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.....Oh! and closing Saturday night is a daft idea! As most will leave midday Saturday and the show will look bare for the general public when they arrive on the most popular day.

 

Agree with your post Paul - however in the case of Saturday finish, wasn't the point that most folk cleared off Sunday during the day thereby leaving a bare show for visitors?

 

So by finishing Saturday, maybe the organiser was hoping that folk would stay for the whole day and night, then clear off at their leisure Sunday without upsetting any visitors on the Saturday?

 

Why ever did folk clear off on Saturday (other than maybe a fear of wet weather)? If all campers and stalls stayed for the day and night everyone is happy - visitors get to see the show in its entirety and everyone gets another social evening. Sunday can then be a leisurely departure with organised towing through mud if necessary and the day to get back.

 

If I was a MOP visitor Saturday I'd be well hacked off. As it was I asked a camper to get a spare part which I forgot on Thursday from a stall holder on Saturday - but the dealer was all packed up and ready to go, so no chance.

 

I'm pretty annoyed with the organiser's apparent attitude on facilities (see Rambo's post above) but for goodness sake he's taken on board that folk want to get away Sunday - now it seems they want to get away on Saturday!

 

Why cut short your enjoyment of the gathering by a day unless you really don't want to be there?

 

What start and finish day would suit most people?

Edited by N.O.S.

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I was also quite surprised at the amount of campers and caravans on the America's field.

 

Maybe a big part is the fact a lot of MV owners are getting old and can't be expected to sleep in a tent when bringing a Jeep?

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I have to admit I packed up on the Sat, It was my intention to go on the Sunday as planned but the forecast was dire and I didn't fancy packing up and getting stuck on the M25 in a downpour with minimal weather protection :-(. I think that was the similar decision to the others that went early. I think the Sunday pack up is preferable though.

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I have to admit I packed up on the Sat, It was my intention to go on the Sunday as planned but the forecast was dire and I didn't fancy packing up and getting stuck on the M25 in a downpour with minimal weather protection :-(. I think that was the similar decision to the others that went early. I think the Sunday pack up is preferable though.

 

Sunday was a dry day, so it would have been better to wait than leaving on the Saturday.

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I have to admit I packed up on the Sat, It was my intention to go on the Sunday as planned but the forecast was dire and I didn't fancy packing up and getting stuck on the M25 in a downpour with minimal weather protection :-(. I think that was the similar decision to the others that went early. I think the Sunday pack up is preferable though.

 

I guessed the weather forecast / field conditions might have been a big factor. Just trying to see it from the organiser's view (not really sure why).

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Quite a lot of exhibitors come from all over Europe and even beyond, and some have to travel hundreds of miles to get home and maybe back to work on monday morning? So ending the show on saturday night isn't that daft at all.

 

Packing up earlier than saturday afternoon is an individual choice, and not something the organizer has any influence on. I guess the weather was a big factor here, and there will always be people that leave before the show ends, regardless on what day that would be.

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Americas field was actually called 'plastic camping' by the organisers, it was printed somewhere but I can't remember where I saw it.

 

I did attempt to cammo my Camper but the wet and windy weather resulted in the wind out awning collapsing under the weight of water and wet cammo net. Woke up to badly torn fabric and supports ripped out of the front frame extrusion, but I tried.

 

Despite that very costly exercise I had a great eight days there, nice to be back, and the best thing was.....

 

NO HELICOPTER:banana::goodidea::banana:

Edited by gritineye

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IMHO, if we MV owners are charged for the privilege of attending, then it is entirely up to us how long we stay! We have been made customers and the customers are ALWAYS right!

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Americas field was specifically for plastic camping and was noted as such in the literature. Whilst green camping obviously looks more in keeping with the event, practicality also has to be considered, this was my first w+p that my family decided to attend with me as such green camping was not an option, as my wife refuses to sleep in a cold old army tent! Bringing the family also required us to bring a support vehicle, can't fit 4 in a lightweight landrover and plus my wife had to work on two of the days (although in the end we ended up leaving her car outside due to the conditions, despite paying £30 for the privelage). given a better layout, civilian tenting and cars could be disguised better and be located behind the vehicles being displayed, but when we arrived Saturday am there was no option to do this.

 

Was also disappointed to see that some reenactors and many MV's left during the show on Saturday and that many traders were packing up at 3 pm just as I was doing my last sweep of bargain hunting.

 

Have to say with the exception of the weather and toilets had a great time, shame the number of traders was noticeably down, but at least this year I came home with a relatively intact wallet !

 

Improvements

Toilets (obviously), exit and egress-to the site with separate entrances for public/exhibitors, bringing back the fashion shows etc for the ladies

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Sunday was a dry day, so it would have been better to wait than leaving on the Saturday.

Hindsight would make us all the greatest weather forecasters ;) , as it happened the forecast was changing at least twice a day...I took my chances and got home dry.

