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Pickering Wartime Weekend declared success
WET weather failed to put a damper on the Pickering War Weekend as visitors, organisers and local businesses declared the nostalgia event an overwhelming success.
Plans are already under way to add an extra day to the event next year to allow greater involvement from schools, along with special commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
Hosted by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, the 21st annual event started with a flag-raising ceremony on Friday to commemorate people who died on the railways.
Over the following three days, reenactments, parades and demonstrations took place along the railway line, from Pickering to Goathland.
William Oxley, a town councillor and owner of bed and breakfast business 17 Burgate, said it had been another great weekend.
“I don’t think there was an empty hotel bed within a 10 mile radius of Pickering,” he said. “We are already booked up for next year and while I realise the event doesn’t benefit every business in town, the overall view is that it is a great boost to the area.”
Coun Oxley said he felt the extra events this year at the Pickering Showground had helped spread the crowds.
“People were going up and down to the showground all weekend, which was great because we need to make it a success for this area,” he said.
Sarah King, from the events management team at Pickering Showground, said it had been a fantastic weekend. “This is the second year we have been involved and this time it was on a much bigger scale with Big Band dances, re-enactments and a vintage fair,” she said.
“We had more than 200 campers booked in before the event and even more came during the weekend itself. It was just brilliant and we are really pleased with how it went.”
Danielle Ramsey, marketing manager for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, said it was estimated that about 50,000 people were in Pickering on Saturday alone.
“Although numbers were slightly down due to the weather, there was a great atmosphere,” she said.
“Because of the great response we’ve had from schools we are looking holding an education day next year, which will focus on the evacuees and get the reenactors involved.”
Ms Ramsey said organisers were also looking at turning Levisham into a 1914 station to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, as well as the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
“We are extremely pleased with how the whole weekend went and would like to say a massive thank-you to all our visitors, renenactors, staff and volunteer who help make it such a success each year,” she added.
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