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Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse transforms into post war village to give flavour of wartime Britain at 1940s event

PUBLISHED: 20:54 27 August 2018 | UPDATED: 21:01 27 August 2018

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured are members of Allied Star. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured are members of Allied Star. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Archant

When a mid-Norfolk museum decided to transform its grounds into a British post war village, it welcomed thousands of visitors who descended to step back in time to the 1940s Home Front.

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, near Dereham, opened its doors over the bank holiday weekend to give people the chance to experience what life was really like after the Second World War.

The Village at War event is now in its 11th year and the Dig for Victory theme - a popular slogan of the time - saw the museum share the story of how the people of Norfolk helped feed themselves and the country during the war.

Events organiser at Gressenhall, Miriam Burroughs, said: “It’s been one of our longest running events and I think that’s because people get to experience what life was really like here in rural Norfolk during the war.

“People have nostalgia with the 1940s, both the music and outfits, and they get that connection to maybe relatives that were part of the war or home front.”

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured is events organiser at Gressenhall, Miriam Burroughs. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPGressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured is events organiser at Gressenhall, Miriam Burroughs. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Visitors joined in with the ambience of the day by dressing in postwar-style clothes.

And a large display of military and civilian vehicles were on show, complete with costumed characters from the British and American forces who explained the experience of active duty in wartime Britain.

The farmhouse kitchen was also open and visitors could watch the cook put on a display of creative cookery designed to make wartime rations stretch as far as possible.

Performances by 1940s band Timescape and Bittern DX Radio helped to entertain the crowds too.

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured is the 1940s band, Timescape. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPGressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured is the 1940s band, Timescape. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

One family who enjoyed the day’s activities were Roy and Mary Gravells, out with their three grandchildren for the day: Zack Bradley, 10, William, 6, Sienna, 3.

While explaining to the trio how to work the land on an allotment, Mr Gravells said: “We love it. It’s a really nice event and a good day out.

“They’ve enjoyed everything, especially looking at old rifles.”

The event took place on Sunday August 26 and today (Monday August 27).

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured "Digging for Victory" is Zack Bradley, aged 10, (front) with his sister Sienna, 3, and brother William, 6. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

For more information on the event or museum call 01362 860563 or visit www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/gressenhall.

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured is Michael Rutland and his son, Luke, who is sitting on the 1943 BSA 500cc motorbike. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPGressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured is Michael Rutland and his son, Luke, who is sitting on the 1943 BSA 500cc motorbike. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured is 1940s memorabilia. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPGressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured is 1940s memorabilia. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured is 1940s memorabilia. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPGressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured is 1940s memorabilia. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured is 1940s memorabilia. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPGressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured is 1940s memorabilia. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPGressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured are members of Allied Star. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPGressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured are members of Allied Star. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured are members of Allied Star. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPGressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured are members of Allied Star. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured is Michael Rutland (left) with the owner of the Matchless 350cc motorbike, Martin Cogger. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPGressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Pictured is Michael Rutland (left) with the owner of the Matchless 350cc motorbike, Martin Cogger. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPGressenhall Farm and Workhouse opened its doors for its Village at War event. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

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