Monday, 18 July 2011

Camp Follower

Yesterday saw us at English Heritage's annual Festival of History at Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire. Evidence of it being taken down a notch or two was apparent, with no Vulcan bombers strafing Civil War pikesmen and extremely indifferent service at one of the Bacon Roll counters (bacon placed outside the roll). Perhaps there was a war on. But still much to enjoy, with Roman Legionaries talking into mobiles (sinister dexter) the good ole executioner waving an axe about and telling six year olds about dismemberment, and a Lost Boy. (Sign here if you want him back.) Lovely stuff. For me though it's the brilliant photo opportunities, as once again an afternoon of July showers meant fabulous sky backdrops and stage lighting. I can't tell you anything historically accurate about these pics, particularly concerning the corrugated iron hut. But how could I resist it?

13 comments:

Philip Wilkinson said...

Lovely images. It may be sad, but I can get quite excited about a corrugated-iron hut.

Peter Ashley said...

Oh so do I Wilko. I think I may well end up living in one, writing by an oil lamp as rain drops tattoo on the roof.

Jon Dudley said...

Corrugation...gets me every time. These events are so quintessentially English aren't they? Unless one of your may overseas blogrupies tells us different...oh, and in another place, the goggles? Nice touch...will we be be vouchsafed more?

Peter Ashley said...

Thankyou Jon, and yes, Goggle Films are about to start shooting on the mean streets of the City of Leicester.

Stephen Barker said...

I too spent some time at Kelmarsh on Sunday. I missed the tin hut, but did observe the women in the fur coat in the car, who seems to have spent all day sitting in the car. Not having a camera with me I was'nt able to photograph the Monk tinkering with the engine of a Jeep belonging to a bunch of Paratroopers.

I believe some of the neighbours object to the level of noise from events at Kelmarsh. What intrigues me is why does anyone what to dress up as Gwerman WWII soldiers , given the unsavoury reputation of The Third Reich?

Jon Dudley said...

Stephen has a point asking about people dressing up as WW2 German soldiers. Not something I'd want to do, but I have a chum who's into the old military vehicle scene and took his truck back to Normandy for a D Day anniversary. Not only were people dressed up as Allied and German troops, but they also re-enacted some landing scenes for the benefit of the huge crowds including veterans of both sides...including falling on the beaches as if shot. Now this chum found the whole thing distasteful and disrespectful, BUT, many of the veterans he spoke to were completely unfazed by the whole affair - maybe they'd seen so much of the real thing, a charade was, well, just that. `You pays yer money' I guess.

Peter Ashley said...

Very interesting comments. Personally I found it amusing to talk to a Stormtrooper with a Geordie accent as he allowed me to try on his wire spectacles. Normandy veterans gave wholehearted support and extremely positive comments about Spielberg's remarkable and visceral Saving Private Ryan. They didn't find it distasteful, and they wouldn't for a 'live' version I'm sure.

Jon Dudley said...

Sorry - blog creep..addressing the subject of that particularly 1950s British comic book series 'The Combat Picture Library'. I'm sure me and thousands of other boys were brought up on this stuff with its battle cries of "Achtung", "Donner und Blitzen" and "Himmel" being readily transferred to the playground. Robert Fisk in the Indie writes a very PC deconstruction of these 'dreadful' comics berating them on so many levels. As we swapped the dog-eared copies between us and formed ourselves into battalions of Desert Rats and Africa Corps we were sadly ignorant of these matters.

Sue said...

Needless to say, dressing up in your grandfather's old uniform is not exactly encouraged here in Germany. In fact, there are some pretty strict rules and laws about when and where 3rd Reich insignia can be displayed.

I've often had to remember to hide the 70s "Escape from Colditz" game when they come round to read the meter as I don't want anyone getting the wrong impression!

Jon Dudley said...

Now you're talking Sue!...somewhere amid the detritus that is laughingly called the attic I too have that game, also other 70s faves like 'Dad's Army' and 'Car Dealers'. You wouldn't want to be caught with the Dad's Army game particularly, what with all those little triangular Union Jacks and Swastikas as players pieces...'Dont panic Mr.Ashley', etc.

Peter Ashley said...

Brilliant Sue. I have an old friend whose father was in the July plot to assasinate Hitler and so got strung up with piano wire. We tended to skirt round that, but he still insisted on arriving at dinner parties in his dad's spare uniform

Sue said...

I'm now intrigued by the Dad's Army game - my deprived childhood didn't include that one. Was it "see how many fuzzy-wuzzies you can impale on Jonesie's bayonet" or something equally un-pc?

The Germans are still cautious about bringing Hitler out of the bunker and into the open, even as a figure of fun, although that seems to be changing - see trailer for new film coming out this year:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRUZp6gpwb0

Peter Ashley said...

Loved that trailer- shades of Mel Brooks' The Producers. I suppose German film makers have been emboldened by the success of the stunning Downfall.