Saturday, 16 May 2009

Royal Arsenal Community History Day

Firepower – the Royal Artillery Museum – hosted a community history day today. The museum, which is located in the old Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, is putting on a programme of events this summer – including two wargaming shows – and as both my wife and I are interest in the history of our local area, we went along to see what it was like.

Besides a small re-enactment group, there was a talk by Brigadier General Ken Timbers about the history of the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and a guided walk – led by local historian Frances Ward – around the main buildings on the Royal Arsenal site.

Of particular interest to me was the presence in the museum of a new exhibit – a multi-barrelled, crank operated machine gun built in Germany in 1881.

The weapon looks very similar to the Nordenfelt and Gardner machine guns of the same era but the only details I could glean were that it was built at Gussstahl und Waffenfabrik in Witten.

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