YORKSHIRE AREA MEETINGS 2017.
Held at The Spinning Wheel, Admiral Street, Dewsbury Road, Leeds, LS11 5NG.
Guests welcome, large car park and refreshments at club prices.
The Spinning Wheel is just a short way further down Dewsbury Road nearer to Leeds on the other side of the road from our old venue.
For further information contact Chris Sant, 01423 562360.
DECEMBER 21st AGM and Johns Prize Quiz ( Held over from November due to change of venue).
JANUARY 18th. Richard Dobson and Chris Rawnsley - A Palace on Wheels.
Expert traditional showmans living wagon restorer Richard, will be showing slides of some of the wagons he has restored, with images from Chris of many of these wagons when they were still to be seen on the fairgrounds.
FEBRUARY 15th. John Murphy- Working vehicles in the sixties and seventies.
MARCH 15th. David Caley - Commercial vehicles in Australia.
APRIL 19th. Peter Seaword - The Bill Kemball collection from Woodbridge, Suffolk, plus South Yorkshire Motors.
MAY 17th. Outside visit to Dave Weedon earthmovers collection, meet at Bubwith, near Selby. For further information , contact Chris Sant 01423 562360
JUNE No meeting (see below).
JUNE 20th (Tuesday). Bring your vehicle evening, in conjunction with York Historic Vehicle Group at Rufforth Flying Club, Rufforth York, YO23 3QA.
All vehicles welcome, buffet provided. For information contact Chris Sant, 01423 562360, or Peter Wray, (York Historic Vehicle Group), 01904 704610.
JULY 19th. No meeting, (summer break).
AUGUST 6th. Trans - Pennine Run. For further information contact Derek Zientek. 01132 579770.
AUGUST 16th. No meeting, (summer break).
SEPTEMBER 20th. DVD of the 2016 Trans-Pennine Run, and maybe even the 2017 if its ready in time.
OCTOBER 8th. Bring your vehicle day at Whitwood Truckstop. Castleford. For further information contact Alan Appleyard, 01132 523920
OCTOBER 18th. Kevin Parkin - Parkins of Castleford, early steam rallies.
NOVEMBER 15th. A.G.M. followed by Johns Prize Quiz.
DECEMBER 20th. Christmas buffet, followed by Maurice Craven with a selection of all things vintage.
YORKSHIRE AREA APRIL MEETING.
April meeting, the last in the Spinning Wheel before our two outside meetings and two-month summer break; with our own Peter Seaword taking the guest speaker spot for the evening.
Peter has entertained us many times over the years and with his lifelong interest in all forms of road transport, plus in-depth knowledge of the road-haulage business which always makes for an interesting and entertaining evening.
Being a born-and-bred Yorkshireman, Peter tends to favour Yorkshire manufacturers and operators, but tonight, just for a change, the subjects were a Suffolk farmer with a truly amazing collection, and a Lincolnshire haulier, who from humble beginnings built up a considerable road transport business.
Bill Kemball found the light, sandy soil surrounding his farm at Wantisden, near Woodbridge in Suffolk ideal for growing carrots, but being a very astute businessman soon branched out into other things, such as the well known haulage firm Debach Enterprises.
In 1993, when the American Air Force vacated Bentwaters Air Base, which just happened to adjoin his farm; Bill bought the entire airfield complete with all buildings and fixtures and fittings and this now is home to several more businesses managed by Bill's sons and daughters, plus Bill's vast collection of tractors and commercial vehicles and for a few years was the venue for Bill's "Power Of The Past" vintage rallies, sadly no longer being held.
In 2014, Peter in his day job of a coach-driver took a party of enthusiasts to view Bill's collection and were treated to a memorable day - the many photos taken being the subject of tonight's talk.
The second part of the evening featured the achievements of a certain Douglas Holloway who started his business with a contract with the vast Appleby Frodingham Steelworks in Scunthorpe and soon was operating three Bedford S- type tippers out of the old fire station in Brigg.
Another very astute businessman, Mr Holloway didn't just stick with the three tippers but over the years expanded to form a Mercedes truck dealership, called H and L Garages, plus several transport businesses, Consolidated Land Services, Humberside Sea and Land, and TSL Lindsey, to name just a few.
Peter's father worked for Mr Holloway both as a driver and shop steward, Peter himself was offered a job there but declined it, preferring to make his own way in the road haulage world, but made many visits there in the seventies and eighties armed with a camera, the results of this being tonight's presentation of very well- used commercials.
Another enjoyable evening from Peter. Our thanks to him for compiling the many images onto disk and telling both fascinating stories.
YORKSHIRE AREA MARCH MEETING.
Our March meeting saw a welcome return to Leeds from David Caley, all the way from Keyingham in East Yorkshire. I could recall his last visit only a few years ago but by a process of remembering what car he was driving at the time, David said that it must have been ten years - doesn't time fly?!
I often think that my job before early retirement as an Ordnance Survey map maker was a pretty good one for finding old machinery but David's job is even better, it involves travelling the world installing and commissioning grain-dryers for a manufacturer based in South West England.
The installations tend to take several weeks, so there is plenty of time for a little exploration as well; the only downside being that although many of these abandoned vehicles and farm machines are in good condition owing to the dry atmosphere and lack of salt on the roads plus they could be purchased for a fraction of their value in the U.K, the cost of transporting them half way round the world would be prohibitive, so as much as he would like to fill a private museum, David has to be content with a photographic record of it all.
New Zealand, Australia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, were all featured on David's adventures, with museums, private collections and scrapyards featuring; the scrapyards being especially interesting as owing to the lack of steel manufacture in most of these places, scrap metal has very little value, so unlike U.K. where scrap metal is soon crushed and recycled, it is just abandoned and left to the elements, and the occasional photographer.
