Air Raid at Rufford Abbey 31 Aug-1 Sept

It is now less than 2 weeks to go, and we are starting to make plans for the air raid.

We are looking for people to take part – we all had such a good time both last year, and a few weeks ago at Woodhall Spa.
Essentially, to make the air raid realistic, we need active volunteers in the form of the Civil Defence services, and passive volunteers to form evacuees from the ruined abbey, and period onlookers.
Active Participants
An air raid needs ARP wardens, Police, Home Guard, Casualties, Medics and Doctors, as well as firemen. Wendy and Norman Brown are taking part as made-up casualties – if you saw the pictures of them at Woodhall Spa, I am sure you will agree that they were very realistic. If you would like to take part as active volunteers:
  • you need to be a member of a re-enacting group, or have your own insurance cover.
  • you need to email, and let us know.
  • you need to come to a briefing on the Saturday morning at 11:45 at the NFS area (immediately after our 11:30 Turntable Ladder display). This will cover how the air raid runs, as well as health and safety considerations.
Passive volunteers
We are assuming that there was some formal occastion happening in the Abbey before the air raid. Most people will be safely evacuated without even getting dirty. But if you have some old (even charity shop) clothing that is passable for 1940s that you wouldn’t mind getting torn, sooty or bloodied a bit, even better.
As always, at an incident, a crowd of rubber-neckers gather and during the war, things were no different. We know that on the air raid on the Ransomes and Marles factory in Newark in March 1941 a crowd of civilian onlookers gathered, and when the bomber returned straffing with machine-gun fire, a number of civilians were killed or injured.
So if you would like to be an onlooker, be prepared to get shouted at by the firemen or wardens to get out the b****y way!
Promenaders are OK here, but you MUST be responsible for your safety, and keep out of the way!

Looking forward to working with you all again – have a great Home Front Weekend!

About lowdhamstation

I am a director of a small (and very technical) business, a committed Christian, a Reader (and preacher) in my local village church, husband to my dear Frances, am interested in heritage railways, and heritage fire engines. I currently run a group that displays wartime and early post-war fire engines at 1940s re-enacting events and steam engine rallies. O yes, and vintage cars and motorbikes, and we live in a Victorian railway station.
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