Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Our World Tuesday - A Step Back in Time - Pickering War Weekend Part 2

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Sunday morning I set off walking from our village to the next one, roughly a mile away, to catch the bus into Pickering.  It was promising to be another lovely day in spite of the not so promising weather forecast.  Pickering was already busy with tourists and re-enactors in their costumes and uniforms.  The first photo I took was of the group on the right, then I finally spotted a German uniform, the man wearing it posed for me , then told me he represented an
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                                                               SS Panzer Tank Commander, Heinz Joachim Meyer, who had commanded tanks on the Russian Front for three years before being sent back to France, where he was finally killed at the Battle of the Bulge.  He looked remarkably fit and well for a ghost.  Then I met three more German soldiers, in the photo below, all SS Panzer tank drivers.  It seems most of the German contingent were at LeVisham that day. (Levisham turned into an occupied French village for the weekend!)

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Then I spotted my favourite car, of all the lovely old vintage cars on show during the weekend I had fallen in love with this beautiful cream coloured open topped Bentley.  I was offered a glass of wine by one of the Officers standing around it, but had to decline, I have enough problems with camera shake as it is!

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 It is a gorgeous car, if I ever win the lottery...!

The next photo is of the wonderful old traction engine, The Iron Maiden.
We have a traction engine show in Pickering every year, usually in September.  I remember seeing old steam rollers as a child, but nothing as splendid as this vehicle. 
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 There were several old style 'coppers' - 'bobbies' - policemen about, this one was keeping an eye on things with his ARP colleague, and it seems an interested lady was keeping an eye on them!

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This Home Guard soldier is carrying a basket of Messenger (Carrier) pigeons.  During the war over 7000 pigeon fanciers handed over their birds to help with the war effort.  These heroic birds carried messages in special containers far and wide, they often flew in extreme weather, sometimes under fire, and they saved countless servicemen's lives.  Every military aircraft leaving Britain was recommended to carry two birds, in watertight baskets, in case they needed to ditch in the sea.  Pigeons were often dropped by parachute to help the war effort and large numbers died through starvation, exhaustion, exposure to harsh conditions, or killed by enemy fire.  So next time a pigeon does the dirty on your car, don't curse him, bless him instead for his ancestors invaluable service to our country.

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The beautiful old Chrysler in the next photo caught my husband's eye, I think he would like one just like it.  A Bentley AND a Chrysler, now that would be nice...!

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 The soldiers lounging on Platform 2 look rather tired, too exhausted to bother chatting up the WAAF standing beside them apparently. 
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The lady singing on Platform 2 was one of the many entertainers taking part in the weekend, a lot of the old and well known wartime songs were heard in the streets of Pickering, and on the station's re-enactment programme.

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The Combat Soldier below looks ready for action, I think he really means business and I'm glad he is on our side!  I just hope the pins in those grenades are not loose!

 The Airmen studying the map look like they just parachuted in and don't quite know where they are!  During the war most place name signs and road signs were removed, so that if the enemy succeeded in landing an invasion force, hopefully they would get lost!  I wonder how many of the indigenous population found it very hard to find their way around the country.

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This beautifully restored wooden carriage transported travellers to Levisham (excuse me, I mean LeVisham!), Grosmont, Goathland, and Whitby during the weekend, pulled by one of the steam engines.  A lot of restoration work on carriages and engines takes place at Pickering Rail yards, carried out by dedicated volunteers and NYMR workers.  Anyone interested in getting involved should contact the NYMR Office in Park Street, Pickering.

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I caught up with the young Home Guard soldier who had been playing his ukelele the day before when I took his photo, camera shake, or rather wobble, caused it to come out blurred, so I took this one, I think he was on his way home.

Many men and women who gave service during the war did not receive recognition for a great many years.  The Merchant Navy and the Land Army Girls are two branches that spring to mind.  Also the women ferry pilots who delivered aircraft but had no means of defending themselves if attacked by enemy planes.  There were many others doing diverse jobs, factory workers, munitions workers, farmers, firemen, nurses and doctors, and the ordinary people who carried on and pulled together in a time of great devastation.  We owe these people and our Armed Forces a great debt of thanks for their service and sacrifice. 

Memorial Garden - Pickering Station

Memorial Plaque dedicated to Railway staff
I have made up a slide show of a number of the photo's I took over the Saturday and Sunday, of people, station scenes, steam engines and vintage cars.

For more photo's from around Our World visit


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