Paul Hazell's First outing for his magnificent restoration of a Tac-t which won first prize at Gaydon.
The Groups first ever 'TACR-toon' created by David McCue little bro' of 'Mac' (smug1).
Newark Land Rover Monthly 'Max' Show,
Newark Showground 17th to 19thJuly 2009
As per usual, I had left it very late to prepare for this event and was somewhat 'rushed' in my preperation and travel arrangements.
The show, this year, was at a new venue the Newark Showground, rather that at Billing Aquadrome as last year. The reason the organisers gave was far better security arrangements and better facilities with less likely hood of any flooding due to previous experience at the Billing site.
Anyhow, I had called my friend Paul and asked if I could stay with them over the weekend as I was a bit put off camping by the weather forecast for the weekend. So on the Friday night I travelled to Daventry for my overnight stop. Newark was about an hours drive from here and I left early the next morning to arrive before the vehicle movements ban at 9 am.
My friend Clive and his Wife were already there waiting to greet me. Unfortunately the previous night, a high wind had destroyed the marquee and had overturned some of the other exhibitors too. I arrived to see Clive waiting to guide me to our 'pitch' which was quite large, enough for several vehicles.
I parked up and we started to put up our group banners. After some bacon baguettes and a chat the show organiser came over with details of the display I was asked to do in the arena, entitled '999 spectacular' which involved many Land Rover type emergency vehicles. The scenario was a car crash with a 'fire' and the rescue of the 'victims' and eventual recovery of the car by a recovery truck. I was hoping for other members to arrive but as time marched on, I realised that I may be doing a 'one man' show? I was right. Having not pumped the vehicle for about two years I was a little apprehensive to say the least! It took about an hour to fill the tank and a quick test proved everything was still in order - including my muscles!!
Walt waiting for the fire to be lit
The display was due about 2pm and I awaiting the arrival of some more members....none showed so I moved off to the waiting area together with a Range Rover ambulance and a Land Rover recovery vehicle.Some 101 Land Rover ambulances also joined us. Whilst we were waiting, the Battle of Britain memorial flight did a fly past which was very stirring and chest broadening - those Merlin's, all six of them - sounded fantastic.
I was first in to display, a little nervious, but I thought here goes..I had planned the routine in my head - drive by slowly, see fire, lights and noise, one circuit of arena, stop, engage pump,deploy hose - forget helmet - opps, attack fire but not too quickly to give crowd a thrill. Noticed 50 gallon drum was on top of some concrete drain sections with pallet wood inside and 2 gallons of diesel! The spray went over top as I was too low to get on top of flames. But they went out - so I thought - and the ambulance could attend etc. After a chat at the control unit we left the arena.
Walt 'attacks' the flames
Nice Ex-Wiltshire Range Rover picks up 'victims'
So, I survived my first 'solo' display in two years and the appliance worked very well. I returned to Daventry after a hot meal with my friends, to a hot shower and a look through the events programme. I was up again at 6am and departed for Newark.I was pleased to know that another group member, Brian Brollinson was arrivingand he was at the gate before I arrived. We parked up after a chat and introduction to Clive then I went for a quick look around the stalls and display's then a bacon baguette.
To make a change Brian filled his tank and we decided to use his TACR2 for Sundays display. He would operate the pump and I would use the line. I filled him in on the requirements for the display and we waited for our turn. On this day it was to be a little later - 2:15 as the Dakota of the Memorial flight was due then. The weather was still windy with some patchy clouds but the rain held off. The Dakota appeared and departed and we went back to the stand to wait our slot. We were sat talking when a marshal on a quad bike came over and blurted out that they had a skip fire and needed us to attend!He stressed the urgency, more than once, and we quickly got underway, Brian following on as back up.
With lights and sirens blaring we followed the quad onto an old piece of runway where a large ro-ro skip was, two fire marshals were on top with a small hose from the toilet service van. We both deployed one hose from each TACR and handed them up to the two Marshals who very soon had the fire out. This was all being photographed by an official photographer nearby.
It was lucky we both had our tanks full, usually they are empty. Walt & Brian at Sundays arena display
Why does the sun come out when you have full kit on?
So the weekend turned out to be very good indeed. The organiser was pleased, the fire marshals too! Definitely be there for next years show.
This picture from Chris Ewing -13/09/09 - Newtownards Airfield where Chris is part of firecrew
Gideon Watt ~ In Memorium
I travelled down to Brighton yesterday to pay mine and yours respects to our friend Gids on his new journey to that other place....In the end I took the Range Rover at the request of his friends as his was a big part of his life.
I must say that theTACR behaved impeccably not missing a beat. I arrived at Hiickstead services around 9.30am. I stopped here to have some breakfast and called Nikki Joseph, Gids friend to ask where she and her Husband Steve were. They were at the TA hall preparing the reception so I decided to drive there and meet up.
We met up and it was very nice to meet some of Gids other friends. Nikki travelled with me in the TACR to the crematorium but we had to wait down the road as there was another funeral and parking space was limited.
Eventually Steve called and said to drive up. I got a space right outside the front doors. Gideon arrived and was greeted by two standard bearers one from the British Legion and another from the Korean Veterens. As the silver hearse passed the colours were draped in salute to Gids.
A party of eight TA volunteers in full military uniform carried Gids into the chapel. His coffin was covered by the Union Flag, his hat and belt. Music was played as he entered the chapel from the 'Dambusters', this brought a few smiles from those present!
I would say that about 150-200 mourners were present, the chapel was full to the doors with many standing at the back and in ajacent rooms.
No hymns were sung but three musical items including Queen, Friends will be friends were played to a silent gathering.
A discription of Gids life was read by the priest, put together by Gids Brother John. A friend from his military days talked about his life and his love of collecting his toys! He never grew up was his epitath...
At the TA centre a large montage was put together by his nephew Glenn with many pictures from shows and events throughout his 48 years.
Only one floral tribute was there, friends were asked to donate to the hospice that cared for Gids as he requested no flowers in lieu of donations.
All were invited back to the TA centre for light refreshments but as it was late and a Friday I decided to travel straight home to avoid any hold ups.
As it was my journey was uneventful in both directions - I think Gids kept the way clear?.\
Gideon 'Gid's' Watt