Over the Bank Holiday weekend I once again took part in the Military Odyssey re-enactment in Maidstone. It's an absolutely incredible event! The re-enactments I normally attend are 1940s based, but Military Odyssey is in a league of its own; it calls all eras to come and play! This results in modern military bases being erected next to Anglo Saxon villages, tanks standing proudly alongside longboats. It is an absolute feast for the senses and the dedication of the re-enactors is astounding; many of them camp at the site and go to great lengths to make sure their living and eating arrangements are as authentic and accurate as is possible.
Walking past the Viking Village, one can hear a squabble going on between the mooring master and an owner of a boat; they are arguing about whether or not the boatman has paid for his mooring post!
There is also a tent which has on display many different spear heads with some rather amusing annotations by the collector... one rather menacing looking 'barbed tripoint' is described as being "used mainly for fishing, but I would not like to try to dig this one out of my bum!"
The helmets' of the Greek Hoplites are all carefully crafted by hand - amazing!
Many re-enactors bring their children along and get them involved too!
My favourite era - the 40's. I adore the cuts and shapes of the garments; due to rationing and clothing shortages many of the garments women wore were men's and so large, stiff collars were the norm. As the war had such an influence on everyday living the fashions also began to display echoes from the front line with epaulettes or brass buttons adorning every day clothing.
Various gun or vehicle displays and mock battles are staged throughout the day.
The WWII Home Front Village
A few times a day the re-enactors at the WWII Home Front Village put on a little play for the public allowing a glimpse into the horrors of the Blitz in London.
There is a huge array of stalls selling all kinds of items from weapons to various trinkets to uniforms or civilian dress.
The Red Coats! One of my favourite uniforms! May have to invest in one of these and pencil on a moustache at some point...
The explosion on the top left is from a Napalm demonstration - a weapon used during the Vietnamese war. The photo below depicts a flypast of two Lancasters and two Spitfires. The top right photo is of an Iraqi base and below that is a fragment of a building from the WWII French resistance.
Above are some snaps from another re-enactment I take part in - the Battle of Britain weekend at the RAF museum in Hendon.
Here are some photos from one of my favourite re-enactments - War and Peace. It's a 1940s event and it mostly centres around vehicles so plenty of tanks, jeeps, vintage cars and lots and lots of mud!!
The uniform I am wearing here is WWII Land Army. I'm looking to stock up on my 40's civilian dress for next season though for a bit of variety...
So Vikings, Romans, Greek Hoplites, Confederates, Cowboys, Indians, Pirates, Red Coats, soldiers, sailors, RAF pilots, Victorian civilians or simply normal 21st Century citizens; whichever you are, come along and join us for this amazing event next year!