Jump to content

The War & Peace Revival 2013 Review


Recommended Posts

I hope no one minds me starting a thread for this, but I think it is worthy of a seperate thread to the 'Reporting Live' one. (Perhaps a freindly Mod could pull out the posts from that one that might be better suited here.)


I just got back from a fantastic few days of great company and El Alamein weather conditions.

I will happily admit I liked Beltring's layout, it was cosy, we knew where things were, but there is no doubt there was room for improvement with regard the facilities.


As mentioned elsewhere we do invariably 'fear change' and over time become accustomed to what we're used to and whether we have issues with the old or not, will allways try to find fault in what it's replacement is. With this in mind I think it's worth while listing the good points and those that could do with a bit of attention (in a constructive way please otherwise it just becomes a bitch-fest)




  • Loved the size of living history and the fact you could look over the area from a higher vantage point.
  • Although the oneway system worked I must agree that taking the vehicles through the arena will need looking at in the future, also it was noted that on one of the evening drive-outs all the vehicles led by a marshall went the wrong way causing confusion with oncoming traffic obeying the one way system.
  • The Showers and loos; It was lovely to have an increase in the numbers available and there is nothing that can be done about the amounts of dust traipsed in and becoming muddy. It was impressive that there were very noble ladies stationed at the shower blocks during the day and they did their best battling the conditions I note though that other than a bit of 'spattering' and that resulting from flushing issues, there is no excuse for the filth generated in the loos. My 3 year old has batter toilet etiqute (for want of a better phrase) and to think we're supposed to be dealing with adults:undecided:. There were issues regarding water pressure which resulted backing up loos, (really not pleasant) and cold dribbly showers (inconvenient at best...soapy and unrinsed at worst)
  • The Arena; Sadly I didn't get to see too much of this however I did think that compared to Beltring, the lack of a bank was evident and sadly missed. The bank provided a perfect place to watch the arena goings-on whilst having a rest from the stalls or wandering around the vehicles. As it is now means there will be fewer spectators able to see and indeed willing to do so if they've got to stand or peer through 3 or 4 people in front. The grandstands are unfortunately too far away to be of much use in this respect.
  • Kitchener's field really needs some surface work before it can be used to camp on. The stubble /weeds were pretty prevelant throughout and aren't an ideal campsite.
  • Food; the same old burger vans were pretty poor value but hey ho all the more reason to either supply your own or support the fantastic local facilities and to this end I cannot praise the Airport Cafe highly enough. The Naafi Shop was handy but crikey the prices were pretty extravagant, and clearly marked up hugely from the local Tesco. The excuse that they had to pay for their site and overheads doesn't wash as surely this is a facility put on by the W&P organisers rather than a 3rd party and as such needn't pay the organisers for the pitch




All in all I thought it was a good show and a great turnout, I think on the whole people will forgive the majority of the issues as obviously being a first year at a new site there are going to be teething problems and areas that can be addressed, but I think if they are not acted upon people will very quickly get fed up again.


I'm not griping, I loved being there and will certainly come back but will I bring my own food?...Well yes I always do, own shower?...probably. Hire a loo?...as a group probably but huge thanks to all involved in putting it on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 71
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I went purely as a member of the public this year due to work commitments and agree with much that has been said above and elsewhere.

However, again I think to some degree we all fear change and must look at the new site as an egg that can hatch into something spectacular.

If on the whole the site is suitable and can be used for the future, I would imagine that much can be done with it.

Yes, it was dusty but direct drilling grass both ways at a fairly decent seed rate would provide good, stable camping, good dust suppression and also help if things turn wet (the light soil will also be a godsend in this case as it should be free draining)


As far as the layout goes, I must say I stood in awe looking across the site as it looked like some massive resupply and maintenance camp getting ready for a big offensive push !


People are looking back at Beltring with rose-tinted specs as I seem to remember more and more people moaning year after year right until the end about the site, layout and facilities.

Rather than moan about something put on for your enjoyment, look at what could be done to improve any issues and make sure next year really is the start of something good.

