Ulster Military Vehicle Club Show next month

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IF you happen to be relaxing outside your house in late July and early August and you feel the earth shaking beneath your feet – don’t be alarmed!

It’s not the latest volcanic eruption taking place but preparations instead being made for the 2011 Ulster Military Vehicle Club show which once again brings history, vintage military vehicles and battle re-enactments to the North Coast.

This spectacular show will again take place beside The Inn On The Coast on the main Portrush to Portstewart road on the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, August 6-7. The UMVC Show, now well established as the biggest of its kind in Ireland and a major annual Summer attraction on the North Coast, promises the whole family a memorable day or weekend out. It has nostalgia, history, education and fun by the truckload.

On display at the UMVC Show will be military vehicles from conflicts including WW2, The Falklands and The Gulf War. You will also see artillery, motorbikes, half-tracks, jeeps, trucks and tanks all lovingly restored by their dedicated owners. This wonderful collection allows young and old military enthusiasts and “Petrol Heads” to marvel at the machines of both war and peace.

As you walk around this extensive show you may find that piece of antique militaria, or even a gearbox, you’ve been after from one of the many stalls or the on site trade stands. Who knows…you could pick up that first item that launches you on your way in the fascinating hobbies of re-enactment or military vehicle collecting.

Special guests of the UMVC are once again the Wartime Living History Association ( WLHA ).

Founded in 2004, this band of brothers has blazed a trail round Northern Ireland with their award winning and highly acclaimed WW2 re-enactments and living history displays. These amateur historians and collectors let the public get up close and personal with American, British, Russian and German “troops” of the time.

Renowned for their authenticity, members of the WLHA add colour, insight and understanding to the black and white newsreels we have all seen from WW2. Down to the finest possible detail, the WLHA gives as realistic as possible an impression of the common soldier of World War II no matter what side he or she fought on.

From drill and parade to mess tin cooking, rifle stripping to shaving – this is how it was done. Feel free to ask the WLHA questions about the forces and equipment on display and you will increase your knowledge of WW2 no end.

The highlight for many at the UMVC Show are the daily WW2 Battle Re-Enactments. Taking place each day at roughly noon and between 4 and 5pm, these large scale battles represent engagements between Allied and Axis forces on the frontline during WW2.

They are a unique opportunity for spectators to see, hear and imagine the true nature of War. Planning and training for these spectacles is now well underway and preparations can take months because every detail, including period weapons, pyrotechnics and tactics are tested repeatedly to ensure maximum safety for the participants – and the spectators. By battle’s end, onlookers will be amazed by what they have witnessed.

Please note: Arrive early for the battles as space can be limited. Battle times and detail can alter for technical, weather or other reasons beyond the organiser’s control. Bangs, pyrotechnics and explosions can be upsetting to certain members of the public.

The UMVC Show promises each visitor fun, understanding and entertainment on a truly epic scale. Times 11am - 6pm on Saturday and 11am - 5pm on Sunday. Admission - adults £5 and children £2.

Further details on the UMVC and WLHA can be found online at www.umvc.org and www.wartimeliving.co.uk