THE Napoleonic wars took a south Bucks museum by storm this weekend as visitors got the chance to see battle re-enactments and chat to one of the stars of the hit ‘Sharpe’ series.

Jason Salkey, who appeared as Rifleman Harris alongside series star Sean Bean, was a special guest at the 'Meet Sharpe's Rifles' event at the Chiltern Open Air Museum.

He joined the Sharpe Appreciation Society, which was selling pictures and prints of paintings relating to the show, as well as other items of memorabilia.

There was also a display of period weapons – many of which used on the series – for people to cast their eyes over.

The wet weather may have got things off to a slow start on Saturday but things looked up for Sunday.

Mr Salkey said: “The people that have come through have been very nice and knowledgeable, but the weather has slowed things down. But this is the first time we have been here and we know we have got to build up a bit of a crowd.”

The veteran Sharpe star has just returned from a trip to America in which he met more of Sharpe’s legion of fans.

He said: “The reception was fantastic – young, old, male, female – they all loved it.”

While aficionados of the TV show were catered for, members of the 95th Rifles Battalion gave a more practical demonstration of life during the Peninsula Wars of 200 years ago.

Dave Gower, of Chatham in Kent, was one of the battle re-enactors. Normally a sergeant, this weekend he takes on the duties of private, or ‘rifleman’.

He said normally the group performs two re-enactments a month, recently going as far as Holland for one event. But the Gorelands Road museum was familiar turf for the battalion.

He said: “We have been here many a time. We were here in March and we did our winter training.”

The re-enactors chatted to visitors and told them about the way of life for soldiers in the Napoleonic wars.

Chris Harris visited the museum from his Newbury home. He said: “I think it’s fantastic and the knowledge those guys have is fabulous, with all the little bits and pieces they have got up.”

Melissa Maynard, education officer for the museum, said: “It’s the living history side of it which people relate to.

“They cook their own meals and have all these items which visitors can look at and handle. “ She added around 500 people had been expected over the weekend and the museum was running events throughout the rest of the school holiday.

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