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Beltring 2001
   (Ver 4)

 

Introduction.

Well, one thing we weren't going to get to do was see Beltring 2001.
So I have had to ask around for pictures and text from others.
Unlike last year, for some reason there hasn't been anywhere near as many pictures available, perhaps everyone was too busy having fun to worry about cameras?
Last year there was supposed to be either a Tiger or Panther on site, well, there was a Tiger this year, admittedly it was a replica commissioned by the film industry and based on a Russian T-55 chassis, but a replica was better than no Tiger at all. It was created and belongs to Carl Brown of C & C Military Services.
I am also told that Beltring has finally succeeded in getting the toilet situation under control and the absense of comments about that subject, must serve to indicate that they were found satisfactory.
Unlike previous years, it actually rained too, one way to get the dust situation licked!

So, as I was not present, an account of Beltring 2001 has been kindly provided by Chris McMillan who has a Ferret and whose family has a Champ.

Beltring 2001
Tuesday 11am.
After packing everything up into the back of the champ we go to start it and the batteries are dead. Again. This had been happening for a few weeks and by now we were sick of it. 30mins later we had acquired 2 new betteries and connected them up, champ was put on trailer and we were off. Heading down the motorway we saw a few spots of rain and thought it wasn’t anything major, but it started getting worse and worse the nearer we got to Beltring.

When we arrived the ground was pretty dry and was soaking up the water well, if it didn’t rain tomorrow the rest of the week would be ok, so we thought. After setting up camp in the rain and having something to eat we went for a walk around the stalls, getting very very wet in the process.

Wednesday
We woke up and decided the first stop was getting some decent waterproofs. It had been raining all night but the mud was not too bad as there wasn’t much vehicle movement yet. We found some waterproofs for £12 and bought them just in time, as it started to chuck it down, yet again. My dad thinks saying it was “raining” was an understatement! Not many of the stalls opened on the Wednesday, probably because they didn’t want to have to keep getting the plastic out to cover up the stalls every 5mins!

We made our way to the arena about 12 to take part in the light vehicles event, we felt we had to make a show as there would have been 20 land rovers, 1 jeep and no champs without us. There was a film crew on site who were filming the jeep for a tv programme. The wanted to film our champ but we refused to go on the sea-saw (we had VERY poor brakes which refused to be fixed.) After the arena it was back round the few stalls that were open, for ferret spares.

Thursday
Mud was starting to get a lot thicker now, with more people arriving. We had to go to the bank to get some more money, somehow we managed to get out of the field in the car, which by now looked like it belonged to Colin McRae. Once we got back, it was round the stalls again. Walking back and forwards with spares, paint, guns etc before it was time for the arena again. We like going in the arena to have a drive around and help represent the champs at shows. We have only ever had a maximum of 3 champs in there at one time, quite a poor show! In the afternoon we had a go at the off road course, managing not to get stuck or brake anything.

Friday
My mum came along to the show on the Friday, just to see what we all get up to when we’re there. Luckily the weather had started to brighten up. It was quite sunny in the afternoons, just miserable in the mornings. I think she was impressed with how big the show is, even though she isn’t interested in the vehicles. She enjoyed the 1940’s fashion show, which was held every day in the Miller tent. She also decided she wanted a tank ride, which she enjoyed. I didn’t go on it, but my Dad did – he said it was good too, but the course was more fun in the champ!

Saturday
On Saturday we decided to do something different and went in the arena for the Cold War event. It was great driving around with a Chieftan, Stalwarts, Saracens and Land Rovers. We watched the arena events for most of the day, but after a few years I think they don’t interest us as much anymore. The saving private ryan re-enactment was won 3 times by the Germans, something to do with a Tiger tank The Tiger was actually a replica built on a Russian T55, but from a distance, it was very good! The rest of the day consisted of more shopping and off roading. Whilst driving around we were told of a champ gathering in the arena at 7pm. We attended with over 20 other champs (there were 50 or so on site over the weekend) to create the biggest line up since they were in service. The weather was nice all day, more like you expect it to be for Beltring!

Sunday
The rain had well and truly passed on Sunday, and the whole day was nice and bright. This was the last day for shopping, so we went over to Withams to see what they had left. They said Marcus Glenn had bought all the spares, and if we wanted stuff we had to buy it now. If we made a pile they would do us a deal. It doesn’t take much to persuade me to buy ferret spares so I duly made my pile and paid my money. Whilst rooting around on one stall we found a champ handbrake, at least if we fix the handbrake it won’t roll away when we park on hills, so we bought it. By about 4 everyone was packing up to leave, and we did the same.

