Stanstead Summer Festival

Central Sussex
19 July 2023

Sunday 16th July was the date for the Stanstead House Park summer festival, an event arranged by our friends in the Surrey section, where we were invited to join. As a result a total of 38 cars, 12 from Central Sussex rolled up, everyone with fingers crossed for good weather. The weather had been so bad, the previous day’s Goodwood FOS had to be cancelled, so everyone at Stanstead Park felt blessed we didn’t get blown away or soaked, just a mix of sunny, breezy, perhaps a chilly day. So much better than Saturdays weather.

There was a good mix of cars, we are seeing more and more Giulia’s and Stelvio’s at events, no bad thing, but we still also see plenty of treasured cars from the early 60’s, the 70’s and up through the era’s to the 939 Spiders and Brera’s of the 00’s as the photos supplied by Marty demonstrates. As the event was not exclusive to Alfa Romeo clubs, there was also a good selection of cars ranging from MG’s to Rolls Royce’s.

It was not just about beautiful cars though at the Summer Festival. There was also the Stansted Safari, Archery, the Napoleonic Living History Camp, the Woods & Parkland Display, Laser Clay Shooting, Mini Golf, Stansted Maze, Yoga, Light Railway and Forest School and even a and a T34 Tank! (I think I heard Putin had lost one). Our section members visited as many of the attractions they could, but there were just too many to visit them all.

One of the main attractions of the day was the presence of the Napoleonic Association. A 200 strong army made up of groups of enthusiasts from all over the country who presented re-enactments including cavalry charges, changing of the guard and musketry drills. Visitors could walk around a large living history camp and experience what life was like for soldiers taking part in the Napoleonic wars, including quite a macabre demonstration of how field amputations were carried out.

All this was accompanied by a series of talks in the chapel by eminent historians on aspects of the Napoleonic wars, in particular the very comprehensive account of the Battle of Waterloo was very interesting, having a strong connection to Stanstead Park Mansion which houses two swords actually used in the battle by one-time owner Lord Ponsoby, seriously wounded in the battle but who survived.

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