Brighouse will step back in time as the town welcomes more than 30,000 visitors to its annual 1940s weekend in early June.
Time travellers are invited to dress in authentic wartime clothing and can expect to get ‘in the mood’ for nostalgia with two days of non-stop vintage musical entertainment, a Hurricane fighter and a Spitfire flypast, evening of big band entertainment and displays of period vehicles and fashions.
It will be the fifth vintage weekend hosted by the Brighouse Business Initiative. And, as one of the organisers, Anne Colley, points out, it has certainly struck a chord with visitors, who travel from far and wide to enjoy the event.
“I’d say it’s doubled or even trebled in size since we started,” she explained. “We are getting a lot more stalls, vintage vehicles and people attending. It’s an outdoor event and we’ve been lucky with the weather in the past, so we’ve got our fingers crossed for this year.”
The weekend starts on Friday, June 2, with a Foot of the Barrel theatre company performance of the poignant and heartwarming play Goodnight Mr Tom, which tells the tale of a wartime evacuee from London sent to live with a bitter old man in the countryside – an event that changes both of their lives for the better. Tickets for the Brighouse Civic Hall show (also on Saturday, June 3) are £10 and £11 from 01484 711835.
On Saturday the main streets of Brighouse will be closed to traffic as hundreds of market stalls and exhibitions fill the town centre. More than 100 re-enactors will turn the clock back with living history demonstrations dressed as Land Army girls and French resistance fighters and other iconic figures from the 1940s. There will even be a visit from a Winston Churchill lookalike.
One of the highlights of the day will be the flyover, which is scheduled for 3.30pm (weather permitting), but Anne says organisers are also excited to have secured a German WW II tank from the Yorkshire Wartime Experience, which can be seen at the Bethel Street Car Park (the only car park in the town to be closed for the weekend). Saturday will also see the Ashby Big Band playing for a dance in the Assembly Rooms from 7.30pm (tickets £15).
Sunday also has a full programme of events, ending at around 4pm.
Brighouse 1940s Weekend is one of four annual family events organised by the BBI. It recently held a Street Market themed around the Tour de Yorkshire; in August there will be a Canal and Music festival and in November a Christmas Market.
While all but one car park in Brighouse will be open over the weekend, visitors are advised to park at the dedicated site in Armytage Road, which will have a vintage bus service running into town (£10 per car). As the town has both a railway station and a bus station, it is easy to access on public transport.
The annual event is organised by a team of less than 20 traders and a group of volunteers. Anne says more volunteers are always needed. Anyone who would like to help should call 07720 302577 or email her at email@example.com For more details about the weekend visit brighouse1940sweekend.co.uk