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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 14:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 19:13 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Hartlepool, Cleveland
Real Name: Michael Webb
Group: independent
Recently, i`ve been wondering if my whole interest in the hobby of living history/re-enacting/however you define what we do is really worth the effort nowadays?

I`ve been into the hobby for many years, starting in a Napoleonic Wars unit before moving on up to WW2 once i`d gained more background knowledge, but its recently that i`ve been doubting whether to continue doing what I love - going to events, either in uniform or as a 40s civilian.

After getting as much information as I could on my grandfather`s (dad`s dad) army service - IOW Rifles 1933-1936 and RA 1940-1945 - I figured that I`d get the correct kit to 'be' him at events, sharing his story. Quite a lot of positive comments were received, but when it actually came to being at events/requesting to join a group, i kept getting the whole 'can`t do this', 'he didn`t have that bit of kit', 'he didn`t serve in that regiment', and quite a lot more nit-picking.... quite disheartening when I`d gained as much info as I could from reliable sources. I`m no expert and never claimed to be, but i do know the difference!

I also researched the life of my great Uncle Joe - my RA grandfather`s older brother - who was a conscientious objector, but used to transport Italian POWs to do farm work around Hampshire/Wiltshire. The idea had been to get some civilian kit - appropriate clothing, gas mask, shoes and the like - to represent his life as well, but yet again i`m finding lots of times - and i`m not saying it is fellow re-enactors/living historians here - that I get quite a few negative comments, ranging from 'your too old to do that sort of thing', 'your *genuine CC41* clothes are all wrong', 'COs were all locked up in prison coz they waz traiters, innit'.

Like I say, i`ve never said i`m an expert on the subject, but i know enough to get by with, like many of you out there. Its just disheartening to think that I`ve spent the best part of 20 years, on and off, researching my two relations lives and what they went through, to feel so much negativity. I do welcome comments, both good and bad, on what i`m doing, but I wouldn`t ever dream of telling anyone the reason for their portrayal (family member, connection to a regiment, or whatever it may be) is wrong.

I`m seriously thinking about giving up the whole living history/re-enacting hobby, getting rid of the kit i`ve got and storing all my notes on my relations away and finding a hobby with little stress and that is boring..... like stamp collecting or sitting on the patio watching the grass grow (apologies if these are your hobbies outside of this, but i always preferred interaction with people).

_________________
James T. Kirk: [looking up from the planet surface to see the remains of the Enterprise burning up in the atmosphere] My God Bones, what have I done?
Leonard McCoy: What you had to do, what you always do. Turned death into a fighting chance to live.


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 15:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 19:14 pm
Posts: 954
Location: STAFFORDSHIRE
Real Name: Jon Flint
Group: Beyond the Chindwin, Burma campaign.
I understand how and why you may feel this way.
Unfortunately this hobby does attract some idiots.
It's a sad indictment of the hobby but by its very nature it will always draw in wannabe's and know it all's

Granted some do have a lot of knowledge, but they also generally have very small penis's and an over inflated opinion of themselves

I don't know whether you're in a group or do your own thing ?
But if you've researched your family members and you're happy with the detail / info you've discovered, then don't let some bombastic t*** ruin it for you.

Keep with it mate or join a group who have shared interests and enjoy the hobby for what it is, not for brow beating down others

_________________
Beyond the Chindwin, The Burma campaign.
142 Commando company - Burma.

Chindits, 1st Batt South Staffordshire regt - Operation Thursday.

2nd Batt King's African rifles, Burma campaign.




CORA Combined operations reenactors association.


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 15:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 19:13 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Hartlepool, Cleveland
Real Name: Michael Webb
Group: independent
Thanks, Jonny.

I`d never profess to being a stitch Nazi, nor FARBy. Have met a couple of veterans who made some great comments on my kit, which I was grateful for.

I did try and join a certain group - i won`t name them here - and I found several of their members were a bit 'up themselves' (putting it as politely as I can!). I have spoken to a couple of other groups, especially about my civilian set-up (based on my Uncle Joe, the objector), but its being able to get to an event where I can chat to them about joining. I know I could go solo, but I enjoy the contact of being in a group at an event. I shall certainly do my best to get the weekend off for one or two of the larger events and speak to a few of them

_________________
James T. Kirk: [looking up from the planet surface to see the remains of the Enterprise burning up in the atmosphere] My God Bones, what have I done?
Leonard McCoy: What you had to do, what you always do. Turned death into a fighting chance to live.


