Friday, 5 October 2012

RAF Glatton Memorial Road Run

As the secretary for my local branch of the Military Vehicle Trust (MVT) one of my duties is to write up a report on the activities of our Huntingdon Area for inclusion in the quarterly club magazine 'Windscreen'.  I thought I would share part of the article here on my Blog which pertains to a recent road run we did :)
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After the enjoyable time had on our May road run our second run of the year scheduled for 16 Sep was much looked forward to.  Fortunately the gods smiled upon our endeavours and extended the good weather experienced in early Sep up to that weekend.  Meeting up again at a start location near Kings Ripton in Cambridgeshire we doubled our previous numbers and gathered together 14 vehicles and 29 people for our trip which we grandly entitled ‘The Glatton Memorial Road Run’.  After a driver briefing given by our event organiser Andy Miller we hit the public roads in convoy at around 13:00.  Setting off was one of the moments in the day that I wish we could have bottled, as the organised chaos that ensured as we pulled out was just brilliant.  Heading initially south west we joined the old A1 near Alconbury where we turn north and after a couple of miles stopped for fuel and air at a convenient petrol station.  Our convoy of 3 Jeeps, an Austin Champ, 2 Land Rovers, a 1942 Harley-Davidson Motorcycle, a Dodge WC52, a monster 12 ton URAL truck and 5 GMC CCKWs (one of which had a M45 Quadmount in the back) made an impressive sight and had other motorists stopping and taking photos and turning round and driving back past for another look.

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Continuing north we stopped at the Memorial to the 457thBombardment Group (H) which commemorates the 86 aircraft and 718 men who were KIA/MIA or POW during operations in 1944/45.  

After paying our respects we laid a card with the following poem written by one of our members Andrew Griffiths.

Job done, all missions flown
Most went home, home sweet home.
Loved ones waited fear in heart
Never again would be apart.

For some the wait was not to cease
It was those who would feel no peace
Where their loved ones once stood, today we stand
Thanking them for our peaceful land.

A debt is owed we cannot repay
But we didn’t forget,
We came today.

May God Bless all those souls that fought for freedom and paid with the ultimate sacrifice.
You are not forgotten.

Your friends from the Huntingdon & District Military Vehicles Trust
16th September 2012.


Remounting we turn east and headed through Conington village and then travelled down a public road that used to be the SW/NE runway of RAF Glatton.  At the end of this we pulled into Peterborough Conington Airport which operates from one the remaining runways, and parked up by prior arrangement by the windsock for a photo call, and a welcome cup of tea for those who wanted one in their cafĂ©.  
Continuing on, no sooner had we set off than a potential problem with the route became apparent. A tiny bridge with a 5 ton weight limit presented a challenge to our 12 ton Ural, 
but after considering the position we proceeded on the basis that the vehicle was so large and the bridge so small only one axle would be on it at any one time!  The last half of our journey took us through the outskirts of Holme village after which we broke into open fenlands for the run into Ramsey and the WW2 Militia Camp which was our destination.  The custodians kindly opened up their NAAFI facilities for tea and coffee and our happy band finished off the day with a picnic tea. All in all a terrific day with lots going on, and accordingly lots to enjoy. The entertaining route worked well with RAF Glatton providing a great focus for the whole event.
Plans for the future over the winter months include a X-Mas/New Year road run and a late X-Mas / First Area Anniversary meal in early Jan.
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