Operation Market Harborough

Next year’s show at Market Harborough on Saturday-Sunday, August 5-6, 2023, has a new name – Operation Market Harborough – and Drew Palmer, area secretary of the Charnwood Area, wants to raise the profile of the MVT. The SEM Area is onboard with his plans which is to create one large MVT display and get as many groups involved as possible.

So far Charnwood, Birmingham, North Staffs and SEM are involved. It would be all the groups together but with their respective friends, so not all muddled up. So far 22 vehicle owners have shown interest but I’m sure many more will also want to join us.

Drew is getting some new general MVT banners made (ie, without a particular area on them) so it will look like a large national-type display. Other plans include a 12x12 tent and hospitality area where you could meet and safely leave your kit while you go shopping etc and non-stop tea/coffee and biscuits.

If you are interested in joining us, please let me know ASAP so Drew can have some idea of numbers. Email me at petegerry@btinternet or PM me via Facebook.


Operation Poppy 2022, totals

Here are the totals raised for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal at the three Northampton venues:
Dobbies, Wootton £650.42.
Dobbies, Harlestone Heath, £964.42.
Riverside 05/11 £518.10, 12/11 £500.63, Total £1,018.73.
Overall total raised by the MVT SEM teams in Northampton:  £2,633.57.
Simon Stacey, the Poppy Appeal Organiser, is overwhelmed with this result and sends his thanks and appreciation. He has also extended an invitation to any MVT member that participated in the Poppy Appeal to St Crispin Social Club on 8th December. There will be food laid on so Kevin Lamberth will need names of those attending via Facebook PM by Thursday, 24th November.
If individuals want to know what they have collected send Kevin a PM via the MVTSEM Facebook.
Many thanks for Kevin for organising the poppy supplies and, of course, well done and thanks to all those who helped.
Weldon branch of the RBL Poppy Appeal organiser and SEM member Tim  Webster has thanked all members of the MVT for their support and attendance at Weldon Remembrance Day service and fund-raising events . "With your help the branch raised over £9,300 for Poppy Appeal. THANK YOU!"

Operation Poppy 2022, Day 3

Remembrance Day service at Weldon with a wreath laid on behalf of the MVT by John Underwood, followed by a run to Deenethorpe airfield where a 25 pounder field gun was fired.

 Pictures by Kevin Lamberth

Operation Poppy 2022, Day 2

 Collecting at Riverside, a very successful day with our three veterans getting very engaged with the general public.

Peter Clarke's Land Rover 110 and BSA Parabike at Dobbies Garden Centre, Wootton.

External link opens in new tab or windowKevin Lamberth , Katie Brown, Howard Aran, Tim Cross and  Mike York collected at Northampton Harlestone Firs Garden.

Operation Poppy 2022

Selling Poppies at Dobbies Garden Centre, Wootton, Northampton. Picture: Vaughn Glynn

Alison, garden centre manager, is pictured with, from left, Peter Clarke, Sean Crompton, and Will Needham, who was busy selling poppies when Vaughn took the photo!

Selling Poppies at Dobbies Garden Centre, Harlestone Heath, Northampton. Picture: Vaughn Glynn

Selling Poppies at Riverside retail park, Northampton. Picture: Vaughn Glynn

Selling Poppies at Riverside retail park, Northampton. Picture: Vaughn Glynn

Selling Poppies at Riverside retail park, Northampton. Picture: Neill Elliott

Neill writes: "Although we only ended up with two vehicles, we had six people collecting (five MVT plus veteran friend of Stephen Myles). Unfortunately, Richard Hall's Jeep starter motor broke on Saturday morning but he still came along in his civvy vehicle. It was really good having that number of people as we were able to really engage with the public and nobody got past John, our veteran, without putting some money in the tin! We had loads of paper money and also managed a few electronic donations via the QR code on the front of the collection boxes. Those present, Brian Rive, Richard Hall, Mike Brennan, Stephen Myles, John (veteran friend of Stephen) and myself."

Selling Poppies at Corby. Picture: Stephen Smith

Selling Poppies at Weldon. Picture: Tim Webster

Selling Poppies at Weldon. Picture: Tim Webster


Miracle escapes as B-17 crashes

Ian Clayton provided this dramatic newspaper report of a Flying Fortress crash at Deenethorpe in 1943.  The event is to be commemorated next year and we have been invited to take part. Watch this space!

Aviation Safety Network reported: The B-17 damaged beyond repair was the B-17G 42-39825 "ZENOBIA – EL ELEPHANTA" of the 613th BS, 401st BG, piloted by 1st Lt. Walter B Keith. While taking off from Deenethorpe airfield for a raid on a Paris airfield (it was the 3rd mission of the 401st BG) it was caught in the preceding aircraft’s wing tip vortices. Depending of the sources, it stalled or failed to lift off the runway. It careered across a few feilds before skidding through a farmyard of the village of Deenethorpe and coming to rest against an empty cottage. The uninjured crew vacated the burning aircraft and warned the villagers of an impending explosion. Fire crews and colleagues rushed to the scene, and the two remaining injured crewmen were safely pulled out. Emergency responders evacuated all nearby civilians, thus no one was injured when the aircraft’s bomb load (12 x 500 lb bombs) exploded 20 minutes later, blasting the aircraft and the nearby fire tender to pieces and destroying or severely damaging most of the buildings in the village. The explosion was so enormous, it was heard nine miles away.

Crew: 2nd Lt Lt. Walter B. Keith (pilot), 2nd Lt Wardlaw M Hammond (co-pilot), 2nd Lt Carl T Floto (navigator), 2nd Lt John J King (bombardier), T/Sgt William D Woodward (engineer/top turret gunner), T/Sgt Benjamin Z Musser (radio operator), Pvt Walden D Cohen (ball turret gunner), Pvt Harold J Kelsen (right waist gunner), S/Sgt David N Hadsell (left waist gunner), S/Sgt Robert V Kerr (tail gunner). The navigator and the bombardier were both in the aircraft nose and were seriously injured, spending some time in hospital. Hadsell had a mild knee injury.
Graham Bratley adds: "At least two of the crew were badly injured and had to be cut out of the aircraft before it exploded after having caught fire.

The alarm for the villagers was implemented mainly by the Provost Marshall team who got  a commendation for their prompt action from Colonel Hal Bowman, the CO of the 401st Bomb Group. The villagers received a quantity of oranges as a goodwill gesture from the Group which were well received."

Picture above courtesy of the Northants Telegraph. The crew of the ill-fated aircraft. Standing, from left: Navigator Lt. C.T. Floto; Bombardier Lt. J.B. King; Co-Pilot Lt. W.M. Hammond and Pilot Lt W.B. Keith. Kneeling from left: Waist Gunner Sgt. B.B. Besselieu; Waist Gunner Sgt. H.J. Kelsen; Tail Gunner Sgt. R.V. Kerr; Ball Turret Gunner Sgt. W.D. Cohen; Radio Operator S/Sgt. B.Z. Musser and Flight Engineer T/Sgt. W.D. Woodward.


Rushden 1940s Weekend

Pictures by Will Needham


Bletchley Park 40s Weekend

Pictures by Kevin Lamberth

Pictures by Will Needham

BP in the early 1990s with the late Gordon Beale clearing the guttering on the MT section sheds

Early 1990s again and Gordon's Bedford Scammell and Peter Clarke's Ford GPW outside the Mansion