Britain's Got Talent finalists The D-Day Darlings among the star attractions at annual 1940s weekend
PUBLISHED: 17:38 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 20:32 30 August 2018
The North Norfolk Railway will be inviting passengers to travel back to a time of gas masks, ration books and ‘make do and mend’, when the popular attraction’s annual 1940s weekend kicks off on September 14.
The event, which was first held as a small, ‘wartime on the railways’ festival 25 years ago, welcomes up to 20,000 visitors from all over the country.
Forties enthusiasts dressed in authentic Second World War forces uniform and civilian gear will flock to the Poppy Line’s stations at Sheringham, Weybourne and Holt, where attractions will range from music and dancing, to a military vehicle display.
Sheringham shops, churches and community groups will also be joining in the fun, with ‘bombed-out’ shop fronts in the town centre, 1940s-themed events at local pubs and clubs, and military vehicle and civilian parades organised by Sheringham carnival committee.
At Holt, townsfolk are pulling out all the stops, with a first class line-up headed by Britain’s Got Talent finalists The D-Day Darlings.
The group, who wowed BGT judges with stirring performances of wartime classics including Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again, will be performing around the town on Saturday, as well as judging a ‘best dressed’ competition.
Other attractions at Holt include a 1940s fashion show, a ration book trail, vintage stalls in Bull Street, and a pigeon race from Holt to Sandringham, with the person picking the winning bird collecting a shopping voucher.
The town’s Auden Theatre will also be getting in on the act, with Chris Dean and the Syd Lawrence Orchestra inviting audiences to step back to the Big Band era with songs from 1940s stars ranging from Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman, to Artie Shaw and Glenn Miller, and an appearance by the former head of the British Army, General Sir Mike Jackson.
Leonard Owen, who is part of a Holt 1940s committee headed by Bakers and Larners director and town and district councillor Duncan Baker, said the weekend had grown beyond all expectations.
“It just gets bigger every year,” he added. “I think what is nice is the celebration of the music, the costumes, the spirit and the camaraderie of the 1940s, which is something that is gathering momentum on a national basis.”