PICTURES: Shoreham Fort holds busiest military history event yet

Shooting display with the home guard
Shooting display with the home guard

More than 3,000 visitors flooded Shoreham Fort over the sunny weekend to see history brought to life in a series of re-enactments and displays.

The sixth annual Military History Weekend event, organised by the Friends of Shoreham Fort, took place on Saturday, June 3, and Sunday, June 4.

Children took part in activities

Children took part in activities

Gary Baines, chairman and founder of Friends of the Fort, said he was thrilled to see so many happy faces.

“The whole weekend was a great success but for me seeing the whole community down here at the fort enjoying the displays has to be the highlight,” he said.

This year’s free event attracted a record number of attendees and was ‘the busiest event we’ve had in years’, according to Mr Baines.

The weekend covered events in military history dating back to the English Civil War to the Second World War.

Enjoying a sunny weekend

Enjoying a sunny weekend

Shoreham has ‘played a significant part’ in military history, Mr Baines said.

Groups displaying over the weekend included the Sussex Army Cadet Force Kitkar Display Team, who dismantled a kit car into around 70 pieces before reassembling it in record time.

The team building display by the cadets, aged 12 to 18, was very popular.

The cannon firing also drew a big crowd.

The KitKar display team

The KitKar display team

The Fort Cumberland Guard, visiting from Portsmouth, fired their mobile cannon three times.

Visitors also had the opportunity to admire a replica cannon built by students from Northbrook College. Mr Baines thanked the pupils for their ‘good effort’.

Military vehicles were stationed in static displays around the fort for the weekend and the event was rounded off with a parade ground inspection – by special guest Queen Victoria.

“We had a great response from visitors to some of the costumes,” Mr Baines said.

The event attracted a record number of attendees

The event attracted a record number of attendees

The family friendly weekend saw children engage in learning about the fort’s history. Children had the chance to try a mini airsoft target experience, thanks to EAG Worthing.

Mr Baines said: “The children’s reactions are the best as they discover history without even realising it.”

He thanked all the volunteers at the Friends of Shoreham Fort, which was officially launched in 2010 when Mr Baines was granted permission to restore the fort, for their hard work over the weekend.

The annual Military History Weekend event will returnon the first weekend of June in 2018.

Another event in support of the national open heritage day is due to take place this September.

Until then, Mr Baines is urgently asking anyone who willing to volunteer at the fort to get in touch.

Watching the cannons being fired

Watching the cannons being fired

“We really can’t do things like this without volunteers,” he said.

“We need more volunteers to be able to put on these events for free.”

Anyone keen to get involved, contact enquiries@shorehamfort.co.uk

Recreating a blood donation bank from 1942

Recreating a blood donation bank from 1942