As many keep saying, the show is only a show when we all turn up and make it so.

Therefore make sure all points are addressed and sorted - although this depends on the willingness of the organisers to listen and act but I am sure they will as they now have more control.


BTW, seeing Ricks Cromwell finally completed was the highlight of my day.

Well done mate. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I arrived Wednesday evening, as a seller, I'd seen the traders layout and choose to go to the very bottom row (EE on the traders map), to be as far away from the train line/motorway (traffic noise related reasons). My friend and I arrived late afternoon and were directed to the public car park, to wait for the vehicle movement restriction to be lifted at 6pm.

We booked in, found our pitch and all was good.

As previously said, the traders layout was very similar to the hop farm, and many traders had kept to their old spot, so to speak. Over the course of Thursday, Friday and Saturday, I did get to talk to many of the traders, with varying commets of, not mant buyers (i.e coming to the top of the traders field) to business as normal for others. I found having moved from my old pitch of S1, to row EE, that all the old faces and friends still found me and I could catch up with them, as is normal, when many come from as far away as Australia ! I managed to clear some of my excess clutter and with some money in my pocket, I can continue to enjoy my collecting hobby for the future. We did get caught up in the exclusions zone of stalls on Saturday morning, due to the incident of the flash bang, apparently it had been bought on a stall nearby and the EOD came and checked/cleared the stall I believe, we lost a couple of hours trading, but at least it was all dealt with professionally and swiftly.

Now to the show itself, evening entertainment and venues, were the same as the hop farm, plenty of variety of music and entertainment, the Bevan Boys and Three Belles on Thursday evening was briliant ! Of couse the burlesque in the Jazz bar, is also one to look out for ! (don't tell my wife).

The layout of the show, as was at hop farm, does take some getting used to, getting your bearings is straight forward as you can see most of the show area, from where ever you stand.

Vehicle displays and re-enactment displays, to me, seemed better, as it was in a more dedicated area, and there seemed to be more of it. The standard of displays just seems to get better also and I appreciate the effort needed to try to get things just right.

Dust was a major issue, but as we all know, when you have large vehicles and 1000's of pairs of feet, this just cannot be prevented and the organisors were wetting down the track ways as best as possible, but with wall to wall sunshine and a strong wind, it was a loosing battle. Being British, it was the main topic of conversation, but everyone agreed dust was better than rain !

Toilet and showers, I think were improved on, compared to the hop farm, again this is also ways a main gripe at any major show and I think a great deal of effort has been made to get things right.

So that is my view of the show, and all I can say, Thankyou Mr Cadman and your team, I'll be back for more !

Regards Gary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mixed feelings about Westenhanger site . The main arena definetly doesn't work , did not get to see any of the re, enactments this year due to its location , they need football stadium style stands to help or something to raise the crowd close to the action . Also struggled like hell with getting purchased heavy goods back from the traders store to my camping location on the 2 mile away public camping drag strip , it was only through someone elses rule breaking on vehicle movements and a German dealers loan of his trolley that we got it back to our vehicles , still took 2 hrs out the day though . Have to say so far Beltring was better , and wasn't impressed with the toilets especially to hear about the ladies messing over the seats ? whats wrong with these people ?? . if it continues on this site I can see why more and more people bring motorhomes , caravans and porta loos due to poor layout and infrastructure . Beltring anyday sadly:shocked:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Positives though were , the vintage village , the tea rooms absolutely fantastic and also the roast carverys in the grandstand , good value , good service and great food . If the public camping area can be relocated closer to the traders and the main arena reworked , increased showers and toilets it could be a winner .;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thoroughly enjoyed the seven days I was there , good friends , good beer and great vehicle displays , showers and toilets VAST improvement from Beltring , I liked the " in " arena organisation and the circuit suited the Pig ( first time I've ever had her up to 4th gear in the arena :D ) but I did miss a raised vantage point when viewing from outside I admit ! I had been disappointed when it was announced that the show location moved to Hellfire Corner as I enjoyed Beltring so much but the extra 25 or so miles in the Pig where well well worth it ( even being stung by a bee which came through the front visor on the way home :wow: )! Kitcheners field camping surface could be improved greatly by a bit of grass ! Also missed seeing an off road competition organised for the heavy vehicles ! I'll end by saying a MASSIVE thank you to everyone that worked so hard to put the show on and Defo see you next year ! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This was my first W+P as an exhibitor, having bough my first M/V last year (for the last 9 years or so I have been a MOP)


