The Bart Vanderveen Challenge Shield is awarded annually to the individual, chosen by nominations, who has contributed most to the military vehicle preservation movement. Inaugurated and sponsored by After the Battle, publishers of Wheels & Tracks magazine which was founded by Bart Vanderveen in 1982 and edited by him until the 75th issue published in April 2001. The trophy is presented at the War and Peace Show, which is the world's largest gathering of privately owned military vehicles, held annually at RAF Westenhanger, Folkestone Race Course, Kent, in July.
Please click below to view a rundown on each year's award.
L-R: Richard Beddall, Winston Ramsey
For 50 years Bart Vanderveen was acknowledged as the world’s leading authority on wheeled and tracked military vehicles. He was indeed a walking bible on the subject and I had the privilege of publishing his magazine Wheels & Tracks for nearly 20 years. When he died in 2001, I instituted the Bart Vanderveen Award in his memory and it gives me great pleasure to have received this year’s nomination for someone who was very close friend of Bart – Richard Beddall.
In 1969, Richard was a founder member of the All Wheel Drive Club and he first met Bart at their monthly meetings. Back in those days, Land-Rovers were looked on merely as working tools but to Richard they held a special fascination, whether they were civilian or military. Indeed he learned so much about them that at early shows, such as Shottesbrooke, Bart would even hand over the commentator’s microphone to him if a Land-Rover appeared.
His interest in Land-Rovers came about because his father bought a second-hand one in 1957 which he still drives, since when at least 400 have passed through his hands.
This life-long interest in the make led in June 2000 to the setting up of the Land-Rover Experience to carry out off-road driver training in London and the Home Counties for over 30 official dealerships using the very latest models. This year he has brought to the show the very last military 109 which was used on Boscombe Down airfield and which is still totally original.
Yet Richard’s interest is not just Land-Rovers but everything military, especially Bedfords, having at one time owned 12 which were all driven in a convoy to a Vauxhall Bedford Festival in the late ‘70s.
Schooled in Switzerland, Richard has been an excellent ambassador for the hobby for over 40 years. He has represented the UK at international meetings where his linguistic skills and reputation of resolving problems with charm and grace has been a major asset. Through his wide-ranging contacts he has also has helped enthusiasts around the world and saved many rare vehicles.
Richard has also crossed the Channel in his DUKW and reckons he has taken over 1,000 veterans for rides from the beach at Arromanches. He has also taken many military vehicle collectors out to sea - Bart being one of them.
And, apart from all that, he is even a regular participant in the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in an 1899 Haynes Apperson. Richard tells me it has worse brakes than a Bedford QL as none are fitted and that the only way to stop is to put the car into reverse!