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Charity re-enactment blocked by council

By Mike Cotton, Town Reporter Friday 2nd May 2014
Picture by Paul Drabble

PLANS for a fund-raising World War II re-enactment have been blocked by the council - because of fears some of the people taking part would wear Nazi uniforms.


The 1940s' 'Goodnight Sweetheart' weekend, organised by Elsecar Heritage Railway, has been cancelled after the council refused to give it the go ahead.


The fundraiser - set for May 24 and 25 - would have included recreations of battlefield skirmishes by members of the respected Northern World War II Association.


Proceeds would have been shared between the railway restoration programme and the Help for Heroes charity.

 

But Barnsley Council says a previous event in 2010 resulted in complaints about the presence of Nazi uniforms – and so has refused permission to stage a repeat.

 

A council spokesman said: "When the event was raised, the council sought reassurance that it would not have any Nazi or SS elements.

 

"However, assurance was not provided. A similar event held in 2010 generated a number of complaints from the public and local residents."

 

** The full story appears in Friday's Barnsley Chronicle. **

CommentsClick here to add a comment...
Posted by Me I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 8:54am

This used to be a brilliant day at Elsecar Hritage Centre and literally hundereds of visitors ploughed money into the centre and to the charity the re-enactors support, useless Barnsley Council going all PC.....shame on you !!!! Stop treating people like idiots.

Posted by Anonymous Bosch I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 9:09am

This is complete and utter rubbish. The Original Wartime Weekend was started in 1999. It was the most successful event run to date by The Elsecar Heritage Centre under the then manager Sarah Maltby. A spin off was the Blitz Ball - another sell out event. The War weekend ran a further two years until it too was quashed by the then Entertainments Manager who had a personal aversion to WWII German uniforms. A case of personal prejudice. It was revived by the Railway People as a much needed fundraiser. It has struggled due to unfounded opposition ever since. Find the complainees from 2012. I can almost guarantee they do not exist. Events such as this go on the length and breadth of the UK and provide an outlet for thousands of people as well as raising much needed funds that ought to be provided by our taxes. This is a fairly contentious issue but at the end of the day - it is not illegal to wear of display Nazi symbols in the UK. It is being done so in a historical context and not to provoke. If people are aware it is a War Weekend and they feel the swastika may offend them - Don't go - choose something else to attend - it's personal choice - I wouldn't go somewhere to be offended - I'm not that stupid. The Chron ought to look into this - there is more to it than meets the eye.

Posted by Paul Smith I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 10:40am

The sooner Barnsley Council is shut down, and Sir Steve clears off - the better this town will be! What a load of jokers - next they will be banning the German Christmas Market in town...

Posted by jeremy clarkson I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 10:54am

its always if someone is offended? same at christmas schools cant have nativity plays that we happen to love? incase somone is offended tough! if they dont like them they dont have to go and if they dont like what goes on in our country then keep out!

Posted by dedatodd I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 11:07am

Would be nice if they stated just how many complaints they received and the context of such complaints.

This is an Historical re-enactment FFS, those who didn't live through it should know about it.

Political correctness gone mad?

Posted by commoner I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 11:13am

is there any chance of a " councillor for common sense " being elected.

live and let live!

run by a team of idiots!

Posted by Call Me Dave I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 11:47am

They do know that not every German soldier was a member of the NAZI party and therefore not all of them were NAZI's.

Posted by Me I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 12:10pm

Good see see the Chronicle isn`t afraid to show re-enactors dressed up in German uniforms. I wonder if they get any `complaints` form offended readers - somehow I doubt it.

Posted by Carolyne smith I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 12:30pm

How ridiculous - we fought the Germans - I'm pretty sure they wore uniforms - so what is the problem?

Posted by Adam I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 12:32pm

it's not really a re-enactment without opposition.

We know the guys in the nazi uniforms aren't actually nazis, the same way we know Ralph Feines was pretending to be a concentration camp commander.

Christ almighty stop acting like and treating us like children.

Posted by Guy Aston I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 12:40pm

I have been a re-enactor for over 30 years, not WW2 I will add. However, if we need Germans to have a pop at, why do so many of them have to be SS? I have been to events such as Detling in Kent which are like a training ground for the Nazi SS. The allies also fought the much greater sized German Army. I have an Auschwitz survivor living not far from me - how would he feel to come face-to-face with people dressed as Nazi SS? My father fought the SS in Normandy and at Arnhem. He could never understand why Englishmen would want to dress up as SS troops.

Posted by Budgey I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 12:54pm

Im am sure it hasnt been stopped for the reason quoted above, i wouldnt assume that anyone is of the illusion that a reenactment is anythng more than that a reenactment uniforms and the rest... methinks there is another reason to cancel...

Posted by ken dodds dad I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 3:01pm
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Posted by Andrew Turner I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 3:02pm
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Posted by Wendy I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 3:42pm
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Posted by Don McCarron I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 3:54pm

Rank stupidity. Please think about voting something other than Labour. All that remains of a once great party is the name.

Posted by commen sence I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 5:32pm

the mentalaty of the people in barnsley make me laugh. yes its a joke that they wont let it go ahead but do think it would be run any different if the lib dems or tories run the council get grip will ya. its not just barnsley council that ban stuff throughpolitical correctness.

