid on a quiz. I selected 100 photographs of some less common military vehicles which included some unusual angles, range wrecks and post war rebuilds and asked them to identify them. From the occasional groans of exasperation coming from the floor it obviously wasn’t as easy as I thought and we stopped after doing 50. But it does mean we have 50 more to do next meeting chaps! To my utmost embarrassment I had actually identified one of the vehicles incorrectly, but David Belcher was on hand to politely correct me.


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