Wartime spirit takes over town

Cherie Lawrence who was singing 40s music on the dock end at Whitby for wartime weekend
Cherie Lawrence who was singing 40s music on the dock end at Whitby for wartime weekend
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A STREET party atmosphere filled the air in Whitby over the weekend as people celebrated the arrival of the Second World War.

For the first time the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s Wartime Weekend stretched from Pickering, where 23,000 advance tickets were sold, to Whitby.

Rowena Marsden, events officer with Scarborough Borough Council, which helped organise the Whitby element of the weekend with backing from Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This is the first weekend event we have put on in association with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and the Esk Valley Railway and I think it’s been tremendously successful.

“We were fortunate with the weather which helped to create a real street party atmosphere.

“We’ve had a lot of feedback from local businesses who have embraced this new event and acknowledged it boosted trade at a time of year which traditionally is less busy.

“Speaking to the 1940s re-enactors who stayed in the town, they were delighted to see Whitby is now part of the Railway in Wartime weekend and people we spoke to said they were looking forward to next year.”

With stalls and events concentrated around Endeavour Wharf, Cherie Lawrence sang live to provide a soundtrack to the weekend, and chef demonstrations gave visitors an insight into wartime fare.

Elsewhere, Skinner Street was decked out with period decorations and Julie Curry, owner of Beckett’s, said: “It went extremely well.

“We had a lot of comments asking the town to get behind the event and build on it for next year.

“It is events like this which help Whitby hold its enviable position as an all-year-round resort and the organisers deserve congratulation.

“It seems to us like a real grower.”

Elsewhere on the railway route celebratory scenes, reminiscent of VE Day celebrations, took over Grosmont and Goathland and the station platforms were packed with residents and visitors soaking up the wartime atmosphere.

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