More vehicles, more re-enactors, more traders, more aircraft
and more sunshine … that was Wicksteed at War 2018.
The historic parkland at Kettering was packed on June 9-10 with
MVs and uniforms represent- ing armed forces from the American War of indepen- dence
right up to present, ongoing conflicts. Highlights of the arena events included
the mounted troop of the WW1 First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, making a welcome return
to Wicksteed, and an Auxiliary Fire Service Mobile Column with their iconic
Green Goddess appliances. Old favourites the VCR (T) display team entertained
with plenty of pyrotechnics and pitched battles were fought between Germans and
Allies and between Americans and the Vietcong. A Cold War display reflected the increasing popularity of
these post-war vehicles and VIP ticket holders were taken around the arena in a
collection of Jeeps, Land Rovers, trucks and armoured cars.
The 100th anniversary of the RAF was marked with
a replica Spitfire and its opponent, the Messerschmitt Bf109 aircraft. They proved
a big attraction, as did the nose section of an Avro Shackleton. The tank park was dominated by the only Challenger tank in private
hands, which towered over smaller CVR(T)s.
Friday, the 8th was education day when hundreds of
local schoolchildren descended on the park to learn about life in the Blitz and
to learn skills such as Morse code and hand grenade throwing.
Vehicle owners, traders and re-enactors who turned up early
for the show were treated to the now-traditional Purple Heart disco on Friday night
with Hawaiian shirts being the dress of the day. The Rosebowl for Best in Show
was presented by MVT vice-chairman Peter Hamblin during the Saturday night
Victory Dance. It was awarded to AIPS, the American Infantry Preservation
Society, whose informative Vietnam War display included the only two working M113
armoured personnel carriers in the UK. The London area-based group also took
part in the arena battle. Saturday also saw a low-level display from the RAF’s Lancaster
bomber, with their Spitfire appearing on Sunday.
Show director Tim Hawkes said: “I would personally like to
thank all those who have put their mark on the show, however big or small. Without
this team the show could not go ahead. I would also like to thank Graham Sykes
insurance for their wonderful support of the show and for the Military Trust over
the last 12 months.” There is no Wicksteed at War next year as most of the
volunteers will be in France commemorating the 75th anniversary of
D-day. Pictures and report by Peter Clarke
The Spitfire replica contained many original parts
John and Judith Under- wood with their Home Front display for Education Day
Dean Port told the children all about Morse code
This tent was pitched in the wrong place, so marshals walked it to a new site
Friday night calm before the storm
SEM chairman Ian Gardiner gets out his spanners while Scout Car own Andy Speechley is content to watch
Loud shirts at the Purple Heart disco
Red Coat soldier is under- standably puzzled by the Bf109!
Bentley loves his new 6x6 kennel
Briefing for the Germans
Model tanks were impressive
The Mighty Antar
Getting ready for the Victory Ball
Peter Hamblin presents the Best in Show Rose Bowl to AIPS