Meet the Holme guard

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - YOUR TELEGRAPH - By Robert Alexan­der Robert.Alexan­ Twit­ter: @Peter­broughTel

Hun­dreds of re-en­ac­tors and many thou­sands of vis­i­tors turned up last week­end at the small vil­lage of Holme, turn­ing ev­ery­thing into a vi­sion of the 1940s.

‘Life On The Holme Front’, now in its 12th year, has be­come a hugely pop­u­lar event in the 1940s’ cal­en­dar for many of those who like to take the op­por­tu­nity to dress up, pull on a mil­i­tary uni­form or brush down the gladrags and re-live life as a soldier from var­i­ous armies, or as a civil­ian.

The cold and driz­zle on Satur­day could not be­gin to de­ter the many hardy souls from the var­i­ous re-en­ac­tor groups putting on a stun­ning show of weaponry, noises, bangs and fire­power, while thou­sands of vis­i­tors min­gled among the many tents and mar­quees sell­ing food, clothes and any­thing as­so­ci­ated with times gone by.

Vis­i­tors could take ad­van­tage of rides on tanks, Humvees and a va­ri­ety of mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles of var­i­ous ages, as well as an ex­cel­lent dis­play of clas­sic civil­ian cars.

Chil­dren were get­ting cam­ou­flage paint on their faces and tast­ing food made from strange in­gre­di­ents such as pow­dered egg and bread and drip­ping, while his­tory lessons were given for free so that the im­pact of the event was not lost on them.

Par­ents were not for­got­ten ei­ther, with dozens of stalls sell­ing ev­ery­thing from mil­i­tary mem­o­ra­bilia - so that the very few who were not al­ready dressed up could buy equip­ment ready for next year - to 1940s’ food, house­hold goods and a myr­iad of col­lecta­bles.

As al­ways, the high­light of the event was the won­der­fully or­gan­ised Satur­day evening dance in the Vil­lage Hall, the tick­ets for which were sold out days in ad­vance of the event, which saw hun­dreds of cou­ples dressed in stun­ning 1940s’ at­tire danc­ing the night away to the sounds of Vera Lynn, Benny Good­man, The An­drews Sis­ters, Count Basie and the time­less mu­sic of the Glenn Miller Or­ches­tra.

As the sun rose on a dry Sun­day morn­ing, the many reen­ac­tors who had spent a chilly night un­der can­vas stretched and looked for­ward to a busy Sun­day, while ev­ery­where there was the sound of ba­con siz­zling and the smell of toast, tea and cof­fee.

Or­gan­is­ers Christo­pher and Thomas Cardell were more than pleased with the vis­i­tor num­bers which may yet beat last year’s fig­ure of more than 17,000 at­ten­dees.

They said: “All the car parks were all full on both days. And for the first time ever we’ve had to open up a sec­ond over­flow car park on the Sun­day, as those who didn’t ven­ture out on Satur­day made up for lost time by com­ing in huge num­bers on Sun­day.”

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