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Newark Vintage Tractor and Heritage Show to include Austin Army lorry with connection to Normandy Landings anniversary

Historic vehicles dating from across the decades will be at the Newark Vintage Tractor and Heritage Show ­— all with stories to tell.

The show displays machinery and equipment with interesting pasts, including an Austin Army lorry with connections to the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings.

John Blant bought the Austin lorry at a farm sale in 1963 for £35.

John Hayward's Land Rover (60123955)
John Hayward's Land Rover (60123955)

“I made it into a tipper and changed it to a diesel engine, and I used it for a bit of work on the motorway in 1964, the M1 junction 25 to 26,” said John.

“The lorry was then used for farm work.

“In 1974 I bought another lorry so the Austin stood for about 30 years in the barn, until a couple of friends convinced me it would be good to take it to Normandy in 2014 for the 70th anniversary.”

Eastern National Bristol K5G bus after being returned in 1969 (60123961)
Eastern National Bristol K5G bus after being returned in 1969 (60123961)

During the Normandy Landings, there was a big demand for Austin lorries.

“Some of the later lorries went over to Egypt for the Suez Canal crisis. We have tried to track down whether mine did go to Normandy, but I can’t find anything. But seeing as they couldn’t get them out there fast enough it’s quite likely it did.”

John drove his lorry across to Normandy.

Ever since, it has been taken to shows, including this year’s Newark Vintage Tractor and Heritage Show, taking place at Newark Showground on November 5 and 6.

Eastern National Bristol K5G bus built in 1959 (60123964)
Eastern National Bristol K5G bus built in 1959 (60123964)

Another historic vehicle at the show is a series three hard top, long wheel base Land Rover.

It was bought by John Hayward’s mother at Newark Show in 1970 and she gave it him as a wedding present.

Mr Hayward drove the Land Rover for 20 years, with the goal of doing 100,000 miles, but then got a company car.

After that, the Land Rover, which celebrates its 50th birthday next year, remained in a barn for 30 years.

John Hayward's Land Rover (60123948)
John Hayward's Land Rover (60123948)

“I thought I would give it a bit of restoration. It was my wife’s birthday on April 16, so I got it into the workshop” he said.

“And I keep a log of the work I do, I worked on it every day until September 1, when I got it on the road.

“It’s a labour of love and I’ve really enjoyed doing it.”

Now the vehicle is back on the road, it’s described as “slow and noisy but it’s what I grew up with.”

The first double decker bus to circumnavigate the globe will also be at the showground.

The Eastern National Bristol K5G, numbered ONO 59, is still functional thanks to a group of young men who decided to travel the world.

“The bus was built in 1959, and the boys bought it in 1967. They returned it in 1969 and the bus was sporting a union jack livery,” said exhibitor Mike Gallagher.

It was fully restored and converted, including eight bunk beds, a kitchen and living quarters.

“It’s brilliant to have all of these vehicles join us at the show, but what makes them really unique is the history behind them,” said show organiser Elizabeth Halsall.

“It’s great to have nearly 1,100 entries this year, of which 111 are commercial vehicles alone, which of course brings a lot of interesting history.”

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