The late August bank holiday is a popular date for shows up and down the country, with intense competition between show organisers, but one of my favourite events on the calendar in recent years is relatively new in terms of military vehicle shows — Tanks, Trucks & Firepower. The event is a joint venture between Andrew Baker, owner of the land on which the show is held in the rural setting of a farm just outside Dunchurch near Rugby, and the local Birmingham and West Midlands branch of the Military Vehicle Trust, which helps attract many of the vehicles that attend each year and provides much of the manpower needed to run an event such as this.
Andrew Baker has very much been the driving force behind the show and since it first started just a few short years ago the event has grown in size and sophistication, with more vehicles than ever attending in 2012, despite the unseasonal weather that saw some vehicle owners cancel at the last minute. Each year a huge collection of CVR(T)s is put on display, with at least one example of every type produced on show to the public and it’s no coincidence that Andrew Baker just happens to own a great many of them, together with members of the Alvis Fighting Vehicle Society.
In addition to numerous modem day vehicles was a fine collection of wartime vehicles, which is continuing to increase in size each year, and attracts a wide variety of vehicles both big and small, giving visitors to the show plenty to look at besides the many trade stands that also attend. The show is a little unusual in that it has two arenas with one in the centre of the site providing visitors with the opportunity to see a variety of vehicles being put through their paces throughout the day, and a second arena that is home to not one but two pyrotechnic displays during the show.
The first of the pyrotechnic events is essentially a static blank firing event with three CVR(T) Scorpions firing down the field to targets at the bottom, with plenty of big bangs and explosions to keep the kids happy, and this year there were even smoke rings rising hundreds of feet into the sky! The second event held later in the afternoon was a mobile driving display featuring two of the CVR(T)s being expertly driven at speed in a terrific display of these amazing vehicles’ agility and culminating with a series of very large and very loud explosions that made for a spectacular display and a great photo opportunity for the watching crowds.
It’s not the biggest of events, but then it’s not the smallest, however, there’s plenty for the family to see and do during a visit, and the quality and quantity of the vehicles on display is a guaranteed attraction for military vehicle enthusiasts. If you’ve not been to the event keep an eye out in future issues of MMI for the dates for the 2013 show and check it out for yourself.