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 20:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 15:00 pm
Posts: 1151
Location: Scotland
I've felt the same way about the hobby as well chap. Felt the attitude of some at certain events does nothing to honour the memory of those who have gone before us, it's just descended into a big game of dressing up really in some quarters (not all!).

Like has been said, don't let folk's comments put you down when you know it's right! Well done for putting such effort in to the research as well!

I've become somewhat disillusioned with the "scene" as it were. People who appear to have all the gear but no idea of what things are actually like....there's got to be an element of that in there too somewhere in a group.

All the best with your hunt to find a group!

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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 23:03 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:58 am
Posts: 1071
Location: Cumbria
Real Name: paul ladhams
Group: A.F.R.A, Road to Mandalay.
Ignore the idiots. I nearly gave up myself, I do my grandfathers service in Burma and India and the number of people who try to tell me I've got things wrong, then I pull out the photos I have and they soon p**s off! Keep at it. It's not so bad a hobby!

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“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt


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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 1:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 17:57 pm
Posts: 125
The_Commander wrote:
Ignore the idiots. I nearly gave up myself, I do my grandfathers service in Burma and India and the number of people who try to tell me I've got things wrong, then I pull out the photos I have and they soon p**s off! Keep at it. It's not so bad a hobby!
If you are a member of 'The Road To Mandalay' then you almost certainly have got things wrong. I do agree with your advice "Ignore the Idiots" - in which case why do you bother to continue posting?


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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 8:04 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 18:16 pm
Posts: 1903
Location: North East England
Real Name: Neil Robertson
Group: I/II-AA Das Reich (W.A.R.S)
I sympathise with your plight, I really do, but you need to decide if you:
"Want to do an impression of one person" or if you want to "join a group".
Most decent groups portray a generic impression of a unit within a certain time frame, and as such have uniform standards that must be adhered to.
Simple really?

_________________
"My mother told me a long time ago that to get on in life you need to be very, very smart, or very, very pleasent. For years I was very smart.
I recomend pleasent"


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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 14:49 pm
Posts: 1157
Location: Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Real Name: Adrian Hollis
Group: AFRA, portray- RA AA gunner, 9th AF pilot
Michael,

It seems as though we have a lot in common. I portray relatives (in fact, one of them being my great uncle, who was in the RA), and for the most part, many are really interested in their stories, and are very complimentary about my kit. There are the odd few that really bring you down, and although people will tell you to ignore it, it is very hard to do so, especially when you are being told you're wrong about kit that you have researched again and again. I'm always for people giving advice and helping out, but it is when they become down right rude about you, that it becomes a chore, not a fun and enjoyable hobby. I even get fed up of coming on here sometimes and seeing people just churn off cr*p on certain posts, and how it turns into either a huge argument, or a case of 'I know more than you', which is why I had a while away from it. I came back, and nothing's really changed...

It's even tougher for me, as I deal with Living History for my day job as well, and sometimes the whole hobby can become overwhelming for me, and I feel like jacking it all in.

Then I realise just how much I enjoy attending events. Certain events I go along in my kit, with the Mrs, and enjoy the atmosphere. Other events I will have a display with a group of mates, and I really do enjoy engaging and connecting with the public. This is the reason I do it. Talking to people and educating them on my families history, and that of the lads who fought alongside my relatives. I enjoy speaking with the vets, and teaching children new things. In that short period, all the 'agro' and 'negativity' disappears, and I again realise why I joined the hobby. Not a power trip, not to make others feel crap, not to have my photo taken and to be on the internet somewhere, to educate, and to enjoy.

All I say to you Michael, is keep on with it. Maybe have a short time out, or a break. go to the events and find that spark again. It will come. Hopefully might bump into you at an event at some point!

