North Oxfordshire and Cotswolds Area Report Winter 2013.

With most area reports I start off by talking about the weather. I am pleased to say that this one will be no exception although the weather is indeed exceptional. I am writing this while on holiday in the USA. Unfortunately this coincides with the worst winter weather seen in the USA for a long time. The temperature outside is minus 50 degrees with two feet of snow which is drifting and making the roads impassable. This would of course be ideal weather for taking the Jeep out for a drive but I think that I would be frozen solid before I travelled more than a mile.
The last vehicle gathering of the year was at the Long Hanborough bus museum open day. Despite the appalling weather we had a good turnout of vehicles and little Dave set up his refreshment tent serving hot drinks and snacks. This proved a magnet for the club members who due to the hot drinks, lively atmosphere, comfortable chairs, stimulating conversation and appalling weather spent most of the day there.
Area members were out in force to assist the annual poppy appeal collection. Tony it seems is unable to forget his previous employment as a Policeman. While standing outside the Banbury branch of Aldi a shoplifter was chased out by the store manager and a scuffle ensued. Tony leapt to the managers aid and assisted in detaining the shoplifter who was later picked up by the Police.
Tony had a further interaction with his Policing past when he traveled with Don, Brian and Clive to the classic car show at the NEC. On a stand set up by The Police Vehicle Enthusiasts Club was one of his old patrol cars and he said it was nice to renew a friendship with an old friend that had taken him on many interesting events and at speeds slightly quicker than an MV.!! He was also able to advise the current owner of where some of the equipment should be placed particularly the VASCAR system and the  hands free radio switch. Tony said it has wet his appetite to look for an ex-Police vehicle but with Margaret threatening him with a fate worse than death if he does (31 years of Policing was enough for her) Tony thinks that he would be better off just sticking with the Jeep.
For our annual Christmas dinner Nathan suggested that we try something quite different. We had a 1940’s style dinner dance at the Hook Norton memorial hall which members decorated with flags and posters. The hall was built not long after the end of the first world war and the internal décor appears not to have changed since the 1940’s. A more appropriate venue would have been hard to find. Nathan arranged caterers who put on a fabulous three course meal which everybody enjoyed. For entertainment 1940’s music was played and wartime dance instruction was given by professionals and which was undertaken with great enthusiasm. Despite the large amount of extra work arranging this event entailed the consensus was that it was well worth the effort, so a big thank you to Nathan and to everyone who came and those who assisted on the preparation and tidying up on the night.
The end of the year is marked by the annual Winter road run organized by Julian which was another great success. Thirteen vehicles were on the run and they travelled from Bicester up to Stowe Gardens and back.
We have lost a few vehicles within the area over the last few Months but we have had one new member. Gavin Howard recently purchased a particularly tired looking Jeep as an entry level restoration. This Jeep has had several previous owners who faced with this daunting restoration moved it on. Gavin has bitten the bullet so to speak and the quality of his restoration really is superb. He hopes to have it finished for mid 2014 so I am really looking forwards to seeing that one out on the road run.
My trips across the pond to the USA are always quite exciting. It gives me a chance to purchase various bits and pieces that I can’t get in the UK. This time I have a suitcase full of exceptionally large UNC bolts to bring back. Goodness knows that the security guys make of my suitcase when it goes through the X ray machine. Anyway, my last two flights home have been cancelled due to the weather, but I might be able to fly out tomorrow. First of all I will have to dig the car out of the snow. Please excuse me. I am just going outside. I may be gone sometime.

All the best
Tim

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