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My 2017 Season In Pictures

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Time for my annual season review post! It's been a busy year on the road, although there's been a few lumps and bumps long the way. "Jessie" made it to eleven events, "Hope" managed six and "Faith" got to four. A couple of events saw two of the fleet together and only one show had all three. The biggest problem this year has been a spinal/nerve injury for Lynne after a fall at a swimming pool. Due to the increasing problems this has caused, I decided it probably wasn't a good idea for her to be bounced around driving a Jeep.

However it was a completely different reason that caused me to miss the first event of the season, the Yorkshire MVT Crank Up to York Castle. The annual one day start up to the season has seen up to 84 vehicles attend in the past, but not me this year. An MOT failure of the normal car resulted in the first part of the bank holiday weekend car shopping, so I missed out on the run down to York on Sunday 30th. As I had planned on being there, I'd arranged with a friend to do a little photo-recon. His picture can be seen below.

York Crank Up at York Castle - April 30th


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Stephenson Railway Museum 1940's Event - May 1st

The day following the Crank Up was local event. Lynne went off to test drive more modern cars to narrow down the choices while myself and little legs took "Jessie" to the Stephenson Railway Museum, a little north of the River Tyne. It was their first go at a 1940's event. It had been open on Sunday as well, but a number of people from around the area had already committed to York. There were only a couple of vehicles, some re-enactors and some music, but the visitors seemed to enjoy the day.


Breighton Aerodrome Aerobatics Competition and Aerojumble Fly-In - May 6/7th

I was back out a few days later for an early season visit to Breighton aerodrome. I was going to camp for the weekend, and since the normal car was off the road, I took "Jessie". For the first time in a few years, the Jeep trailer was towed by the jeep, requiring a 6 volt to 24 volt bulb swap. The drive down on Friday saw nice blue sky, but on Saturday morning, passing low cloud interrupted the aerobatics competition, eventually resulting in its cancellation. There were however, many nice aircraft to look at, even if not all flew during the weekend.

On Sunday, it was a Fly-In and Aerojumble, and I had a stall selling some of my Aviation Model Art pictures ( see below ). I had a few sales and a number of orders placed for other aircraft, some of which were based at Breighton. The low cloud persisted, but there were still a number of unusual aircraft flew in to visit for the day.


Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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Blyth Battery Goes to War - May 20/21st

A couple of weeks later, it was the Blyth Battery Goes to War event. Blyth Battery was built during WW1 to protect the port of Blyth. It was upgraded and enlarged in WW2. Today, volunteers maintain the Battery as a museum and hold a number of events. Blyth Battery Goes to War in their main event of the year. With the amount of heavy rain, I think the event should have been "Blyth Battery Goes to Sea".

It didn't rain all day, but when the thundery showers hit, the rain made the most of the opportunity. Saturday is always the quiet day, but there were still a fair number of public wandering around and a nice selection of WW2 and Post War vehicles. Day two had more settled weather, but the wind turned in from the sea, making it colder than expected. There were a few extra vehicles the second day, and a few less under covers!


Teesside Airshow - May 27th

A week later, it was the Teesside Airshow, or "Skylive" as I think it was called. With the number of cancellations before the show, and on the day due to weather, it was more of Teesside Show, than Teesside Airshow, but still an enjoyable day out. I saw the BBMF Spit and Hurricane display, but missed the Harvard due to hiding from the rainstorm under a food van shelter. In the static aircraft park, I saw a very nice Bombardier Challenger 350 executive jet that was obviously meant to be mine; as it had my name on it - G-SCAR.

The Slingsby Firefly, Tutor and an aerobatic team flew, plus the Hughes OH-6 Loach heli, and I think that was it. The 7 feet tall security fence along the crowd line didn't help with seeing the show or photographing aircraft on the runway. The BBMF were the only aircraft of interest I ended up photographing in the air. 60 years after the formation of the BBMF, they are still shy about showing the top sides of their aircraft during displays!

