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A visit to Malvern Militaria

Article about: And so, on Sunday, we went to the Malvern Militaria Fair - Malvern International Military Convention . This was, I think, maybe perhaps our fifth or sixth visit over the last few years, and

  1. #1

    Default A visit to Malvern Militaria

    And so, on Sunday, we went to the Malvern Militaria Fair - Malvern International Military Convention . This was, I think, maybe perhaps our fifth or sixth visit over the last few years, and this time it was quite productive, in helmet-collecting terms anyway. Helmets aren't necessary The Big Thing at Malvern; there are often quite a lot but they're all Third Reich objects of arguable authenticity, or are admitted repros, usually TR, or if not that then British Para. There are occasional outbreaks of other stuff, like once a big boxful of recently surplussed Irish Orlites, or indeed Irish CD Mk2s, or a clutch of 'contractor' commercial compos, which for me are always worth a look. but often I become increasingly doleful and pessimistic as I cruise the stalls.

    This year there seemed an unusual number of British Mk4/5 about, and a lot of Mk2 also, but on top of that a rather large quantity of stuff badged as 'US M1', trading I think on the FURY effect. Some of them actually were US M1. I dutifully inspected pretty much all of the others in search of an interesting Euroclone but found nothing I couldn't live without (but see later).

    Anyway, it was good fun wandering about for a couple of hours looking at all the ex-army junk (no, stop, I mean, *interesting collectibles* and 'useful parts') and making a successful effort to not start a collection of hand-grenades or submachine guns (When I Win The Lottery - or find a few hundred quid with nothing better to spend it on, I will be definately getting an MP40, a Sterling, and perhaps a Swedish Carl Gustav....dream on eh...). and I did find helmets, nice ones, one of them very interesting (if you're a compo collector...).

    Here we have an absolutely mint and unused Austrian Stahlhelm 1, so new it even looks a totally different colour to those I already have. I couldn't resist (and thought of you, Austromunga). Nothing especially remarkable about it except I did notice something I hadn't seen before, the large number of spot-welds along the rim (see pic). Its a 1982 stamp. nice.

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    And a simple old British Mk5, which as we know is just the Mk4 shell with a later sock-type liner. This is an extremely good example but I do admit I bought it mainly because we fell into conversation with the stallholder in the refreshment area, and she was so nice it tipped the balance in favour of the purchase. Turns out to have belonged to her husband, who was in the RAF, and indeed there is a pencilled name inside, that of a Flying Officer.

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    And here's a British Para Lightweight, the early model, although retrofitted with the later fabric straps instead of the original vinyl/leatherette ones, but still identifiable by its white leather browpad (its white, really, honest, under the grub) and smooth shiny shell. It was cheap enough to get for dismantling, something I've been a bit reluctant to do with the real originals I have.

    The interior of the shell itself is entirely unremarkable - no embossing, no stamps, no label, no nothing. There is a curious rectangle of surfacing missing at the crown, though whether that has any significance I don't know until maybe I dismantle a couple more of these, now knowing how to do it without breaking anything!

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    The liner, though, is quite fascinating. It really is just an expanded polystyrene shell with a couple of cork infills which can be broken out for using earphones. Its just amazingly cheap and nasty in every sense. What was a surprise was finding the Thetford label on the liner itself. There's interesting!

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    This Aegis commercial was a real surprise in more than one way; first off I'd never seen one before so it was instantly desirable, and secondly I got it for next to nothing compared to what I expected to pay. The seller quoted a price of about a third of what I'd expected, and much less than I would have been prepared to pay. What can I say, both parties seemed happy with the deal but I think I was a bit more delighted than he was.

    Its a strange object anyway, very likely a police or security issue considering the black colour and the red Warning label which seems to appear only in non-military helmets. (More pics of this will appear here - Composite Helmet, Ballistic helmets, Military helmets UNITED KINGDOM, UK HELMETS, BRITISH helmet, Kevlar helmet ) The product code given is AP 19022, and it is dated 1994. Looks like the mutant offspring of a NP AC100 and a Mk6, but that's anthropomorphising a bit much, perhaps. The chinstrap looks like a bit of a tangled mess, likely because a previous owner inexplicably removed the two retaining bolts from the sides. The third at the rear remains. Baffling, really. I'm sure Screwfix will have something appropriate.

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    Last edited by Greg Pickersgill; 03-24-2015 at 03:57 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Austrian Stahlhelm 1

    I like the Austrian set , the paint looks like a light Olive Green, most of the sets I see are the flat stone grey color

    the liner looks like large 59 - 61 size , also a nice size, most of them I find are the mediums, you dont see them in that condition often.

    that British MK5 with the sock type liner is a nice example of the type they used in the Falklands war in the 80's but usually covered by lots of camo netting & burlap [hessian camo] I need to add one of these to my collection

    here are a few photos of what I saw at the local antique malls last Sunday
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  3. #3


    Great pick up's Greg, I really like the Austrian helmet, as it demonstrates how they would appear on issue. The lightweight para helmet "de-constructed" shots are very educational I have always curious how the liner was constructed, and the Aegis well that is a curiosity, I have not seen the like before but can definitely see the design heritage behind this one, and would imagine with the correct type of bolts should be an easy fix for the chinstraps...very nice collection and thanks for sharing

  4. #4


    Hi BG, great looking collectables, especially with the 20% discount

  5. #5


    Hi Greg
    Nice haul of New items for your collection!!! The Austrian M75 is a real beauty !!! Picked one up myself end of last year!! Can you tell me if the plastic liner is also mint too????...Or is it like mine, having had a brand New leather headband fitted to a previously issued liner (showing signs of wear to the plastic, scuffing!!?? And new overly thumped rivets!!!).

  6. #6


    Austrro - the liner is a sort of half&half. The actual leather and fabric cradle (its the version with the crossed straps beneath the leather) is either as-new or hardly worn, bright and clean and shiny. The liner shell itself does look as though its been around a bit, being quite definately scuffed and scratched. It is, though, a true M75/Stahlhelm 1 liner shell, not a refurbished M58/Stahlhelm 2, and my feeling is that its an older liner shell that has been given a fresh interior.

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