Posted by User I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 7:29pm

I think this is stupid! all the effort that EHR has gone to organise this event, And how dare can the council complaint about this when Barnsley is teamed up with a german country! how pathetic and stupid! i think the council should appologies to EHR and let them do the event. Personaly i think that this would be a great event with the war theme and dance and the train rides! If barnsley council dosent like germans they should say to schwebish gumund we dont like you because you are germans and stop all german events that happens in barnsley, How stupid and how dare they! Get a grip!!

Posted by Paul Bedford I Fri 2nd May 2014 at 10:02pm

Let's face it. A totally silly politically correct from a short sighted group of people. I assume the Germans would have still lost the pretend war. I hope the council ban the cinema showing war films in case that causes offence too...

Posted by Eddie vee I Sat 3rd May 2014 at 7:05am

Obviously.. Because the war never happened and those naughty Nazis never existed so we never defeated them and don't need to celebrate the freedom of speech that we fought for and won the right to have. Or maybe the Nazis did win and they are just council leaders now.

Posted by JBBlackett I Sat 3rd May 2014 at 5:29pm

Now we know who the latter day dictators and control freaks are. They always considered themselves superior to ordinary people who they constantly patronise. The obvious truth is in fact these are just mealy mouthed inept untrustworthy out-of-touch politicians with bad judgement .

.

Jolly poor show

Posted by Max Schmitt I Sat 3rd May 2014 at 8:36pm

What a PC world we live in! It makes me so sad to read stories like this. Are we now denying history?

Posted by Karen fletcher I Sat 3rd May 2014 at 10:42pm

Rank stupidity. North Yorkshire railway has been hosting a similar event for years, complete with ss uniforms. There is no justification for the actions of Barnsley council other than political correctness gone mad. The council should try doing what it's supposed to do rather than looking for theoretical future slights

Posted by tony I Sun 4th May 2014 at 4:25am

just go to the Huddersfield one.....

Posted by rainbow I Sun 4th May 2014 at 11:42am

We fought the Nazis to defend freedom of speach etc and now Barnsley Council are behaving just like the GESTAPO? Who stopped this event anyway, was it an elected councillor or just some some councill official sticking their nose in for his own ends.???

Posted by Come on now... I Sun 4th May 2014 at 3:53pm

If you do a WW2 re enactment without Nazis then you've just got a lot of men stood around with guns not doing very much. If the event advertises a WW2 re enactment then expect to see people dressed as Nazis. If you don't want to see that then don't go, don't ruin it for the more moderate of us who can enjoy it as an accurate historical portrayal without trying to read some kind of political statement into it.

Posted by OMG I Sun 4th May 2014 at 8:23pm

Now The Council Has Cancled the Cannon Hal Car Show! Someones needs sacking! it dosent meet the health and safety regs! My Arse...... Barnsley Would Be Better Without Some Departments In The Council!

Posted by Ian I Mon 5th May 2014 at 2:50pm

and to think we pay their wages? what idiot do we employ? ill lobve to know what moron made the desision.... this should be the desision on barnsley and not 1 person ...

Posted by AST I Wed 7th May 2014 at 9:28am

Lets get this in perspective. It is not unreasonable to ask organisers to ensure participants do not wear SS uniforms or insignia or display swastikas. The swastika was never part of the Wehrmacht uniform anyway. Organisers did not give those assurances.

Have we forgotten so quickly what German people did, mainly Nazi and SS in the 1940s and are we so insensitive that we cannot see that some people may be offended.

This is not the same as banning nativity plays etc as some ill informed people make out

Posted by rainbow I Wed 7th May 2014 at 12:31pm

It sound as if AST is probably one of the people offended by the truth about what happened in 1939-45 but hiding it won't change history. Let the people see what the Nazis did and let them make up their own mind not a few narrow minded individuals stopping freedom of expression. That's one of the reasons why the war was fought.!!!

Posted by Vic I Fri 9th May 2014 at 11:59am

@ AST, the swastika was part of the uniform of the Wehrmacht, it was on the chest eagle and belts so please get your facts right

Posted by Wendy I Fri 9th May 2014 at 12:39pm

To AST: we can never forget because it overshadows the losses in world war one!

Posted by The Terminator I Fri 9th May 2014 at 9:43pm

This BARNSLEY council is clearly putting the nails in their COFFIN! BARNSLEY folk are genuinely true n honest and would give there last penny to help someone. This Council seams to forget this and runs with the EU ideal situation of a multi cultural society, but in realty it does not work. My GRANDPARENTS would turn in their grave if they saw this!!!

PS could a spokes person from the Barnsley Council comment why this charity event could not have taken place to assist Railway Restoration and Help The Heros

Posted by ky I Tue 13th May 2014 at 9:03am

as a serving soldier i find this unbelievable. Everyone should know their history, if someone wants to wear a uniform so be it, it's only a uniform it doesn't make them a nazi!! you don't see people complaining when movie stars do it so why should a re-enactment be any different..just saying

Posted by Gerry W I Wed 21st May 2014 at 11:39pm

Given that the vast majority of comments are positive I can only assume that the PC complainers have lost their marbles or are busy complaining elsewhere. Unfortunately we seem to have a small group of small minded people who seem to go out of their way to try and be offended and then complain loudly to spoil things for others.

I for one would be surprised to see a ww2 event that didn't feature Germans wearing their uniform which shock horror contains swastikas

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