Posts Tagged ‘detling’

Military Odyssey 2012

August 28, 2012

Here’s a few photos from the Odyssey show at Detling this year. Rather lazily it shows just the few pieces of immediate interest to me rather than a bit of everything. It was fun, but did seem to be less well attended than previous years, not just visitors but stalls and reenactors as well. Apparently it had a new organiser this year who took a hands-off approach, something he’ll not do next year.  A bit thanks to all the reenactors for the great effort they put into their displays, we appreciate it.

I’ll be Odyssey-ing You

August 31, 2009


Like the general population of the Village in the cult TV-series “The Prisoner”, there’s something decidedly odd about the British, but being stuck together on this small island we don’t really notice it, but the wonderful part is even when we do notice we just grin and get on with it without a worry in the world and least of all we don’t get self conscious about it. It’s an honest eccentricity which makes us who we are, so just as well we’re comfortable with it. Big reenacting shows like Military Odyssey in Kent really are a magnifying glass on not so much what makes us tick, rather our happy acceptance that we’re nation of train-spotters and how we’re happy to share that with anyone who wanders past.

For those who’ve ever been to Military Odyssey it’s only fair to point out it’s a large multi-period reenacting show where you’ll find Viking camped next to Cowboy, Napoleonic Chevalier next to American Civil War Rebel, German Wehrmacht soldier next to British Para. The total selection is incredibly broad and with the traders and collectors stalls presents a day out with something to interest just about everyone with just the smallest interest in history.

This year we turned up pretty early and thanks to the organised ticketing were inside the County ground within minutes. As always we headed for the stalls first to see what’s on offer, and as we go to a fair few shows like this it wasn’t long before we started to bump into folk we know. Frenchie from AirsoftWorld was the first – running a sniper competition with an airsoft Barrett and an L96. Now big guns are very popular with airsofters so both me and the boy Slug joined the line, only to be disappointed. Sure the thing looks like a Barrett, but it handled like a dead dog and the trigger was heavier than most anvils and rather killed any concept of slowly squeezing it. Still I managed five shots on the target, appaling grouping, but Slug’s single shot hitting was worth gloating over. Not all bad news though, they’ve got an all steel Sten Mk1 on offer, which is under going some tweaking, and a lovely and simple little gun it is too.

Next bumped into Lee who supplies various Yank kit, who wasn’t having a positive sales experience, apparently hardly anyone was buying and the show hadn’t been as busy as last years. Here’s hoping it picked up for him.

Our biggest collective purchase for the day was by Slug in his quest for the US Airborne experience, in buying the rifleman webbing from Soldier of Fortune to compliment the kit he bought at War & Peace. Thankfully there was another Dad on hand with his Airborne obssessed son, and he showed us how to wear it.

Once the stalls were done and dusted, including finding two wargames going on in the pavilion, it was time to enjoy the enormous effort the reenactors put into their displays. Most notable this year were 4JAS, who had a nifty display and spent a good few minutes having a natter with the Slug, also the All American Pathfinders where one of their medic chaps gave a good short briefing on all things medic and answered some relevent questions, similarly in the woods were some Para reenactors with a very well equipped field hospital. We spent a lot of time with them, and to be honest we were so impressed with their surgical kit as to not have asked which group they are, but they were very good. Not only did they have a wealth of enthusiasm but collectively they looked and sounded like Para’s with twinkles in eyes and a vague reassuring feeling they could kill a man with their little finger.

Of course there was a wealth of good displays, and I don’t have the time to mention every single one, but the one which impressed us the most was that of Shrapnel’s Battery who for a humble fee will let you loose with black powder devices, so you can fire a musket, a cannon, or a mortar which is great fun, and really teaches you something about history. Well actually it teaches you just how loud a bang some things can make and  seeing how they let all us lads ranging in age from five through twelve to my forty-five have a go it was a lesson much enjoyed.

Imagine Glastonbury but with tanks

July 22, 2009

DSCF1645The title is  the only way I can describe the annual War & Peace Show at the Hop Farm, Beltinge in Kent without bending your ear, or when writing your eyes, for about half an hour and with me becoming slowly more enthusiastic until you’d either think I was mad, or the insanity would spread and you be grinning and mumbling “Hmmmm, kettenkrad, ahhhhh universal carrier, ohhhhh sherman…“.

Let it be enough for me to say this is a premier event for all those with an interest in history, especially that of the second world war. Aside from several hundred traders, there’s a few hundred reenactors who do a stunning job of keeping history alive, not only will they happy discuss the finer points of their kit and tactics with adults, they’re also incredibly friendly to children, who leave not only impressed but also informed in a style which can only lead to further interest. In addition there’s over a thousand vehicles parked up for the enthusiast to enjoy.

To avoid our collective insanity bringing the internet to a grinding halt, I’ve put a selection of photographs up for you to look at as you choose fit. Known as a gallery these images are in no special order, nor do they have anything to say bar what they show. John Sweeney is still an arse though.