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Jessie The Jeep

My Flying Control Jeep

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Northallerton 1940's Day - June 10th

It was a sunny start to the day at home as I left for Northallerton. It was forecast for sunny intervals all day, so I left the doors at home, taking the canvas half doors instead. South of Durham, I drove into fog and the temperature dropped rapidly. The rest of the trip there was very cold.

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It stayed overcast at Northallerton until about 11am before the sun finally broke out. Most of my pictures were taken in the morning gloom, before the public turned up.

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There were around two dozen vehicles on show, including a couple of traction engines. The high street was closed off to normal traffic allowing hundreds of members of the public to wander freely around the displays. There were also a number of stalls and live entertainment on a stage further along the street from the vehicles.

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At the other end was a fairground organ, driven by a generator on one of the traction engines. When standing in the wrong place in the street, the two sets of music conflicted with each other badly, so it may have been better giving each time slots to perform.

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This was the first really long run out for "Jessie" with the new coil, at 90 minutes each way. Thankfully there were no problems. The Jeep was however damaged by a member of the public leaning on the canvas half door and breaking one of the press stud fasteners.

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Soon after leaving Northallerton on the way home, I ran into heavy rain for most of the way home, so we were lucky it didn't get any further South.

Further pictures can be found here - http://www.sacarr.co.uk/mymvs/events/2018/northallerton.htm

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"Frontline" Sedgefield - June 16th

This was the third "Frontline" event at Sedgefield. My daughter and I were only going to attend on Saturday, but we did plan to camp over on Friday evening. However a wet forecast for Saturday changed my mind and I decided to just drive for the day and save having to pack away a wet canvas tent. As in past years, there were displays and re-enactors from many centuries. This year however, I didn't take as many pictures, and few of anything other than the WW2 displays. With the wet forecast, I also left my DSLR behind and just took the little compact digital camera.

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There were a decent number of military vehicles with both WW2 and post war. There were also classic vehicles on show at a different part of the show field. While wandering around the large site we caught some of the arena displays but not all the time periods. The Romans were impressive, but there were also medieval and American Civil War demos amongst others.

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It was moderately bright across the first half of the day, but quite windy, which pulled the temperature down. There were a few showers too, so I made the right choice not to camp, especially just for one night. 

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There were quite a few German displays, all part of the Northern WW2 Association who also put on the main WW2 battle.

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The North East Land Sea and Air Museum had their Morane Bullet replica on show too. It is now heading towards completion with the tail and one wing now covered in fabric.

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At 2:30pm, we took "Jessie" over next to the arena to form up for the convoy around the arena. The convoy started at 2:45pm and since we were at the front of the queue, we led the convoy around for four laps. Here's the view from "Jessie" prior to entering the arena.

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Late afternoon was time for the battle, and after some Russian troops went on patrol, the German forces began to marshal their troops. It was also around this time that the light rain started to get heavier. We watched from under umbrellas as the Germans battled the Russians and then the Allies started advancing across the field with the Chaffee tank and Jeeps.

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I filmed the Chaffee for a little while to catch it firing, and the fast frame rate of the video caught a nice sequence of the main gun firing.

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It was then that the heavy rain became torrential and my daughter and I ran for cover in the Jeep. The camera was struggling with the low light conditions at full zoom. The battle continued for a while but the rain was so heavy, and the crowds were all running away from the arena, the pyro guys just blew everything up and called the war won!!

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The soggy troops trudged back to their camps and a little while later the rain stopped and the sun came out. We went for one last wander around the site, and everywhere we went, re-enactors of all eras were hanging clothes out to dry on guy ropes and fences. We then packed up the Jeep flags and follow me sign and set off home, rather tired and needing a rest before the Tanfield Railway trip the next day.

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Tanfield Railway Steam Gala - June 17th

Tanfield Railway - or waggonway as it was known at the time - was built in 1725. Its massive engineering was unlike anything else in its era. It was a triumph of engineering over nature, a clear signal that a new industrial age was upon the world, and that railways would play a massive part. It was first laid down more than a quarter of a century before the first railway officially sanctioned by government. This was over 75 years before the first steam locomotive and a whole 100 years earlier than the Stockton and Darlington Railway. Tanfield Railway is the world's oldest railway and will be the first railway to celebrate a tricentenary in 2025.

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We only had one Jeep at Tanfield this year. Daughter had a dancing practice late afternoon, for a performance at the Sunderland Empire in July, so Lynne brought a normal car to make a quick getaway. We arrived quite early in the Jeep, while the locos were still building up steam. The small diesel shunter was busy bringing the coaches out of the sheds to assemble the trains.

