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The Battle of Peasholm Park, August 10th

A green ship followed by a black ship, wreathed in smokeThe British convoy steams round the island, led by the armed merchantman Jervis Bay and the Royal Mail Steamer Asturias converted to a troopship.

The Asturias, with a small flame burning in its second funnel
The RMS Asturias sails on, regardless of one funnel being on fire. After a few minutes the flame did go out and smoke poured from the funnel again.

Two battleship grey warships sailing in line
The merchant ships are followed by HMS Exeter and HMS Ajax. The convoy is escorted by HMS Exeter, HMS Achilles and HMS Ajax, the three British ships that attacked the Graf Spee in the battle of the River Plate, and the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal.

A British warship sailing past
The HMS Achilles, with a powerful battery of fireworks mounted on her bows. Each of the ships is twenty or so feet long, powered by car batteries, and is piloted by a single park employee.

The enemy warship sailing past
But the convoy is being stalked by the enemy battleship Robert Eaves, which used to be the Graf Spee.

The enemy ship heading towards the cameraThe enemy battleship moves into position to attack the convoy.

The two merchant ships under fire, with water splashing in the air
The convoy comes under attack, with columns of water thrown up by near misses. There's probably a reason for the warships being behind the merchant ships, but it was never explained.

The enemy battleship at an angle, silhouetted against smoke and spray
Concentrated fire from the escort drives the enemy battleship off.

A submarine gliding out into the lakeA third merchant ship, the British Pride has been left behind by the convoy, and an enemy submarine glides out from the enemy harbour.

A merchant ship with flame and smoke amidships A merchant ship trailing clouds of smoke
The British Pride is struck by a salvo of imaginary torpedoes, and bursts into smallish flames.

A plane sliding down a cableThe Ark Royal sends out a force of bombers, who sweep down on the submarine.

The submarine in a cloud of smokeAttacked from sea and air, the submarine is destroyed by a hail of fireworks.

The enemy battleship keeling over, emitting black smokeThe enemy battleship attempts to attack the convoy again, but is wrecked in a British counter attack.

A warship facing the island, in a light haze of smokeThe British fleet, with help from more aircraft, bombards the enemy harbour and shore batteries until they are declared destroyed. A Union Jack is run up a slightly out of scale flagpole, to the cheers of the crowd.

A merchant ship sailing past, with part of the superstructure removed to reveal a person inside
With the battle over, the people in the ships are allowed to get some air, and parade past the audience.

A warship passing, with the top off, and a man rowing a boat behind it
While HMS Exeter sails past the audience, someone rows out to retrieve the 'destroyed' craft.

A pedalo in the shape of a swan about to run into the enemy battleship
As soon as the battle is over, a large portion of the audience runs round to hire boats and pedalos to go out on the lake. The enemy battleship remains a hazard to shipping. It's not often you see a battleship about to be rammed by a giant swan.

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Copyright Rik Shepherd and Mr Monkey. This page last modified 24 August 2006