Stand at ease! Military weekend, 6th and 7th July 2013


The South Devon Railway is hosting its annual Military Weekend on 6th and 7th July, when visitors will be able to see an impressive array of military vehicles from as far back as the second world war, as well as some more recent vehicles. 

Organised in conjunction with the Devon Branch of the Military Vehicle Trust, the event will feature over 50 historic military vehicles, such as jeeps, trucks and motorbikes as well as uniformed personnel and a complete modern field kitchen.

A re-enactment of a second world war military train is planned, including scenes of material for the wartime effort being loaded in the goods yards at both Buckfastleigh and Staverton stations.

With features such as sandbags by the station buildings, armed sentries on guard and expected armed military and goods trains, the event will allow visitors to step back in time to wartime Britain and maybe even beat the rationing system with a special on-train cream tea!    

Men, women and children turning up in 1940s period clothing will be made especially welcome and can travel at half price. Military Police, meanwhile will be looking for a German spy who is known to be in the area, and patrolling the stations and trains to check identity cards as well as looking for downed German airmen or paratroops in disguise.

Plain clothes police will also be looking to detect ‘Spivs’ illegally offering restricted, stolen or rationed wartime goods such as watches, nylons and items of women’s lingerie!

But, with the risk of Hitler’s bombers still an ever present danger, the station will be decked out with blast tape on the windows and sandbags for protection, plus there will be at least one unexploded bomb nearby to add to the wartime atmosphere and hopefully a bomb disposal team at work!

Period vehicles will be parked around the site and many staff will be wearing WWII uniforms and clothing.

There will be plenty of live music to keep the troops (and visitors) entertained, including Soundhouse Brass, who will play three sets each day, one at Totnes and two at Buckfastleigh; Red Hot who will perform at Buckfastleigh and male performers from Blitz and Peaces who will perform on the train during both days.

Trains from 10 a.m. each morning, as well as four military trains running in each direction between Buckfastleigh and Staverton.




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