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Pickering Wartime Weekend success could trigger expansion bid
A NORTH Yorkshire town travelled back 70 years to the days of conflict as its annual Wartime Weekend drew thousands of visitors.
The three-day nostalgic commemoration in Pickering, which ended yesterday, attracted re-enactors from across the UK who donned military uniforms and costumes from the 1940s, stalls selling vintage memorabilia set up at Pickering Showground and visitors revive the camaraderie of wartime on trips along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
While the windy and wet October weather meant the weekend’s crowds were expected to have been smaller than last year, increased interest from Yorkshire schools means organisers are looking at adding an extra day to the 2014 event.
The “education day” would be devoted to schools, allowing pupils to get an early insight into life during the Second World War.
Danielle Ramsey, the railway’s marketing manager, said: “Once again, the Wartime Weekend has been great and people have come out in force with their macs, brollies and umbrellas – there was a real wartime spirit.”
“Even when an engine problem with one of the trains on Saturday meant there were some delays, we just ran to a wartime schedule rather than a regular one. It was a case of everybody pulling together as re-enactments of air raids went off, and it was great to see people in their military uniforms and ladies wearing 1940s frocks and gloves.
“We have had a great response from schools in Pickering, Hull, Stockton, Redcar and other areas, so next year we may look at running an education day on the Thursday, making the Wartime Weekend a four-day event.”
The original idea behind the Wartime Weekend was to commemorate the contribution of railway workers during the Second World War, since when it has grown as a celebration of nostalgia.
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