Sirens herald start of Wymondham wartime extravaganza

The air raid sirens wailed across a Norfolk town on Saturday morning for possibly the first time since the Second World War.

But Wymondham residents did not need to be alarmed for the wail was heralding the start of the All Our Yesterdays wartime extravaganza at Wymondham Abbey, which was set to run until today when the all clear siren will be heard.

Hundreds of visitors flocked to see a scene from the 1940s with a street party in church Street featuring stalls staffed by people in dresses from the era with head scarves selling everything from homemade jams to toys.

Inside the Abbey there was also a display of memorabilia from the era, including letters from prisoners in Japanese POW camps, newspaper cuttings from the time and a display of scouting artefacts.

Swing music from the era was also played over speakers in Church Street to give an authentic 1940s feel, while inside the Abbey Hall visitors were treated to food from the 1940s, including spam fritters and a special show of evacuees' songs performed by a group called The Doodlebugs. In the Abbey the Norwich City Concert Band played, while a treasure hunt was due to be held today to end the festival.

Doris Waymark, one of the festival organisers, said: 'I think we can say it has exceeded our expectations. Everybody has been so enthusiastic.'

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