Excitement as heritage railway's 1940s weekend returns

The Knightgales singing group hop on their way to perform at Holt station.
Photo: KAREN BETHELL

The Knightgales singing group hop on their way to perform at Holt station during the 1940s weekend in 2019. - Credit: KAREN BETHELL

The fashion, uniforms and marvellous machines of the wartime years are about to return to a trio of heritage railway stations. 

Andrew Munden, general manager of the North Norfolk Railway, said he was thrilled it could go ahead with the popular 1940s event this weekend (September 18-19) after last year's cancellation due to the pandemic. 

Mr Munden said the festival would have a scaled-back feel because the usual events in Sheringham and Holt high streets would not take place, but the stations in those towns as well as at Weybourne would once again be bustling with the 'Blitz spirit'. 

North Norfolk Railway general manager Andrew Munden, who put in a stint as a guard at the attraction

North Norfolk Railway general manager Andrew Munden, who put in a stint as a guard at the attraction's annual Spring Steam Gala.Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

He said: "The towns had to take the decision whether to take part much earlier in the year when we were still in 'lockdown three' and with the degree of uncertainty that still existed the conclusion was it would have been too risky. 

"It will feel like a much smaller event - it's a great shame that we can't do things like the people's parade on the Sunday when you get thousands of people walking through Sheringham in their costumes, but that's the price you pay for being able to do everything else.


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"So the festival reverts back to a railway-only event, which it probably was 15-20 years ago."

Mr Munden said tickets for steam train rides on the Poppy Line would be limited to 4,000 a day, and other visitors were welcome to come along and enjoy the atmosphere at the stations.

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He said: "At the stations it will be very much business as usual. We've got more military vehicle displays than we've had in previous years, big bands, singers, and traders selling everything from the 1940s."

There will also be 'vintage galloper' carousels and re-enactment groups putting on demonstrations. Visitors will also be able to sample the kind of food issued under rationing during the war as well as locally-produced ice creams, hog roasts. There will be beer tents at Weybourne and Holt stations.

Trains run from 9am each day with three steam locomotives  in action including WD 90775 'The Royal Norfolk Regiment' which was built in 1943 to a wartime design.

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