The HMVA Military & Flying Machines show is often referred to locally as either the Damyns Hall or Upminster show, by dint of the location where it’s held.
Shows of this type invariably have a character all of their own and the Damyns Hall show is no different. It’s friendly, intimate and yet still of a good size to occupy a full day. For the casual visitor there is the excellent spectacle of the battle, the entertainment in the beer tent (this year it was a sing-song with Flnagan and Allen and a Churchill impersonator) or the fun of attempting to escape from a German prison camp.
For us enthusiasts there is an excellent selection of living history groups all happy to discuss who they represent, while there is always a star vehicle or two, this year it was an M40 155mm self-propelled artillery piece.
So on let’s take a look at the pictures….
The battle was loosely based on a ‘meeting engagement’ in Normandy just as the allies are beginning to break out from the bocage country. That almost allows for the mix of allied troops which included British paratroops, US troops and British armour, provided you don’t dwell on the fact that the British paras landed on the extreme Eastern end of the assault and the Americans on the Western end! Regardless the battle was a lively affair as evidenced by my photos.
There are a number of ‘hands on’ activities to try at the show.
I tried my hand at bomb disposal and defused a WW2 bomb, the trick is to remember to turn on the clock stopper! To understand that last reference watch the excellent 1970s TV drama Danger USB.
Thankfully under instruction all went well, the bomb was defused and so I well be attending the 2017 show, now moved to the town of Maldon. Hope to see you there folks….!