Jump to content
Adrian Barrell

This hobby

Recommended Posts

How do you all feel about our hobby? Who thinks that reenacting and vehicle collecting/ restoring are all part of the same thing.

 

Recent posts indicate a feeling among many that the two are linked and that is the way the hobby has developed. Others feel, myself amongst them, that they are two distinct but mutually compatable hobbies.

 

This is not an attempt to create a them and us argument, I have no problem with either viewpoint or indeed interest but I have been surprised at some of the comments.

 

I suppose as my vehicle collecting/restoring goes back to the early 1980s, a time when reenactors were seen by most to be playing at soldiers and indeed, many of their vehicles were obviously just another prop for the battle. I know they have moved on a great deal since then and strive to have everything right but I don't see them as MV collectors in the main.

 

I still think it's a little odd to want to live out a weekend or whatever in a living history display and the Germans in the woods at Beltring always leave me shaking my head a little but that's just my view! Not because they portray Germans but just that they want to do it in the first place.

 

As I have said before and indeed photos on here will show, I am quite prepared to wear an appropriate style of dress in a parade or arena but that's as far as it goes for me. I have worked with groups who take great efforts to 'do it right' and I respect them for it.

 

Am I a dinosaur?

 

Your thoughts please.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Adrian,

 

I think it all boils down to one´s personal interest. Some like the mechanical side of things and love to dig deep into the oily bowels of a vehicle. I know guys who restore vehicles and them let them sit as they don´t like driving them.

 

Others like driving vehicles and buy a running one, slap some paint on it and take it to a show or rather, join (HM)V clubs that organise off road drives in sand pits etc.

 

Yet another group of people like the historical research aspect, and spend a huge amount of effort to dig through archives to find out the nitty gritty details of the design, manufacture and use of a type of vehicle.

 

So within the group of HMV enthusiasts there are people with distinctly different interests.

 

In my experience, the people interested in re-enactment, are more interested in the daily life of soldiers. Uniforms, kit, weapons and vehicles are essential parts of this hobby, but not necessarily the main focus.

 

So yes, I see people who combine uniform collecting and vehicle collecting, but it is not the same in my view. While you shake you head when you see reenactors in the Beltring Bush, they will probably shake their heads when they see you digging out a rusty Sherman hulk on a range . . .

 

Being in it for different interests does not mean we cannot enjoy this hobby together, but throwing it all on one big pile is just not going to work.

 

My EUR 0,02 worth,

Hanno

Edited by mcspool
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While you shake you head when you see reenactors in the Beltring Bush, they will probably shake their heads when they see you digging out a rusty Sherman hulk on a range . . .

 

Hanno

 

:-D

 

That may be so, but the rusty hulk is just the start, camping in a ditch seems to be the highlight for some!

 

It should be all things to all men and women and we all want different things I suppose. It's certainly a big enough area of interest to cater for all needs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you all know I'm a member of the Screaming Ducks, we are not a re-enactment group but a living history group. A lot of our members have vehicles and some have more then one. We currently have 23 members and well over 30 vehicles.

 

We do not march, we do not stand at attention etc and only 4 of us do mock battles (and are a member of another group to do that).

 

All we do is try and drive around as much as possible (in uniform) and use our vehicles in our WWII displays. This is how we combine the two hobbies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had always thought that the term living history was coined to give a more respectable title to the reenactment activities. Is there a distinct difference?

 

Is reenactment purely staging battles etc and living history the normal day to day of service (in this case) life?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a distinct difference to us but I agree that the line might not be so clear in the rest of the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As you all know I'm a member of the Screaming Ducks, we are not a re-enactment group but a living history group. A lot of our members have vehicles and some have more then one. We currently have 23 members and well over 30 vehicles.

 

We do not march, we do not stand at attention etc and only 4 of us do mock battles (and are a member of another group to do that).

 

All we do is try and drive around as much as possible (in uniform) and use our vehicles in our WWII displays. This is how we combine the two hobbies.

 

 

Must say, I'm with you with the group I belong to, Easy Company L.H group,......so, in answer to your last question, Adrian, yes, I'd consider portraying the kit, vehicles, and being able to interact with public, living history,.........although, I'm quite willing to accept these could also be considered as reenacting........:)

 

The likes of Operation Balero, vehicle events however I'd say were deffo Living History, though...............although, what do I know.......:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope this is a chat and not a rant, chats are what set this forum apart, Joris et al keep an eye on it.

 

I like the vehicles and associated hardware.

