Beltring

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Beltring

Postby museumtom on Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:54 pm

Beltring.
We started out on Sunday and went by the 12 50pm flight by Ryanair to Gatwick and then went by train to Paddock green changing trains at Tonbridge, and Redhill. We got to the site around later that afternoon. I was the guest of the renowned entrepreneur Garry O’Brien. Many thanks Garry. We slept with the Paul Reas tent/pitch. Next morning the pallets of stuff for Garry stall including the marquee arrived on site and we had a big erection. After the marquee was up and the lads were sorting out the items for sale I went across to the pitch opposite where they guy there was selling bric a brac incuding a pushbike for 15 smackers. I arranged to hire said bike for a tenner for the week and used all week. Its amazing the amount to space you can cover with a bike and by the time Wednesday came (when the public are allowed in) I knew where everything for sale was and could tell the lads saving them a bit of time. Even on Sunday there were hundreds of stalls already set up and trading. On Monday I set about on me bike in the fields used by the re enactors and vehicles and as you will see from the videos to follow even at that time there were thousands of vehicles there already. I ran out of memory card just as the show opened so you will not see many crowd scenes. Notable people we met during the 9 days were Fran Dalderup, Eddie Wyer, Ronan Caffrey and his wife (who was the Mammy to us all and always had a cup of tea and a bikkie for the Irish lads when they called to their stall. Fermanagh Liam Wallace and his brother was camped behind Garrys stall as were the Cavan McCabes in their dashing USA uniforms wore down many of the hearts of the local girls. Sean Curtis and the his lads were hovering about picking up the bargains. Oreste Cassoni sadly could not make it so two burger vans went out of business. If I have left anyone out please forgive me. When you get to my age you forget stuff, I forget stuff that never even happened!!.
There were loads of re enactors from ww1 and ww2 in their respective uniforms. I also seen a Japanese guy in a Nazi uniform, a Brit in a Japanese uniform, An Ruc Man from the 1960’s� Mountie, the Russians, German Wermacht guys with British accents, British Soldiers with Polish accents, rather large people with little dogs wearing various ‘uni�ms’, one�ung man had all the gear including the AK47 variant for the Afghan border. It was great to see the public getting into the spirit of things dressing up in period clothing and the make up of the period. The land girls were there looking rather fetching in their own pitch.
In attendance also was the most mororised wheelchairs I have seen yet in Beltring. These are usually used by the veterans (mostly) of ww 2
Bedecked with their medals. There motorised wheelchairs could not be used one of the days and the cleaner had plugged out their long lead they used for charging them to use her hoover. Its strage to say that you can get used to the sound of gunfire which was going all the time in the arena. Its only when there is a BIG battle and the shooting is faster than a guy on a rapid drum solo did I bother heading there. Even the tanks firing was just a passing irritation after a while.
The weather was showers and sunshine and I would have burnt to death but for the timely intervention of Matts Cox’s wife � offered me some sun block, will I ever learn? The wife told me before I went to bring it, but did I?…nah (gobs�n).
Strange thing about the English sun, is it really burns.
Food. Just as well we brought provisions like tinned rice, spam, tinned fish, chrisps, bottled water and booze. There were lots of burger and exotic cuisine vans around the place but there is only an certain amount of that one body can tolerate. I would have killed for spuds and cabbage. The drink was around £3 a half li�e plastic glass in the hall and there was usually loud oldie 60s and 70s music in the evening and a band later, free of course. Everyone was up very early in the mornings and you could buy an BAR from 7 onwards.
Prices and stuff. The most ridiculous price I seen at the show was for a BB gun. A BAR BB was £885, a SLR B�was £445. The de a�guns were cheaper than that!! SLRs £350, SMLEs fro�£240, No 4s from�90, Webley 38 from £135, .455 cheape� was 495, Aks from £200, GPMGs around�,300, Vickers around 1,200 including on that was cut away, .30 browning, cant remember, .5 sniper rifle, 2000, Lewis guns 3,600. Cheapest 1907 SMLE bayonet was £50. There were lot�of uniforms and insignia there but I do not know enough about them so left them be.
I was surprised that there were items there for medeval re-enactors, pikes, halberds, chainmail suits, armour plated suits, steel face and head protection and even Roman bits and bobs. It is a great place to buy, source and make contacts for vintage military vehicle parts. One pitch took about a quarter of an acre and he just sold army tents, most of which if not erected were stacked on different pallets. All, and I mean all the different versions of artillery and mortar shells could be bought but as usual were expensive. Items dug from the battlefields of Flanders and France were not expensive but most of it was in relic condition. Unlike last year I did not see any live fuzes for sale which is a good thing.
Mobile phones. We could not add credit to our phones there so we kept them switched off most of the time. This was for two reasons, one I costs us credit to answer a call and two the battery chargers bought in the euro shop that charge the phone from aa and aaa batteries don’t fully work proper�so we conserved power by keeping them off.
Trade. You could literally buy anything you wanted. I did see live ammo including blanks for sale. Flares and Naval parachute rockets were three for a tenner.
Even though I was shopping for everyone I did buy several leather bandoliers, trench art, insignia, a Gatsby cap a few sam browns, leather leggings (for the volunteers re-enactors) two beautiful Naval Binoculars, a full Swiss Medics medical bag, a tilley searchlight from ww2 in new condition on a tripod with a box of old new spares. The Wallaces bought one also and we will have them at Salute and might even light them up. They are really magnificent. For some strange reason the Germans were using a lot of Northern Ireland currency and the English would not take the notes from them so they asked the Irish to change them for British notes. Strange one that. The Germans were staright to deal with as were the Belgians and the French. They preferred euros and would sell you stuff in sterling prices for the same number of euros.
Toile facilities and showers. There were 4 main toilet areas and only two of those you could shower in. The queues were huge for shower and the best time to have one was 4 in the afternoon. There was mud on the shower floors that was walked in from the display areas. I was having a slash as one does and two girls walked in behind me, I must have been in a communal jax or they were desperate. It does’nt half impede ones f�.
Other things. There was a carnival on site for the kids, an owl sanctuary, a place for old raindeer, llamas and shire horses. A wax museum and a Dickensian shopping street. The shops and pub in the street was full and look brilliant. You could see a cooper and a blacksmith at work. I spent a good 20 minutes watching three guys putting up a bell tent. Now I know how to do it instead of the usual half arsed way I did it before.
Next year. I will not be going next year. There was at least an acre of stalls missing from this years show. Trade was down for stall holders. The amount of people through the gate was down and money for spending was in short supply. Haggling was more common than in pervious years and there were less sales on the whole. I heard many stallholders say they would not be back next year, some of them were traders I had always bought from in the past and was one of the reasons for my going to the show.

