Rediscover the spirit of the 1940s this weekend

Nearly 200 re-enactors will be taking part in a weekend of living history at Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower
Nearly 200 re-enactors will be taking part in a weekend of living history at Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower
Portsmouth & Southsea railway station by Andy Cooper

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Not many of us can remember the spirit of the 1940s, but we can all experience it at Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower this weekend.

In an annual event, the museum in Priddy’s Hard, Gosport creates a fun family weekend of living history, recreating what life was like in the momentous years toward the middle of the last century.

Nearly 200 re-enactors will be in attendance at the historic buildings over the course of weekend and highlights will include twice-daily demonstrations of Operation Market Garden, where Allied troops fight the Germans for control of Hell’s Highway in a recreation set in the ramparts.

Naval gunners will give a dramatic demonstration of firepower using Explosion’s 4.7-inch gun. Plus families will have to head for the shelters when the sirens sound for the air raid.

Children must be on their best behaviour for the arrival of the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Winston Churchill, MP, and his entourage.

And all ages can get up close to a Sexton Self-Propelled Gun and watch demonstrations throughout the day beside the green.

There’s plenty more to do with a display of military vehicles, demonstrations of 1940s life, and an Allo Allo-style sketch performance which can be enjoyed while having a glass of wine and a baguette in the cafe.

Plus, there is a WVS tea tent, wartime film shows, a sweet shop and drop-in family activities.

Events run from 10am until 5pm tomorrow and Sunday.

Admission costs £10 for adults, £5 for concessions and £20 for a family of two adults and up to three children. A 10 per cent discount applies to tickets bought in advance.

Tickets include admission to Explosion’s award-winning museum galleries.

And for the kids (of all ages), don’t forget Hands on History’s paintball range.

For adults, there is also a separate sold-out 1940s dance tomorrow night, where they can have a go at the jitterbug and the lindy hop in the 18th century Grand Magazine.

The weekend event is also included as part of a visit to the museum for those with a valid Big Ticket, covering eight attractions and a waterbus trip across the harbour.

· For more information about the Big Ticket, see

To learn more about the weekend’s events, visit or call (023) 9250 5600.