 

Watching them start, stop, manouver and ideally traverse rough terrain as they were designed to do. If they do that on their own or with a back drop (LH) I don't mind.

 

To be honest over the last ten years I appreciate a vehicle more and more for the work that went into restoration than the finished article. There is a big difference between making a vehicle look OK and it being restored to wartime spec. It's a bit like the fibreglass cannons on HMS Victory, looks great but one touch and the illusion is busted. That's why I don't 'get' fake Tigers at LH shows, if it isn't a perfect replica then why bother at all? To me it is those little nuances that set the Vehicle 'restorers' apart from the vehicle 'owners'... if you catch the subtlety.

 

I don't want to own an allied armoured vehicle... I want to restore one.

 

As always nothing is black and white, it's a balance.... do you keep the points in your Lucas fuel pump or replace with the digital controller, it's all hidden under the cap at the end of the day... then you extend that argument to fitting a modern engine as you can't see it with the engine covers closed... see, most reasoning doesn't stand up in every case. Grey - I'd go with the pump and stop at the engine, others would frown even on the pump, other wouldn't care so long as it looks 'the part'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good points.

 

I firmly believe the two planets - MV and LH/re-enactments are in a kind of parallel orbit (I am repeating myself). They sometime get along swimmingly and this is cool. But they are DISTINCT.

 

That said, I am an MV owner with no mechanical skills. Mike Gilman built my MUTT. I love my MV to be bits, I hate a week when I don't drive it. I feel a little bit of a lesser mortal because I am not the man who put it together but every time I do something for it, however small, I feel greater.

 

I want to see the MV/LH worlds continue in harmony and cross-over when appropriate. I like it aesthetically, I enjoy the experience and I love to snap it. But the two worlds also have to keep their separate identities.

I want to see as big a range of vehicles as possible. I don't give a monkeys what the owner/operator's motives are - they are there's - providing I can tap into it in some way to enjoy their hard work and commitment.

 

Jack talks a lot about passion and I use the word a bit, but with increasing care. It can be a little OTT in our conservative world. Things will always change - sometimes for the good and usually as many for ill - but as long as we can all gather in a few fields, whether dressed in uniform or rags; then I will be happy. It comes down to choice and I support everybody's individual decision. I am a semi-fat 50, I'd look bloody silly dressed as Ryans Privates and that's that. German uniforms are a no-no for me, I could not insult the memory of my ancestors. But they often do look amazing...

 

We've discussed this often on the forum and I actually think times are OK, but not meteoric for obvious reasons. The debate doesn't really change, it comes down to personal conscience. What goes around comes around.

 

It's healthy to debate it - a fireside chat - but no more than that please.

 

 

MB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't want a rant either, just after an friendly discussion. I have an opinion but I'm always ready to listen to others.

 

You made an interesting point Andy, I never thought of Bolero as a living history event. It could be different people get different things from the same event. Obviously Beltring is so huge that's a given but it had never occurred to me it may also apply to smaller, more focussed events.

 

All interesting stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed! This is interesting. Bolero point shows more applied thought than I managed.

 

M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good thread,...........not a rant amoungst the replies; :) (wouldn't expect one, on HMVF anyways;)

 

At the end of the day, whatever 'title', we want to hang on OUR HOBBY, as long as the general public, at large know we are doing what we are doing (:???) is out of respect to those who gave so much SO we CAN talk about these subjects.......:sweat:

 

If you get my drift.........:)

 

Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another interesting point Andy!

 

It brings to mind a thread running on WWIIreenacting.co.uk at the moment. It seems there is debate over that point in the living history movement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there are different aspects of the hobby that knit together to form "The Scene".

 

You have the MV collectors who buy a working vehicle, drive to shows to display the vehicle and then drive home again (I think I am in this category, however I would love to do restorations and re-builds but just don't have the facilities)

 

You have the MV collectors that buy vehicles for the purpose of ground up restorations, who may display them a few seasons and sell to buy another project.

 

You have the living history groups who are very serious about what they do and seem to get bit parts in movies and programmes.

 

Then there are the historical types who delve through masses of files, folders and micro fiches to find out all the in depth info.

 

It goes on and on. I especially notice how different the hobby seems to be regarding periods. You have two sections of the hobby in my view. The Second World War group and the post war group. The magazines seem to concentrate too much on the war time vehicles in my view, which is surprising considering it was over 60 years ago.

