The Harwich Redoubt Military Festival on 4th August 2012 promised military vehicles, re-enactments, collectors stalls, BBQ, and a beer tent. We headed over there and spent a pleasant hour there in the beautiful sun that hadn’t looked likely when we’d been woken up at 5a.m. this morning by torrential rain!
Truth be told, there were a couple of military vehicles parked outside the Redoubt Fort, and there were a couple of dozen re-enactors, one or two collectors stalls, but if you’d chosen this event for militaria over the Military and Flying Machines 2012 event at Damyns Hall Aerodrome, Upminster, you’d have made the wrong choice!
We were greeted by a singer belting out some 1940s tunes, finishing with All That Jazz, then watched a small platoon of Napoleonic era infantrymen loosing off several rounds of musket fire. It was a child-friendly event, with wooden guns on hand and the kids were given a chance to drill in the circular fort alongside the soldiers.
Some of the very little children found the musket-fire a bit off-putting, but that was nothing compared to the 3-pounder cannon that was put through it’s paces. Very noisy!
There was a BBQ and the redoubtable Harwich Town Brewing Company were on hand with a couple of ales, a bouncy castle, some snakes to handle (?), and a number of plaintive tunes from a bagpiper. The various rooms in the Redoubt were open, with an interesting range of historical items to view, and possibly the worst be-wigged mannequins I’ve seen for some time.
Mind you, it was only £3 a head to get in, so I reckon for a couple of hours with kids, an event to be recommended, especially as you’ve got the rest of Old Harwich to visit – including The Alma Inn – great food in a great pub!