After a number of successful previous years at Tilbury Fort, we were dealt a severe blow, when, due to the declining condition of the Tilbury Fort site, English Heritage were unable to allow us to continue to host our show there. After a short period of moving venues we held our first small scale Essex MVT area show in 2006 at Damyns Hall, with just a dozen vehicles.
The show has gained in popularity and size, growing to a public event which now plays host to over 300 vehicles with over 15,000 visitors. This gives us the opportunity to show the public our vehicles and what we do for our community. To secure the future success of further shows, a new independent Charity, the 'Essex Historic Military Vehicle Association' was formed early in 2014, the Military and Flying machines show is also the charities main fundraising event.
For 2017 we find ourselves in a great new location. The maritime town of Maldon and the surrounding area is a picturesque and historic area, with a rich and important military history, it has seen more than its fair share of conflict throughout the ages, including the Roman, Viking and Dane eras. Famously, the Battle of Maldon in 991 CE occurred during the reign of Æthelred the Unready. In WW1, motor torpedo boats were based at Osea Island - the connecting causeway of which is near our show ground. During WW2, the area around Maldon saw many small ships used to assist in the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk, and later on these boats were also used in the D-Day invasion. Maldon and the surrounding area is also home to serveral military museums as well as WW1 and WW2 airfields.
This rural setting adds to our displays, with the woods, grass and lakes enhancing scenes from D-Day holding camps through to Operation Goodwood.
This year’s show
As always, we will have hundreds of military vehicles across all eras and nationalities - from push bikes to massive trucks that even make the tanks look small!
We have an amazing turn out of living history displays, depicting military life from many periods and nationalities. These historical re-enactors go to massive lengths to represent living history as accurately and authentically as possible and are always happy to answer your questions or demonstrate equipment so don't be afraid to ask! This is an almost unique opportunity to see how the soldiers of different nationalities and time periods lived and to get close to the weapons, equipment and atmosphere of the time.
There will be Arena activities taking place all day, The Tank parade allows you to get close with a convoy of tanks and armoured vehicles, see and hear them roaring around the arena and learn a little about their history. As always, there will be our very loud battles and fire power demonstrations, which will be even bigger and better!
There's so much more for the kids to get involved in and watch. Escape the POW camp, watch the remote-controlled tanks, try the children’s assault course or climbing wall, or what better way is there for the younger generation to learn about our history than to hear about it from those who made it - our wonderful veterans are always happy to tell their own story. Back by popular demand will be our live 'wartime' entertainment in our huge marquee all day, including music and a 40s fashion show.
In the air, we will be having some great fly-pasts, recreating the sense of the skies during WW2. On the ground, we hope to have other exciting displays for the aircraft enthusiast - Keep a look out for our announcements.
Where else would you be able to get up close and personal to your past?
Please note: Due to the time constraints involved in getting the appropriate authorisations, this year, there will be no Tank or Helicopter rides.