Portsmouth Dockyard Victorian Festival of Christmas 27th –29th December 2015


      For the third year running Area 4 of the SWA was invited to participate in “The Victorian Festival of Christmas” in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard with a display of models in The “Action Stations” Attraction . This is a very large three day event with market and food stalls, period characters, a snow street, a traditional Father Christmas dressed in green, carol singers, fairground attractions etc etc.   As it also coincided with Black Friday week end at the nearby “Gunwharf  Quays  Shopping Centre” the whole Portsmouth waterfront area was very busy and even the Park and Ride was full by midday on both Saturday and Sunday and this accounted for a high level of visitors over the three days.

      As we had several of our regular members unavailable for the event our display was a little smaller with only 20 models on display, we had our usual layout space on 12 long tables to which we added snow and coloured lighting to give it a festive theme, we also ran our usual Children’s Quiz which involves finding hidden objects on the models and finding data about the models from the info sheets, the completed sheets were entered into a daily draw for a Laser Quest which was donated by Action Stations.

      In addition this year John Hawley devised a Tank Driving test for the children which involved driving a small radio controlled tank off a landing craft negotiating an obstacle course and then reversing it back on to the LCM, this new addition to our display proved very popular and the winner over the three days also won a Laser Quest (we hope to expand on this for next year).

We now seem to have regular visitors to our displays in this venue who come along to admire the models and see any new additions, we also received some very nice compliments on the standard of the models from many of the visitors.

       As usual it is a always a pleasure to chat to ex members of the armed services who come along to the stand and who served on the actual ships we model and we often pick up a few tips from them for additional detailing etc

      The display comprised a selection of models of British, American, German and Japanese ships including battleships, carriers, destroyers, escorts and a U boat .

      By the time Sunday night arrived we managed to access the venue to load our cars by 6.45pm and all arrived home, tired and happy after a very busy week-end .

      Members supporting the display were John Hawley, Alan Gamblin, Geoff Young ,Ken Winter , Dave and Andrea Reith and myself .



David McNair-Taylor