CVI arrived Friday afternoon on site at Ashdown WW2 Camp, Badsey, Evesham to set up the stand amongst a field of early birds that had been on site for a day or so already. Flanking the entrance track up to the arena to the left were heavy trucks and tracked armour made up in part of Scammells, Buick M18 Hellcat, FV32’s and FV430 Abbot Tanks. To the right there were beach areas parked up with Ex-SAS pink Panther Land Rovers and U.S Landing craft such as the FMC LTV-4 Water buffalo and GMC 353 DUKW.
Walking around the show ground Friday you can really tell how Wartime in the Vale has matured and grown in size. Even the Ashdown WW2 camp has outgrown its previous armoury in a rail carriage now taking up residence in a newly erected nissen hut, No. 11. By Saturday morning all of the display areas were filled with the various 450+ pre-booked military vehicles, 250+ Re-enactors. Following its excursion into the centre of Evesham for breakfast we were greeted on site with the Buick M18 Hellcat Tank and a Jeep on display at our stand. Later that day I was given a blast around the arena in the very same Tank (Thank you Mr Phelps), a great experience that made braving the following downpour all the more worthwhile.
This year the shows focus commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and in the top corner of the show ground was a full size replica of a Spitfire with working Merlin engine. This ran at various points in the day but seeing it literally being fired up in the dark, spitting flames and cackling away at 10:30 at night was amazing.
Throughout the weekend the arena saw various Military Vehicles from static display on parade, numerous entertaining explosions from Artillery gun firing to Battles and pyrotechnics. Not forgetting the CVRT Scorpion driving display from the ‘Alvis fighting vehicle society’ and the heatwave generated by the fireballs!!
Sunday the weather was glorious and along with the air display drew out the biggest crowds I’ve ever seen at the event. Wartime in the Vale is a well thought out show that has something for everybody of all ages something the organisers, Paul Valiadis, Amy Jelfs and the rest of the organising team should be proud of.
I’ll leave you with this video of the Water Buffalo at Wartime in the Vale 2015 on its last trip before being whisked away by low-loader!!
See you next year at Ashdown WW2 Camp for Wartime in the Vale 2016.
Greg Ikin CVI.
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