This year the show returned to its ‘home’ at the Hop Farm in Paddock Wood. As usual – including the last couple of years at the racecourse – War & Peace delivered a great show with plenty of interesting vehicles and living history groups.
We – Tony and I – attended for two days, sadly through a mix of bad planning and weather we managed to miss the World War 2 battles – doh! – so no picture essay of that particular arena action I’m afraid. In place of that I have put together a ‘Vietnam Special’ which I hope will do justice to the excellent collection of vehicles and living history groups representing that conflict. So let’s move on….
Around the Living History Camps
An exceptional collection of vehicles were present, my personal favourites were:
- GAZ BA 64b Soviet armoured car
- Diamond T T19 105mm Howitzer Gun Motor Carriage (thoughts immediately turn to the opening scenes of Kelly’s Heroes!)
- French P107 half-track converted by the Germans to carry a flak gun
- Marder III
- StuG III
I especially enjoyed the turn out of Vietnam period living history groups and vehicles. The lush vegetation (mostly trees!) of the Hop Farm lent itself well as a suitable back drop to the various camps.
Included with the ticket price is an excellent quality, 54 page informative show guide. In addition to providing information on What’s On, where and when there are some excellent topical articles on such subjects as the German MP40, Dunkirk and the Spitfire.
As we attended for two days overnight accommodation was needed. We selected The Black Horse Inn located in the village of Thurnham. Although in the small rural hamlet of Thurnham – very quiet and a good night of sleep is almost guaranteed! – it is only 5 miles from the M20 motorway and around 11 miles from the show.
The accommodation is in well appointed chalets next to the inn itself. All of the facilities one would expect are present – so the rooms are ensuite, TV and coffee / tea making facilities are provided – and the bed was very comfortable. The rooms are good value and come with a choice of breakfast including a full English.
We dined in the restaurant where the food was excellent and the staff attentive to the needs of the diners. Advance booking is recommended as it’s very popular with both guests and locals. Those of us that like a good pint of real ale are also catered for, the bar had a selection of 4 locals ales on tap during our stay.
Speaking personally I can highly recommend this inn, which is situated on the most ancient and historic Pilgrims Way Stay there – you won’t be disappointed!
And so another War & Peace [Revival] show ended…. they seem to come around ever sooner as the years go past. Fortunately the good news is that I still enjoy the show as much now as I did when I first discovered it!
I didn’t see Bert and Fred at this year’s show but I did come across these characters, “Big Grilla” the AA gunner, on duty all day to keep us safe, and “Bones” who has clearly been attending the show for even more years than I!
Finally a BIG thanks to the organisers and see you again at next year’s show 24th – 28th July 2018……