Formed by historic military vehicle enthusiasts in 2014, the Essex Historic Military Vehicle Association (EHMVA or Essex HMVA),
Charity number: 1155705 now has well over 120 members, with aims to help preserve military history, vehicles and artefacts.
The Essex HMVA has a membership whose vehicles range from push bikes, jeeps, land rovers, lorries, artillery and tanks. Historic Military Vehicles are in demand for fetes, shows, living history displays and film work. Members vehicles and equipment date from WW1 and WW2 through to relatively modern examples such as Chieftain tanks.We also welcome non vehicle owning members who may take part in living history or are military collectors. See our membership page for more details on how to join.
The Essex HMVA also supports groups such as the British Legion, supplying vehicles as a backdrop for their fund raising collections and for the local Normandy Veterans association. Particular attention is paid to ensuring the authenticity of vehicles, equipment and displays to ensure that all our events are of educational value for members of the public and to ensure that the younger generations are aware of our heritage. We also attend visists to schools to assist in education by reinforcing the concepts taught in keystage 2 of the National Schools History Curriculum.
Our members historic military vehicles have appeared in many films, TV series and documentaries including: The Monuments Men, Danger UXB, The Dirty Dozen, Patton, Full Metal Jacket and Band of Brothers to name but a few. In addition to taking part in many shows and displays over the South of England every year Branch members have participated in the D Day Normandy Anniversary and VE Day commemoration events taking part in parades in both England and France.
Ex-military vehicles are obtained from various sources including military surplus auctions, scrap yards and farms where they have been abandoned after their useful days were over. Having acquired the vehicle the process of restoring it to its former glory begins, this is no easy task, when years of wear and weather have taken their toll. Most military vehicle restorations are undertaken after stripping the vehicle to its component parts, each piece repaired or replaced if original parts can be tracked down. This process takes many months or even years of hard work and research to ensure the restoration is as complete and authentic as possible.
The association holds its own annual show, (which is our main fundraising event) - 'The Essex HMVA Echoes of History Show'This is a way of educating the public about military history and the equipment used. We have been running such events for many years, including those under the Military and Flying Machines title. We are holding our shows in county of Maldon, with a site in Purleigh.
Purleigh is just south of Maldon, Essex, and can note its charter as far back as 998 where it appears as Purlea. At the time of the Domesday survey of 1086, the manor of Purleigh was held by Eustace II, Count of Boulogne. He fought on the Norman side at the Battle of Hastings of 1066, and afterwards received large grants of land forming an honour in England. In the following year, (probably because he was dissatisfied with his share of the spoil) he assisted the Kentishmen in an attempt to seize Dover Castle. The conspiracy failed, and Eustace was sentenced to forfeit his English fiefs. Subsequently, he was reconciled to the Willian the Conqueror, who restored a portion of the confiscated lands. He is one of the few proven companions of William. It has been suggested that Eustace was the patron of the Bayeux Tapestry. To the edge of the showground, is the path once taken by the Woodham Ferrers to Maldon railway, with a Halt for the villagers of nearby Purleigh. The line was closed to passenger traffic in 1939 as part of the wartime economy measures and to freight in the 1950s, but during WW2 it was used for storing spare rail stock and also for coaling locos away from marshalling yards, which could be an easy target for bombers.
The ancestors of the Washington family came to England in 1066 with the Norman Invasion and settled in the far north of England. A pubic house at the edge of the village, known as The Purleigh Bell dates back to the 14th Century and was the home of George Washington???s great-great-great grandfather who was the rector of the village from 1634.
This rural setting adds to our displays, with the woods, grass and lakes enhancing scenes from D-Day holding camps through to Operation Goodwood. The show attracts ex-military vehicles and aircraft from all over the UK as well as from Europe, as well as groups and re-enactors from many periods of history. This is all organised by members and trustees, and we always welcome new volunteers willing to promote our cause and raise needed funds to keep the charity going.
For more information on this years' show, please see the show's website at: Echoes of history
We also hold the winter gathering for members in January, nicknamed the "Bum Freezer". You can come along with or without your vehicle. As well as this, we attend many events throughout the year.
The Essex Historic Military Vehicle Association holds regular meetings on the fourth Thursday of every month at the Bell Public House, Woodham Ferrers, Essex CM3 8RG at 8pm. Anyone interested in membership is more than welcome to attend. Ownership of a historic military vehicle is not required. See our membership page for more details
A copy of the Essex HMVA's aims can be viewed here as well as our rules and show terms.
Our main fund raising is achieved by running the Echoes of History Show event every year. Monies earnt from this are spilt into an annual budget to run the following years show and anything outside of this is used to fund the charities running costs and aims. Membership monies collected are used to self-fund the membership operating costs and any surplus is retained in the main account for charity use.
The Trustees have agreed to set a policy in place that we will not cold call either our members or outside individuals to ask for donations. We may call, write or email to remind members their membership has lapsed or in cases where we need to grant either reduced / free membership in order to comply with our policy on access for those on limited means. We will also mailshot organisations or companies where we feel there would be mutual interest in supporting us through advertising or sponsorship. Should in the future , we wish to fund raise for a project we will ensure this is done in such a way that does not put any pressure on those individuals contacted to contribute and without the use of any "cold call" listing either purchased or otherwise. The trustees note the adverse publicity and damage that can be attached to charities as a whole should we act contrary to the statement above.
Dontating to the Essex HMVA
We welcome donations to help us acheive our aims, if you'd like to make a donation, please use the paypal button below: