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Winter 2011/2012 News Letter

As 2011 is drawing to a close it gives me a great opportunity to look back at our successes over the year. Our Swinbrook event was our largest and most successful ever with 48 vehicles in attendance. Our membership is continually on the up (although that still might have something to do with us meeting in a brewery!) and new members have always said how friendly we all are (although that again might be due to us meeting in a brewery). Members have taken their vehicles to numerous events the width of the country and we have had some outstanding club outings this year (such as the private tour of Shrivenham defence academy). We have had some top class restorations carried out and the area does have a diverse mix of interesting and unusual vehicles. One of the highlights of the year was winning the Warwick Offredi memorial shield for “Area Secretary of the year”. This was certainly unexpected and a real honour. As so many members of our Area contribute so much to the club I can only accept it on behalf of all of them as an Area award. With everyone working together and contributing there really should be 50 names on the trophy, not just mine. My sincerest thanks to the Council of management for selecting me and for the Area members who made it possible.

We had a good turn out of Area vehicles at War and Peace. A highlight for me was seeing Tobins Staghound for the first time. He has been working on this for almost as long as I have known him and although running very smoothly he still has a great deal to do to it to finish it off. I must say though that although unfinished it looked and in particularly sounded fabulous and I am really looking forwards to seeing it finished (as no doubt is Tobin).

We have been inundated with shows to go to this season. Our largest event was Swinbrook which was a great success and our largest event so far. Rather than trying to squeeze a summary of the event in here I have written a full show report which should (hopefully) appear elsewhere in this issue (or if the editor is short of room maybe next issue?). Many thanks to everybody who made it such a success and of course to all those who came.

The irregular “Fly to the Past” air show took place this year at Kidlington airport and was a great success with many vehicles joining us from outside the Area. Julian organised a field hospital display which attracted a lot of interest. Several members complained about the general public tampering with the vehicles which I can sympathise with. Although I don’t generally like doing it, maybe next time we should invest in some metal poles and rope to keep the publics distance. Did someone say electric fence, no surely not. I understand the organisers were very pleased with the day and are looking to make it a more regular occurrence.

We had seven vehicles able to attend the Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit family day at Brize Norton. The RAF were great hosts and allowed us to photograph our vehicles amongst their fleet of aircraft and also allowed us to practice abseiling from the roof of one of their hangars. Great fun was had by all. The United States air force were also great hosts when they invited us to Craughton to help them celebrate the 4th of July and we managed to provide a good number of vehicles to the event. The “Champagne Classic” event at Kingham School was also well attended. Some of our members really dressed the part wearing blazers, boaters or top hats and tails. Let no one ever accuse the North Oxfordshire and Cotswolds MVT of not knowing how to dress properly for social occasions.

One amazing highlight for the year was the 70th anniversary of the opening of the airfield at Barford St John. The airfield had a number of uses being built for flying training, then used for Wellington bombers then Mosquito’s. It’s most famous use though was that of a test site for Gloster E.28/39 Whittle/ Pioneer and F.9/40 Meteor jets. Tony and Bill king thought this anniversary too important to let pass and arranged a commemoration ceremony with the USAF who currently use the airfield as a communications site. Almost all of the war time buildings have gone although the runways, hard standings and perimeter track still exist. The USAF were incredibly obliging and allowed us to place a memorial plaque on a donated three ton iron stone near the entrance. They provided a colour guard, PA system and guard of honour. This combined with approximately 150 visitors including many civic dignatories and with us providing 15 military vehicles this created a fabulous sense of occasion. We were very anxious to explore the site but as this was a live base we could not go unescorted. To get around this we loaded up our green machines with USAF personnel and drove down the main runway. Judging by their laughter, smiles and photographing each other the Air Force guys certainly seemed to enjoy the ride. Certainly one more than the others when Brian allowed him to drive his Jeep to the entrance. A great day out. Many thanks Tony and Bill.


2011 Newsletter
2010 Newsletter
2009 Newsletter
2008 Newsletter
2007 Newsletter

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