t could be said that the East Kent Area is the birthplace of IMPS. The humble beginnings of the Invicta Military-Vehicle Preservation Society, or IMPS for short, can be traced back to a small rally that had been organised by a group of enthusiasts at Chilham Castle, Nr. Canterbury, Kent on the 6th July 1980. Following the success of the rally two of the organisers wrote to Major Victor (Dicky) Dover M.C., An Arnhem veteran, asking him if he would write to all who had attended Chilham inviting them to a meeting at the Drill Hall in Maidstone on 10th September 1980.
Since that time both the club, and the East Kent Area membership has grown, but it still remains true to its original ideals, a great coming together of friends with common interests.
Covering a large area from Maidstone, in the heart of the Garden of England, to Ramsgate on the extreme East Kent Coast, and from Whitstable, on the North Kent Coast, to Dungeness, on the South Coast. This historical region has played a major role in both World War 1 and World War 2. For many of the troops destined for the trenches of France and Flanders during WW1, the last sight of England was the White Cliffs of Dover as they boarded troop ships in Dover’s Western Docks. Many of them never returned. Some 25 years later for troops evacuated from Dunkirk it was the sight of these White Cliffs that meant safety from the horrors of Hitler’s “Blitzkreig” It was also these same famous White Cliffs which witnessed the aerial battles which raged in the skies above during the Battle of Britain, the Nation’s Memorial to “The Few” is located in our East Kent Area at Capel le Ferne near Folkestone. After WW2, and the coming of the “Cold War”, as the closest county to Europe, East Kent was vital to the nation’s defence. So many troops were based there, Folkestone, Canterbury and Ashford all had large garrisons. And several Top Secret early warning defence stations were quietly built in the East Kent countryside.
It is these historical events which has made the East Kent Area a hotbed of military history. East Kent members are regular attendees at many major events in the Area. We can be seen at the “Hellfire Corner” show in Dover, as well as events commemorating the Dunkirk evacuation in Ramsgate, or maybe “The Channel Dash”. And now, of course, East Kent is the home of the “Largest Gathering of Military Vehicles on the Planet”, better known as The War and Peace Revival, which is now based at Folkestone Racecourse, formally known as RAF Westenhanger.
The East Kent Area meets monthly on the 3rd Thursday of the month at The Anchor in Wingham. This is regularly attended by around 20-30 members. Why not come along and meet us, you don’t have to have Military Vehicle to join, but if you do it doesn’t matter what age either you, or your vehicle are.
The Anchor Inn
3rd Thursday of the month
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Hello, my name is Bob Ellis. I am the Secretary for East Kent Area. I have been an IMPS member since 1993, and have owned several military vehicles since 1992. I currently own a Dodge Weapons Carrier, two Landrovers and a Hillman Tilly.
I have been Area Secretary since March 2011. We try to have a meeting every month, both to keep members in our area updated with local events, as well as providing a social venue throughout the year. At each meeting, we have a raffle the proceeds of which goes towards a Christmas Dinner in December, or to any other worthy cause that the members wish for.