Join Us |     Contact Us |  

The Essex HMVA

Annual Show

After a number of successful previous years at Tilbury Fort, we were dealt a severe blow, when, due to the declining condition of the Tilbury Fort site, English Heritage were unable to allow us to continue to host our show there. After a short period of moving venues, we held our first small scale Essex MVT area show at Damyns Hall with just a dozen vehicles in 2006.

The show gained in popularity and size, playing host to over 300 vehicles with in excess of 10,000 visitors and participants. This gave us the opportunity to show the public our vehicles, living history displays and what we do for our community.

Money raised from the show goes to support a number of organisations such as those who work with ex-service personnel. We also have the added advantage of our show site being an airfield, which means we can feature full flying displays with guest aircraft such as the 'Sally B' and The 'Battle of Britain Memorial Flight'.

Towards the end of 2013 it was suggested we run it as a separate organisation. To secure the future and success of further shows and to expand our public benifit, a new independent Charity was formed early in 2014.

In 2017 we moved yet again to a site near Maldon. The maritime town of Maldon and the surrounding area is a picturesque and historic area, with a rich and important military history, it has seen more than its fair share of conflict throughout the ages, including the Roman, Viking and Dane eras. Famously, the Battle of Maldon in 991 CE occurred during the reign of Ethelred the Unready.

Following the success of the 2017 show, we had planned to continue at the same venue for 2018. Unfortunately, we were unable to secure the site for the dates we required and took the reluctant decision to rest the show for 2018. We very much wanted to stay near the Maldon area, so we took an extensive hunt for a new venue.

We announced on our Facebook page, our intention to return with a new show in 2019. Following discussions with the new site land owners, we were pleased to be able to confirm our intentions to run a new show at Purleigh in Essex.

The name of the new event is: "Echoes of History". The change in venue has presented an occasion for us to take the best bits of many previous shows, merging them into what we expect will be a fantastic event, giving us the opportunity to promote multi-period living history as well as military history through the ages and of course the historic military vehicles that are so much of a special feature of our show. The show took place on the 10th & 11th August 2019 at the Purleigh Halt Showground, Barons Lane, Purleigh, Essex CM9 6PF. - Please note: this is NOT a postal address for correspondence.

Purleigh is just south of Maldon, Essex, and can note its charter as far back as 998 where it appears as Purlea. At the time of the Domesday survey of 1086, the manor of Purleigh was held by Eustace II, Count of Boulogne. He fought on the Norman side at the Battle of Hastings of 1066, and afterwards received large grants of land forming an honour in England. To the edge of the showground, is the path once taken by the Woodham Ferrers to Maldon railway, with a Halt for the villagers of nearby Purleigh. The line was closed to passenger traffic in 1939 as part of the wartime economy measures and to freight in the 1950s, but during WW2 it was used for storing spare rail stock and also for coaling locos away from marshalling yards, which could be an easy target for bombers.

The ancestors of the Washington family came to England in 1066 with the Norman Invasion and settled in the far north of England. A pubic house at the edge of the village, known as The Purleigh Bell dates back to the 14th Century and was the home of George Washington'?s great-great-great grandfather who was the rector of the village from 1634. This rural setting is ideal for our displays, with the woods, hedges and grassland reminiscent of scenes from D-Day holding camps through to Operation Goodwood.

The new event will continue to be run on a charitable basis by a team of unpaid volunteers, with profits going to support the Charity and other good causes.

You can be added to our show e-newsletter here: subscribe to our e-newsletter
You can visit our new show website at: