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The War and Peace Revival

By Dan Shea

Return to the Hop Farm Family Park in Kent, England

In the county of Kent in the South of England, near the small village of Beltring, there is a special park called the Hop Farm Family Park. Between 1982 and 2011, this park played host to the largest military vehicle show in the world, the War and Peace Revival (formally known as the War and Peace Show and also known as the Beltring). The show has been enjoyed by countless people coming from as far away as Eastern Europe and the United States, many of whom have made it a tradition to spend three to five days wandering the show. Whether they were looking through the vendor stands for military memorabilia or admiring the tanks and other vehicles, it was a yearly migration.

In 2012, the owners decided to move the show to Folkestone Racecourse at Westenhanger, 44 miles away from Beltring. It was not a bad location, but many who were used to the Hop Farm were still disappointed. At the Hop Farm, many had their traditions and favorite meeting places. (I grew up attending the War and Peace Show with my family, and it was a great vacation for us every July.) They were used to the location and all the local stores and restaurants in the area. Folkestone Racecourse just didn’t feel the same for those used to the old location. Then, in 2017 and under new ownership, the War and Peace Revival returned to the Hop Farm. There were a few changes, but it didn’t matter. Many people were happy and enjoyed themselves even when it started to rain.

The parking is near the Hop Farm Family Park itself. At the back is the Arena, with two large man-made hills with a large path in the middle for vehicles to drive through. This is for large numbers of people to sit on and watch the events in the Arena. The Arena is covered with bushes, small ditches, and small mounds to show how the tanks and other military vehicles move in that terrain....

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N2 (February 2018)
and was posted online on December 22, 2017

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