The way we war

Former RAF servicemen , from left,  Andrew Dearlove, Ian Hannant, Jamie Quinn and Geoffrey McInerny.
Former RAF servicemen , from left, Andrew Dearlove, Ian Hannant, Jamie Quinn and Geoffrey McInerny.

HISTORY was brought to life during a re-enactment day at a popular military museum.

The sun shone as more than 100 people enjoyed being transported back in time while enthusiasts treated them to various displays portraying scenes from throughout Britain’s military history.

The Heugh Gun Battery Museum, on Hartlepool’s Headland, was the perfect setting for Saturday’s event.

Military enthusiasts donned period dress depicting ages right through from the red coats, which have been worn in various battles throughout history, to uniforms worn in the First and Second World Wars and more modern khaki styles.

Some of the re-enactors also displayed the weapons they carry to make their outfits even more genuine, and they left visitors in awe as they staged battle scenes.

Wally Stewart, 70, who is a volunteer at the museum, helped to organise a reunion for former RAF Regiment colleagues, which was held at the venue alongside the re-enactment.

The Seaton Carew resident, who served with the RAF Regiment from 1968 to 1988, said: “There were red coats, Royal Artillery men in khaki battle dress and some in combat clothes, it was a bit of the ancient mixed with the modern.”

Mr Stewart added that around 20 “old and bold” veterans had turned up, including some members of the Cleveland branch of the RAF Regiment Association, as well as others from the Tyne and Wear branch.

Mr Stewart, who is secretary of the association, added: “We sat and did what’s called ‘swinging the lamp’, telling tall stories.”

He said Phil Rowe and his wife had travelled all the way from Bristol for the event and Alan Parks came from Catterick to attend, as well as Geordie Short from Northumberland and a 91-year-old veteran from Hartlepool.

Mr Stewart said the event brought back a lot of memories.

As well as getting to watch gun fights and drills, members of the public also chatted to the re-enactors, many of whom will have served in the forces, to find out more about exactly what was involved in combat of yesteryear.

The battery museum is continuing with its weekly demonstrations on a focussed subject tonight.

This week’s talk will be given by historian Joe Foster and the subject will be How Guns Work.

Doors open at 6.30pm and admission is £3, with tea, coffee and a bar available.

To find out more about events at the museum call (01429) 270746.