In Events

The popular Bury based East Lancashire Railway will be hosting their annual 1940s Weekend on 26 – 28 May 2018. The award-winning event is the ideal opportunity to enjoy some truly unique experiences (in the case of Spam butties “enjoy” may be the wrong word). Read on for the top picks for things to see and do at this “V for Vintage” event!

1. Snapchat Sir Winston

Astound your friends and confound your frenemies by taking a selfie with the British Bulldog himself, Sir Winston Churchill. “Winnie” will be one of the many costumed re-enactors doing the rounds at the 1940s Weekend, we imagine you could find him wherever they are serving gin and brandy…

2. Realise those Supermarine dreams

Make like an RAF hero (without any of the associated danger) and take to the pilot’s seat of a working Supermarine Spitfire! Find out what the various doohickeys and dials do and listen to the purr of the engine that won the Battle of Britain.

3. Enjoy a brief encounter (with a traditional cream tea)

Relive those romantic moments from the Silver Screen with a quintessentially British cream tea. Set in the surrounds of an opulent first class carriage from the golden age of steam, these experiences are delightfully delicious in every way.

4. Be an extra in an action scene

Enthusiasts of bangs and bullets will not want to miss the heart pounding excitement of the Battle Re-enactments taking place throughout the weekend. Watch in awe as heroes are made and the destiny of nations decided.

5. Say “Bonjour” to the characters from ‘Allo, ‘Allo

Join the hunt for the painting of the fallen Madonna with the big b… well a painting anyway. The custodians and customers of the infamous Café René will be riding the rails, no doubt getting into all kinds of mischief along the way!

6. Perfect your shutterbug skills

The 1940s Weekend is an ideal opportunity to snap some really unique pics. From the glory of gleaming steam engines to Churchill and Roosevelt dancing a polka, fill your scrap book with memories you won’t be able to capture anywhere else.

7. Slap your eyes on an icon of the skies

See a high flying hero in action as the RAF pilot one of their own Spitfires over the line during the event. The distinctive sound and stirring sight of one of these powerful fighter planes is something to behold, not for nothing is the Spitfire one of the world’s most legendary aircraft!

8. Party like it’s 1945 at the VE Day Concert

Break out the bunting and give the nearest sailor a snog, victory has been achieved and the war is over! Celebrate in style at the VE Day Concert over 70 years in the making as the railway’s big band leads you into a series of sparkling 40s hits.

9. Try a Spam Butty

Enjoy the dubious pleasure of a 1940s staple (and unsung hero), Spam! It’s pink, it’s cheap, it goes on bread and it rhymes with ham. Not much more to say about this but it’s worth doing just so you can say you’ve done it! You never know, you may even like it…

10. Get steamed up

No trip to a heritage railway would be complete without taking a ride on one of the resplendently restored steam engines. Many of these machines saw use during the war and are still valiantly going strong today, so don’t miss the opportunity to journey on them.

11. Browse for a blouse at the vintage stalls

Search a variety of vintage stalls for hidden treasures of times gone by. Deck out your den with wartime whatsits or accessorize with a pair of pilot’s goggles or a polka dot dress, there’s no telling what you might find!

12. Take a trip to Tipple-rary

Boost your forties fun with a trip to the Gin Wagon or enjoy your drink with a slice of class at the Prosecco stall. For ale aficionados a trip to one of the East Lancashire Railway’s own traditional real ale pubs might be in order, no Ration Book required!

13. Tap your toes to some toe-tapping tunes

From some George Formby classics to the hair-raising harmonies of The Andrews Sisters and who can forget the favourites from “The Forces Sweetheart” herself, Dame Vera Lynn, the 12-mile line is a musical adventure waiting to be explored…

14. Marvel at the magic of a Spiv Extraordinaire

Resident black market trader and all around likely lad Jez Mansfield will be in attendance with his trusty suitcase, offering the best value magic tricks that rations can’t buy, just make sure you’re still wearing your watch after shaking his hand!

15. Learn how to move with the Backstep Boogie Club

Throw shapes 1940s style with this active and entertaining dance tutorial hosted by the East Lancashire Railway’s friends, the Backstep Boogie Club. A great excuse to bounce and bop to some true vintage pop!

The East Lancashire Railway is located in Bury, just a 30 minute journey on the Metrolink tram from Manchester city centre. Tickets are £20.00 per adult, £18.00 per concession, £12.00 per child (5 – 17 years) and £50.00 per family (2 adults and up to 3 children). Save 10% and book tickets online.




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