_________________
Portraying my great uncles....

Lance Bombardier Bryce R. Hollis 89 Bty, 35th LAA RA. Captured by Japanese on Java 8/3/42

1st Lt Delmore (Del) Meier, 314th TS, 31s TG, 9th USAAF. Flying C-47's from RAF Grove


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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 20:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 18:24 pm
Posts: 163
Real Name: Mark Stubbings
Group: The Great Exhibitonists
Yes it is, the stitch counting tossers are a pain, as opposed to helpful critics who actually want to see you do well

If they ask Why pick that? and are genuinely interested it's likely they're in the latter category
if anyone walks up to you and says 'I think you should know that's wrong' just ask them if they have
period underwear or socks on, are their buttons sewn on with cotton or polycotton thread
nobody has the right to upset someone else because they can, but the other side of the coin is
why let them upset you, you KNOW you're right, the fact they're a t*** is something they and their family have to live with, and you only get to speak with them for a few minutes. Ask then when was the last time they actually enjoyed a show without upsetting anyone perhaps?
As for why?
I'm the bloke who was a Nazi Nun Paratrooper at Chatham,(LDV exercise) nobody could argue with the social commentary there!

Good luck and just keep enjoying yourself :)

_________________
Never underestimate the power of Human Stupidity..........Especially mine.
Cosplay.....................Destroying our heritage since 1977
C96, Mg34, Mg42, Sterling, Lewis gun, LeMat, M19 Sight, feel free to add more..


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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 22:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:26 am
Posts: 163
It has become playtime for all the toy soldiers unfortunately.

Farcical "battles" as far as the eye can see and cowboy "re-enactors".

Despite this, there are those of you that shine above the rest, with a thirst for historical knowledge
and a positive attitude towards striving to be as accurate and as informative as you could possibly be,
for you, the world is your oyster.


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 7:48 am 
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Location: West Yorks
Real Name: Allen
Group: Independant
LRDG_42 wrote:
and cowboy "re-enactors".



Would you like to clarify that point please ...

Do you mean western re-enactors or are you using the word in its derogatory sense ..??

Either way I find it offensive, sorry and all that, but I have been a western re-enactor for over 40 years, and yes, whereas it is unfortunately true there is the 'B' movie element in the hobby, not to mention b***y line dancing etc, it came of age a long time ago and as with any period in history the facts were there to follow regarding dress and equipment and many of us went down that road to show what it was really all about as against the Saturday morning serial, TV series and movie image that it had, in fact I would go so far as to say of the majority of periods to re-enact we had the hardest job given the overall image that 'cowboys' engendered in the publics eye due to the somewhat romanticised image shown in those medias.

Not only that the use of the word cowboy in that sense is an insult to ... as the original working cowboy, cowhand, ranch hand was loyal, hard working, honest, and had an integrity that has been belied given the modern day use of the word, so forgive me if you feel I am being touchy, Im not as such, but perhaps if I made disparaging remarks referring to 'The Army Game' for example perhaps you would feel a little miffed too ..

ps; for those that don't know or remember .. 'The Army Game' was a comedy about Army life, in much the same vein as Dads Army supposedly reflects the Home Guard.

_________________
War Correspondent
United Press
'The Writing 69th'
8th USAAF
Somewhere in England

... " I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals " ...

... " I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them " ...


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 9:41 am 
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Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 14:49 pm
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Location: Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Real Name: Adrian Hollis
Group: AFRA, portray- RA AA gunner, 9th AF pilot
Correspondent wrote:
LRDG_42 wrote:
and cowboy "re-enactors".



Would you like to clarify that point please ...

Do you mean western re-enactors or are you using the word in its derogatory sense ..??

Either way I find it offensive, sorry and all that, but I have been a western re-enactor for over 40 years, and yes, whereas it is unfortunately true there is the 'B' movie element in the hobby, not to mention b***y line dancing etc, it came of age a long time ago and as with any period in history the facts were there to follow regarding dress and equipment and many of us went down that road to show what it was really all about as against the Saturday morning serial, TV series and movie image that it had, in fact I would go so far as to say of the majority of periods to re-enact we had the hardest job given the overall image that 'cowboys' engendered in the publics eye due to the somewhat romanticised image shown in those medias.

Not only that the use of the word cowboy in that sense is an insult to ... as the original working cowboy, cowhand, ranch hand was loyal, hard working, honest, and had an integrity that has been belied given the modern day use of the word, so forgive me if you feel I am being touchy, Im not as such, but perhaps if I made disparaging remarks referring to 'The Army Game' for example perhaps you would feel a little miffed too ..

ps; for those that don't know or remember .. 'The Army Game' was a comedy about Army life, in much the same vein as Dads Army supposedly reflects the Home Guard.