 

But as said above, we're not guests, we're paying punters ourselves and as such we retain the right to leave when it suits us best.

 

All told I did have a cracking show, the shower pods were great other than the drainage issues and I presume they have their own water supply (in the big yellow bladders?) as such could they not be also located elsewhere on the site, spreading out the washing facilities a bit?

Edited by Tugger
grammar

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I stayed on for the full day on Saturday, not just because I gave an undertaking to do so, but irrespective of the weather I prefer to travel several hundred miles in a MV at the start of Sunday than towards the end of Saturday.

 

But a bonus for this is that many traders drop their prices as the show draws to a close. Bulky & heavy items that traders are none too keen to take home produce the best reductions.

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The prize for the fastest knob on a quad bike must go to that prat hus who was racing through Monkton on a very muddy slick road with a lad on the back at 40 to 50 mph, MADNESS

Edited by hibbo

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In Great War Truck's photos at the start of this thread, is a Marder III Ausf. M (SP Anti-Tank) sitting next to the early Stug III, which I saw at the Hop Farm last year (in that other show we won't mention).

 

Anyway can anyone say whether this Marder III Ausf. M is a replica as discussed on this forum a while ago? it certainly looks the part.

 

Actually the same question applies to the Unic with 20mm Flak , as posted by 'earlymb'

 

It has the look and appearance of something found a while ago and in need of restoration but is it orginal as shown or repro on an unwanted chassis?

Edited by LarryH57

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The Marder is a repro, using some original parts inc the front armour & pal 40 gun. The vehicle started life as a Swedish M43 assault gun, which is based on a 38T chassis. John has used a truck engine & gearbox to drive the tank. A superb realistic restoration. There's also another repro Marder tank in Hull, again using alot of original parts.

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What is the story regarding the French Unic with 20mm Flak, as posted by 'earlymb'

 

"This Unic P 107 was a regular unic that came from Norway. According to the owner, the body for the Flak came from a barn in Normandy. The owner has it for about 25 years."

Source: http://the.shadock.free.fr/Surviving_French_Armoured_Vehicles.pdf

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"This Unic P 107 was a regular unic that came from Norway. According to the owner, the body for the Flak came from a barn in Normandy. The owner has it for about 25 years."

Source: http://the.shadock.free.fr/Surviving_French_Armoured_Vehicles.pdf

 

I spoke with one of the Chaps that was with this vehicle. The owner had apparently taken all that time to restore it, on an as & when basis! it certainly is a rare beast! He stated the Gun shield was made from boiler plate. Which He also stated the Germans did also. With the shortage of steel for Armour. Cant be many of these surviving I would say?...

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Interesting views thus far folks!! FWIW - here's my tuppence worth:

I should have got there on the first Saturday but the UAZ had other ideas with the fuel lines giving way quite spectacularly so I had to get a new set made up meaning I finally arrived on Sunday. Wasn't feeling overly happy already because my groups Living history application had been sent in twice already - and lost both times We only found out when Lee the armourer e-mailed me asking why there was a Soviet battle scheduled for us - and we weren't attending! Fairly certain the only reason #3 didn't get lost is because Lee walked it round in person. Upshot of that was - they ran out of room on Living History for us so we wound up in a L shaped plot beside and behind the green NAAFI container . Plus side was we were right by the permanent loos and the washing up points so we had no loo issues apart from one of them getting a broken handle and - on one memorable occasion hearing a loo flush followed by a loud "Oh SH*T" and the sight of a tidal wave rolling out from under the door..... A slight blockage I believe.... :) Debit side was that we had half our display blocked from view.

 

When I arrived Sunday it took an hour to get through booking in - three windows were open - Living History, MV's and Traders. One person in each and the whole damn queue was Living History. In the old days they would have been pitching in to help - a guy in front of me asked why the other 2 weren't helping the LH guy and got the answer "its not our job". Go figure.

 

We were supposed to have had a trench system carved out by the digger but apparently some one - allegedly the hop Farm people - lost the plans of the underground power and water lines so they would not let the digger dig! We hacked down by hand to approx the depth we wanted in some test holes, found no cables so got permission to use the digger. - which got revoked 2/3 of the way through so we were still hacking the system out on Tuesday. Some dude got uptight when he yanked permission for the digger saying we might hit the power cables to the NAAFI container - at which point we pointed to the cables laid overground and asked if he meant those as they were the only power feed to the container. No idea who he was or who he was with. But we got it finished in the end - L shaped trench with a mortar pit spurred off. Those who came to see us liked what they saw.

 

Getting around for the week for me was easy - even in the arena - as the UAZ is shod with the Russian extreme mud tyres on the back wheels - I spent the whole show in 2WD even in the worst of the mud. In my travels around the show grounds I was struck by the lack of loos & showers compared to other Beltring based shows in the areas distant from the main entrance.

