Tag Archives: war and peace show
I will be doing a picture post in a while, but thought I would quickly post my performance videos for you whilst you are waiting!
I came across this lovely article on ‘tinterweb’ tonight so thought I would share! I also wanted to let you know my performance schedule for the War and Peace Revival Show. This is liable to change, but should give you some sort of timings to aim for. There will always be someone on hand to ask in the Victory Marquee!
Wednesday – Adult evening performance, time TBA
Thursday – 2 daytime performances (Family Friendly)
Friday – Family friendly daytime performance and an adult evening performance (Time TBA)
Saturday – 1 daytime performance and 1 evening performance (as part of a “floorshow” cabaret with the John Miller Orchestra) – both Family Friendly. Around 3pm and 8.45pm
Sunday – Daytime family friendly performance, around 3pm
Thursday – Live singing slot and burlesque performance from 11pm (time TBA)
Friday – Live singing slot from 11pm (time TBA)
I will also be doing picture and Military World Magazine signings, so make sure you collar me when you get the chance, because this will be one busy kitty!
See you all there!
The War and Peace Show has been at the Hop Farm in Kent for the past 25 years. With rumours ‘dot-dot-dash-dashing’ on the reenactor grapevine and hushed whispers of the event closing its doors, we can faithfully poo-pah rumours and say ‘huzzah!’ to the new phoenix rising from the ashes/ water logged fields. War and Peace Revival won’t be the same….it will be even better! Based at Folkestone Racecourse it has given Rex and the team scope to plan the reenactment fields and entertainment area more carefully, with better facilities for the public, vendors and performers!
Imagine watching the choreographed reenactments and vehicle displays from the grandstand…a market place dedicated to vintage fashion and homewear as well as the separate military stalls…and being able to get there by train instead of car with only a short walk to the station!
I wanted to find out what the man behind the world’s largest and most renowned military show had in store for us in 2013….
What made you decide to start again with the UK’s largest military show?
After 30 years of the show we started to feel that it had lost its momentum and was becoming a bit predictable – not perhaps to the vast majority of our public visitors, but certainly to
some of our exhibitors and Officials. After a very tough 30th anniversary show we felt we were left with two choices; to call it a day and close the show on a high, or to close it and relaunch at a new venue with a new name. Having spoken with some of our valued friends within the military vehicle world during late summer, we realised that closing the War and Peace Show without anything else was not what any of us really wanted, so we were really left with just one choice: to relaunch a new and improved version.
What has been your overall favourite moment?
The Sunday night Officials get together in the Dray Bar in 2000 where my friend and later business partner, Brent Pollard, who owned the Hop Farm, gave me permission to go behind the bar and pour my own beers. When spotted by the staff, who immediately attempted to take control of the beer pump on my behalf and shoo me out! Brent stepped behind the bar and said to his staff: “Rex is my friend and tonight if he wants to, he can give the whole goddamed bar away!” Those words resulted in one of the finest parties we’ve ever had, which saw over 50 Officials dancing on the bar. It was, without doubt, one of our most successful shows and many of us wanted to celebrate it and share it together.
.. and your funniest moment?
There have been so many, but I suppose one of the funniest memories we have involved my brother Rod and our workshop crew and Mike Stallwood of R&R Services and his workshop crew. Mike’s team took a corroded M38 A1 Jeep chassis and fitted a Ford Escort engine, gear box and back axle, adding military wheel rims and fairly tired bar grip tyres. Meanwhile, in our workshops, we took a very moth eaten Jeep body, one time property of Andy King, completely re-skinned it, welded on wings, bonnet, and seats, fitted a windscreen and all the little trinkets that would make it look like a wartime Jeep. Between the two workshops, both efforts were grafted together and without too close an inspection a very acceptable WW2 looking Jeep had been created.
On the Sunday of the Show, a T34 belonging to the Stallwood camp “broke down” in the Arena. Tony Lawrence, the Arena commentator was asked to put out a public address for replacement batteries to be brought into the Arena for the dead tank. The very smart Jeep miraculously appeared and drove up to the tank, parking at the rear where batteries were duly passed up to the tank crew. Meanwhile quite a substantial crowd of several thousand people lined the Arena barriers, waiting for the tank to fire into life.
All of a sudden the tank fired up, throwing up lots of black smoke – quite common on the old T34s. The driver, Tim Fuggle, rocked the tank back and forwards several times as though the brakes were sticking and all of a sudden the tank lurched backwards at speed, straight over the rather smart looking Jeep! As you can image – the gasps from the crowd could be heard for some distance. For me, the funniest moment of that entire escapade was at about 10.30pm when I was passed by two guys running hell for leather clutching a Ford Escort back axle that they had salvaged from the wreckage believing they had won themselves a gem! Like all stories, you really had to be there to see it. And to top it all, judging in those days was not the exact science that it is today – as the Jeep won Best Jeep in Show!
Can we expect any VIPs at the show (cast of war movies? Vera Lynn? Etc)
The old War and Peace Show often welcomed celebrities and VIPs, with many of them coming as private individuals. It was something that we prided ourselves on in that they felt able to visit our show without being subject to intrusive behaviour or being used as a PR tool. Over the years we’ve had royalty (foreign and British), film and pop stars, government officials and senior police and service personnel – many of them we only hear about afterwards! We’re at very early days with the planning of the new show, but we’re delighted that the cast of Allo Allo will continue to support us in our new War and Peace Revival. We fully expect the usual mix of celebrities to continue, and will as always respect their privacy. I’m reliably informed that people are amazed at who they meet in the stalls or bars at a War and Peace event. I once spent the day with a very famous local musician who seemed to know as much about War and Peace as I did. By the end of the day I had discovered how!
