We’re always chatting to reenactment groups we know here at Epic, and I recently spoke to Stuart Beeney from Rolling Thunder – The Vietnam Experience. They have put together this article about how the group started, what they’re up to now and what they’ve got planned for the future.
Rolling Thunder is one of Europe’s biggest Living History and reenactment groups. Our members collect and own a wide selection of vehicles, equipment and personal items from the Vietnam War, which we display at various shows throughout the year in the form of a mobile museum. Our aim is to depict the Vietnam conflict with total accuracy and to educate by engaging fully with the public. It is our intention to show the hardships and everyday lives of the combatants of both sides in such a way as to honour the veterans of the war.
Our group was originally conceived in the late 90’s by a hand full of like-minded friends. Each year at shows and events we would put on small displays of equipment and vehicles, and each year our displays would grow bigger and better. Rolling Thunder “The Vietnam Experience” owes its name to our ability to portray a wide range of units to give the public a wider understanding of the conflict. Between our members we convey some very comprehensive reenactment displays. These include Infantry camps, Marine patrols, Artillery emplacements, Special Forces and Airborne units, Australian regiments, The Peace Movement and our newly created French IndoChina section. We now also have a large assortment of vehicles. These range from the small but practical Mechanical Mule up to the large armoured replica Gun Trucks and cargo Trucks, as well as Artillery Guns.
To understand a conflict such as the Vietnam War you need to understand both sides in the conflict. This is also where we feel at Rolling Thunder, The Vietnam Experience that we excel. We have a large collection of rarely seen equipment and weaponry of the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong Forces.
Over the years we have grown larger and larger as a group. Our displays are now believed to have the largest concentration of Vietnam vehicles within the UK. Members of Rolling Thunder have supplied equipment, uniforms and vehicles to Television companies and Film makers. We have also supplied items to people writing books and magazine articles. We do not wish to glorify the Vietnam War or what happened, we try to educate people as to what went on on the other side of the world; Living History is Understanding History.
Please enjoy our Facebook page where you will always be able to find the latest updates, and feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. We also have Instagram and Twitter. You can also let us know if you’re interested in joining the group or have a film or Television project you need help with. You can also check out our Website www.rolling-thunder.org.uk for more details.