History

After the war military vehicles were perceived as little more than scrap. Some found homes with farmers, transport firms, construction companies and a few private individuals. Most were destroyed. The late Peter Gray founded the Military Vehicle Conservation Group to support the dawning realisation that history in all forms should be preserved. Interest in military vehicle ownership, particularly from WW2 continued to grow and in 1968 a local group based in Portsmouth was formed.

This group undertook the organisation and running of a military vehicle show to commemorate the Normandy landings, the first show being held at Fort Widley, near Portsmouth in 1974, 30 years after D Day.

The membership of the Solent Area steadily grew and regular monthly meetings held. The club continued to organise their annual D Day military vehicle event at venues including, Fort Widley, Blackbushe, Thruxton and Popham. However it was the shows held on Southsea Common that established the popularity of the event.

The public’s interest in and private ownership of in military vehicles continued to increase as did the countrywide membership of the MVCG and in 1987 the group became the Military Vehicle Trust (MVT). The Solent Area of the MVT continued to flourish and maintained responsibility for the organisation of the Overlord Show.
To secure the future and success of further shows, a new independent club was formed in 2004. Solent Overlord Executive Military Vehicle Club (SOE) was renamed in 2008 as the Solent Overlord Executive Military Collectors Club. This new title reflected the club member’s wider interests in military vehicles, and also military history, weapons and equipment and the ever increasing popularity of living history re-enactment.

The club continued to grow, attracting members interested in all aspects of the military, and with a strong social club network organised guest speakers on club nights, visits to museums, and to important historical sites.