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Best in Show winner Mike Fincher receives the MVT South East Midlands Area Rose Bowl from show director and MVT CoM member Tim Hawkes (picture: Kevin Lamberth)

Wicksteed at War was another resounding success for the Military Vehicle Trust’s South East Midlands Area and its supporters.  A gloriously sunny Saturday and damp Sunday saw thousands of people enjoy the free show at Wicksteed Park, Kettering.
With eight tanks, hundreds of MVs and more stalls, our sixth annual show was bigger and better than ever. The enlarged arena saw plenty of action with a highlight of pitched battles between Axis and Allied groups.
A new feature this year was the recreation of Berlin’s Checkpoint Charlie, complete with Russian and American tanks and period civvy vehicles. The checkpoint hut was faithfully recreated as it was when Russian and American tanks faced each other in the tense early 1960s.
Friday was an education day for local schools and included talks on vehicles and equipment, grenade throwing and wartime food!
Show director Tim Hawkes said: “This year’s Wicksteed at War has been the best yet in terms of visitor numbers and great feedback.
"When I started the show six years ago, I wanted to change the way people experience a military vehicle show and to make it friendly, fun and great for the whole family.  This year proved we are going in the right direction.
“It was an excellent weekend and all the volunteers and staff did a great job in putting on our most successful show yet.  Visitor numbers went through the roof and the feedback from all visitors and exhibitors at the show had been amazing.  We will really have to work hard to make next year as good or better.
“The Checkpoint Charlie re-enactment was a highlight for me. The hut, signs and sandbags brought the scene to life and all the period cars, Jeeps and tanks made it a total one-off in terms of show displays.”
With hundreds of vehicles to choose from, the judging panel for the Best in Show Rose Bowl, sponsored by Adrian Flux Insurance, had a tough job.  The judges bore in mind the MVT's status as an educational charity and chose vehicles and displays which they thought engaged the public and were both informative and entertaining.
The worthy winner was Mike Fincher, from Horncastle, Lincolnshire, with his 1952 Minerva Land Rover. Mike was to be found talking to members of the public on all three show days and his Belgium Army display was, thought the judges, unique and fascinating.
Runners-up were Mark Parsons' 1987 Mercedes ambulance and a 1979 VW Iltis, also owned by Mark, from Coventry. Both vehicles had displays with them.

The Russian T-55 tank arrives for the Check- point Charlie display ...

... and gets an armed guard

John Denney tries to bump start the T-55

The tank fires up

Friday schools' education day and the parsnip spread doesn't go down too well

Grenade throwing

Tank Nut Dave talks about ... tanks

"Evacuee train" pulls out of the Wicksteed Park station

Reservist Andy Speechley talks about Army equip- ment, WW2 and modern

REME Reservists talk to the children

Panzer on the move

Young fan with a Harley-Davidson MT350E

Assemb- ling the replica, but lifelike, Spitfire

Spitfire finished and displayed with Heather Bailey's Standard Flying 10 staff car

Taking no chances with the weather, or a NBC attack!

WaW16 was well supported by traders

This is the stall of Combat Cellar, the North- ampton shop which offers a 10 per cent discount to MVT members

The American side of Check- point Charlie with a Walker Bulldog tank standing guard

The checkpoint hut is a faithful copy of the original

Ford V8 Pilot waits at the checkpoint

We had a bit of trouble with the Russian script!

Russians took part in the battle with Axis forces

Re- enactors had their own space at Wicksteed this year

Beautiful Willys fire engine with a very loud siren

The Italians ... and, yes, she is smoking a pipe

Gas- powered Vickers sounded very authentic

Winding down in the MVT members' area after a very hot Saturday

Lyn (pictured) and Linda supplied the barbecue at the members' area

Army Cadets and instructors with a Centurion tank

Mike Losada's Austin K2 ambul- ance has taken part in dozens of films, including the Battle of Britain scenes at Sywell

Runner- up in the Best in Show Rose Bowl award was Mark Parsons' 1987 Mercedes ambul- ance

Another runner- up was this 1979 VW Iltis, also owned by Mark. The judges bore in mind the MVT's status as an educ- ational charity and chose vehicles and displays which they thought engaged the public and were both informative and entertaining

So, using these guide- lines, the worthy winner was Mike Fincher with his 1952 Minerva Land Rover. Mike was to be found talking to members of the public on all three show days and his Belgium Army display was, we thought, unique and fascinating

Exhibits don't come much bigger than this Antar and gun

Dressing for the part

Jeep under attack in the arena

The Brits get support from a Dingo

A drink or two at the Victory Dance

It's 1945 all over again

Some- times, words fail me...

Show director Tim gets horny

Without people like these, Wicksteed at War wouldn't happen