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As usual, the three Tanfield steam locos were joined by two guest steam engines for the event, all having connections to the local area and the coal industry. The pictures start with Andrews House Station, the central and main station on the line. "Jessie" was parked up on the hill top, overlooking the Marley hill yard. The other classic cars on show were also parked up on this field at the top of the bank down to the yard, loco and coach sheds.

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A first for me this year was a look inside the Marley Hill storage shed. This has always been closed on previous visits, and I think is only open when staff are available. There are a number of projects in here including steam and diesel locos, wagons and coaches. While there was quite a lot in there, it is only a small selection of the rolling stock that is on site.

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The locos frequently changed duties across the day. Sometimes they were pulling passenger trains in addition to performing shunting demonstrations in Marley Hill yard. Every so often they stopped at Marley Hill or Andrews House to take on water and coal. The guest locos were No.60 'Austerity" class, a National Coal Board engine from Lambton Railway and No.15, a Central Electricity Generating Board loco from Dunston Power Station.

No.60 'Austerity" class

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CEGB No.15

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Tanfield Locomotives

Sir Cecil. A Cochrane
Keighley Corporation Gas Department No. 2
Joicey Collieries No. 3, Twizell
Armstrong Whitworth diesel electric Reyrolles No. 2 ( on shunt release in Marley Hill yard )
National Coal Board, Backworth railway No. 49 ( on static display )

Sir Cecil. A Cochrane

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Joicey Collieries No. 3, Twizell

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Keighley Corporation Gas Department No. 2

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At Marley Hill yard is a loco shed which is the oldest in the world still in use. The shed was built in 1854. There are various tools and machines along the inside and a forge at the far end. In the side buildings, along the North West wall, are machine shops for the manufacture and maintenance of locomotives. They include a huge lathe for turning the wheels and tyres on locomotive and wagon.

National Coal Board, Backworth railway No. 49

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Many of the tracks in Marley Hill yard are full of rusting old locomotives, coaches and wagons. With time and money, many could be brought back to life, but due to the shear quantity of stock there, it could take many lifetimes!

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Andrews House station - the central and main station on the line.

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Here's some of the classic vehicles in the field next to Marley Hill. Several of the car owners had the polish out within seconds of parking up! Not something I've had to worry about with the Jeeps!! One unusual vehicle was a 2 foot gauge wagon, powered by a motorcycle. It is a reproduction based on a 1967 contraption built by volunteers working on the Festiniog Railway's deviation line.

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Also on show at Marley Hill was Marley the pit pony. Marley pulled a 2 foot gauge coal wagon on several occasions across the day.

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We took a ride on the train, heading South through Causey Arch to East Tanfield. This was behind 'Austerity" class No.60. At East Tanfield, No.2 and "Sir Cecil. A Cochrane" were hooked up to the back of the train for the up hill journey to Andrews House. While stopped at Andrews House, the engines were swapped for No.3 "Twizell". We stayed on the train while the swapped happened before continuing North to Sunnyside. "Twizell" was run around the passing loop at Sunnyside to pull the train for the return trip back to Sunnyside.

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We'll be heading back to Tanfield in September. After more than a decade, they are reinstating their 1940's weekend. That event was one of the first I attended with my Jeep back in 2005.

Here's my B-17 Fortress and Jeep at the 2005 wartime weekend.

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One last look at the Marley Hill yard before I end this report. Next weekend is the Barnard Castle 40's weekend, but for that we are planning on taking the Dodge.

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  • Like 1

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As ever a well rounded comprehensive report, very interesting. Thank you.

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Here's an edited version of the drive over to Bowes on Friday to set up.

 

On Sunday morning, I had the camera in Jessie again to video Hope while driving there. While still in the 30mph zone, indicating to turn right into Bowes car park, we were both overtaken by a modern car at somewhere between 50 to 60mph ( calculated from the distance and time on the video ). A few seconds later in passing us, and he/she would have slammed into the side of Hope as I turned, probably killing my daughter and myself. The video showed the registration so I've let the police have a word with them.

 

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Posted (edited)

I didn't post the near miss clip, only the Friday trip to Bowes to set up. Is it the near miss you were looking for?

The Friday drive is embedded in the forum page and it shows for me.

Edited by Jessie The Jeep

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Yes, I mistakenly thought on a quick scan that it was up for viewing.  No matter.  I've seen the other one as it does also show for me.

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I had a short drive out in Jessie today to meet up with a guy who had been re-stitching my US army roughout boots. We met at B&Q car park as an easy landmark to find and I figured that going in the Jeep, he'd have no trouble spotting where I was! The brief drive saw Jessie clock up 14900 miles on the speedo, although it is really owed about 50 miles on top of that for driving I did before fitting the new speedo back in 2005. I also stripped off the doors, sides and roof, and packed them in the back, ready to flatbed the Jeep to the Breighton Aerodrome Summer Fly/Drive-In next weekend.

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