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I've been spending again! My '43 GPW

Jessie The Jeep

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Sunday was in general, a brighter, warmer day, with more sun 'though the wind was a bit stronger.


Later in the afternoon, I could see the mist rolling in from the coast while standing on the footbridge and it waited until we were packing the car before it rained. Thankfully, we'd got the canvas tents down earlier and everything put into one pop-up tent until we could get the car and Jeep across the line to load up after the last train.


Waiting to cross the line to pack the car and Jeep for the trip home.


It dried up for the hour trip home, then rained on us again as we unpacked back at the house!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Abandoned Railway Tour - July 25th

The first stage of the trip was on foot which I haven't included here. It was a three mile local walk where a number of old railways intersected with roads. For almost all of them, all the rails and sleepers have been removed, in most cases during the Beeching cuts of the 1960's. After that, I took "Hope" out to search further afield. Some of those photos are shown here, but to see the full drive, visit - Abandoned Railway Tour

Parked up at the path down to Sherburn Colliery Station. The station building was at street level, while the platforms and tracks were below; the road crossing the tracks via a bridge.


A little beyond Sherburn House village, there's a road junction with the A181, where I stopped. Just passed the junction, the North Eastern Railway's Leamside Line crosses the A181. The bridge is still there, though the tracks were removed sometime between 2008 and 2014.


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I turned right at the bridge junction onto the A181 and headed West for a quarter of a mile. There I crossed the line that headed South to Cassop village; shown on my images, but long gone and now a public footpath.


Following the small lane near by, I eventually caught up with the North Eastern Railway's Leamside main line at a crossing where the rails are still in place. This was my last railway stop. Beyond this point was a private road to a farm, but I'd visited all the locations on my planned tour. There were 25 stops on the walk/drive railway tour.


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Posted (edited)

I headed back through Sherburn Village and then along the lane I stopped at earlier in the year for the sun set photos. With "Hope" being in RAF markings for a change, it was another opportunity for a photo stop. As I headed back through High Pittington, I saw a couple of possibly university students, fumbling to get their phones out for a picture of the Jeep. I pulled over and chatted with them for around 15 minutes before finishing my trip home.



Research via
Public Footpaths via - https://maps.durham.gov.uk

Old Stations - http://www.disused-stations.org.uk

Old Maps of Durham - https://www.oldmapsonline.org

Google Earth - https://www.google.co.uk

Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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  • 1 month later...

The GPW hadn't been anywhere else since the railway tour until the start of September. From September 2nd, it was the four day Beamish Museum show in County Durham.

Beamish "Dig for Victory" - Thursday - September 2nd

Beamish is a living history museum set in a 350 acre site in the North East of England. It charts local history from the 1800's to mid 20th Century. Many of the buildings on site are original structures, moved brick by brick from their original locations and rebuilt at the museum. There's a tramway, railway and station, a 1913 town, pit village and colliery, 1800's manor house and early steam wagonway, a 1940's farm and now a 1950's town under construction.

We set off to Beamish on Wednesday, late afternoon, arriving around 6pm. For the rest of the evening we were setting up our camp, finishing in the dark. Some of our group arrived earlier in the week, making it a bit of a holiday. Some of the larger vehicles from Yorkshire had arrived the Sunday before. The picture below shows our group - four Jeeps, two trailers, a Dodge and a Weasel.


By Thursday morning, there were a good selection of vehicles assembled on the show field. Thursday and Friday had been more quiet in past years, but now are almost as popular amongst vehicle owners as the weekend. It was an overcast start to the show and while damp early morning, it soon warmed up.

Below, Lynne putting on her morning camouflage and a rare shot of me in front of the camera. I took around 500 photos across the four days, only a small selection of which I added to my website and a fraction of those are added here. I'll add a website link for each day's photos if you want to see a bit more.



Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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After the morning briefing, a military convoy set off around the 350 acre site, leaving the show field, briefly through the edge of town, visiting the pit village and colliery before continuing around the museum site road. After that convoy, we were free to drive any time. This gave the public an ever changing display and frequent convoys and vehicle movements to watch.


There are a number of nice period looking locations around the museum for photoshoots, but the wagonway and Pockerley Manor were set in the 1800's and so not appropriate for a WW2 event.


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Beamish "Dig for Victory" - Friday - September 3rd

Another dull start weatherwise, but a warm day overall. There was the usual briefing followed by a convoy around the site, particularly for those who weren't there the previous day.

After the morning convoy, Andy and I had work to do and set off for the Rowley station goods yard, with the trailer to collect some supplies. I say "Andy and I had work to do", but I got him to do all the work while I photographed the loading.



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Once loaded up, we set off for the pit village and colliery. We were due to rendezvous with Chris in the Dodge, to off-load the supplies. He'd be taking everything into town. Around 20 minutes later, Chris showed up. Andy and Chris did the loading while a number of the public and I captured the hard work. Once all loaded, Chris set off towards the town and a little while later, Andy and I set off, hoping there was enough parking available for us both.