Have to agree with all that's has been said so far, but definitely more toilets and showers needed for Kitchener's field (some grass would be nice too!) and more toilets around the stall area. Heard a few grumbles from the traders that sales were down (they put this down to too big a site and people no longer being funnelled through the stall area to the display field as at Beltring).


Personally I though the number of re-enactors in attendance and the size/quality of the battles was down on previous years.


The site could also benefit from a land train (this would also help with carrying back all the those 'essential' bargains).


Overall I liked the feel of the new site, meals in the grandstand (carvery and breakfast) were exceptional value and the daytime/evening entertainment (Satin Dolls especially...) was very good.




None really probably only the toilet/showers and I think the layout of M/V's in Kitchener's was haphazard, at one point I was in a line of M/V's by the time I left I was surrounded by campers, tents, cars etc some of which had no M/V with them, there appeared to be no order at all. These are all teething problems to be expected with a new site etc.


Roll on next year!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Different...and we don't "do" different :)


I thought it was great, and the organisation on the whole was very slick and professional. There appeared to be many more officials/marshalls on hand this year...and thats a good thing.


I did not like the one way system, but what I did like was the organisers then made the part between Kitcheners and the exit two way, cordoned off for each direction...I don't know if that was planned or whether that was from feedback...either way it shows they were thinking on their feet and made adjustments....good-o.


I liked the format of the living history camps, laid out in cronological order, and it all had a much more "open" feel to the site.


Well done guys...and considering this was first year at site, bloody amazing!!!


ps...I haven't taken all the purchases out of the landrover yet....not quite sure how to break it to the missus that the kids cant eat this week!! :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've been regular attendees from Glasgow for the last 13 years, purely as spectators..


We loved Beltring, but it did seem to be scaling down a bit since the wet one in 2007, especially our favourite, Rolling Thunders arena battles and also the mass US/German battles Nevertheless, we still love the event and base our whole years holidays etc around it.


This year was obviously a suck-it-and-see. Can't speak directly for the exhibitors, re-enactors and traders, but from our point of view, access was as good as ever to most areas, as was the trade stand area. Grub/beer good, don't mind the prices, as we're only there the one day (..if we lived closer, we'd be MV owners and more involved), so for a first go at a new site it was an excellent effort. Well done all round..


Two major gripes though...


Arena viewing was absolutely hopeless and very uncomfortable. The old bank was sorely missed as it afforded a panoramic view and in total comfort to take the weight off our feet and relax as we ate and drank (..life doesn't get much better than a pint of Spitfire in one hand and a hogroast roll in the other kicking back on the hill watching the various events.. our favourite!!) If anything puts us off the W&P show, it'll be the lack of the bank or similar.


Toilets.. Don't use them much, but on the occasions we did, they were disgusting! What kind of people crap on the pan, seat, walls, cistern and floors? But thats really the peoples fault and not the organisers. Unreal! The ladies lavs fared no better so I'm told.


All in all we did enjoy the day very much, but please sort out the arena viewing. My feet were killing me trying to stand and watch the goings-on and had to give in on many occasions.


