Yes it’s true – after 33 years, this year’s War and Peace at Folkestone Racecourse will be the last one ever!
Having organised War and Peace for 27 of its 33 years with the help of Barbara Shea, Rex Cadman has decided it’s time to call it a day. “Barbara and I have organised War and Peace for 27 years this year and she is ready to retire, so we decided that as we started this journey together, after much thought we would end it together.
“We’re very proud to have grown the show from a small club event with about 100 vehicles, to the world’s largest military show, seeing over 4,000 vehicles and 100,000 people. A great many other military vehicle shows have War and Peace as their parentage, having grown out of our event.”
But War and Peace isn’t just about military vehicles. In 2009 it introduced the annual Schools’ Day – a free event for Kent and Medway school children that grew considerably each year. Last year 2,500 school children had a taste of wartime Britain – a true testament to the educational value the county places on the War and Peace Schools’ Day.
The recognition of veterans is another aspect of which the War and Peace team is quietly proud. “We were the first show to invite WW2 veterans for free nearly 20 years ago, and have had the privilege of meeting true heroes, no matter what they achieved” said Rex. “Sadly their numbers are dwindling quite considerably and we’re losing an incredible generation.”
Each year War and Peace has extended the complimentary invitation to veterans of other significant conflicts that it is marking for that year – including the Falklands, National Service – and this year the Gurkhas in honour of their 200th anniversary of service to the British crown.
“We’ve had an amazing time, but sadly all good things must come to an end. The 2015 War and Peace Revival will be our last show – it may also be the last War and Peace ever unless someone or a group comes forward to take it on!”
War and Peace evolved from the annual Invicta Military Vehicle Preservation Society club event back in 1982 at Tenterden train station, which moved to the former Whitbread Hop Farm at Paddock Wood in 1987. The War and Peace Show was then based at the Hop Farm for 25 years, before relaunching as The War and Peace Revival at Folkestone Racecourse in 2013.
So if you’ve always thought of coming to War and Peace and not got round to it – don’t miss out on being part of the final show!
To learn more, visit: http://www.thewarandpeacerevival.co.uk/