A thank you – Crowland and Thorney 1940s weekend 2022

We would like to thank all the visitors, traders, re-enactors, and everyone else that made the event possible. It was the first event we’ve held and a huge amount of work into making the event happen by a relatively small team of volunteers. Lessons can always be learned and we’ll take them on board, but the majority of the feedback has been positive so we hope you enjoyed the event.

Additionally, a thank you to Micheal Sly, our sponsor for loaning us the venue for the weekend, the rest of the team from Park Farm, the lads from the Royal Engineers for organising the parking, to RAF Spanhoe team and Richard Ellingworth for the flypast with Sia Marchetti and YAK 50, and to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire which flew over on Saturday afternoon.

An great photo of the Spitfire by Thorney resident, Steve Fretwell as it flew over the event on Saturday afternoon.

And finally, the day couldn’t take place without the help of our amazing team of volunteers, from dealing with the admin, manning the ticket desk, organising the site to cleaning toilets and emptying the bins, thank you.

Food and drink
And last but not least

I’ve tried to link to as many as possible. If you’ve been missed or don’t have a link, please post your name and a link below or contact us.

Check the event Facebook Group for further photos. Some feedback from the page below:

What a brilliant event for a first time. Fantastic entertainment and displays, great selection of traders. It was really good to see the agricultural history along with the military side of the 40’s. A well earned thank you Daniel Abbott and Cathi, Andrew Smalley and Christine and all the organising team not forgetting Michael for providing such a marvellous venue.


Loved it! so well organised and clean, well done to you all


Congratulations Daniel, Dave and all the organisers for your efforts in putting on a superb weekend, from everyone at Spirit of the Homefront

Spirit of the Homefront

Good morning we had a great time yesterday, we ran a 1940s event in Kent for seven years so know how hard all the team worked to make it happen. Well done indeed and what a great venue and just 20 minutes from where we live.


Engine startup

After a lot of work, our Continental R-670 bursts into life.

The original Buffalo engine was beyond restoration so this one was purchased from Mississippi, USA in July 2021 and shipped to the UK. It is an original surplus LVT engine from the end of the Second World War and it’s believed that it hasn’t been run since it left the factory.

The Buffalo engine team consisting of Chris Collop, Paddy Nightingale and Tom Woodhouse worked tirelessly to get it fired up and roaring as a static display.

If anyone has a 3D printer and can make us one of these: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3652570 please let us know.

Related News

Restored Buffalo gearbox returns home

It’s been less than a year since the Buffalo was pulled out of the ground and the restored gearbox has been re-installed into the Buffalo with the help of DB Santasolo.

As Daniel Abbott chairman of the Crowland Buffalo LVT said “It was great weather for the installation, with clear blue skies. I arrived on-site at 7am and finished at 6pm but we had a cracking day and it’s starting to look like a Buffalo at last. Thanks to Crowland Cranes, the team from David Brown, Mark Ingram and Josh for their help.”

Matthew from DB Santasolo said in a BBC Look North news report about the restoration: “It was a very smelly process, the water that had been in there was stagnant. I looked at it and thought this was never going to work, but once all the mud was cleared off the gears they came up like new and I thought we may actually be able to get this working.”

Work is ongoing to get the engine running and we hope to achieve this by the end of this year. The original engine was beyond restoration so a new one was shipped in from the USA, it still though needs a lot of work to get it to where we can install it into the Buffalo.

Buffalo gearbox takes another step forward

The Crowland Buffalo has taken another step forward with the testing of the gearbox. Getting the gearbox to this stage is due to the amazing effort and skills of DB Santasalo UK Ltd which are based in Huddersfield in West Yorkshire.

DB Santasolo has been working on the Buffalo gearbox since June last year when it was removed from the Buffalo with the help of Crowland Cranes.

The Continental W670-9A engine used in the Buffalo drives the front sprockets for the tracks through a very short prop shaft, together with a controlled differential and final drive unit. The Torsilastic* transmission uses a 5 forward one 1 reverse Spicer gearbox.

Spicer Manufacturing Company was a manufacturer of automotive parts which started in 1904. In 1946 the company was renamed the Dana Corporation which continues to make gearboxes for a wide range of applications to this day.

In August 2021 Managing Director Steve Watson of DBS said in a local newspaper, “I was delighted with the opportunity to be involved and our specialist team are now working hard to restore the LVT gearbox to its original glory. DBS is pleased to offer our services to the historical society free of charge and ensure the gearbox is fully re-furbished while ensuring it maintains its authenticity.”

After 75 years in the ground, the gearbox first had to be cleaned before disassembly could start. One of the first noticeable issues was an inch wide hole on the top of the gearbox where corrosion had eaten away at the metal. Once apart it was found that the gears just needed a thorough clean and polish, in fact for the amount of time it had been underground they were in relatively in good condition. The entire gearbox was disassembled so every single part could be cleaned and inspected before reassembly could begin. One of the challenges come across during the disassembly were some exceptionally tight bearings.

On Friday 26 February Daniel Abbott, Chairman of the Crowland Buffalo Association, went to visit the testing of the gearbox at the DB Santasalo site. Daniel says “I’ve been to Huddersfield to witness the testing of the Buffalo’s gearbox and I’m so impressed and lost for words, it’s been an incredible experience. To think last April this Buffalo was underground and this year we are at this stage. I was gobsmacked to see all the original gears with new bearings seals and pretty much looking as though they had just come out of the factory. Thanks to everyone at DB Santasalo UK Limited.”

DB Santasalo, Huddersfield

* The word Torsilastic comes from the combination of Torsion (the action of twisting) and Elastic (able to spontaneously resume its normal shape).

The Buffalo gets a temporary home

The Crowland Buffalo now has a temporary home thanks to The Crown Pub at Great Casterton and Cool 4 hire. Today the Buffalo team has constructed a loaned marquee to house the Buffalo and allow work to continue.

If you’re a club, association or group and are interested in visiting the Buffalo please get in contact with Daniel Abbott, Chairman of Crowland Buffalo LVT Association, abbottofcrowland@gmail.com.

Additional thanks to Crowland Cranes for allowing us to stay at our current location.

The Buffalo gets some fresh paint

There’s a buzz in the Buffalo camp this week with the painting of the cockpit and hood. Work has also been done to protect the rest of the original paintwork which will be retained on other areas of the Buffalo. This is a major step forward in its restoration and could only have been done with the help of everyone who has donated. This now means that work can now begin to put the ‘control centre’ of the buffalo back together, including the controls, dashboard, electrics and seats, and then everything necessary can be connected to the engine, a big job in itself.

Continue reading “The Buffalo gets some fresh paint”