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Spring 2012 News Letter

The Spring Area report is usually the hardest one to put together. With three Months of usually poor weather no one has usually done much to write about. Not so this time. We seem to have been so busy with new members, vehicles and events I do wonder how I am going to squeeze it all in to just 900 words.

Several new vehicles have joined the area. James found a rather nice GMC workshop truck. Ex Norweigan reserve, it needs little more than a good service and repaint. As the insides of the body have been stripped he intends to turn it into a camper. Ian having finished his Jeep in lightning quick time bought a Bedford QL to restore, but wanting something else to play with immediately he also bought a restored Austin K5. He bought this one on the internet and travelled up to Lancashire to bring it home. The 185 mile journey took 7 hours to complete and apart from some contaminated petrol in one of the fuel tanks the journey was problem free. Tobin has bought a Matilda II tank and a good stock of spare parts. This particular Matilda has a known combat history and I can’t wait to see it. John Small has bought a Harley Davidson MT350 and our Area Chairman Tony obviously couldn’t stand not having a Jeep anymore and has bought a replacement for the one he sold a few Months ago. It needs a bit of work doing to it but I am sure we will see it on the rally field next year.

We have been successful in attracting new members. Scott has joined us with two Matadors, Ean with a Bedford MW tanker and Ian Barlow with a BRDM2. All of which make a welcome addition to the Area. We have also had another Jeep owner join us Dave Adkins. What makes Daves Jeep a little special was that he has had it since 1960 having bought it from General Motors Co of Banbury who had used it as a breakdown truck. Dave was buying old worn out Jeeps at this time from farmers to sell to the AV Trading Co of Balham (for £22 10 Shillings each) who broke them for parts and sold the engines, gearboxes, axles etc to overseas customers. Dave enjoyed his Jeep for a number of years using it “tug of war” type competitions with the new Land Rovers before he lost interest in it and parked it in a pig sty. The Jeep is now fully restored and looks marvellous.

At the end of September Nathan organised a camping, barbecue and road run weekend up at Broughton castle. Ten vehicles were in attendance and along with the barbecue, good weather and several pub stops a very enjoyable time was had by all.

Our friends at the USAF base at Craughton approached us again for some assistance during one of their deployment exercise days. Unfortunately this was on a week day but we managed to assist with a small number of vehicles.

At the end of October Dave Moy arranged another run out in to the country. About 50 miles in all of which about half was done off road. In Oxfordshire it is very hard to now find places where we can legally go off road, but taking us across the county border into Gloucestershire and Warwickshire and places where Dave knew that there would not be such restrictions. Five Jeeps, a Gaz and two motorcycles were on the run and I must say that it was one of the most enjoyable days out I have ever had in the Jeep. Judging by the smiling faces of the other drivers and passengers I was not alone. Certainly James was very excited to have the opportunity to get his Jeep muddy and following Ian’s Jeep closely resulted in him getting splattered in great big lumps of mud. Some of the route was quite challenging especially the section through the woods just North of Broadway which took us out of the Vale of Evesham. Pleased to say that all the vehicles behaved themselves well up such a long climb. Ian obviously didn’t think that the hill climb was hard enough so when he got to the top he found a very large hole to drive into. He tried to drum up some interest from the rest of us to drive down with him, but the number of damaged vehicle parts already littering the slope put the rest of us off. All fair dues to Ian he drove his Jeep in and out several times with no problem at all before we continued the journey to Shipston on Stour for a pub lunch.

Brian Tegg has been doing his bit for the Royal British Legion. Following a phone call from DJ Mike Read he took his Jeep to the house of Bee Gee Robin Gibb for a photo session to promote the latest CD release “I’ve just got to send a message to you” by “The soldiers” and Robin Gibb. Brian says it was a great day out and everyone was very friendly.

I have nearly reached the 900 word limit and I haven’t yet mentioned the Dobsons trip to the New Forest or our Area Christmas party. It seems this Spring report was not such a hard one to fill after all.    

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