North Oxfordshire and Cotswolds Area Report Spring 2014.

Once again our area AGM passed without great excitement and Tony remains chairman and I am Area Secretary. Unfortunately the AGM has perhaps come a couple of Months too early as with the proposed changes to the MVT we will have to hold another AGM in a few months time. The result of that one will I believe be a foregone conclusion with me handing over the title of Area Secretary to Tony and Nathan handing over the role of Treasurer to me. Apart from that I think we will all carry on doing exactly what we have done before. I can see why these changes are required and don’t think that it will affect us greatly but I do imagine that some areas might have some challenges in implementing them. Anyway, I think it will all make for an exciting national AGM in May. I know that the Council of Management are always looking for new ideas to boost attendance.
The lighter part of our AGM is the prize giving. This year little Dave the Jeep Bayliss won the award for contributing the most to the club. Unfortunately, the trophy was not available to be handed over so Dave had to make do with a Jeep watch instead which I think he enjoyed more than he would have done receiving the trophy. Dave has undertaken an amazing amount of work for the club over the last few years for which we are all very grateful. We just hope the watch continues to be as reliable as his Jeep. The other trophy which we award each year for attending the most shows with their vehicle went to the Dobsons again who attended over 30 shows in 2013.
We welcome two more Jeep owners to the Area. Tim King who has had a Jeep for some years and Charlie Huntingford who has just purchased a 1943 GPW registration VBR235K. Charlie’s Jeep was a late release from the British army and really does not need much doing to it. It has been around for a few years and Charlie would be interested in making contact with any previous owners.
The WW2 RAF control tower at Windrush which we have occasional use of has suffered recently with the appalling weather. A small working group comprising John Towers, Big Dave and Don) was organised to help tidy up the roof which due to the storm was now spread about on the ground alongside the tower so that the site could be prepared for repairs. This looks to be all in hand now so I hope it will be available for us to use at our next road run in the Summer.
Last year we had a high turnout for the Windrush and Swinbrook gathering and roadrun which created an impressive convoy through the Cotswolds although sometimes it was a bit difficult for our beleaguered motorcycle outriders to handle. This year we are having two events. The Swinbrook event will be taking place over the weekend of the 8 to 10 of August while the Windrush event will be taking place over the following weekend, the 16 and 17 of August. The Champ camp will be coming to the Swinbrook event to which some of our Area vehicles will be attending while the following weekend will predominantly be Area vehicles although there will be at least two Champs in attendance. Military vehicles and their owners of all ages are welcome to attend either or both events. Please contact myself (Goshahn@AOL.com) or John Coglan (gilliecoghlan@ruralpa.com) for further information.
Two years ago Bills road run took us to the Airfield at Little Rissington which was a remarkable place as the airfield was mostly unaltered. I drove past it again a few weeks ago and was shocked to see that almost every building had been flattened. Only the control tower and hangars were still standing with the bulldozers slowly marching towards them. In fact they will have probably gone by the time you read this. Very sad to see, but that is progress I suppose. A new housing estate is being built there. I understand that the RAF are holding onto the three runways which are all in excellent condition. I am trying to think in which circumstances they might want to use them, probably as an overspill from Brize Norton. I do wonder if this is something the new house owners will consider when they purchase their new detached houses at the end of the runway.
Nathan once again organised the annual museum trip, this year to the RAF museum at Cosford. We had 20 area members go on the trip and despite the cold and windy weather everybody had a great time. The new wing to the museum was very well presented and it was good to see the newly recovered Dornier although it was a shame that we couldn’t get a better view of it. They had an interesting selection of cold war aircraft and also a good deal of educational material from both the Russian and British side. Voytek our area expert in Russian hardware found this all to be fascinating and was particularly taken with the Mikhail Gorbachev quote that said "Our rockets can find Halley's Comet and can reach Venus, but our fridges don't work", which he said just about summed up his time in the Polish army.

All the best
Tim

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