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Secret Island Newsletter
Upcoming Events for June 2012
We're OPEN EVERY DAY during the summer holidays with lots of family fun taking place in the Mad Lab!
EXPERIENCE THE GREAT WAR AT ROYAL GUNPOWDER MILLS
Saturday 16 & Sunday 17th June
The Royal Gunpowder Mills played a key role in the First World War. Over six thousand people were employed, producing cordite for the guns, as well as other products. The annual Great War event remembers those days with a variety fascinating displays.
The life of the British 'Tommy' is portrayed by members of the 'Rifles' re-enactment group, while the soldiers of other armies, French, Russian, even Austro-Hungarian, are represented by the members of other societies.
You can see how they lived, handle weapons and equipment, and enjoy talks and demonstrations. Civilian life is also represented by various costumed characters who will be promenading on the site over the weekend. There is also the chance to find out about your own ancestors with historical experts from the Western Front Association.
NAPOLEONIC WARS TO BE RE-STAGED AT ROYAL GUNPOWDER MILLS
Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 June
The armies of Wellington and Napoleon will face each other across the battlefield once again at the Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey on the weekend of June 23-24. Featuring members of the acclaimed Napoleonic Association who will be recreating daily life both in the opposing armies and among the camp followers.
Visitors will be invited to travel back two centuries to Portugal in 1810 to see how troops lived, drilled and fought during the 15-year conflict that became known as the Napoleonic Wars.
There will be the rattle of musket fire, the roar of the cannons and the thunder of horses’ hooves - supported by fascinating displays, demonstrations and lectures. The climax of both days will be a final conflict as the two opposing armies clash on the field of battle.
With variations in the programme each day, there will be opportunities to marvel at the skill of arms of the soldiers, see how the cavalry trained for conflict, listen to lectures by experts, look at how the war-gamers reproduce the conflicts in miniature - there’s even the opportunity to enlist yourselves!
Over both weekends, there’s also a great range of interactive exhibitions and activities for both adults and children to enjoy, all of the Royal Gunpowder Mills attractions will be open, including the exhibition and film that brings 300 years of the site’s secret history to life, Professor Nitrate’s Mad Lab will provide fun for the children while the Rocket Vault showcases the scientific research that the Gunpowder Mills developed after WW11. You can also take a trip in a military truck or discover secret parts of the island site on a landtrain tour.
NARROW GAUGE RAILWAYS AT ROYAL GUNPOWDER MILLS
Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July
For this weekend the focus is on the railways which ran around the Gunpowder Mills, with a special behind the scenes ‘Open Day’ with our railway volunteers. This is a chance to see progress on the restoration of the full-size track and rolling stock on the site, as well as on a smaller scale, the work of local model railway enthusiasts and clubs.
There will be model railway layouts by the East London Model Railway Group and the East Telephone Area Railway Society.
For more information visit www.royalgunpowdermills.com or call 01992 707370
Venue Details: Royal Gunpowder Mills, Beaulieu Drive, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1JY
Open at weekends 10 - 5 and daily during school holidays