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The Victory Show, Cosby

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Posted: 17/09/2015 09:10
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Tent? Check. 1940s uniform? Check. Band of merry men to re-enact a 1940s regiment? Check. Massive tank to take to a show? Check. That’s us ready, it must be ShowTime again! This weekend it was The Sherman Tank that we took with us as we headed up the road to the 10th Anniversary of The Victory Show at Cosby in Leicestershire. As always, there was a load to see and do. Here are a few of our highlights.

Tent? Check. 1940s uniform? Check. Band of merry men to re-enact a 1940s regiment? Check. Massive tank to take to a show? Check. That’s us ready, it must be ShowTime again! This weekend it was The Sherman Tank that we took with us as we headed up the road to the 10th Anniversary of The Victory Show at Cosby in Leicestershire. As always, there was a load to see and do. Here are a few of our highlights.

The Victory Show has been running in Cosby for 10 years offering a formidable tribute to World War II. The show ran for 3 days from Friday 4th September to Sunday the 6th. Held on a 100-acre site near Cosby in Leicestershire, The Victory Show is a huge date in the calendar of re-enactors, tank enthusiasts and of course fans of air shows.

The show kicked off with School Day on Friday 4th September, a day which attracts hundreds of local school children and their teachers for an educational visit. Each group is taken around the site by one of the re-enactors and the children are encouraged to dress in period costume, talk to veterans and the many re-enactors. The day is a great experience for the school children and gives them a first-hand insight into what life was like in the 1940s helping their history books come alive in front of their eyes.

Saturday and Sunday are the most exciting days of the show where history societies and re-enactors from various forces and several eras present a variety of theatres from the period of 1939 to 1954.

This 10th Anniversary show really did provide something for everyone from re-enactment camps to miniature steam train rides, a 1940’s vehicle exhibition and model remote controlled aircraft. There is of course the world-famous air show, but from a slightly biased point of view, the pinnacle of the show is of course the tank exhibition!

With over 60 trade stalls, static WWII aircraft, Tank Rides and 1940’s farm machinery, you really do feel like you have stepped back in time! On the Saturday night, 700 guests dressed in their finest 1940s uniforms and attended the camp dinner dance. Quite a show watching all the ladies with their pin curls and bright red lips, and the guys dressed in uniforms of every feasible force and country. Once darkness had fallen and the party was in full swing, an air raid siren was sounded and a searchlight flashed across the camp. Very effectively, the atmosphere was immediately changed and you really could imagine how scary it was when that happened for real during WWII.

Although obviously we love the tanks and tanks are our passion, we never fail to be amazed by the aircraft at The Victory Show. This year, a Mark I Blenheim Bomber landed at Cosby as part of the airshow. The Bristol Blenheim is a British light bomber aircraft designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, used extensively in the early days of WWII, adapted as an interim long-range and night fighter. The Blenheim was one of the first British aircraft to have all-metal stressed-skin construction, retractable landing gear, flaps, a powered gun turret and variable pitch propellers. On the day that war was declared on Germany, a Brenheim piloted by Flying Officer Andrew McPhearson was the first British aircraft to cross the German coast and the following morning, 15 Blenheims from three squadrons set off on one of the first bombing missions.

Next up was a Mitchell Bomber Mk I. The North American B-25 Mitchell to give its full name is an American twin-engine medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation. Named in honour of Major General William ‘Billy’ Mitchell, whose name is preserved in the history books as a pioneer of U.S. military aviation. Used by the majority of Allied forces, the B-25 served in every theatre of WWII and since the end of the war, many remained in service for a further 40 years. With a number of variants, almost 10,000 Mitchells left the NAA factories during the production period. The RAF received nearly 900 Mitchells, using them as replacements for the Douglas Bostons, Lockheed Venturas and Vickers Wellington bombers. The Mitchell entered active RAF service on the 22nd January 1943, initially deployed to bomb targets in occupied Europe. Following the Normandy Invasion, the RAF and France used Mitchells in support of the Allied efforts in Europe with several squadrons moving to forward airbases on the continent. We were lucky enough to have the crew of the Mitchell visit us on our Sherman tank with plenty of stories to tell from either side!

The Victory Show will be back again next year from the 2nd to the 4th September and is definitely well worth a visit! Come and say hello if you visit. We’ll be the ones on the massive tank!

See more in our Military Vehicle Museum

To see more info on The Victory Show click here

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