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Upon arrival, Chris had collected Neil for some extra man-power and supplies were off-loaded from the Dodge into the Jeep trailer. The .50 cal crates, loaded with 265 rounds were the heaviest to move. rations, photographic developing solution and aircraft parts were amongst the other supplies. With everything loaded up, the convoy headed back to base camp as it was lunchtime O'Clock. All that lifting worked up an appetite!



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Several more trips around the site took place during the afternoon, including some driver training for Andy. He would be filling in for Lynne, who had to be off site for part of Saturday.


The day ended as had the previous one, gathered around the camp fire, having a drink and sharing war stories.


Additional Day 2 pictures can be found here....


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Beamish "Dig for Victory" - Saturday - September 4th

Saturday started out with grey sky and light rain. It looked a bit grim, 'though the satellite forecast showed the showers to be small and not too many. They were however right over the area around Beamish. We all hoped that they would pass. I began the day with a walk along the second show field, photographing the dioramas and other vehicles parked up there.





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The morning convoy went ahead under somewhat damp conditions and with Lynne out for most of the day to a memorial service, Andy was in charge of driving "Jessie".



A little later in the day, I parked up in town to find Colin performing. It wasn't long before he was leaning on a lamp-post at the corner of the street! ENSA doing their best to keep everyone's spirits up.


I also did a circuit with "Jessie" and the trailer to catch a few pictures, as the trailer rarely features in pictures, except for this event. The picture below was taken about half way around the two mile site road.


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It stayed dull for most of the day, but at least the rain kept away. There were a couple of further showers during the day, but for the most part, it was dry.



One of the museum's vintage busses. Since March 2020, the museum trams hadn't operated. With driver refresher training recently completed, Saturday 4th was the first time trams were back out running. However, after the long break due to covid, not all the track was servicable, so the trams were just running back and forwards around half the circuit, stopping just short of the town. This meant there were more places to park in town without needing to keep clear of the tram tracks.


Reflecting on the past. Maurice's RAF Hillman staff car seen in the wheel of Colin's Austin 10.


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During the afternoon, I bumped into several friends at various places in the museum, who happened to be visiting that day.


I also got a short ride in Chris' M29 Weasel - even if it was just ten feet forwards and ten feet back! Chris only bought this a couple of months ago and I believe this was its first outing. One track was slipping, so it was only off loaded from its trailer and given a short drive in the field to show our group. Hopefully it will be fully operational by next year.


Jeeps and Martin's halftrack in town.



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Lynne came back late afternoon and got a circuit around the site herself before the end of the day.



The museum provided a meal in town after hours and opened up the pub too ( normally off limits to re-enactors during the day ). After that, we all headed back to base camp for the ritual drink and discussion of the progress of the war.


Additional Day 3 pictures can be found here....


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Beamish "Dig for Victory" - Sunday - September 5th

It dawned with blue sky, white fluffy clouds and a gentle breeze. It was to be a glorious last day on what would probably be our last event of 2021. The morning convoy was delayed slightly to 10:30am, to allow more public in through the doors to see it. Almost all the vehicles went out on parade, stretching towards 3/4 mile at times.



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We followed the usual route from the show field, around the edge of town, past the tram depot and down through the pit village to the colliery. From there, back up the pit village bank, around the site road passed the tram sheds, on passed the main entrance, down the hill by the wagonway and up the slight incline to the town.


After the convoy, Lynne, the girls and I headed out on another photoshoot. Lynne waited with the Jeep while the rest of us went to the station.


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We stopped on the foot bridge over the tracks for some pictures and then moved on to the platform. With them both in their 1940's dresses, luggage and gas mask boxes, I wanted some evacuee pictures of them waiting for a train. Due to covid, there were no passenger trains running this year, so we made do with just the platform and tracks as a backdrop. After the pictures, Lynne took us on a drive and we dropped the girls off in town, catching a few other vehicles passing while there.



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Another of the convoys around the site. We certainly all clocked up many circuits. I worked out one of my Jeeps had done 55 miles around the site road. If you include the drive down to the pit village and colliery, it was a 2 mile circuit, otherwise about 1.75 miles for just a trip around.


During the weekend, the girls has been eyeing up the US halftrack. They happened to meet the crew in the bakery while in town and were offered a ride. This happened early afternoon and they got several trips around the site sitting up in the gun ring, holding on to the Browning .50 cal. It really made their weekend complete.


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They were still on the halftrack when the second big convoy of the day set off at 13:00 hours, tagging on to the back for another circuit.


The colliery yard got quite full when the full convoy dropped in to turn around, with vehicles forming around three rows before the lead vehicle set off through the colliery gates and back through the village, past the Methodist church and school.


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