On Sunday 3rd May Cobbaton held their Spring Military Autojumble, and several vehicles turned up for the event.
I decided to give My Austin Tilly another day out, ostensibly to check on the fuel consumption and to test the newly fitted “bleepers” on the indicator circuit. I have often forgotten they were indicating as the warning light is obscured by my hand on the steering wheel, and bought a set of motorcycle warning bleepers. They are quite strident so I should not have this problem again.
The weather forecast was for showers and sunny periods; the shower on the way up was just enough to need the windscreen wipers, then it cleared up until just before 4pm. Fortunately most of the Traders had some form of cover over their stalls and the atmosphere was quite jolly.
On arrival I was most surprised to find a most unusual sight of 3 Tillys which had already arrived and there was just enough space to squeeze in on the end. For once, these iconic little trucks outnumbered the ubiquitous Jeep!
Apart from my Austin, Richard Eva had come along from Plymouth in his, Preston had brought out the Collection’s Standard, and a most unusual Morris Series “E” Tilly recently completed by Mike Vigors.
I was able to meet up with my Pilot friend Richard Horner and introduce him to several people who during the course of events and weather permitting, have seen his fly pasts in his immaculate 1944 L4H Piper “Grasshopper” Cub in American D – Day livery complete with Invasion Stripes, which seems to have become a regular and popular occurrence.
There was a good selection of bits on offer, and I bought from Alec Small an officers Campaign folding wash stand and bath, which will be put to good use during forthcoming events.
The show ended late in the afternoon, hastened by quite a severe short shower, but in general a good time was had by all.
Rodney Rushton May 2015.
Sunday, 26th April 2015 was elected to be the National Drive it Day this year and I chose to use this to give my newly acquired Austin Light Utility an extended road test in anticipation of this year’s series of events and shows I plan to attend. In particular, I wanted to see what speed it could easily cruise at, and in addition how comfortable was it to drive for any length of time.
The Devon Military Vehicle Trust had planned routes starting from various starting points to congregate at the car park in Bovey Tracy, then go on up in convoy to Castle Drogo for a “Proper Devonshire Cream Tea” in the afternoon.
I had decided to go down to Buckfastleigh Steam Railway – one of the starting points for members from South Devon. Not the nearest or most convenient to my home, but I wanted to put some miles on to give my Tilly (and me!) a decent test.
The weather forecast was showers in the morning, clearing through for the afternoon, so I was quite relieved it was going to be mostly a dry day. Meeting up with Tim Selwyn with his Dodge Command car, we had a good lunch in the restaurant which caters for the station before the others arrived, and then we departed at 1.30pm to meet the rest of the group at Bovey Tracy, where about 20 vehicles had turned out.
I had previously arranged for Richard Horner to do a fly over in is 1944 L4H Piper Cub, which has the appropriate D-Day markings, and he duly arrived just as we were about to depart and continued to loiter above the convoy whilst we were toiling up the hills onto Dartmoor up to the Castle.
I could not help but reflect on how many times this road was used by US Soldiers during the War whilst training for the Normandy Landings in the months leading up to June ’44 and how we and our vehicles are due their respect.
Castle Drogo was built as a home for the owner of Home and Colonial Stores (see
As I had invited a couple of lady friends along for the outing, we returned to Bovey and I dropped them off before returning home.
The route I chose was not the most direct, but as the object of the exercise was to test the Tilly and myself, a fair bit of driving was undertaken, and after more than a hundred miles I returned home very pleased with my new vehicle.
As this car has had some modifications to its original specification by replacing the 29bhp side-valve Austin power unit with a relatively modern ‘60’s MG Midget 1275cc 54bhp engine and 4 speed synchromesh transmission, together with a lower ratio rear axle, I was keen to see how it performed.
Although these mods. did not put the vehicle into the Supercar League, they are a significant increase in power and cruising ability. This enables me to comfortably drive on dual carriageways at speeds of 45 – 50mph and climb hills without resorting to crawling along in the lowest gear.
The ride is comfortable, steering reasonably precise, but always with regard for the braking performance with a rod-operated system being adequate, but not outstanding.
Thanks to Rod King for sorting out the routes and details, Michelle (Club Treasurer) for treating us to the cups of tea, and last but not least to our motorcycle outriders for their sterling work controlling traffic – Well done everybody for making the day memorable and most enjoyable.
Rod Rushton April 2015.
Ian Barnes (Cornwall MVT) and I attended the Crownhill Fort Living History Event on the weekend of 17-18th May with our S2a and S3 Lightweights and had a great time!
The venue was fantastic, with great hospitality laid on by The Landmark Trust and a good turn out of re-enactors covering the Napoleonic era to Germans, Russians, Americans and Brits during WW2. The Red Coats paraded regularly, and the WW2 guys skirmished with gusto on the ramparts for the onlooking crowds on both days.
The military use of the fort ceased in the mid 1980's. We set up as a general British Army 1980's command post, with a nice layout of general kit, radios and weapons, etc, so that suited the final phase of the fort's use very well. A number of guys who had worked on the site in the 1980's made themselves known to us and nostalgically showed our trucks and kit to their friends and relatives.
My own collection of stuff has expanded over the winter, so my newly refurb'd Sankey trailer was essential and towed very nicely. Thankfully, the camo nets we put up gave us a bit of shade as the sun beat down but an after hours, private, VIP trip around the fort's tunnels and fortifications went down very well (and so did the beer!) to cool us down.
The weather was superb, and there were something like 750 visitors on the Saturday and Sunday.
Whilst cruising back up the A38 at a stately 45mph I was overtaken by a very clean looking Royal Marines Wolf 90. The guys on board slowed down for a while and had a bit of a déjà vu double take before tanking on. Thumbs up on both sides!
Sadly, there was not a massive Devon MVT turnout of vehicles but I am sure that there is excellent scope to display our trucks and have a great weekend when the event is repeated in 2015.
Certainly, we would go again!