Kemble MVT Show

It was overcast and spitting with rain on my arrival Saturday morning although judging from reports the show had nearly been blown/washed away earlier after suffering storms. I wasn’t sure where the Garrison were pitched up, so I made straight for the stalls, which is what I usually do at Kemble. After bumping into Don, Ian and Beryl and Keith and Tracy, I eventually made it over to our campsite and was reunited again with my Tilly. Later on, we had dinner and then me, Andy Davis, Andy Dawson and Gary Mason went down the beer tent to watch the Status Quo tribute band (including the original drummer). Gary said he went to see the Quo back in the 70s, so it must have been the same drummer then. Not being funny mate, but I sometimes forget how old you are! The rest of the group stayed around the campsite trying to keep warm.

Sunday dawned grey again but by lunchtime, the sun had burst through and it suddenly got quite warm wearing BD. At the end of the show, the MVT said the searchlight/Ack Ack display had earned an award although they’d actually run out of trophies (typical MVT!)

I remember passing Andy Davis in his QL on the way home and waving at him, but I doubt if he recognised me in my car. Little did I know that he would be involved in a nasty accident later that evening, with the lorry on it’s side and on fire. Luckily, Andy escaped serious injury but it just brings home how vulnerable we are when driving these old military vehicles……..
Later that week I left work early to head over to Holland in order to pick up a large heavy holdall containing all our Jungle Green uniforms for the London event. This became the only sure fire way of actually getting the stuff before the weekend and everything ran smoothly initially - the boat was about half hour late but Mike Van Doppelsteen was there with the gear and after a chat he headed off home at about 1am. I was aware that I had about six hours to kill on the docks but was a bit mortified to find that the terminal building had been locked up for the night and that I was effectively going to have to rough it on a bench outside! After only briefly dozing off here and there, I managed to get back into the terminal about 7am and had a quick sploosh in the gents to try and wake up. On boarding the boat, I spotted my neighbor - small world isn’t it? On arrival back in Harwich it was only an hour and a bit drive home and then I crashed out. Mission accomplished.

Gavin Cooper