Steve and Michelle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Again, agree with most of the comments. The really big potential problem was the lack of a decent cover of turf over large areas of the site - areas that had just been left fallow I suspect after crops. If there had been rain, the show would have been a real mess and places like Kitchener's Field would have been a nightmare to camp on. Hope these areas are properly levelled and seeded for next year so it is able to withstand normal weather! They did try hard to keep toilets and showers clean - an uphill struggle in the conditions - why the heck they cannot re-design these portable ablutions so they can be readily sluiced out I do not know. Jeez - things have moved on since the 50s - why can't they figure out more hygienic blocks? Another gripe most folk had was the maze-like layout of many areas with fences and ditches creating dead ends and back-tracking. Also I thought the vehicle displays could still be improved with more effort to create cohesive areas in a single theme - too much mixing of American and British - although that is something the exhibitors could take onboard and our group of WW2 motorcyclists intends combining with a British armoured display to create a bigger single-theme area that is more then just a collection of green vehicles. I also noted lots of support cars still in evidence - having an Espace parked up next to a WW2 display is annoying in the extreme! But those are the gripes and notes for improving what is already a cracking show! Well done to the organisers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well on the whole I thought it was pretty good, ok Kitcheners was a bit rough for camping but I've camped on a lot worse,

toilets and showers on Kitcheners was a bit grim at times for the amount of people there, yes it was a slog to get around

at times in the sun I must admit it passed through my mind to waylay one of those invalid scooter things, the biggest gripe

we had was not with the organisers but on Tuesday morning when we got there was with a group that had marked off a large

area and had 2 vehicles, on we set up our tents and then were told this is reserved for our group who are coming and we were asked to move which we did only to see only 2 more vehicles arrive and over half the area that was roped off left empty, the

encampment next to us was set up when we arrived on Tuesday and Friday night people started to come and fill it up, next year

we will be there over 500 miles for the round trip but it's worth it


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think one or two are assuming the dusty stuff will turn to a bog if it rains...

Well, in truth, I think if one year it does rain and people are sensible about vehicle movements, you will find that due to the very light soil (which blows when dry !!) the ground will drain very quickly. Also, the whole site is on a slope so again this will help.

I have already heard that grass will be drilled for next year and if this is done with minimal disturbance (Direct or min-till) then I reckon the site will become a very good area which can stand a variety of weather.


Toilets - well having been involved with running various rallies and shows over the years I can assure you that the general public (and exhibitors) can be worse than pigs. We always used to find that the womens toilets were the worst !

The trouble is that as the toilets get more use, people tend to 'hover' rather than sit. This then leads to the same problem Bomber Command suffered when bombing Berlin - 'creep back'....:-D

Eventually they even stand on the seat, lean against the cistern, etc, etc.

Grim reading but its the truth.


I'm sure you all are sensible, well mannered people but not everyone is like that.

Spare a thought for the poor bugger's who have to go and clean it up...


Anyway, I am sure the organisers will read a lot of this and act accordingly.

You have to remember that if it was a total flop then there would be no point in investing for next year but I think now they will be able to look at ground conditions and also maybe even a big viewing bank for the arena.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We used the bog at the end of H Jones field (I think!). The ones nearest the entrance. There seemed to be a lad there all day cleaning and re-supplying.


Bless him, he was most embarrassed when I thanked him for his good work!




Mind you the showers adjacent would have benefited from running water...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Left the site today and there were a sea of porta loos over H jones. What would the loos be like without people hiring in their own? Used the one by the entrance and it seemed clean and tidy but it was early and the chap was there cleaning away

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As many have said at any event there will be highs & lows. On balance there far more highs than lows for me.



Stopping for a break in Haywards Heath through choice where I had a burst a tyre on a previous trip to W&P.






All the glue holding the interior insulation firm despite the heat (see another thread)



Seeing a water jerrican in its original BROWN paint. (see another thread)




Seeing some classic stationery!






Seeing this line up parked next to me.







Being able to shower & use the loo with relative ease & comfort. Although it could be confusing at times.





Seeing Dale’s son Ashley presenting the Dale Prior Memorial Trophy to Roger Graystone for again winning best Humber 1 Ton award.









Long journey there & losing an hour due to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which was something of a paradox! On the return journey getting caught up in Hastings with a festival of pirates.


Late night noise (see another thread)


Missing half of the show, as all but one day hay fever took its toll requiring lying down with useless & painful eyes kept shut each afternoon.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haven't read the previous comments, no time yet.

My opinion in short.


Some minor negatives, which are probably meantioned earlier in this thread.


I heard toilets were a problem.

Apart from the toilets opening on monday or so no problem there.

