CarFest for Children in Need 2018

This is our 3rd year at Carfest, raising money for Children in Need. We are ever thankful for being given the opportunity by Alex from Vintage Parade.

We travelled up Thursday morning, a bit earlier this year, arriving at the site at 9 a.m.

This year we had a much larger display to put up, with it being our first truly multi period display, we had 4 distinct sections.  The 4 sections of our display covered WW1(1914-1918), WW2 (1939-1945), Malayan Emergency (1948 -1960) and Falklands Conflict (1982).

After a battle with the wind we eventually got all our canvas and displays set up, this is the biggest area we have ever occupied (35m x 12m). We then retired back to the camping field to put up our tents and living accommodation. We finally had everything set up for 6pm and settled down to dinner, drinks and a catch up with everyone.

Friday was Day 1 of Carfest for the public, with the site opening at midday. It started quite quietly and then the public started to filter through to the vintage village.

We were treated to a fly past from the Battle of Britain Memorial flight Spitfire and Hurricane.

Things were going great and then at about 4pm, the heavens opened up, thank goodness we had all that canvas up. Not only did it provide shelter for us but also the public that were caught out by the rain. An hour later the rain had stopped. By 6:30pm we started to pack away and made our way back to our campsite, to get changed and enjoy our dinner. It was after dinner that it started raining again, this time it was more than a shower.

As a group we all decided that we wouldn’t bother to go and see the music on at the Main stage as we were all tired and cold and it ended up that everyone was in bed for 10:30pm. The earliest we have ever been to bed in the 3 years of CarFest.

Saturday we awoke to a clear sky and beautiful sunshine.

2 of our members had signed up for the CarFest 5km fun run, again raising more money for Children in Need. Well done to Ricky and Patch for completing it.

Saturday thus proved to be a fantastic day, we were very busy, especially the WW1 area where we experienced something wonderful. We experienced lots of children telling their parents about WW1. They have all been studying WW1 at school and obviously enjoyed it as they were full of knowledge and questions. We just hope that WW1 is not forgotten

It is the first time we have displayed our Malaya impression and Chris and Tom were busy all day talking to people whose fathers or uncles had served in Malaya.

It was also the first time that Nick had displayed his Falklands Islands Defence Force impression with us and he spent all day chatting to people, with lots of interest in his L1A1 SLR rifle

And the day of firsts continued, not only did Sam, Tina and Sarah do us proud with their Suffragette impression, they also managed to get and pictures with Chris Evans and Pudsey.

 

Saturday afternoon we were also blessed with a fly past by the Battle of Britain Memorial flight Lancaster bomber.

Best of all on Saturday, for all of us, was meeting some of the children that have benefited from the money raised by Children in Need and being thanked by their parents for giving up our time to raise money for them. Not that we do it for thanks, it is nice to see that what we do is benefiting the children.

Saturday evening came and although it was starting to cloud over, we were all shattered from the day spent speaking to so many people. We retired to our campsite, changed and had our dinner. We were feeling rather more energised after our food and made our way down to the main stage to as we wanted to watch Jools Holland with his rhythm and blues orchestra.

Sunday, we awoke to grey skies and a 70% chance of rain, well it turned out to be 100%, with very few visitors to vintage village, but some did make it and took comfort in sheltering under our big top tent, by this point we had moved all our displays in underneath. It was a bit cramped, but we were dry, and the public could still engage with us.

One couple came back specially to see us, to tell us that the lady had shown her Father, the picture we had on our Malaya information board and her Father had said that it was his platoon in the picture. Even better the lady’s Godfather was also in the picture. Its these personal connections that we so love about Living History.

Due to there being nobody about we decided to take advantage of the brilliant entertainment on offer in vintage village and managed to catch Ricky Hunter, vintage vocalist, on the bandstand, where he treated us to a rendition of Blue Velvet.

In the end the weather beat us, the rain was torrential and with no public about and most of our display covered up, we made the decision to close at 3:30pm. I think we were, more or less, the last ones open in vintage village.

Again, we retired back our campsite where we changed and put on wet weather gear as we were determined that the weather was not going to beat us. We carefully made our way down to the main stage through the mud just in time to catch Status Quo. Of course, we had to rock out to the ‘Quo; with our air guitars.

This was followed by the CarFest super group, which turned out to be lots of individual appearances rather that a true super group, followed by Clean Bandit. It was at this point we decided to retire to finish off our cheese and port and sit and watch the fireworks from our camp area.

Monday, we awoke to drizzle followed by increasingly bluer skies, the longer the morning went on the drier it got, and by the time we got to packing our display canvas away, it was mostly dry, which was a relief. Our weapons suffered the most and took a lot of cleaning to get rid of the rust that had formed, thanks to the damp conditions. We managed to get everything down, packed and loaded into the vans by 3pm. We then said our farewells and left the CarFest site, arriving home exhausted at 6:30pm.

I must thank Alex again for asking us back and a special thanks to the Homefront to Battlefront team for an excellent weekend, that was conducted safely with no accidents. It was a weekend of fun, exhaustion, hard work, laughs, good company, good food, good music, rockin’, damp and most of all raising money for Children in Need.

Personal thanks go to, in no particular order, Mike, Sam, Tom, Patch, Chris, Tina, Nick, Ricky and Sarah. Looking forward to our next adventure together.

 

Here are some more pics from the weekend;

 

 

 

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