 

You also have people like me who have served in the forces and like to keep the "feeling" alive by dressing up in green kit and owning a few vehicles and who go to shows at weekends more for the social side than anything else (although I've been actively in the hobby since 1989 and owned and showed vehicles while in the Army)

 

I think they all knit together to provide great entertainment at shows for the public, and as every aspect of military life is covered everyone can get to see all the different aspects of military life under one roof (or should that be field).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a relative newcomer to this I just love getting grubby and fixing things , and with older vehicles the challenge to get parts for them , yes its only a humber pig but the hours so far spent on flea bay getting small bits and pieces is huge.

 

And the things that you learn and pick up on this forum( as I have said in the past )

is priceless and would die out of not passed on.

 

Just one thing on dress at W&P,my first year last year and couldn't get my head around British people dressed in German uniforms, German in English uniforms and a Italian pipe band . Makes the mind boggle , but as Dave Allen used to say may your god go with you

 

Jamie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re-enacting and military vehicle preservation are two totally different things. I do not see any need to dress up in uniform to show a vehicle to the public. No one really expects some one who owns say a bus, or a lorry belonging to a carrier such as Pickfords to dress up to show these vehicles, why is it any different for Military vehicles. The truth is that I am old and grey, wear glasses and hearing aids. No matter how hard I try to dress up I would look like someone from the set of Dad's Army.

 

Nothing strikes me as dafter than an SAS Jeep, with Brownings and all the kit driven by a portly old gentleman, who looks like he should actually be in the Home Guard, not the SAS....

 

If the re-enactors looked like the 18- 25 year old who, (mostly) fought the war, I could see some point but as most of us are ludicrously too old and too unfit to run across Gold beach, under machine gun fire, I think dressing up just makes us look silly....

 

(there's your token rant....)

Edited by antarmike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest catweazle (Banned Member)

I supose i will have to be the one that mentions there is defenitely a dark side to some of this dressing up.I sometimes worry when i see some very young lad dressed up as the 101st walking beside his parents at Chatham military fair looking so serious and like he is on patrol.otheres there are great dressed up but larking about and enjoying themselves.The german problem,i found myself discussing this with a well respected member of HMVF,my thoughts were i supose it could be acceptable as the people doing it probably are young enough not to have any lasting feelings about ww2,the same as i dont about ww1.After all they could be romans.greeks.the sealed knot.its just an interest.With much shaking of there head they informed me that they personally knew of German reenactors ,many were ex army,most served in N/Ireland

it seems they have some symphathy with the German Beliefs and ideals especially in the early days.He said this has come about due to the position this country finds itself in due to years of mismanagement .i dont need to mention the problems i am sure we all know what they all are.I can see there point of view and recognise the similarity with the early days before the war.i am not saying i believe the way they

decided to cure them was right.I dont dismiss these people as nutters either history has proved its fatal to ignore such groups.we have one now gaining popularity and its not thro just the votes of people wanting to send a message to there own party.

Allthough i have dressed up for Chatham i find the civilian reenactors fantastic.On the whole i think dressing up having a laugh is fine .

The day we dont need to put on a uniform for fun or for real will be a Landmark day.Just my opinion.CW.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Its only a humber pig

 

Only a Humber Pig, that became one of the British Army's longest serving vehicles, in one of its longest conflicts, there are an awful lot of ex squaddies out there who have seen plenty of action in a Pig.

 

Loggydriver hit the nail on the head for me:

You also have people like me who have served in the forces and like to keep the "feeling" alive by dressing up in green kit and owning a few vehicles and who go to shows at weekends more for the social side than anything else.

 

I bung on my old tankies coveralls D.I. the pig, drive in convoy to the shows and set up my basha and get the brews on and talk/get hands on with the greasy bits of vehicles, if it looks like a proper military camp, thats because i use the same kit as i used when i was in service, if it looks like "Living History" then so be it, however i am not a fan of trying to live somebody elses war, that i had nothing to do with.

But it has a place, although some "Living History" types seem to get a bit too misty eyed about what they are doing, doing it for the veterans etc which i personally find a bit creepy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, more very good points. This sort of stuff gets to the heart of things and makes HMVF what it is.

 

As said, I like variety. John's point about 'fun' is what it should all be about. I have to say John, your point about detachment from WW1 (for want of a finer description) is excellent. You have to want it to reach you I suppose. My family's involvement in it guided me towards a deep and abiding interest, I suppose the word is "love" for it.

