Take a journey down memory lane to share the tears and laughter, songs and dancing of wartime Britain, as the Churnet Valley Railway hosts its annual 1940’s Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29.
Kiss the Boys Goodbye will be a nostalgia-filled tribute to the Armed Forces and to those who coped with life on the home front. Always one of the Railway’s biggest events, the weekend will have even more to offer this year with new attractions including an afternoon tea dance on Tuesday May 1. With Union Jacks fluttering and 1940’s fashions everywhere, all three Churnet Valley stations will host entertainment and re-enactment groups. Favourites of the Forties will be performed ENSA entertainers Victory Belle duo, The D Day Darlings trio and 40s Songs R Us tribute act.
Re-enactments will include Dad’s Army on patrol, British and American Forces gathering for embarkation, the French Resistance on a mission, a German Garrison at Consall and the Land Army at work, plus displays of military vehicles and classic cars.
Refreshments will be served at the Where Eagles Dare Tavern and the Allo Allo Café, not mention a Real Ale Troop Train departing on Saturday evening and a Brief Encounter four-course evening dining train on the Saturday.
New for this year is a 1940’s Afternoon Tea Dance on Tuesday May 1. Tea will be served on the train, departing 2.30, and dancing will take place in a marquee at Consall – it promises to be a delightful afternoon especially for seniors who want to avoid the weekend crowds.
“The 1940’s Weekend is our way of paying tribute to all those who were lost during the Second World War, and to all those who survived wartime Britain,” said event organiser Chris Fletcher. “Tears and laughter, singing and dancing will be the greatest tribute.”
Chris added: “The weekend is one of our most popular of the year – it’s a history lesson for the young and a trip down memory lane for the not so young. This year we have more entertainment and activities than ever, so we are expecting a big turn-out of visitors of all ages.”
Air raids permitting, trains will depart from both Cheddleton Station and Kingsley & Froghall Station from 10am and will continue at regular intervals throughout both days. The Saturday evening Troop Train, with real ale bar and light refreshments, departs from Cheddleton at 7.30pm.
All day ticket prices, including train fare, are £13 adults, £11 seniors, £7 children (3-14 years) and £37 family (2 adults and 2 children). No booking is required, except for the Brief Encounter dining trains.
For more details of the event call 01538 360522.