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Posted on Jan 30, 2006 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

Militaria ’06

By A J Summersgill and Roach

There was plenty of original gear for sale, but as is the trend these days there was also plenty of reproduction gear to hand for the re-enactor and collector to spend their hard-earned cash on. If it can’t be obtained, it can usually be reproduced, with an ever-increasing amount of quality reproduction gear available, such as one stall selling brand new canvas hoods for Jeeps and other military utility vehicles. In fact, it really is quite amazing to see the wide variety of reproduction equipment that is now widely available. The quality varies equally widely of course from poor to excellent – in the case of the latter, I certainly believe that it is going to be exceedingly difficult for future collectors to tell the difference between what is real and what is repro’. This is especially true in the area of badges and patches. In the past I personally never set foot in this particular area due to the quality of the ‘fakes’ that were available when I first started collecting – and nothing I saw at Stoneleigh made me reconsider that decision! If you know what to look for, all well and good – if you don’t then good luck because you’ll need it!


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Badges patches and medals aplenty

The stalls were laid out over two main halls, with the overspill spreading out into other covered areas. As with most militaria events, although there was some grouping of similar businesses such as the numerous jeep ‘spares and repair’ ventures, for the ‘punter’ it was a case of walk around everything, and then do it again. And again. And again. Repeat ‘til fade – or until your money or inclination runs out!

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Just a few books for our library…

And here’s a translated Field Manual for a Tiger I,
just in case you should ever come across one…

But then, that is part of the fun of trade shows like these. You know what you’re looking for, and you have to hunt until you – hopefully – find it. The trouble is, in the process of hunting for what you are looking for, you invariably find something that you weren’t looking for and yet you know with cold, calculating certainty that you have to have it – and consequently find yourself parting with money for that additional, suddenly essential ‘something’. And then the consequence of that is that you find yourself hoping that your partner will understand where the next three months’ housekeeping money has gone!

Or, in the case of this Tank which was for sale to the tune of the “show-special” price of £10,000.00, you will also need to persuade your better half why the car should be parked on the road from now on.

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Unfortunately it had sold very early in the day or we
might have been driving home in style

Yes, an understanding partner is an essential commodity for the enthusiastic militaria collector.

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