It was my first time performing at Festival of the Forties and having never been to this particular 1940’s event, I was unsure what to expect!
The first thing that struck me was the amount of reenactor displays around the edge of the field. There seemed to be more reenactors than public, which really surprised me. The groups had obviously gone to great lengths with their living history displays and they deserved far more people oggling their hard work!
I was performing in the main marquee and was pleased to see my friend Woody at War. He is one of the best DJ’s on the circuit and always a great help. The weather was scorching, so it was an oven on that stage! Although the heat was slowly baking us to a crisp, there was a very dedicated couple, who were fantastic dancers. They certainly added life to the show and it was a pleasure to watch them as I sang my way through the 1940’s classics.
Another familiar face was my Facebook friend Hiroki. I have not seen him since I used to perform at War and Peace Show each year. Hiroki travels all the way from Japan every year to take part in UK WWII events. The other wonderful thing is that he even wears his grandfather’s original wartime uniform!
The piece de resistance was definitely the battle reenactment. As viewers, you were close to the action and fully engrossed in what was going on. A stand-off between American and German troops took place before our very eyes, using foot soldiers, Jeeps, a German bike with sidecar, tank and artillery. It was Betsy Rose’s first reenactment and she was absorbed with the action (but donning ear protectors as she is no good with loud noises).
The only thing I would’ve liked to have seen at the show was more vintage stalls and more healthy eateries (like the greek chaps I have seen at some shows), but this is just my personal opinion and certainly doesn’t effect the show. It was just so hot that I didn’t want greasy fish and chips, hot pie and mash and don’t like spicy stuff!
I am still surprised that the footfall wasn’t greater as the event is obviously going to grow and grow each year. Maybe it just takes word of mouth to get the show the visitors it deserves.