Towards the end of the day, a massive thunderstorm approached the airfield. Most of the MV's cleared off at that point, but I stayed, helping some of the owners of the lighter aircraft push them into the surviving wartime hangars to ride out the storm. I'm sure a friends Auster would have flown on its own had we not got it to safety. As I headed home, the Eurofighter Typhoon arrived to display in the rain.


Despite the false start to the season, May had been a busy month.

Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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Sedgefield Frontline Multi-Period Living History Event - June 17th

Sedgefield Frontline was the first event for 'Hope' in 2017. Fantastic Summer weather was already warming the air as I brought the GPW out of the garage for the 25 mile trip. This event covers many periods of history, from Normans and Saxons, Romans, The British Empire, American Civil War and World War Two.

There were displays and combat performed by the various groups in the arena across the day, as well as smaller displays of artifacts and one on one combat around the displays of each living history group. Many of the living history groups had demonstrations going on all day, and most were very hands on, allowing the public to handle weapons and artifacts to gain a greater understanding of their use. This was a three day event, with Friday being open for schools, while Saturday and Sunday were for the general public.


Tanfield Railway Legends of Industry Steam Gala - June 18th

Rather than do Sedgefield twice, the second day of the weekend was spent at Tanfield Railway. Tanfield is the oldest railway in the world, and will be celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2025. The weekend of June 17/18th was their main event of the year, the Legends of Industry Steam Gala. They had two visiting locos, but unfortunately, on Saturday, one started running two hot axel boxes, and was restricted to slow speed shunting. One of the railway's diesels stood in as a replacement.

On Sunday when we attended, things went from bad to worse, when their main diesel failed first thing in the morning, delaying getting the passenger coaches out of the shed, putting the whole time table back! Their secondary diesel, covered in dust, dirt and bird droppings was called into service to replace the replacement! With the hot weather and lots of visitors, I'm sure they still had a successful weekend. Our Jeeps were on show with a number of classic vehicles at East Tanfield Station.


Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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Barnard Castle 1940's Weekend - June 24/25th

This was the second year for the Barnard Castle event and the first event of the year in the Dodge. We drove there on Friday, and by the time the tent was set up it started chucking it down! Fortunately, the rain passed by overnight, and while Saturday started out overcast and cold and windy, it was at least dry. The vehicles were parked up in the market place, while the various re-enactor displays were up near the castle. As the day progressed, the clouds cleared and by the time the BBMF Hurricane flew over, we had blue sky and white clouds.

Late on Saturday night, there was an under-age drinking incident in town, resulting in a stabbing. This had nothing to do with the event, but on Sunday morning when we turned up to park, the road was closed and police forensics were searching the scene. All the vehicles were now to be parked up at the top of the high street with the re-enactor displays. We found our way around the back streets and parked up in the new location for day two. It was nice weather all day, and plenty of public around.


Bowes Railway/Springwell Village 1940's weekend - July 1/2nd

After almost a week of solid rain, day and night, it finally stopped for the Springwell village 1940's event. The event involved much of the community, with dsplays and exhibitions throughout the village. The military vehicles and re-enactor displays were to be centred around Bowes Railway, a staging yard on the "Rope Haulage" coal lines from the pits to the river Tyne. 

I was on my own for the weekend, so just took the Dodge. A number of people didn't show, so when I arrived, it was just my Dodge and a Kubelwagon. Several of the re-enactor displays were set up in a court yard amongst the railway buildings. Early afternoon saw the battle re-enactment out amongst the railway yard. It made a fantastic setting fighting amongst the tracks, reminiscent of so many war films. At the end of the battle, the re-enactors lined up and held a minutes silence for all those who have fallen in combat.

Due to the low vehicle turnout, and my house being so close, I suggested late Saturday, that if they wanted more vehicles, I could provide them, if someone could drive me home after I arrived. So on Sunday morning, I got all three vehicles together for only the fourth time. My display made up about 50% of the vehicle content on Sunday!! 


Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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Buckerfest 2017, Breighton Aerodrome - July 15/16th

This is the main Summer event and fly-in at the airfield. Friday was a lovely drive down in the Sun. Overnight, it rained, and Saturday morning was dull and showery, but slowly brightening up. By around 11:30, people were aviating, and there was a constant stream of aircraft flying for the rest of the day, until everyone began to get ready for the hangar party. "Jessie" was parked up near the East end of the airfield, along with a number of other military vehicles. This event was particularly for Bucker aircraft designs; two being shown below, the Jungmann, and Bestmann.


Broussard Flight - July 16th

Late on Sunday afternoon, I was given the chance for a flight in the Real Aero Co., Max Holste Broussard, known as Bruce. The Broussard was a 1950s French six-seat utility, observation and medivac aircraft. Perhaps at some point in its service life, it was in the same location as my Hotchkiss Jeep, which didn't leave French Army service until 2000?

It was an interesting experience flying over the former RAF Riccall, and RAF Breighton. With the noise of the big radial engine drumming away, and when looking out of the window towards the rear of the aircraft at the unusual twin fins, my mind couldn't help but put me in a Halifax heavy bomber.


Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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Croft Nostalgia - Aug 5/6th

Due to Lynne's spinal injury and medication, we decided it wasn't a good idea for her to drive the Jeep to Croft. The Dodge was off the road waiting for some new brake shoes to be fitted, and because I still needed a Jeep for marshalling duties, this meant just taking Jessie. So for 2017, my display was a little depleted, 'though I did still manage to take the signal square and small wall tent. For many, the star of the show was the BBMF Avro Lancaster. We've tried for many years to get the Lancaster to appear, and were frequently frustrated by our show falling on the one Summer weekend that the BBMF crews have free of flying! 2017 was finally our year, and it was fantastic to see the Lanc back over the former RAF Croft, a sight that would have been an every day occurrence 73 years ago. 


NELSAM Trams & Transport - August 13th

I took the Dodge along to the Trams & Transport day at the aircraft museum today. A fair few vehicles in attendance, but I think my MV was the only one that doesn't live there. It gave the Dodge another test run, after which, the rear right shoes were adjusted as they were rubbing a bit once warmed up. The Dodge was taken back to the storage container after returning from the museum, after a couple of weeks stay on the drive for the brake work.


Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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Wings & Wheels Festival, Eshott Airfield - August 19/20th

There was some confusion amongst the organisers and a lack of space when Chris and I arrived at Eshott, having met up north of Newcastle and convoyed up the A1. Eventually, those who weren't camping were moved and we then had space to set up camp, with another friend arriving later on Friday afternoon. After setting up, I had a bit of a wander with the camera and spotted "Echo Sierra" the Eurostar aircraft I flew in three years before at the Great North Fly In. For me, the star of the show wasn't even a real aircraft, but a full scale model of a Messerschmitt BF109E. There was a good selection of military vehicles and dioramas, though most of my pictures show the WW2 era displays, as that's where my main interest lies.


End of Season Barbeque - Sept 16/17th

Actually, almost the end of the season! I've still got a couple of visits left to do. However, this end of season garden party was held near RAF Topcliffe, close to Thirsk, and organised by Patrick Smart. Patrick is the guy who brought the Bristol Hercules aero-engine to Croft and Breighton earlier in the season. The forecast was for a nice dry weekend, however the weather hadn't seen the forecast! The on and off heavy rain didn't stop the Rolls Royce Griffon and Bristol Hercules turning petrol into noise on a number of occasions, and certainly didn't spoil the party atmosphere. At least there was a decent sized marquee to hide in.

Overnight, the rain got heavier and heavier, banging down on my canvas tent like a snare drum, and by morning, several tents had indoor water features. Fortunately for me, the water stopped at my back door and didn't get in to where my inner tent was. Drying the canvas back home was interrupted by more heavy rain, forcing a quick move from on top of the Jeep to inside my workshop.


Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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Blackfell Primary School WW2 Visit - Sept 20th

My World War 2 visit to Lyta's school has become an annual trip now. This was the third year I've done it. The Year 6 class are just starting to learn about WW2, and what better way than some hands on learning. We had talks about rationing and the Blitz, the 8th Air Force and a British Airborne soldier's equipment.

Mr Barrass, Deputy Headteacher, was taking the year 6 class today, so I felt he should get in on the action, and suitably dressed him up in flying kit, and later gave him some 'off roading' experience in the Jeep around the school field!


NELSAM Jeeps & Jets - September 23/24th

After a few years absence due to building works and other priorities at the museum, the Jeeps & Jets event returned in 2017. I took 'Hope' to this event having packed up 'Jessie' for winter maintenance. The first few pictures are single frames from a video made during the trip, with the camera mounted on a magnetic clamp on the hood. There were a number of vehicles in attendance, 'though a bit lacking on public on Saturday. It was surprisingly warm for late September.


Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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National Railway Museum Shildon Classic Car Rally - Oct 1st

The Shildon show was my 16th event of 2017, and due to the damp forecast, I decided against taking the GPW a couple of days before the event, in favour of the Dodge. The Dodge hadn't been out much in 2017, so it was a chance to give it a decent run out, around a 60 mile round trip. It was a  very foggy trip down, but it slowly brightened up to give us some sun later in the day, and not too cold either.

Some interesting visiting vehicles on display in addition to the rotating railway exhibits which frequently swap with those at York. My daughter and I also took the mile round trip walk to the other end of the line, to see some of the original buildings and Timothy Hackworth cottage. From 3pm onwards, the cars began to depart, leaving our Dodge the last vehicle there. By the time we packed away the aerials and windsock, it was 4pm, and we headed home soon after, both quite tired, having clocked up a number of miles walking around the site on a railway themed treasure hunt I'd made up to entertain my daughter across the day.


Breighton Aerodrome Visit & Piper Supercruiser Flight - November 4th

Not really an MV event this visit, but just catching up with friends and deliver some model orders from earlier in the year. It was raining first thing in the morning and thick fog on the way to the airfield, but it slowly cleared the further we went. By late morning, there were aircraft out and some flying going on.

After lunch, and not long before we had to leave, dad and I were both offered flights in the Piper Supercruiser, G-BSYG seen below. It was a very enjoyable 20 minutes on what turned out to be a very nice flying day with excellent visibility, the overnight rain having cleaned the atmosphere. 


Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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NELSAM Remembrance & 607 Squadron Reunion - Nov 11th

This was probably my last official trip out for the year. There's no more events now, so the only driving will be short winter runs when there's no salt on the roads to keep the vehicles in running order. The drive there was very cold, despite being a bright sunny day, and slightly longer than normal, having to follow diversion signs due to a closed road. I parked up in my usual spot next to the memorial. 


GPW Trip to check on Truck - Nov 18th

Possibly my last run out for the year was today in the GPW, to visit the storage yard where the Dodge is kept and give it a run, exercise the brakes, check the lights, and move it a bit in the container to avoid flat spots on the tyres. It was a cold trip, my my little mechanic and myself had a nice run out.


Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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At the end of the season, "Jessie" was moved in the garage for some winter bodywork, but before that started, I made some magnetic RAF markings so I could have a different look at some events.


The Ford ran well across the year, and only really needed its Spring service. With the right hand fill gearbox, checking the oil is easier done from the top.


Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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"Faith" the Dodge wasn't used much but spent a couple of weeks on the drive having new rear brake shoes made and fitted.


"Jessie" got a new mechanical brake switch to bypass the hydraulic one that keeps burning out on 24 volts. Lynne also snapped the rear half shaft, causing an unexpected expense.


"Jessie" is now in the middle of some bodywork repairs, the first repairs in 51 years since the French Army rebuild in 1966!


Edited by Jessie The Jeep
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