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>>> 'Bolero' Friday 29th June - Day 1


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With much anticipation, the briefing at around 9am on Friday morning, was well attended. The first day of the tour was to be a shorter, less busy day as we all settled in to what was probably going to be the largest MV convoy in the area for many years. Nobody knew exactly how well it was going to work, but we all had our instructions and convoy numbers, and made our way to the vehicles to assemble in two rows; Green Convoy and Red Convoy.

 

Two cones on the airfield perimeter track, marked the start point of each convoy. Most people go into approximately the correct position, though much moving was needed to squeeze in the late starters with early numbers! Not long before 10:00 hrs, the Green convoy set off, shortly followed by Red. Several motorcycle outriders were riding ahead to block off road junctions to alow the convoy through, though most of the route was planned to avoid main roads. A group of local school kids visiting the Parham Museum waved us off. They would meet us again later at Debach.

 

The first four pictures show the convoy assembling, a view to the rear of my Jeep as we left Parham Airfield, Waiting on a private road near the first airfield, for Red section to meet with Green, and a double row of vehicles parked on the perimeter track at Leiston, an 8th Air Force Mustang base and the first Airfield on the tour. Because of time limits and flooding, some of the bases were missed off the tour, but this in no way spoiled the weekend.

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Once the rear of the convoy arrived and parked up, we were free to explore several of the technical site buildings close by. Buildings that were assembled in a hurry, were considered temporary, but have lasted six decades, but are in a poor shape after 60+ years of neglect. They have a sad presence about them.

 

Despite this and the hoards of MV owners looking around, it was quite easy to let your mind slip back in time and imagine the scene at the height of WW2. In the furthest building, which had poor natural lighting, there was a great deal of interest caused by a stack of very old packing crates!!! How long had they been standing there I wonder?

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We assembled back at the vehicles and then drove further around the airfield onto the main runway, heading back in the direction from where we entered the field. There was a brief stop for doughnuts and wartime recollections by the tours special guests, before walking to the memorial for the laying of a wreath.

 

Upon making our way back to the vehicles, there was a brief chance to chat before the plug fell out of the Pacific Ocean and it decended on Suffolk! ( Oh how thankful I was that my wooden doors were on the Jeep ). Others were travelling open top, but I imagine that rapidly changed! Before too long, the rain had eased and we were back on the road again.

 

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We drove on down winding lanes, barely wide enough for some vehicles, then turned off through a forest for some 'ever so slightly' off roading! I think some of the staff car drivers were slightly concerned, but the track wasn't too bad. Part way through the forest, we all stopped and it gave those of us who came prepared, time to have lunch! The grassy track and woodland also made for some nice photo opportunities.

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Several motorcycles were used to control the convoy and other traffic, and without them, it would have been very difficult to stay together as there were still normal car users who insisted on pushing in to the convoy to save themselves time. They then discovered we were plodding along at 10 to 15 mph on occasions, and with one to two miles of green vehicles ahead of them, passing wasn't going to be an easy or quick way ahead!! Once again while in the wood, the sky opened up again dumping another ocean onto the convoy.

 

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We continued our crawling twisting way along 'B' roads, watched by people from the many villages we passed through. On hearing the first dozen vehicles pass their door, they still had time to come out and watch another mile of green traffic go by! Getting close to the 493rd BG Museum at Debach, the lead half of the convoy put their collective feet down and left the rear half behind. I was at the lead of the second section, with a huge yellow crane that pushed its way in behind me, doing about 25mph.

 

I held back as I knew the way to Debach, and I knew the Jimmy's etc had no chance of overtaking the crane. So I plodded along in front and the rest followed! The main part of the convoy turned in to the airfield a different way, but I took the second section in through the normal Industrial Estate entrance, with both sections arriving at the Control Tower from different directions, with the mornings School kids waving us in.

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The last couple of pictures show the group of vehicles parked around the museum buildings. Richard Taylor, the farmer who is responsible for leading a group who restored the tower is also an MV collector, and he would be joining us the following day with his GMC Bolster Truck.

 

After leaving Debach, the convoy returned back to Parham for a much needed rest, some food, and I dare say, one or two had a drink or two!

 

It was at this point after 1/3 of the event was over that 'Mr Pink' turned up!! ;-)

 

Steve

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WOW steve fantastic photos :-)

(Mrs R Cubed here still as my laptop is still playing up and wont let me on the HMVF site :cry:)

R cubed dragged his heels into work this morning I have been left with the washing!

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I'll to give this game up and find something else to do. Thank heavens for the office furniture gigs. Roll on East Croydon on Thursday....I live a cutting edge life style mateys....

 

Steve, thanks for making all these notes which I will plagiarise with abandon - but with my smarmy norf London whit/Estuary English verbosity added. The cheque will be in the post....

 

M

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