 

I have idealogical issues with the Germans thing. They killed my grandfather in simplistic terms and destroyed my family. But the truth is that it takes two to tango. Nothing is simple and wars need sides. I admit to being detached from the Holocaust because although it was singularly the most monstrous crime of the millennia it wasn't part of my family's experience. They fought and died at sea, struggled with disease and lived through the Blitz and the V weapons. I really hope I can get someone to give a free and frank insight into it, because I have to see the majority of groups I've seen are bloody stunning. The quality of detail and presentation/impression is awe inspiring. But I can't say I will ever wholly approve. I am prepared to be persuaded.

 

Meanwhile my love of MVs never diminishes. I just wish I could separate spanners from the other metal pointy things.

 

So onwards with the open mind.

 

MB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest catweazle (Banned Member)

I think we all can relate to mechanical things regardless of nationality,its a how did they do that thing.I to find the German thing a little worrying but it has me in stitches when you hear a jordie accent coming from the mouth of Heir ointment.

I was told very little about how our familly suffered maybe a good thing,i have very little attchment therefore.all i know is my dad was captured at tobrook the second time round,lived in the sewers for a while till wounded .Was a prisnor of war with the italians who were very good to him.Then was on the famous mountain march to Germany where those that fell stayed behind.When found he weighed six stone spent a year in the nut house,and was to become a workaholic ,therefore i never saw a lot of him so was robbed of a father.He threw his medals in the dustbin when they arrived.my mother rescued them and till the day he died he never knew.My sister gave them and his beret to a musuem who were interested.

These are things that arnt reenacted and i supose i am saying thats why some of it which is allmost celebrating war i find a bit worrying.The events like Chatham where there is no battles etc i find more acceptable.maybe its just the fighting bit that gives me the ache.Then again i will watch the Rounheads and cavaleers beating the crap out of each other ok.As you say its the association.CW.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will add that I am entitled to wear the beret of the RLC, uniform and badge of rank that I attained. My big pet hate is people wearing badges of rank and cap badges that they are not entitled to wear.:stop:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is a great thread. All the comments are interesting, but I find the points of CW, Loggydriver and Antarmike particularly so. I think the varied replies here go a long way to illustrate the initial point. We are all attracted to our own area of the MV/Re-enactment/Restoration movement and for most of us the different areas will sometimes overlap. Personally, I am happy to have prevented another historic vehicle going to the scrapper or decaying in a hedge. I hope to take it to shows eventually, but it will not be as it was when in service, soI probably won't bother dressing up in correct military garb to accompany the lorry. I have a fairly relaxed view about things, but think that if people want to re-enact a period or particular part of the services, that's fine by me. They obviously enjoy doing that as much as I enjoy playing with the Explorer and although I don't fully understand WHY someone would want to spend the weekend laying in a ditch in authentic dress, I don't feel I should think they are 'odd' in any way. I can understand CW and Loggydriver's concerns about people become attched to a uniform they have never worn and are never likely to, as I think the whole ethos of the movement should be about enjoyment and fun with like-minded folk, not about trying to make others think you are something you are not. As for the concerns about re-enacting as German forces, well it's all a part of our history and I think it would be odd to just sweep it under the carpet, although I absolutely understand the feelings of those who have been affected by the actions of those other forces in the past. I'd love to hear some more views on this.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Its only a humber pig

 

Only a Humber Pig, that became one of the British Army's longest serving vehicles, in one of its longest conflicts, there are an awful lot of ex squaddies out there who have seen plenty of action in a Pig.

 

Loggydriver hit the nail on the head for me:

You also have people like me who have served in the forces and like to keep the "feeling" alive by dressing up in green kit and owning a few vehicles and who go to shows at weekends more for the social side than anything else.

 

I bung on my old tankies coveralls D.I. the pig, drive in convoy to the shows and set up my basha and get the brews on and talk/get hands on with the greasy bits of vehicles, if it looks like a proper military camp, thats because i use the same kit as i used when i was in service, if it looks like "Living History" then so be it, however i am not a fan of trying to live somebody elses war, that i had nothing to do with.

But it has a place, although some "Living History" types seem to get a bit too misty eyed about what they are doing, doing it for the veterans etc which i personally find a bit creepy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting thread, well done for initiating it Adrian. Whilst in general I have no problem with reenactors/ LH I do have serious reservations regarding those who portray the SS. A few years ago at Kemble their behaviour, which I witnessed, resulted in a ban by the MVT and quite rightly so. I think the differences between LH and our vehicle hobby can sometimes become very blurred, Bolero as was suggested being a good example but I could list several more.

Although what I do I certainly do for fun and enjoyment rememberance is never far from my thoughts, Andy put it very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...