The re-enactors have pitched their encampments, primed and ready. The weather is looking good. We have an incredible line up of speakers and subjects for the weekend, covering politics, military, music and the arts. The food choices and emporium stalls are abundant. There really is something for everyone. It promises to be a weekend of #AmazingHistory.
While this year’s festival has something for everyone, our weekend programme is bursting with amazing events and experiences to grab the attention of children of all ages. Here are some ideas to ensure your kids have an unforgettable time this weekend in Broad Chalke.
Always a festival favourite, the clashing of shields and swords and cries of delight from the Sword School has become a indelible part of CVHF. Sessions are available for both adults and children – but only eight can be bought in any one session – so for the chance to hone the art of Middle Age fighting, book today! £11 per person
The gloriously entertaining and enormously fun double-act of Mr Abs and Mr Alex have once again been capturing the imaginations of festival goers this year and their unique retellings of history’s most rip-roaring tales will be a highlight this weekend. Whether your children want to gasp at the story of a Victorian Jonah being by a whale or chuckle at the farcical antics of Edwardian motor racers, don’t miss the opportunity to see this duo at some point.
Children’s Creative History Tent
If you are bringing children down to the festival, the Children’s Creative Tent could be a perfect oasis for your kids during the busy weekend schedule. They will all be entertained and educated for an hour, making friends with other children whilst engaging in an eclectic mix of activities from fan making to espionage. Book them in online, then when you are here, sign your children up 15 minutes before the sessions begins and then check them in and drop them off where they will be looked after by a group of teachers. Pick them up an hour later after you’ve enjoyed the sights or attended a talk. Simple.
The dazzling aerial acrobatics of some of the most beautiful and iconic aircraft from WWII is capable of captivating the hearts of festival goers young and old. With the weather set fair, this is rare chance to clasp your eyes on Hurricanes and Mustangs whistling through the Wiltshire skies.
As always, all our living historians will be putting on a dazzling array of demonstrations and displays, including some of the following highlights:
Experience the Iron Age: An amazing opportunity to experience a Celtic Iron Age encampment plus activities, including Celtic wheat grinding, cookery and daily life.
Experience The Vikings: An exclusive chance this weekend to see the Early Medieval Vikings and Anglo-Saxon encampment. Everything from skill at arms to Norman siege techniques and weaponry as well as special activities for ‘Kiddie Vikes’ all weekend.
Steam Engines and Vintage Tractors: Richard Pocock will be bringing his stunning fully-working steam traction engine, as well as two Ford Model Ts, a Lend Lease Tractor and wartime Fordson tractor.
This talk from Brough Scott, a former jockey and acclaimed writer and broadcaster, will shed light on Winston Churchill’s life-long love of horses and his detailing of Churchill’s great obsession promises to be a gripping event for all the family.
In between talks and events, you will be able to feast on various food and drink outlets scattered around the stunning festival site. There’s something for everyone, including vegetarian and gluten-free options, so you won’t go hungry over the weekend!
And much, much more….
For details on everything else going on this weekend, check out our website for the latest news and updates on this exciting weekend of history!
Despite the slightly damp conditions here at the Chalke Valley History Festival site a few days ago, we have now shaken off our raincoats and the weather looks fair for the rest of week. We have been treated to a fantastic series of events and talks already, with so many inspiring debates and study mornings that it’s hard to choose our highlights at this stage. However, if we had to flag up some particular favourites, we’d probably single these ones out.
On Monday, we were honoured to welcome three German World War II veterans – Hugo Broch, Günter Halm and Karl Leuffert – who came to speak to a select audience of 100 people and shared their incredible wartime experiences. Hugo Broch in particular has been hitting the news headlines since he arrived in the UK because on Tuesday he also went to Biggin Hill to fly in a Spitfire for the first time. Dan Snow, who is here at the Festival all week with his HistoryHit team, was there to interview him.
On Tuesday evening one of our most popular and respected political journalists Andrew Marr came to give a talk on the history of modern Britain, and took the opportunity to have a go at the use of social media nowadays and to share his view that Brexit had left Britain ‘badly divided’.
Yesterday we had around 1,000 Year 10 and 12 students attending our Schools Festival. The site was teaming with enthusiastic 13 and 15 year olds, eager to learn some ‘hands on’ history from the living historians who are here to share their knowledge all week. They had the rare opportunity to hear from the likes of Suzannah Lipscomb who was talking about Witchcraft and the Witch-Trials, and from Dr Gareth Davies who spoke about African-American Civil Rights. The First World War Trench experience was as popular as ever, and the students listening to the falconry session were treated to an amazing display as the birds swooped overhead.
After today, we still have 3 more jam-packed days of #AmazingHistory to look forward to, including some iconic warbirds that will be flying over the site at the weekend and some dancing to the Bombshell Belles on Saturday night. We look forward to seeing you then!
Chalke Valley History Festival for School’s 2017 has now come to a close.. over 2000 students, 30+ talks, Living History demonstrations and plenty of laughs along the way. Here is a beautifully shot highlights film by the Bournemouth University film crew..