We were near the booking in and the toilets were being kept clean and stocked with soap and paper.


One way traffic, sometimes a nuisance but could be helpful to avoid confusion.

Also a bit of discipline and order wasn't a bad thing.


Driving through the arena while not going into it for display was a bit weird at first but I liked it.

We were in Mat's special forces Mutt in the arena when is conked out. Officials very helpful, we got a tow start and discovered the fuel filters were clogged with junk.

Got it started and just got out of the arena when it stopped again.

Officials offered a tow back to our pitch. So again very helpful.


So it was positive for us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a visitor to the show (not camping or exhibiting) the new site worked a lot better. The vehicle movements via the ring road made it feel a lot safer on foot, and led to some good photo opportunities. Overall it felt a lot more family friendly. It felt much better organised and very smooth, even when the unusual stuff happened.


That said there were two problems where improvement could really benefit the show next year.

1) the arena is very difficult to see as it seems to be sloped away from the viewing public.

2) the dead-ends through the living history displays were a nightmare to navigate and wasted a lot of time/energy trying to get through to the vehicles. I met a lot of folks who found the same as the paths and ditches weren't shown on the map or marked as dead ends.


I found the loos a lot better than previous shows - generally clean and well maintained, and more of them in good locations. On occasion there was clearly someone a bit mentally unwell doing things to them. While unpleasant, that can't be helped. It didn't look like the work of vandals.


I didn't see any soap in the loos for the course of the weekend though, which would have helped a lot (note to traders - some gel hand lotion might be a good seller next year).


The new food area worked very well, especially with the extra space next to the arena and up in the stands. The stands also offered a much better view of the arena, albeit too far away to see any detail.


Looking around the show on Sunday the vehicles seemed to be spread a bit thin. I don't know how many had left early but there were a lot of empty spaces. Hopefully next year it'll be a bit more packed, as it was a long way around with everything so spaced out. Given the distance to get back to the arena/food area a bit of shade/rain cover half way around or so would be nice.


Overall we had a great weekend though, much better than the Hop Farm albeit less to see. Keep the momentum going and hopefully it'll grow back to what it was with a far better basis to build on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I loved the show but for me there were issues.The living History field I thought was Badly laid out.The one way system which was put in place cut the Displays in Half.The public only walked through one side of the field and never came to where I was or indeed the other living history Displays beside me.This happened throughout the week and was a shame considering the considerably effort everyone had made.Lack of any kind of cashpoints was a major issue not only for myself but other people at the show.We walked to the local service station and rest stop to find the cashpoints empty and inoperable which left us having to withdraw euros from the only cash point available and converting back to sterling at the bureau de change!.I also thought the stalls weren't as well laid out as Beltring as they wherein 2 areas of the venue and not all together as usual.Apart from that I enjoyed myself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As many have said at any event there will be highs & lows. On balance there far more highs than lows for me.



Stopping for a break in Haywards Heath through choice where I had a burst a tyre on a previous trip to W&P.






That's very funny. Did they try and move you on again?


Which vehicles won the Best British WW2 softskins?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got home last night @ 23:00 tired and knackered after 3 return trips from the site starting at 06:00 to get the OT up to Damyns Hall and off loaded - then back to pack up the kit and get the Landie and trailer home before returning with the missus in the evening to retrieve the caravan.

My take on the show is positive - the new venue was good and, certainly in the interests of domestic harmony, the vintage village was a great success as my wife had a lovely time there. We were based in Kitchener's and, as stated some heft weed killer and grass planting would do wonders for that zone. I wondered if the ruts were there as a form of speed control..:) Certainly entering the field and driving up it was an "interesting" experience... :)

Moved into the site on Friday and there were no loo's, showers or running water till late Sunday, early Monday which was a bit awkward - the only water supplies were down by the starting block. That said - I did overhear Rex giving the water firms a talking to about the fact they were late in getting things up and running - apparently their boss thought by "start of show" Rex had meant the Weds.... :) He knows better now! :) When the loo's did open they got bad quickly (you do have to wonder at some people!!) - but - on the Weds we had attendants in place and the conditions soon improved. Certainly there were more loos and showers available to every one and of better quality then at Beltring.

