We’ve got our sights set on a great weekend
THE ever popular Heatons Bridge Military Weekend is returning this week.
Heatons Bridge Military Vehicle Group will be holding its end-of-year open weekend with military vehicles and displays at the Heatons Bridge Inn, Burscough, on Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1.
Event co-organiser Paul Connolly said: “As usual, the public are welcome to come, there are no admission or other charges involved, and there will be a range of military vehicles on show of all eras.
“Also, as usual, anyone with a military vehicle of their own would be more than welcome to join us and camp over the weekend.
“We normally set up on the Friday and the event runs through to lunchtime on the Sunday.
“Military gatherings at Heatons Bridge Inn have now become established as regular events which take place twice a year, courtesy of proprietors Steve and Jacqui Winrow.
“The group comprises a number of like-minded enthusiasts with interests in preserving and renovating military vehicles and equipment of different ages and takes the opportunity to display these at various shows and events across the region including the halfyearly gatherings at Heatons Bridge.
“The Heatons Bridge Inn has a great range of real ales and food all given names to reflect the military theme. The vehicles include all eras, such as WWII Willys, Ford, Hotch- kiss and Austin Champ Jeeps, post WWII Land Rovers in various configurations, ‘Whistling Rio’ and Bedford RL four ton trucks, armoured personnel carriers including a Saracen which has served in Northern Ireland and Korea, military motorbikes, and military staff cars.
“The group’s mechanical maestro, Johnny Newbould, has also finished the rebuild of a period Morris saloon car (soft top) for his wife, Susie, so that may also put another appearance.
“We are hoping that Kevin Reilly will be bringing some of his extensive personal collection of military exhibits, which includes a mighty Howitzer field gun and associated crew-bus, an Abbot self propelled gun and its Mighty Antar tank transporter, a couple of Diamond Ts, a Swiss Saurer four-ton truck and a range of other trucks and smaller vehicles.”
Members’ in displays include a range of militaria including various firearms, bayonets and other weapons, uniforms, radio equipment and field equipment.
Paul added: “A regular part of the display is also a 25-pounder field gun rig belonging to Frank and Angela Brown, our secretary, comprising a Morris Quad tractor unit, which tows an ammunition limber behind, and the field gun itself behind that.
“Frank and Angela provide demonstrations of the team operation of the field gun and have been known to take the entire three part rig across the off-road hill course at Burscough airfield.”
“The pub is beside the canal at Heatons Bridge and Steve and Jacqui Winrow have retained the WWII brick pillbox which formed part of the Home Guard defence provisions on the grounds.
Paul said: “It is planned to set up a small Home Guard display inside the pillbox again to give some feel for what it might have been like for a soldier to have had to ‘hole up’ there.”
Anyone wanting to show their military vehicle should contact Paul Connolly on 01704 545786, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Angela Brown, group secretary, on 01942 514738, email email@example.com, for details.