As well as the ability to take a good photo, David can also tell a good story and his recollections of some of the encounters on his trips caused great amusement often caused by the locals being puzzled as to why anyone would want to photograph abandoned machinery and suspecting that there was ulterior motive! Bulgaria, with memories of communist rule being especially sensitive there.
Our thanks to David for a great evening's entertainment. I will endeavour to arrange a return visit in a little less than ten years next time.
YORKSHIRE AREA FEBRUARY MEETING.
It must be nearly ten years now, since John Murphy first brought one of his own films along to entertain us. I remember it very well, in fact I'll never forget it, it featured fairground transport, filmed by John in the early nineties; Fodens, Atkinsons and ERFs chained together being towed through the mud loaded high with the old wooden build-up rides, rarely seen on the modern fairground.
Ever since that first visit, John has returned every year to give us another taste of his films of working lorries, not just the fairgrounds. Turkey, Malta and Cyprus have also featured, all with John's trademark of the volume turned fully up, not for music, just the engine and exhaust beat.
Every year when I call John to arrange another visit, the conversation goes something like, "would there be any chance of the fairground one again John?" "no Chris, you've seen that one already, there's better stuff than that". I didn't bother asking this year, so what did he turn up with? - yes! - the fairground one!
Having been filmed in the early nineties, this film is on video-tape and John has a video projector to show the films on the big screen but unfortunately spending a few hours in the car, then being brought into a warm room, caused condensation in the works and it refused to play! We left it a while to warm up, but still no play. Eventually, after several attempts to play, it became obvious that something else was wrong and removing the casing revealed the tape wound round the works!
In a fine display of calmness in a desperate situation John then proceeded to dismantle the tape player. I must admit that on seeing it in pieces, spread around the table, I did doubt that it would ever work again and offered to go and get my banjo but he persevered and proceeded to reassemble it and despite one or two small parts being left over ... it worked ! !
After half an hour of faultless projecting, he decided to really live dangerously and attempt a short rewind, so that we could enjoy the sound of an ERF with a straight-eight Gardner pulling a very heavy load up a very steep hill, and all went faultlessly... so we rewound it again !
Another great evening from John, who can now add tape player engineer to his talents as well as vehicle restorer and film maker; enjoyed by all present, especially Alan Appleyard, whose now very nicely restored Foden was seen in its previous life, looking well used and hauling a fairground ride and trailer.
YORKSHIRE AREA JANUARY MEETING.
An excellent turnout for our second meeting in our new venue, we had to open two doors to let some air in, most unusual for Yorkshire in January !
To start the evening, we presented the Doug Cole Trophy, to a very worthy winner, Rodney Milner.
This trophy, in memory of Doug Cole, one of the pioneers of commercial vehicle preservation in Yorkshire has been presented almost every year since 1976, and is presented to the member who has made an outstanding contribution to the success of the area in the past year.
For several years now, Rod has arrived very early at Harrogate Stray, and spent the day marshalling at our Trans-Pennine Run, a sometimes difficult and stressful job which not many people want to do, but he is there every year helping the event to run smoothly.
Not content with just the Trans-Pennine, Rod again gets up very early, and spends another day marshalling at our end of season Whitwood Truckstop gathering, both events seem to have more vehicles than space to put them, so Rod's efforts are much appreciated by myself and the committee.
Our guest for the evening was expert traditional showman's living-wagon restorer Richard Dobson from Bradford, assisted by fairground enthusiast Chris Rawnsley. Richard, a joiner by profession, has been restoring living-wagons for around thirty years now; some he still owns, some have been moved on to make space, a full-size living-wagon takes up an awful lot of room.
Living-wagons with their timber-framed bodies and mollycroft roofs had a hard life, hauled around from fair to fair, and outside in all weathers, so by the time their working lives are over it's not a job for the faint-hearted, in fact one of Richard's beautifully restored wagons had a tree growing through it when found.
Richard's wagons can be seen at several Yorkshire steam rallies, for which Richard's Scammel Highwayman "Edgar J", named as a tribute to his late father, is used to haul the wagon in traditional style. Long distance adventures are also undertaken with the Dorset Steam Fair and Carter's Pinkneys Green fair being attended with one of the immaculate wagons and the ever reliable Edgar J.
Our thanks to Richard for giving us a fascinating evening's entertainment and an insight into the problems of restoring timber-framed wagons.
YORKSHIRE AREA DECEMBER MEETING.
Following the closure of West Hunslet Sports and Social Club, this was the first meeting at our new venue, The Spinning Wheel, also on Dewsbury Road, Leeds.
Our efforts to inform as many members as possible of the change seemed to have been successful, as a total of 19 people were present, not too bad for an AGM.
All seemed happy with the new meeting place, still easy to find on Dewsbury Road, with its own car park and very helpful manager and staff.
Owing to the very sudden closure of WHSSC last month, we were unable to hold the AGM, so tonight's planned guest, Maurice Craven very kindly agreed to postpone his talk to later in the year so that the AGM could be held tonight.
The AGM as usual was very brief, with the present committee of Alan Appleyard, Alwin Harrison, John Woods and myself being re-elected for yet another year.
As is now something of a tradition, chairman John had prepared another of his quizzes which he conducted with his usual humour and style in the second part of the evening.
Hailing as he does from the deep south, John has in past years delighted in setting questions on London Transport, but now that some of us are beginning to amass some knowledge on this subject, John has dropped this in favour of far more obscure topics, (could anyone be expected to know that the capital of Christmas Island was Flying Fish Cove?!)
The eventual winner, or should I say the man with the least wrong answers, was Alwin Harrison, with Chris Rawnsley and Peter Seaword, second and third.
Our thanks to John for compiling the quiz, coping with the many good humoured disputes over the answers, and providing the prizes.