North Oxfordshire and Cotswolds Area Report Summer 2013.

The most observant readers might have noticed that I usually start off the Summer Area Report in a very similar style and with the words "we held our AGM and Tony King was re-elected Area Chairman and I was re-elected as Area Secretary". This year is no exception so here I am again for another four issues. My initial offer eight years ago to stand temporarily as Area Secretary until a real one came along seems to have backfired on me. Maybe next year things will be different? Something else we do at the AGM is give an award to the member of the club who we think has contributed the most to the club. This year the prize went to Voytek for the running of the Area Website. He really has done an excellent job and if you have not had a look it can be seen at no wonder other Areas have been trying to hire him to set up their websites.

Although some things in the Cotswolds don't seem to change very fast there has been one significant change to the Area which has caused some lively debate. Over the last few years we have been holding our very successful camping, barbecue and road run weekend in the small and picturesque village of Swinbrook. This year it was suggested that we relocate the event to the Windrush Airfield seven miles away. This is a privately owned WW2 Airfield which regularly holds "fly ins" of light aircraft and the current owner would be delighted to have us attend. This was a difficult decision to make as the village of Swinbrook is incredibly picturesque and there is a choice of nearby pubs. There were however several problems last year with the Swinbrook site which caused a great deal of additional work and expense. The opportunity of having the run of a WW2 airfield is a great opportunity so the proposed movement of the event was put to the vote and carried unanimously. However, not every member was happy about this change and the Champ owners who also join us every year stated their preference of the Swinbrook site. This year although the Windrush airfield will be the location for the Area event, some people are planning to camp at Swinbrook and then join us at Windrush for the road run and barbecue. Both events will be taking place over the 10th and 11th of August and despite the split of locations it should be as good as it has been in previous years.

It seems to have been the season for acquiring Bedford MW's with four having just joined the Area. Nathan is obviously very fond of the MW as he has acquired three of them. A water tanker which is nearly ready to go (so I am told) and a GS one which although running still requires quite a bit of work to sort out and a second GS which is incredibly original. Ian Spicer has bought one as well which I understand has recently been restored. This gives our Area seven of these attractive little trucks. I wonder when we will be able to get all of them together for a photograph? Apart from Bedfords another British truck (of which there are already several of in the Area) are Morris Commercials, the numbers of which have been boosted by Ian Litchfield who has just bought a C8. This is an older restoration but which has been well cared for and came with a pile of spares. Ian drove this one home from Wales and I am looking forwards to seeing it soon. Another vehicle to join and which boosts the number of motorcycles in the area is John Wilkinson's Matchless 3GL. This came already partially restored and with almost all the bits necessary to complete it. John has a bit of a race against time to get it ready for this years show season. Only one American vehicle has joined us since the last windscreen and that is Charlie's GMC CCKW 352 dump truck. Very few GMC 352's received this conversion for use by the USMC (maybe as few as 50) and this is we believe the only survivor. This one came from Norway via Belgium and has already been restored by Charlie. It makes a nice addition to the area and to Charlies collection.

The Areas annual expedition was once again organised by Nathan who took a bus load of Area members up to Duxford for the day. This was a great opportunity to visit this excellent museum and gave the chance for old and new faces to get together and talk about the things which interest us the most.

The enjoyment of the 2012 show season was somewhat marred by the persistent rain. The weather for 2013 does not seem to be that promising having gotten off to a very chilly start with one local show already having a much reduced turn out of vehicles due to the freezing temperatures. We can only hope that things will have improved by the time you read this.

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