All in all the Beltring week was as much fun as ever, despite the rain. The mud made it a bit more interesting driving around, although the marshals limited the movement when the mud was very bad. Hopefully it will be sunny next year!

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Unloading the Champ on arrival, Chris on the left.



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  No dust!.



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  One of the 3 camping areas, still a lot of vehicle to arrive.



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  A Kubelwagen and Sidecar combination.



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  Unloading the Champ on arrival, Chris on the left.



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  The large scale modellers, mobile and not in a display tent!



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  This is an Austin K2 ambulance, thanks to Tony Coglan for the I.d.



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  An FV-434, a a lightweight Land Rover, a Champ and a 101 Forward control Land Rover ambulance.
Thanks to Tony Coglan for the vehicle I.d.s.



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  A "Coffeee Pot" Scamell (Scammell Pioneer) and it is towing a Scammell Crusader (which was used by the british army to transport small armour like Scorpions).
Thanks to Tony Coglan for the vehicle I.d.s.



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  I thought this was a Swedish Hägglund model 202 all terrain vehicle, perhaps a cable layer? But subsequently I received an email from the actual owner of this vehicle. In fact it is a Bombardier Bombi and this vehicle now has an article all of its own in the "Collectors's Vehicles" section of this website. (Area 1 Section 11 - "Paul's Bombi.")



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  Ah, looks like the "Living History"/Diorama enthusiasts have returned after their absense in 2000. I would say that is a MG-42 (or possibly MG-34) machine gun nest.



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  Also part of the diorama (modelling term), an Sd Kfz 251 (or a Tatra OT-810 Czech copy).



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  The inside view.



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  Another Sd 251 or OT-810.



10725 pic

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  The Chieftain tank ride, I wonder how close to wearing it out they are? It certainly gets some use!



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  Where you get on the Chieftain, much easier than clambering up the normal way.



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  Andreas being adventurous on the Kettenkrad.



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  The rain had turned the off-road course into a series of puddles and mud holes.



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  I can see why there are no passengers.......



10730 pic

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  Yep, mud.



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  Not such a big puddle after all.



10732 pic

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10733 pic

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  In Andreas' words "A puddle too far": a bridge would have been handy huh Andreas?



10734 pic

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  Marooned! Even a Kettenkrad will not climb that slope in those conditions.



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  Official help arrives.



10736 pic

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  No their not going to have a tug of war, the tow vehicle is on the other side of the mound.



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  Under tow.



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  Geoff Winnington-Ball retrieving the tow rope after it broke and the KK had slid back into the puddle.



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  Even deeper in the muck.



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  Carl Brown's Tiger I replica (underneath is a Russian T-55 chassis with an Abbot SPG turret).



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  Tiger replica moving into the arena, complete with normal Russian tank cloud of smoke.



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  A Striker in the arena.



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  Many Champs.



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  Based on the M3 Stuart drive line is this M5 High Speed Tractor, thanks again to Tony Coglan for the I.d.



10745 pic

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  An M-36 Jackson Tank Destroyer followed by an M-18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer.



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  The M-18 Hellcat passes the derelict Panzer IV H that appeared last year, looks like it has had external work and a new paint scheme since. I am told it belongs to Rex Cadman.



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  The M-18 Hellcat up close.



10749 pic

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  The M-36 Jackson up close.



10747 pic

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  This looks like a variation of a Russian BTR 60/70/80, possibly a Czech OT-64?


Photos courtesy of:
Andreas Mehlhorn.
Raimondo Torelli.
Chris McMillan.


Story courtesy of Chris McMillan.

Another participant.

Richard Notton decided to take his Stolly to Beltring this year despite the horrible petrol expense. After having driven all that way (from Southampton) he decided to get full value out of the vehicle......

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Stolly bogged. Richard having given up is leaning on the cab roof (white floppy hat).



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Hanno Spoelstra (The Sherman Register) standing safe and dry. A Leyland Martian and winch cable extracted the Stolly.



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Some time out from Beltring was taken to clean the mud off the Stolly and as an excuse to give it a swim along with Heinz Thielking's Schwimmwagen. The Medway is the nearest usefull water to Beltring and is located north two roundabouts, turn left, go 2 miles, right over railway line, left before bridge rated at 4ton.



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In the water and underway.



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The view from the cargo hold.



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Look closely and you can see the Schwimmwagen.

My thanks to Richard yet again.


 

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