Dorset village recreates the 1940s for Maiden Newton at War this weekend

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By Peevo | Monday, June 18, 2012, 13:27

A Dorset village will travel back in time this weekend when it plays host to the

Maiden Newton at War event.

It is the third time the biennial event has been held and organisers are hoping

for another bumper crowd after thousands from across the region attended the

event in both 2010 and 2008.

The historical weekend – which runs from Saturday 23 to Sunday 24 June –

commemorates the part played by the village and surrounding area in the Second

World War and invites visitors to step back in time.

Attractions over the two-day event will include military and vintage vehicle

displays, demonstrations, exhibits of 1940s and Second World War memorabilia,

and a display by a Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

There will also be a number of re-enactor groups from around the UK as well as

the continent attending the event. The groups, who represent a number of

different units that fought in the Second World War, will take part in a battle

re-enactment on both Saturday and Sunday.

In addition there will be other stalls and refreshment stands as well as a

1940s style dance on Saturday evening.

The event will be started by Armour and Embarkation, an event that is held just

off the nearby A37 over the same weekend and which features the largest array

of tanks and military vehicles to gather in the area since the Second World

War. Their parade of historic vehicles will set off from Maiden Newton at War

during Saturday morning.

Ian Hambidge, one of the organisers, said: "The event has something for

everyone and attracts enthusiasts as well as families and people looking for

something a bit different.

"We are really proud that it has been described as the premier 1940s

re-enactment event in the South West and one of the best in the country.

"The committee that organises the event is made up of local residents and

representatives, including the headteacher of the local school, so it is a real

community event.

"We want to encourage as many people as possible to come along, get dressed up

if they like, and really get into the spirit of the event.

"Last time we had some visitors who came from hundreds of miles away to attend

which was fantastic."

Maiden Newton has close links to the Second World War as it was seen as a

strategic pinch point if the German army succeeded in invading the south coast

of England. The village lay at the junction of two key rail routes and was

heavily fortified as a result.


A number of concrete Pill Boxes are still in evidence in the area which, along

with anti tank obstacles and other defensive measures, were designed to slow

the progress of the invading army through Maiden Newton.

A number of American troops were also stationed in the area while they waited

to take part in the D-Day landings and the area had an active Home Guard.

Ian said: "There was a rich history in the village so when we were looking for

a fundraising event for the village it seemed an obvious choice.

"It also worked really well for the local primary school as it complemented the

history curriculum so the school has given a lot of support to the event as


Tickets for the Maiden Newton at War event are on sale from Greenford School

and No 64 the Newsagents in Maiden Newton or on the gate. More details about

the event are available at



  • Profile image for The_Poots

    I know right? I'm glad its not just me. I can understand having a 1940's dance etc but the rest is macabre and weird. I quote "The event has something for everyone........We want to encourage as many people as possible to come along, get dressed up if they like, and really get into the spirit of the event." The spirit of the event? - thousands of people being slaughtered under an insane dictatorship. Come on Dorset think happy thoughts!!!

    By The_Poots at 19:37 on 29/06/12

  • Profile image for allyhughes

    Was the war really so much fun that it needs recreating every year? - I just don't get it. We don't have Black Death Festivals so why celebrate this!?

    By allyhughes at 19:32 on 29/06/12

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