When you ran the first ever W&P did you ever imagine it would end up being so hugely popular and vast?
No! Actually when I became involved in 1989 as part of an organising team of two, I dragged my long suffering then secretary Barbara into the team and we set out to double the amount of vehicles that had been at the previous show. Our dream was to eventually see 1,000 vehicles – we never imagined that one day we would see 4,000!
I always knew it had scope to be something great, but I never dreamed it would get so big and with such a huge worldwide reach. We have literally welcomed visitors from every country of the world – now that’s some claim that not many shows and events can make!
So there you have it, the same fantastic team recreating and remoulding the greatest military show on earth so that it may become even bigger and better than it was… But don’t forget the reenactment groups who make the event what it is, if it wasn’t for their amazing displays and dedication to War and Peace then goodness knows where it would be today.
Hello Catnips and welcome to 2013!
Please take a moment to look at my dates page for this year’s performances. I am determined not to burn the candle at both ends this year as for the past 4 years at least I have overdone it. I still have exciting things planned such as the Cold War Express in June which will be amazing (and over my Birthday!) and hopefully the new War and Peace Revival in July too! I have 1 performance a month from March to November (some are private bookings) so that suits me just fine.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s. Here is to a new start, clean slate, a year that will be what YOU make it. Go get ’em!
Many of you may have heard that the War and Peace Show is being transformed next year to War and Peace Revival at Folkestone Racecourse, with many new exciting features!
I have just seen the website and SHAZZAM! Yours truly is on there! Eeek!
So take a look at what exciting things next year’s show has in store and get ready for some brilliant changes. Don’t worry, you can still dig your trenches, camp and enjoy brilliant entertainment. The facilities themselves with be far better and with access to the train station it is a no brainer!!!
On a rather soggy weekend at Wartime in the Vale (June), Mother Nature slapped me round the face with the back of her gale-force hand and tested my hairspray and heels to the limit with rain. It then struck me how different and more prepared you have to be as an entertainer at WWII and other open air events.
Walking around as a visitor, you bask in the glory of vintage vehicles, reenactors, stalls and entertainers, but forget that those singers, dancers and models that enthrall their audiences aren’t effortlessly immaculate. They have to walk the same cobbled streets you walk, brace the same weather and still have to look as if they stepped out of a magazine or movie, no matter how boggy the fields.
I always love watching such performers as Lola Lamour, who (like me) is a complete devil for iconic 1940’s fashions, but to abandon her original snakeskin heels for a pair of wellies would degrade her star-like status and outfit. So we must hop, wobble, hobble and skip to dodge the hazards that may turn our nylons into “Goodbye, so long!”s and beloved pinup shoes from ‘irreplaceable’ to ‘untraceable’ under the mud. I stare enviously at those wearing military gear and warm boots, but am hell bent in wearing my lovely hats and 40’s dresses! Sure I could shelter in a tent for the entire event, but what would the fun in that be? I want to be out, meeting people, seeing things and buying bargains!
Portaloo’s can also be a strategical nightmare as you force your layered outfit into the confined space, dodge the floor of mass disruption (the glory of mud caught in the deep tread of boots), try and balance your handbag as you struggle with your straight-jacket underwear and test the endurance of the wall and door with many an accidental elbow ‘thwack’ as you try and rearrange your outfit again. You either exit looking as if you have been wrestling hippos in there or with an upturned nose and shudder. Classic signs of a girdle struggle is when you can hear the lady in question jumping up and down in the cubicle and she comes out all red faced and puffed out. I almost feel like waving a little flag and giving a cheer to those poor souls that survive the porta-hoopla.
Performing at field events can be the most tricky of all, especially if the changing room is in a completely different area. I say room, when this could actually be a tent depending on the event. I remember fondly getting ready in the back of the USO tent with just a gas lamp and tiny compact mirror; ducking and diving behind stacks of debris to change into my Burlesque outfits and praying that my pasties would be somewhat even…
My most recent event was a huge challenge because of the weather! Getting changed in a nice large mess hut was great, but then negotiating the journey back to the performance tent (where I would have to wait outside to make my entrance) in the mud and rain was a different story. I had decided to do my Pipe Dreams act, which is a gorgeous, sparkly WHITE costume (silly, silly kitten….), which would also showcase my new, spangle-tastic silver shoes from Johnson’s Originals (yes…I know…).
As I hid beneath my ghillie ‘tobacco’ cloak and staggered towards the entrance of the tent, a rather lively German reenactor didnt realise I was creeping up behind him and gave me a prompt kick on the knee (He was performing an energetic Morecombe and Wise dance move that would have been impressive without the plastic beer glass in hand). As the mud gave me friendly pat on the back of my fishnets and greeted my NEW SHOES with as much enthusiasm, I suddenly realised that the front of my white panel skirt also now resembled a piece of used toilet paper and I hadn’t actually started my performance yet. So what happens in this sort of situation? Do you storm off like a big stroppy Diva? No, you ruddy well get on with the show and laugh it off. Yes there were swear words later and even a disgruntled huff with furrowed brow (I know, stand back when you see these signs), but those are the hazards you have to face when working in these environments. They still enjoyed the show and I fear most of the audience were more ‘moths to my light bulbs’ than my disgraced shoes, but that is all the better. More importantly the shoes are now clean and lovely again! Huzzah!