2016 Revival in Review
Well the Southwick Revival 2016 certainly went off with a BANG! The 25 Pounder gun brought along by Ubique ROL from Fort Nelson drew the crowds when it fired off rounds at 1pm and 3pm each day over the weekend. Sharing the Squire’s Paddock with the vintage funfair you could see children literally leap off their feet with every resounding shot.
Military vehicles from 1945 or earlier filled the recreation ground, with displays from re-enactor groups adding a really authentic feel. Many groups were all present and correct* and in the centre was the centre-piece, a full scale replica Hurricane on loan from Solent Skies Museum. At the start of each day and as a finale, many of the vehicles formed up and left the recreation ground in a motorcade, driving though the village in a circuit to the delight of the visitors.
Vintage buses from CCPTD transported over 700 visitors on ten pre-booked trips to Southwick House, where they were immersed in the incredible times of May – June 1944 when the top brass of the Allied forces were planning the events of 6th June, D-Day. Responding to feedback from the 2015 Revival, each group was allotted a little extra time to soak up the atmosphere of the Map Room and to enjoy their visit to the Royal Military Police Museum, before boarding the bus back to the village.
New for 2016 was the appearance of renowned military historians, Dr Peter Caddick-Adams and Stephen Prince, who each delivered a talk in the event marquee at 11.45am Saturday and Sunday. Speaking on Normandy 44 and Operation Neptune, the spellbound audience learnt about many of the challenges faced by ‘our chaps’, from the front line to the supply chains. One gentleman who attended commented afterwards ‘That was the best lecture I have ever heard’ while another said he could have ‘listened to him talk all afternoon’. (Watch out for the announcement of next year speakers!)
Pies!! The village shop is closed for major works until the autumn so instead there was the ‘Hampshire Pie Scheme’ stall. During the war and for some period after, during rationing, local communities were encouraged to make the most of their allowances by making pies. Over the Revival weekend this year in excess of 1,000 pies were consumed by hungry Southwick visitors. Mud Foods from Midhurst supplied fabulous Chicken, Ham and Leek pies and Shitake Mushroom and Asparagus while Uptons of Bassett excelled with their hand-made pork pies. Yum!
On the Green the 1940’s school lesson, village defence briefing, Horndean band and wartime singalong provided constant entertainment whilst for those wishing to spend more peaceful time, the ‘Queen in Southwick’ exhibition in the Church contained many little seen artefacts and photographs.
Old Ma’s Tearooms served tea and cake by the thousand and pre-booked lunches and the two Lions, the Golden and the Red had food and entertainment all day. The event marquee had dance demos and music while outside the Baker Street Boys and vintage hairdressing was preparing the ladies for the evening of dancing.
Jackson Sloan andthe RhythmTones filled the dance floor for the whole evening with a supper of Coronation Chicken, fit for a Queen, put together in individual ‘Ration Box’ mini hampers by the caterers at Southwick Park, headed up by the very capable Jamie Skeates.
The multi-directional tannoy system on the top of the church tower, with our esteemed announcer Jim, ensured that everyone knew what was happening next.
At 16.00hrs on Saturday, right on cue, the Spitfire and Hurricane of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight appeared in the skies over Southwick, at about 450 feet. Circling three times, the unmistakable sound of those Merlin engines filled the air and we could see the pilots wave their hand before they tipped their wings and disappeared, off to fight another day. The centre of the sleepy village of Southwick was at that moment heaving with people and a spontaneous round of applause began. I wonder if the pilots could hear it?
We will be back in 2017. With the generous support of Southwick Estate, Southwick Park and the RMP Museum, the Revivalists were unanimous when asked if we are prepared to go again. The funds raised this year are £15,000 to support SSAFA, a stained glass window project at Southwick Park and improvements to the D-Day Memorial Hall. But it’s not just the fundraising that spurs us on. It is the smiles on the faces of our many visitors and the wonderful things they say to us afterwards.
Mark the date in your diaries – 10th/11th June 2017. All those subscribed to this newsletter will receive priority booking four weeks before the tickets go on general release!
The Southwick Revivalists
“I think you got the balance between village fete, vehicle show and 1940s education absolutely right.”
Dr Peter Caddick-Adams *With grateful thanks for the contribution made by the following re-enactor groups:
Military Vehicle Trust, South Hants and others, Nisei Re-enactors, 2nd Infantry Military Police, 29th Infantry, Land Girls at Large, Francaises Libre Living History Group, Fighting 69th US Infantry, Normandy Old Bikes (nobs), 51st US Field Hospital, Wiltshire Home Guard
With thanks to our sponsors:
L & S Waste
The Military Vehicles Trust
(South Hants Area)
Follow us at – Facebook.com/DDayRevival2017
EXCLUSIVE D-DAY REVIVAL TOURS
Only available on Saturday 10 June & Sunday 11 June
- Free car parking in event car park
- Period Shuttle Bus to Southwick House
- Entry to Southwick House and the famous D-Day Wall Map
- Special 45 minute talk in the Map Room by museum staff
- Entry to Royal Military Police Museum within Southwick Park
- Return Shuttle Bus
- Entry to the special exhibition of wartime village life