The National MVT Show, Kemble Airfield

The National Military Vehicle Trust annual event his held each year on Kemble Airfield. This year the organisers had to move on to a new site within the airfield grounds. It was the usual MVT event with loads and loads of military vehicles, of every size and colour (and boy was there some very interesting colours). Our display area was a little tight but we managed to fit in the two searchlights, Command Post and the living accommodation. Thanks to Geoff Leese and the 30 Corps Group who helped with a few bits of kit, we managed to get the display sorted by early Friday Night. Geoff and his group had come down on the Thursday and where fully sorted by the time we arrived on Friday lunchtime. We also pulled our recourses and had a communal cooking area as we did not have room for it in our area. Andy Davies our intrepid front man also arrived on Thursday with his Jeep and had got his palace set up by the time we all arrived. He was a little concerned as that he needed feeding and he was all on his own, but 30 corps came to his rescue with food and company, thanks guys.

Searchlight Photos with kind permission of Mr John Fennell

This year The Garrison was portraying a two Searchlight Site and we had members from all three parts of the group mucking in. Ian and Beryl due to family commitments where only able to attend for the Saturday, and did not get away until midnight after our searchlight display. Thanks to Ian, Beryl, Phil and Cathay for the effort you guys did for the one day. We missed your chats in the evening over a few drinks, may be at Kelmarsh. I hate one day events myself it’s a lot of cost and effort for not much reward, so fair play to you guys, especially at a non fee paying event. I was only able to attend as Phil Benham Heavy Haulage offered to move our generator and searchlight for free. The searchlight display was probably our best yet, while it was just a demonstration of the lights it was a clear night and some of the photos have been fantastic, as you can see. The beam on the 90 cm was particularly good; Andy has some work to do to catch up with the 150cm. The down side was the date of the event, it is very close to the longest day and it did not get really dark until about 22.30hrs which meant a long night. Kelmash is later in the year so I hope we can start the event a little earlier in the evening.

It was planned to have a Queen Bee, Tiger Moth with us for the display but due to our location this was not possible and after a little confrontation and the fact that it would not arrive until late we decide that discretion was the better part of valour and left it on the airfield. The Sunday was very much like the Saturday I think the over all numbers where down. Peter and John Hodges who live locally came up to see us on the Sunday and we managed to get John a trip in the Tiger Moth. As you know John was an RAF pilot during the war and his first ever solo was in a Tiger Moth and the joy it brought him was fantastic. A very special thank you to Peter Finch the pilot of the Tiger Moth who made the flight possible.

The time to pack up came and we set to it was soon packed away and the goodbyes where being said for me the worst time but we have more events to look forward to. Thanks to Ian for organising it for the Group a thankless task often and made more awkward when you are only there for the day and to Jane for helping sort out the food especially from Andy.

Keith Brigstock