About The War and Peace Revival
A five-day military and vintage festival at Folkestone Racecourse, RAF Westenhanger, Hythe, will be packed full of education and entertainment bringing the Dunkirk Spirit to this historic corner of Kent. A special Schools’ Day programme will see schools from across Kent and beyond visiting for a unique event, giving the pupils unrivalled access to history at its most vivid and interactive, providing a truly memorable experience.
Visitors to The War and Peace Revival will be able to catch up with friends while watching the incredible action-packed battle re-enactments – not just a group of people running around playing soldiers but a full-scale choreographed battle to give you a taste of the action at the Front! Get right up close to the action, but through a safe and vehicle-free zone. And if preferred, the main grandstand will give superb viewing opportunities from the terraces or even the Restaurant!
Thousands of military vehicles are expected to gather at the new venue from around the world representing the armies of the 20th century. Look out for tanks, artillery, armoured and amphibious vehicles, cars, Jeeps, bicycles and motorbikes, emergency and commercial vehicles – and lots more.
Living History scenes will provide a unique picture of life in conflict with depictions from WW1 to the present – see the British living in trenches, GIs in Vietnam, Russians relaxing with an accordion after a hard day in battle, or Germans plotting their next moves! At all times our re-enactors will adhere to a strict moral code in their displays.
Trade stalls will give collectors and shoppers the opportunity to browse through marquees packed full of treasures including militaria, antiquities, vehicle parts, books, memorabilia, clothing and uniforms and all manner of essential finds for the discerning enthusiast – everything from a shirt button to a tank!
For the modellers, an extensive display of some top class models will be on display, bringing enthusiasts from around the world – and the craftsmen are always willing to share their knowledge and experience. For modellers, The War and Peace Revival is a unique opportunity to see the full-sized versions of their models just by walking outside!
For those who want a little more glamour in their lives, there will be plenty of style in the Vintage Village – a dedicated area for all things vintage and an exciting focus to the Peace element of the Show’s title. Discover the Victory Marquee (previously the V Marquee) with all its elegance bringing the 1940s to life with the best in entertainment from the mid-20th Century, or explore the Market Place with its host of world class dealers in fashion, homeware and civilian memorabilia from that period.
Living history groups, dioramas and individual displays depicting civilian life from 1930 to 1960 will be given a dedicated area to show what life was like away from the barracks and the battlefield. Home Front re-enactors and demonstrators will show the hardships endured by both men and women left behind. Civilian vehicles, peace-time activities and re-enactors will all combine to create a vision of the social backdrop against which several 20th Century wars were fought.
As befits the new venue, The War and Peace Battle of Britain Experience will be a prominent exhibit with its full-sized replica Spitfire, Hurricane and Me 109. Attended by a superb group of RAF and ATA re-enactors who give incredible authenticity, these planes have attended many air shows and events this year and the Spitfire has been used as an educational tool in schools, accompanied by a genuine WW2 Spitfire pilot.
And for those who prefer the real thing, full-sized real aircraft will take to the air to give impressive displays and flypasts through the blue of the Kent skies, so evocative of the Battle of Britain period.
WW2 veterans will be invited to attend for free – and in 2013 The War and Peace Revival commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Korean War and the 50th anniversary of the end of National Service. Veterans of both of were extended the complimentary invitation.
View the incredible photos of Kent from the 1930s to the 1950s courtesy of the War and Peace Photo Archives. Stunning images from across the decades depicting local people, royalty and VIPs – including the visit of Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) to Deal, land girls taking a break, Churchill and Montgomery visiting Dover, freedom marches through Canterbury and some beautiful shots of elegant visitors to the St Lawrence Cricket Ground in the 1930s. Add to these lots of pictures of civilian life across the county, from snow and floods to sunshine, bathing belles at Folkestone and Broadstairs, car rallies, scouts, miners and fisherman – and even Diana Dors arriving at Folkestone Metropole! See if you recognise anyone you know!
Permanent facilities at the Racecourse are excellent; a large indoor restaurant provides a panoramic view of the Show; several themed bars serving alcohol, soft drinks and tea/coffee give plenty of choice throughout the day, a Jazz bar will give a little swing to your day, while a 1940s-style tea room will give a haven for those looking for a little break from all the excitement! Around the showground will be lots of other options for reasonably-priced, good quality food and drink, including Ginger’s – our re-enactor’s bar right in the heart of the Show.
A Vintage Marquee (previously Dance Hall Days Marquee) will show you steps from the 40s, 50s and 60s – with or without a partner you won’t be able to resist taking part! Then sit back and watch the experts as they give demonstrations with some toe-tapping tunes from across the decades.
Evening entertainment for those staying onsite will include nightly music from across the generations. Access will be only for those wearing wrist-band passes. Tickets will be available to purchase by the public for the Big Band entertainment on the Friday and Saturday evening in our vintage Victory Marquee (previously V Marquee) which will feature the fabulous Jive Aces on Friday 24 July and the iconic John Miller Big Band on Saturday 25 July in a dine and dance spectacular!
Visitors and exhibitors can keep up to date with the latest goings on at Radio War and Peace – the first event radio station to be live 24×7 throughout the year. Listen live either via http://www.radiowarandpeace.org or through the TuneIn app.
Several Corporate hospitality boxes are available for entertaining clients and guests– or even as a treat for someone special. With grandstand viewing of the showground and the option of waitress-service throughout this VIP-day this is a unique experience to enhance a visit to the new War and Peace Revival.
The Racecourse location was chosen due to its unique relevancy to The War and Peace Revival. Right in the heart of Hellfire Corner, so named due to the battering it received during the Battle of Britain in 1940, the area is packed full of military history – from the start of time until now including Roman landings, Vikings, cavaliers and roundheads. At the start of WW1 millions of soldiers departed from Folkestone for the battlefields of France, many never to return, and Sandwich had a prisoner of war camp. During WW2 Hitler’s biggest battleships sailed past Dover, firing salvos into the cliffs with an escort of hundreds of planes and ships; Kent suffered heavily during the Blitz; rescuers were despatched to Dunkirk from Ramsgate with a flotilla of Little Ships and the cross-channel guns Winnie and Pooh at St Margaret’s Bay boomed regularly firing across the water. Sandwich welcomed hundreds of German refugees to a Kitchener camp who integrated well into the welcoming community.
The Racecourse itself was used as part of Operation Fortitude (South) during WW2 – the great deception designed to fool the Germans into believing the D-Day landings would be in Calais, not Normandy. Inflatable aircraft were set up along the Racecourse to make it look like an active airfield and in 1944 660 Squadron used it to practise operations with local army units, prior to leaving for France three months later.
Travel to the Show could not be easier, with the Racecourse being just 5 minutes from J11 of the M20 and ample parking available for all. Alternatively Westenhanger train station is just a couple of minutes’ walk from the Racecourse, with direct trains from London Charing Cross and Ashford International. The historic towns of Hythe, Folkestone, Dover, Ashford and Canterbury are all within very easy reach, as are the ports of Dover and Ramsgate, and with the Channel Tunnel terminus and Eurostar just ten-minutes away, access is very easy for visitors from the continent. Visitors to the War and Peace Revival can benefit from a special rate courtesy of our friends at DFDS Seaways.