Our 2014 tour looks to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the WW11 D-Day landings in Normandy France. Our tour takes place between 6-13 April 2014 starting at the D-Day Map room at Southwick House before commencing our landing operations in Normandy. Our tour will visit over 25 historical sites of D-Day including the iconic Pegasus Bridge.
Watch the film 'The Longest Day' to get a preview of some of the history and locations we'll be touring.
8 April 2014.
This morning we reduced our carbon footprint by walking to our first visits! The debarquement Museum at Arromanches gave us a great insight into the construction of the Mulberry Harbours and the fantastic engineering feat that was undertaken by the Army and Naval Engineers in creating an Artificial Harbour the size of Dover within a matter of Days. Next was a walk up a very steep hill to Arromanches 360 Cinema which gave a 360 degree visual portral of D-Day and a small appreciation of what the soldiers experienced; Tissues were certainly needed!
Our procession of 1100s then adored the Main Street of Arromanches ready for our next visit to Juno Beach. We certainly made a sightseeing attraction with many tourists seizing the moment and photographing our wonderful British inventions. Our departure was delayed for 2 minutes as our regular....... 'it's come loose' Dave Wilkins featured again (see running report)!
On our arrival at Juno Beach we were met by fellow French enthusiast Michael with his stunning modern metallic VDP. The brown metallic paint work was very sympathetic to the era. A committed enthusiast who had driven 4 hours from Paris to say hello and accompany us for the day! Great to meet you Michael.
From Juno Beach we made way to Site Hillman where the Suffolk Regiment successfully captured a very complicated bunker position at an advantageous hill top position. We were treated to an exclusive tour of the bunker complex by the Suffolk Regiment Volunteers who provided us with an extremely informative tour. Thank you Suffolk Regiment.
Our final stop of the day was Musee Grand Bunker at Ouistreham which was one of the main Command bunkers of the German Atlantic Wall. Comprising of 5 floors this gave an excellent insight into German technology and tactics and how Lt Bob Owell managed to secure the surrender of 53 Soldiers from this formidable command centre with just himself and 3 Colleagues!
There was an opportunity to adore a Landing Craft Assault (LCA) vessel with 3 Battlefield Limeflower Coloured 1100s parked adjacent. Dean, Stefan and Dave appear convinced that this is the new military camouflage to be adopted for all military vehicles and 1100s!! We have to admit they did appear to be at home in a military setting parked next to a LCA and artillery gun! Maybe Limeflower is the new colour???
Our 40 minute return trip allowed us to stretch our 1100 legs with some excellent drivers roads to test our road handling ability; aneasy and enjoyable journey for a 1100.
The Oil Filter Canister bolt came loose on Dave Wilkins Austin (those that follow Dave's progress on our Rallies will know the common theme!) and luckily this was spotted in time and left a nice little souvenir patch of oil in Arromanches high street!! Dean Oakey's Brake lights appear to have an intermittent fault .......so keep your distance!!