Record crowds see Napoleon rise again

Action from the Napolionic Associations visit to Newstead Abbey on Sunday
Action from the Napolionic Associations visit to Newstead Abbey on Sunday

RECORD-breaking crowds flocked to Newstead Abbey to sample the spectacular sights and sounds of a Napoleonic War re-enactment during the Bank Holiday weekend.

Almost 6,000 spectators — double the previous highest total of 3,000 — revelled in two explosive days of action last Sunday and Monday.

They were transported back in time to experience the life of the troops who served the Duke Of Wellington and Napoleon.

More than 300 members of the Napoleonic Association set up camp at the ancestral home of the poet Lord Byron before staging rolling battles throughout the grounds.

There was a chance to wander through a living-history camp, watch drill demonstrations, look at uniforms and weaponry and chat to soldiers.

A series of talks shed light on the troops taking part in the war, including British Redcoats and their French counterparts.

The crowds also watched displays of period cooking and had their photos taken in traditional military uniform from the early 1800s.

Younger members of the audience were invited to take part in a drill demonstration.

Gerry Warnes, horticultural superviser at Nottingham City Council, which owns the abbey, said: “It was a spectacular event. The best yet.

“The good weather helped, and Napoleon himself made an appearance on the Sunday!

“The re-enactment has a big following now and the Napoleonic Association looks at the abbey as one of its favourite places to go because everyone is so friendly.”