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North Oxfordshire and Cotswolds Area Report Summer 2011.

I am always amazed at just how quickly time flies by. I have only just received Windscreen and only have a few days to get the next area report in. Anyway, this is always the most difficult report to write as not a lot generally happens between Christmas and April.

The frost bite run organised by Julian went very well I understand and the fresh air no doubt blew away plenty of cobwebs and tinsel. Julian very much enjoys taking his Jeep out for long drives in the snow and ice. A hardier soul than me. Maybe next year?

Nathan has been very proactive and organised a club visit to the Imperial War Museum and the War Rooms which went very well. There was talk of arranging another club outing later in the year.

Militaria 2011 at Stoneleigh was well attended by our Area judging by the number of familiar faces I recognised. Once again I was a very poor customer and found nothing to buy. I nearly dipped my hand in my pocket for the Goliath at just £45,000, but I thought I would wait around until I found one with the transit trailer to go with it. The vendor said that if he doesn’t sell by War and Peace they would take it for a drive around the show ground. That will be something interesting to see. One thing that I do enjoy doing at Militaria events is trying to work out which country’s have suddenly disposed of a whole lot of surplus. Judging by the vast numbers of Garand bayonets I saw I would guess Holland (actually that might be due to the Dutch person selling them). I also several stands selling very poor replica Garand bayonets for a comparable price and who I think may now have some surplus stock on their hands.

Over the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd of January the National Trust, Archaeology UK and Bristol University did a dig at the Home Guard Auxiliary unit training centre at Coleshill manor. The plan was to use geo-physical equipment and look for the still undiscovered bunkers that we know to exist. Area members Bill and John joined them for a cold weekend. Unfortunately no further bunkers were found, although they did turn up a 2” mortar round, a bayonet and numerous other small items. It does make you wonder that if we cant find them with the modern technology we have today what chance did the Germans have of finding them if the country had become over run?

I received a phone call one evening from a local man looking for a specific Jeep which his Father (Mr Giles) had sold 20 years ago. Apparently Mr Giles had never liked hearses and before he died asked that he make his last journey by Jeep. The day before the funeral his old Jeep had been traced to Norfolk which would be a bit of an exercise in getting it to Carterton, but luckily local Jeep owner Don Evason stepped in and offered the services of his Jeep. On the day of the cremation Don escorted the estate car which carried the coffin and then at a later date Dons Jeep carried the ashes to Black Bourton cemetery. The family gave Don a cheque for £100 for his services which Don donated to the Royal British Legion.

Our first vehicle event of the year was supporting the RAF at Brize Norton for their “Operation Varsity” Dinner. Dave Bayliss arranged for seven Area vehicles to attend and after parking up they were taken for a tour of parts of the base and the Joint air delivery test and evaluation unit followed by a three course dinner at the Officers mess. Everyone had a very enjoyable time and I have seen several photos of John Coghlan either climbing a rope ladder or being suspended from the ceiling. I think this actually occurred as part of the air delivery test of the Chinook as opposed to after dinner entertainment in the mess, but I am waiting for confirmation on that.

Brian Tegg has produced a list of all the local events that we are aware of for this year and I was stunned at how many there are. Just about something every weekend for the whole season. Our main event is of course our gathering at Swinbrook over the weekend of the13th and 14th of August where we anticipate having record numbers of vehicles. If you are interested in coming or would like some more information do please contact me on Goshahn@AOL.com. Similarly, if you would like me to put you on our e-mail distribution list then please let me know.
   

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2011 Newsletter
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