Chestnut Lodge Wargames Group

Salute 50: ‘the biggest and best event they’ve ever had’

Panel of women wargamers

Over 5000 people bought tickets to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Salute, a venture still run by the same, small, non-profit club that started it over 50 years ago, the South London Warlords. In 1972, the first Salute was held at the Surrey Tavern at the Kennington Oval Cricket ground. Last Saturday 22 April 2023, Salute was held at the ExCel exhibition and conference centre in London.

One of the 5000+ attendees

Individuals, companies, and other gaming clubs provided displays, demonstrations, and participation games, sold military history and wargaming books, hobby products, and exhibited new releases.

A new feature this year were panels bringing together special guests from across the hobby community under the banner of Salute Hobby Heroes. The panels addressed:

• Building the Battlefield: the secrets to making your tabletops pop.

• The secrets of game design: delving into the secrets of game design

• Competitive Hobby Heroes: discussing the highs and lows of competitive wargaming

• Women in Wargaming: the number of female gamers and painters are on the rise

• Hobby Heroes: the state of wargaming in 2023

This was my first visit to Salute and I enjoyed the experience very much. I was delighted to see a panel of young women take up the topic of Women in Wargaming – with plenty standing to listen once all the seats were taken.

I particularly enjoyed the dioramas, couldn’t get close enough to the models, but did manage to pick up my Eureka pre-ordered miniatures and, of course, books.

Salute 50 wargamers diorama

The detail of the models was outstanding

Salute 50 boat detail

Enlarged boat from above diorama – look at the detail of the rope and cargo

  1. Jur

    Hi Deborah, good to see you enjoyed yourself. If you feel like digging deeper, here’s a short look back by one of the women on the Women in Wargaming panel, Hatty.

    • Deborah Southwell

      Thank you so much for sharing Jur. Makes me feel a bot old fashioned not having a video to share! Milmud YouTube anyone? LOL

  2. Jur

    And for anybody also interested: here’s a video of the panel

  3. Terry Martin

    Glad you enjoyed it Deborah. On the few occasions I went, I enjoyed myself, and like you came away massively impressed by the effort some people put into dioramas. They even painted toy soldiers 🙂

    • Deborah Southwell

      Thanks Terry. I had a lot of fun. And the painting – both general plus the competitions were great.

  4. Brian

    I’m feeling – I was one of the organisers of the first Salute. Fortunately we didn’t have to pay for the hall hire till the end of the day, by which time we’d taken enough in admission fees to be able to pay it! How times change.

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