 

Original plan was to stay to Sunday - but the owner of the tentage wanted them down dry as they soak up water like a sponge so they came down on Sat morning. That left one patrol tent sleeping 4 to cater for 10. Then in the afternoon the rains came down big time. By 16:00 the show was nearly empty and as most of my kits was already in the UAZ wrapped up in a tarp to keep dry I decided I might as well jump in and head home. Got soaked on the way home as the roof now leaks so badly it might as well not be there.:)

 

The arena was a bit of a let down but one of the show marshals told us it was leased to a quy running a quad bike business and he had gone ape **** at learning we were using it, seemingly trying to sue the Hop Farm in an attempt to get us banned. Obviously he failed and the word was he had been such a PITA that his contract which is up for renewal in Sept won't be So next year we get the arena back as it should be.

 

On the whole it was good to be back there. Missed the Barmy Army and their party though. If it happened we never heard it or about it. The old W&P "buzz" was definitely back and with a couple more years to get re-established I reckon it will be like we never left. It was great to see old friends who had not come to the Racecourse for various reasons - Maz fuel consumption was a good one :) Nice atmosphere in the trade stands too.

 

The point about the camping in the America's field - I think was valid. A better place might have been in the adjacent Medway field that had very few exhibits in. The lack of loos and shower in the outlying areas needs attention urgently.

As do the food prices. Beer in the beer tent was on the high side but not enough to groan about. Music was pretty good every night it was on. Food stand prices were though. An idea might be to offer a discount based on the colour of the wristband for those exhibiting there in any shape or form.

 

Pre show adminstration certainly need to be looked at as losing successive applications is not acceptable practice. So do some of the actual practices - like the booking in area.. NMJ is not an acceptable answer - if you are working there and standing idle whilst the next window is overworked pitch in and help.

Since losing the OT I have lost sight of the practices for transport cost sharing but from listening to people talk it sounds like some are getting nothing whilst other are getting the whole bill paid - there should be some rationale applied. I think in Rex's day the idea was light to medium tracked armour got 50% of the transport bill met (that was the deal I had with the OT-90) whilst the heavy stuff got more - it being a bigger "draw". I did note the lack of heavy armour this year. Apart from the Leopard 1 and Nicks OT-90 it was all smaller WW2 based CVF(T) numbers seemed way down as did 432's, no Centurion, Chieftain, T55, T62 or T72 at least not moving.

Another story doing the rounds in the trade area at least - I heard it from several stands was the show going back up for sale. Story being that the new owner wanted to make it a country fayre type event as with his other shooting shows and have live weapons and ammo on sale. Kent police took one look at a plan involving that and a bunch of re-enactors and history buffs and said no chance. Ever!!.Time will tell on that one.

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The arena was a bit of a let down but one of the show marshals told us it was leased to a quy running a quad bike business and he had gone ape **** at learning we were using it, seemingly trying to sue the Hop Farm in an attempt to get us banned. Obviously he failed and the word was he had been such a PITA that his contract which is up for renewal in Sept won't be So next year we get the arena back as it should be.

 

 

I am friends with the Arena crew and it's true that the quad bike guy tried to make a serious fuss, so we ended up making a new track with a 432 that mostly avoided the bike path. Once the new track was visible enough (after 20 laps at full speed in the 432 :-D ) the other vehicles just followed it.

 

Another thing is that on the far side of the Arena (towards America's Field) there is an underground gas pipeline. It has always been there and never was an issue with the old W&P, but suddenly now it is so the gas company made sure that strip was cordoned off and no vehicles were allowed on it. So much so, an official had to be in that area to make sure it was kept clear and there was a guy from the gas company to keep an eye on things. Apparently at least one vehicle ended up in that area and the guy immediately started snapping photo's... This is just a narrow strip near the far edge of the Arena so it's not that much of a problem.

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I am friends with the Arena crew and it's true that the quad bike guy tried to make a serious fuss, so we ended up making a new track with a 432 that mostly avoided the bike path. Once the new track was visible enough (after 20 laps at full speed in the 432 :-D ) the other vehicles just followed it.

 

Another thing is that on the far side of the Arena (towards America's Field) there is an underground gas pipeline. It has always been there and never was an issue with the old W&P, but suddenly now it is so the gas company made sure that strip was cordoned off and no vehicles were allowed on it. So much so, an official had to be in that area to make sure it was kept clear and there was a guy from the gas company to keep an eye on things. Apparently at least one vehicle ended up in that area and the guy immediately started snapping photo's... This is just a narrow strip near the far edge of the Arena so it's not that much of a problem.

 

Re the gas pipe, T in the park a Kinross had a gas or oil pipe crossing the site, which up until 2 years a go was no problem, Health and safety decided not safe so T in the Park has moved to Strathallan, in my opinion more difficult to get to for festival goers

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