Behavior. The English were friendly as usual, the Belgians and Germans were very precise in what they said and did not seem to have a sense of humour but would cut a tiny bit of the price if you were persistant. The staff in the pub/hall
were friendly and the drink was not as good as we have it here. I asked for a large jack daniels and although it was cheaper than here it was a shorter measure. The English in the chip vans did not impress me with public relations, speed of serving and did not seem to want to impress anyone with the ‘customer is always righ�attitude. Having said th�I had fish an chips once and it was great. The Thai food van was friendly and the food was great. Walls had ice cream vans in attendance from 7,30 every morning and the ice cream was really nive and the staff were friendly. I bought 5 tickets for a fiver and then had a chance to win a willies jeep. So far I have not heard if I won or not. On the whole I found the whole atmosphere very relaxed and like our Irish shows there was no trouble except the Brits stole the South Africans Flag from their mast ( about 60 feet high). War was not declared and a peaceful time was enjoyed by all.

Five aircraft circled the field at various times. There were different helicopters in use that you could hire to fly you around the show. I would have gone up in one but I had run out of memory in the camera. A Magnificent Lancaster bomber flew twice around the show on two separate days and impressed everyone that was there with the roar of her mighty engines. A Messcherschmitt ( or however you spell it) and a spitfire did the same. One other aeroplave did a flyover also, I am not sure of the name of it but it was like the plane James Garner escaped in in the Great Escape.

I enjoyed the 9 days and can now file it in the back of my mid because there will not be a repeat, but then again, I have changed my mind in the past.
I got to Cork airport on the way back and paid my 68 euro long term car park fees, went to get the car, got to the barrier and it was up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Up I tells ya,
aaaaaaaaarrrrrrgggggggggghhhhh. I need’nt have paid.
I will start �oading videos and pictures over the next few days. Some of these videos might look a bit shaky in places this is due to me cycling holding the camera in my right hand and the handlebars with my left. Yep still mad a hatter.
Here is the first set of a lot to come, enjoy.
Please let me know if you can get the five from this one link.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0p5NxFG9ZiE
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Re: Beltring

Postby museumtom on Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:57 pm

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Re: Beltring

Postby museumtom on Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:37 pm

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Re: Beltring

Postby museumtom on Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:42 am

The other videos taken at the show are too large and too long for utube so thats your lot I am afraid.
Regards.
Tom.
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Re: Beltring

Postby Nerva on Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:26 pm

Sounds like a cracking event Tom :!:
Vale

Marcvs Vlpius Nerva

Legion Ireland - Roman Military Society of Ireland
Pilus Prior Cohors VIII Legionis XX Valeria Victrix

http://www.romanarmy.ie

info@romanarmy.ie

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Re: Beltring

Postby brendan on Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:00 am

Scheduled for deletion as the event has been over for a while
museumtom, make sure you keep a copy of the event report - maybe set up a blog?

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