Spitfire meets the Romans at Mannington Hall’s historical fayre

English history from the past 2,000 years, including memories of the second world war, will be revived at the weekend, October 15 and 16, with a major two-day north Norfolk event.

The annual Norfolk Living History Fayre – the fifth – will once again return to Mannington Hall and Gardens with this year's event the biggest so far.

A major attraction from the second world war years will be a replica, non-flying, Spitfire built over 25 years by Suffolk man Terry Arlow.

Visitors will be able to borrow a flying jacket and helmet and sit in the Spitfire to get an idea of what conditions were like for Britain's wartime aces.

There will also be a second world war officers' mess in the hall, and a wartime field hospital.


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The local Poppy Line education group will put on a display, Radio Days, about life on the Home Front and wartime Girl Guides will be camping out.

'Mavis' the WVS tea wagon, an original 1930s vehicle, will be among many refreshment stops and newcomers, the Coltishall Cowards wargaming group, will demonstrate table-top tank battles.

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Event organiser Ian Pyecroft said: 'It's very interesting and exciting to be part of the preservation of that period. The people who actually lived through wartime are getting fewer and fewer and a lot of children have no understanding of what happened from 1939-45. This is a way of bringing it to life for them.'

Members of many historical re-enactment groups from Norfolk and beyond will be giving displays on Saturday and Sunday and staying at Mannington all weekend – eating the food and living the lifestyles of their particular historical period.

Visitors will be able to rub shoulders with enthusiasts recreating characters from Roman times, the Middle Ages, Tudor era, the Napoleonic Wars period, Victorian age and more.

Other attractions will include vintage machinery, classic bikes and cars, a hog roast, a bar and other refreshments, military vehicles, horse and cart rides, medieval, Victorian and 1930s'-40s' music, archery displays, trade stands, and a Saturday-evening ceilidh for performers.

Mannington Hall, near to Aylsham and Saxthorpe, will be AA-signposted over the weekend.

The historical fayre will run from 11am to 4pm both Saturday and Sunday and entry will be adults �7.50, concessions �7, students 16-21 �5 and under-16s free. Entry to events in the hall, including costumed interpreters, will be an extra �2.50. Car parking is free. Visit www.blackknighthistorical.co.uk

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