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Around 100 staunch model soldier enthusiasts descended on the Victory Services Club at London's Marble Arch on December 3, 2011, to celebrate the seventh annual W. Britain Collectors' Club event.
Visitors were greeted by a smart reception area and bright seasonal decorations, before taking the winding staircase down into the Carisbrooke Hall, where a range of classic toy soldier dioramas was waiting, along with a small group of military re-enactors who were just itching to impart some small gems of historical knowledge.
And impart them they did. I've attended a number of Britains events and the re-enactors, with their genuine weapons and kit and seemingly encyclopaedic knowledge of the unit they represent, are always surrounded by fascinated groups of club members.
It was unusual to see a representative of 'the enemy' a WWI German infantryman but like many other visitors, I got to feel the heft and balance of a genuine Great War-vintage Mauser 98 rifle, which I was fascinated to learn could be sighted up to 2000 metres!
Limited edition figures were auctioned and exciting new sets from the War Along the Nile series including the mouth-watering, fully armed and crewed British Nile River Gunboat were viewed with great relish.
Drinks and canaps were shared generously throughout the evening and Managing Director Richard Walker made a short customary speech, hinting at future projects and thanking collectors for their enduring loyalty to W. Britain.
The evening closed with a fascinating mini-lecture by leading military historian, Ian Knight, on the true causes of the disastrous British loss at Isandlwana during the Zulu war of 1879.
News item by George Phillips
Picture: A German WWI re-enactor chats with a Club members at the Britains event
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