The one way system was awkward at first - especially as the OT was located in Living History and we had to traverse the whole central block to get to the arena entrance and on the first days last run got blocked out by two Landies and two Jeeps. Credit to the arena staff though - the very next day they moved the choke point back to the start of the fairground fencing to keep the track way open. For the first couple of days we were told the arena gate nearest us was only for re-enactors use but this too was soon changed and we could then use that one. Saved the poor guy who had to walk in front a lot of sore feet. :) Hiking from Kitcheners to Living History and back each days was a killer in the heat though......

In the LH area - on the first day or two the crowd moved around the track way and only noticed the parts of the area adjacent to the track. Very few wandered down the paths. We were supposed to have 3 school groups come and visit on the Weds - never saw one but saw loads walking along the track way..... After the first day or so the walking public were directed up into the non-digging area of LH but, although there were plenty of crossing points again few came over as they had no idea what was there. Perhaps for future events some sign boards at the crossing points directing the to the groups in the inner areas might be a good idea???

Food and drink - beer prices were horrendous!! I've no idea if Rex has any control or say in this area but if he has then a reduction to more normal levels next year would be good. Some of our guys went to Gingers and reported it as being nearly empty - most unusual... Same for food although the burger bar in the LH field seemed the best value with a 1/2lb cheese burger at £4 compared to nearly £6 up in the food areas. The tea rooms and NAAFI van were excellent though. Prices not too bad and excellent quality. Some of the public had funny looks when the saw a bunch of dirty Russians sitting drinking tea with extended pinkies!! :D:D.

Only really bad point I came across was the armoury provision for the re-enacting. Weapons were issued to people without training despite requests for training being submitted in advance, weapons were not good - we got 30 rounds out of the PKT in our first battle before it jammed solid and a PKM gunner got off 4 single shots before his weapon also jammed solid. At hand-in after the battle a GPMG had it gas block fall apart. The guys in Rolling Thunder had an AK blow apart in some ones face, luckily (??) with only minor injuries and after their battle three of the AK's were found to have cracked gas blocks. After this all the the AK's were condemned and, after talking to the RT guys, our group leader decided to abort our second battle on safety grounds. They reported this to Rex who supported the decisions.

However a WW2 era battle was fought later that day and one of our guys watching reported seeing another chap firing only to drop the weapon and put both hands to his face before being quickly rushed to a first aid post. More than that is not known. So hopefully next year will see a big improvement in both arms and armourers.


So - that and the crowd directions in LH aside - it was a great show all in all and I look forwards to the 2014 one now - just wish the show lasted longer. Wonder if Rex would consider a 7 day show!! :D:D:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Firstly I have to say that it was new to everyone so there were bound to be some teething troubles. I was hoping that this being a fresh start they would uphold the rules but it seems more vehicle movements. I would want my money back if I had come on Sunday to see vehicles you would have seen more on the M20 as by 230 most vehicles had gone as for marshals what marshals...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reading these comments it appears the show was overall a success so well done to all those involved. It's never easy moving a popular show, we've done it with Overlord. There will always be those who moan about change, it's just human nature! It's a totally different show ground so therefore the outlay will be totally different!!!! That is surely obvious!!! There's always teething problems and they never become apparent until the show is in full swing and I'm sure they will be addressed in time for next year. Toilets appear to still be an issue but this looks like it was down to people with little or no brains, these people i advise should be removed from site, if you can catch who it was?! So a big well done to all those who organised, set up, attended as exhibitors/MoP/traders and cleared up afterwards.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it went particularly well with a few teething issues to be sorted for the future. The arena seemed to be the biggest issue in that the public couldn't see enough of the action which is where the banking came in handy for the spectators at the old hop farm site. Its a pity that the grandstand couldn't be used and the arena moved more towards it. The big issue is the racetrack as the company owning the site seems to want to preserve it for racing in the future. Toilets and better signage for the public rather than relying on buying the program

Link to comment
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.

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...