This....

See this is another thing that gets me wound up... Don't take it so literally. We all accept and understand that 'Cowboys' are a part of history. We are very aware of that.

To say you find the term 'offensive' is ok. You may find so. But it is also a common term used in modern language. 'Cowboy builders' etc it is just a term used. Just brush it off.

There is no need to put a huge lecture out there to us regarding who or what the 'Cowboys were'.

Please don't think i'm starting an argument. I'm not. I can't be bothered with it. I just also don't see the point in you putting all that information when we already understand what a cowboy is. It's a aste of your time, and also has turned this thread into something else, instead of what the original post was about.

I respect that you do 'western' reenactment. It's great you are keeping it alive. Just take it easy!

_________________
Portraying my great uncles....

Lance Bombardier Bryce R. Hollis 89 Bty, 35th LAA RA. Captured by Japanese on Java 8/3/42

1st Lt Delmore (Del) Meier, 314th TS, 31s TG, 9th USAAF. Flying C-47's from RAF Grove


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 10:13 am 
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Real Name: Allen
Group: Independant
Adrian ... you just got very upset above that someone put you down regarding your representation of your relative .. wheres the difference ... respect earns respect, we want it we need to give it ... and if re-enactors aren't going to honor and stand up for historical fact, who is .... and again ... just because society as a whole has chosen to 'accept' that word in the meaning it has, does it mean we all should ... ??

Im not trying to start an argument either, or change the subject, with respect in a way it is part of the subject, all perhaps part of the reasons why people want to give up, if I worded it too strongly I'm sorry, but I felt it needed to be said.

_________________
War Correspondent
United Press
'The Writing 69th'
8th USAAF
Somewhere in England

... " I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals " ...

... " I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them " ...


Last edited by Correspondent on Fri May 26, 2017 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 10:44 am 
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Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 14:49 pm
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Location: Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Real Name: Adrian Hollis
Group: AFRA, portray- RA AA gunner, 9th AF pilot
Correspondent wrote:
Adrian ... you just got very upset above that someone put you down regarding your representation of your relative .. wheres the difference ... respect earns respect, we want it we need to give it ... and if re-enac tors aren't going to honor ansd stand up for histoical fact, who is .... and again ... just because society as a whole has chosen to 'accept' that word in the meaning it has, does it mean we all should ... ??

Im not trying to start an argument either, or change the subject, with respect in a way it is part of the subject, all perhaps part of the reasons why people want to give up, if I worded it too strongly I'm sorry, but I felt it needed to be said.


Allen,

I suppose you are right. The thing is, this whole subject opens up a complete can of worms doesn't it?

Let's just all have a group hug and be merry!

_________________
Portraying my great uncles....

Lance Bombardier Bryce R. Hollis 89 Bty, 35th LAA RA. Captured by Japanese on Java 8/3/42

1st Lt Delmore (Del) Meier, 314th TS, 31s TG, 9th USAAF. Flying C-47's from RAF Grove


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 11:13 am 
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Real Name: Allen
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Yes it could, and that wasn't my intent and I hope it doesn't digress to much ....
... I'm not sure about the group hug though .. :wink:

_________________
War Correspondent
United Press
'The Writing 69th'
8th USAAF
Somewhere in England

... " I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals " ...

... " I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them " ...


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 12:35 pm 
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Real Name: Andy
Group: Za Oberonyu! 13th GRD and WPFG
Isn't the original OP basically talking about individual portrayals vs more generalised impressions?

Most of us are generalists, whatever the subject. Personally I strive to look like a "typical" RKKA soldat and try to avoid going down the road of "i've seen a photo with a guy wearing a teacosy").

However, there is nothing wrong with taking an individualist approach, but the generalists will give you a hard time for sure.

Everyone likes to be an expert and a fair amount like to call out what they perceive as "farbs" without necessarily understanding what they are looking at.

I don't think our friend (or other specific impressions) would fit into a group based around a unit, but equally there is a place for him to tell a story surely to god?

Chin up comrade, soldier on!

_________________
"I saw cities in Europe that were practically untouched by the war, countries that capitulated to the more powerful enemies even before war was declared, but we are not like that. Our grandfathers, our fathers, our older generation, our great leaders, fought here for each building, for each street." - First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin on the 70th anniversary of victory at Stalingrad


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