The grounds of the National trust property Springhill House in Moneymore will come alive with the sights, sounds and smells of all things military on Sunday 1st and Monday 2nd May 2011. The American GIs will be back in force this year to transport you back to the 1940's. Accompanying the GIs will be WW2 British and Russian infantry along with French and Russian partisans. No WW2 scene would be complete without German troops of course and these will be represented by German Paratroopers.
The men and women of the Wartime Living History Association (WLHA) along with other re-enactment groups will be organizing a series of living history static displays and numerous live battle re-enactments through out the day with vehicles, advanced pyrotechnics and blank firing weapons. Military displays, videos and talks will be happening in the main barn at Springhill house over the two days. A highlight of this feature will be the appearance of local historian John P McCann, author of “Passing Through” covering the GIs during their time in Northern Ireland and particularly the Cookstown area. John will be displaying images and explaining the history of the very American troops who were actually based at Springhill during the early 1940s.
Other periods of military history will also be represented with a WW1 trench scenario and field gun firing demonstration and even dug in troops representing GIs during the Vietnam conflict. Many original WW2 and post war vehicles will be on display primarily courtesy of the Ulster Military Vehicle Club (UMVC). These vehicles can be seen up close and many of them will be driving in the main arena during both days of the event. Trade stands will also be on site to enable you to purchase military memorabilia. If all of that is not enough to entertain the whole family there will be other hands on activities such as zorbing, archery and laser quest around the grounds of the house. You may see a few unexpected guests and VIPs around the property over the two days too! See how many you can recognize.
The GIs on Parade event runs from 12-5pm on both 1st and 2nd May..
You can follow preparations for the show on their Twitter site http://twitter.com/wlha .
For more information on this event and others at Springhill House visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-springhill