Tuesday 20 September 2016

1940's at Chatham Dockyards

On Sunday the family and I spent a day at Chatham Dockyards for their 1940's weekend. This is a quite varied event and is as much about music, antiques and shopping as militaria. And of course the whole event is situated within the Chatham Historic Dockyard which is itself a massive museum filled with amazing exhibits. 

Another fun day at Chatham Docks

The site is massive (extending way beyond this photo) and includes some amazing exhibits.

A Cheiftain AVRE, part of the REME 'Big Exhibits' collection. 

Midget submarine XE8 'Expunger' built for Royal Navy 1944

HMS Cavalier is a retired C-class destroyer of the Royal Navy and a veteran of the Arctic Convoys.

Two LRDG Jeeps fully kitted out and excellently restored.

A model of the Chatham Docks showing how it would have looked c1855

Ropes have been made at Chatham historic dockyard since 1618. 

The Submarine Museum has a whole series of excellent model of ships built at Chatham

1940's period singers The Polka Dots are driven around the site before a show.

Re-enactors, using authentic period equipment gave a real  1940's flavour to the event. 

Model ships.

When it was built in 1838 this immense covered slip was Europe's largest wide span timber structure.

This Victorian railway carriage was used by General Kitchener in the Sudan
On board ‘Overlord’, a railway locomotive used in the D Day landings. 

The only downside of attending this event was that I missed the Skirmish Toy Soldier show in Sidcup. An unfortunate clash of family calenders meant we could only do the Chatham event on the Sunday. Having said that this is probably the last Living History event I will do this year with the family, and I still have SELWG Wargames show to look forward to next month for my hobby fix. 


  1. Because it is so local to me I kind of resent having to pay to get in especially as I did work there at one time. (Not in the Navy but for an archaeologist)

  2. Lee,

    You had a difficult choice to make ... But made the right one!

    All the best,


  3. Looks like a cracking day out, thoroughly enjoyed the Dockyard when we visited a few years ago.

  4. Looks really interesting, never visited even though I used to be next door at least once every four weeks or so


  5. Thanks for sharing these excellent photos.


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