After a short break work has started again on Operation Turnip, CART’s renovation and restoration of an Operational Base in Kent.
CART CIO for Kent Phil Evans and co spent the weekend removing the remaining water from base. This was done manually with buckets.
It was noticed that two of the roof vents were blocked so they will need to dig down and repair these at some point. It was also noted that water level in base when they turned up had not risen at all which is very good news indeed.
As the sun sets over Coleshill and the re-enactors pack up their tents we look back at the past 48 hours and say well done to everyone who took part.
The weekend follows months of planning by the National Trust at Coleshill and was a vast improvement on the previous event in 2010.
There were many catering retailers this year and the food options were very tasty. Entertainment was provided by the Warneford Big Band and there was plenty to do for children and families from face painting to code breaking.
On Saturday the new replica Operational Base was opened by Coleshill trained Auxilier Bob Millard and after a brilliant speech he cut the ribbon with his Fairbairn Sykes dagger before taking the time to talk to young and old about his training and service.
Crowds then queued for hours to have a sneak peak inside the unfinished building.
CART researchers wandered around the vast estate answering questions and helping people find the key parts of the site.
On both days there were three talks given. Bill King spoke about how the Auxiliers were formed. Karen Fielder spoke about the architectural masterpiece that was Coleshill House and Chris Pratt from the British Resistance Museum at Parham educated listeners on the three elements to the British Resistance Movement.
The talks were full on both days.
Auxiliary Re-Enactors brought the sites wartime use to life with weapons displays, loud bangs and hands on practical education of weapons and explosives used. Tony Salter brought his excellent mobile Aux display and fired up the children’s imagination.
The 70 year old original Operational Base set deep in the Coleshill woods was also open and National Trust volunteer
Roger Green provided guided tours and more than comfortably filled the boots of the late warden Keith Blaxhall.
There were many vintage vehicles on display with the Austin 7 club and the Military Vehicle Trust (MVT) present.
On Sunday CART researchers set up a small display in the Granary and answered many questions from the public.
Impressionist, playwright and comedian Rory Bremner even popped in and picked up a CART flyer. Later he posted on Twitter.
More information on the weekend and all the images can be found here
Thanks to all who took part and all who attended and special thanks to Keith Blaxhall who kept the Aux fire burning at Coleshill for over 30 years.