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Police warning as rumours grow of ‘unofficial’ 1940s gatherings

PUBLISHED: 13:06 18 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:09 18 September 2020

A scene from last year's North Norfolk Railway 1940s weekend, which takes place in Holt and Sheringham. Police have warned against 'unofficial' events taking place this year amid coronavirus restrictions. 
Photo: KAREN BETHELL

A scene from last year's North Norfolk Railway 1940s weekend, which takes place in Holt and Sheringham. Police have warned against 'unofficial' events taking place this year amid coronavirus restrictions. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

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Warnings have been issued by police as rumours grow that there will be unofficial 1940s-themed events this weekend, when a popular festival would have happened.

A scene from last year's North Norfolk Railway 1940s weekend, which takes place in Holt and Sheringham. Police have warned against 'unofficial' events taking place this year amid coronavirus restrictions. 
Photo: KAREN BETHELLA scene from last year's North Norfolk Railway 1940s weekend, which takes place in Holt and Sheringham. Police have warned against 'unofficial' events taking place this year amid coronavirus restrictions. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Police will be on patrol in Sheringham over the next few days to remind people about the government’s new ‘rule of six’ on social gatherings, intended to slow the second wave of the virus.

The patrols appear to be in response to much speculation on social media about an “unofficial” festival to replace the North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend.

The annual 1940s weekend is centred around the North Norfolk Railway with nostalgic events traditionally taking place at Sheringham, Holt and Weybourne stations, as well as around the towns.

The festival has grown in popularity since it was launched 25 years ago and now draws around 40,000 visitors each year - with many coming from other parts of the country.

A scene from last year's North Norfolk Railway 1940s weekend, which takes place in Holt and Sheringham. Police have warned against 'unofficial' events taking place this year amid coronavirus restrictions. 
Photo: KAREN BETHELLA scene from last year's North Norfolk Railway 1940s weekend, which takes place in Holt and Sheringham. Police have warned against 'unofficial' events taking place this year amid coronavirus restrictions. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

This year’s festival, originally planned for September 19 and 20, had to be cancelled due to the restrictions around Covid-19.

North Norfolk Police said on Facebook: “We’d like to remind people that the Sheringham 1940s weekend due to take place this weekend has been cancelled due to Covid-19.

“Officers will be on patrol to remind residents and people visiting the area of the latest government restrictions regarding gatherings and any breaches of the rule of six will be dealt with appropriately.”

Madeleine Ashcroft, Sheringham’s mayor, echoed the warning, but said she did not want to discourage people from visiting the town in a responsible way.

A scene from last year's North Norfolk Railway 1940s weekend, which takes place in Holt and Sheringham. Police have warned against 'unofficial' events taking place this year amid coronavirus restrictions. 
Photo: KAREN BETHELLA scene from last year's North Norfolk Railway 1940s weekend, which takes place in Holt and Sheringham. Police have warned against 'unofficial' events taking place this year amid coronavirus restrictions. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

She said: “A lot of people had booked anyway as I understand it because they wanted to come down for that occasion. As far as that’s concerned we would welcome them, because of the need for people to visit, but we have to take into account the regulations for Covid.”

Mrs Ashcroft added: “Anything unofficial would be contrary to Covid regulations so we could prefer people to take care and observe the regulations.”

When North Norfolk Railway made the decision to cancel the festival, managing director Hugh Harkett said: “We do hope to welcome you all back next year.”

A scene from last year's North Norfolk Railway 1940s weekend, which takes place in Holt and Sheringham. Police have warned against 'unofficial' events taking place this year amid coronavirus restrictions. 
Photo: KAREN BETHELLA scene from last year's North Norfolk Railway 1940s weekend, which takes place in Holt and Sheringham. Police have warned against 'unofficial' events taking place this year amid coronavirus restrictions. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

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