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Germans kicked out of war on the railway

By Richard Ponter
By Richard Ponter

A popular wartime event has banned Germans from taking part.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway, which is a charity, said it was a "very difficult decision" but the board was unanimous in stopping reanactors playing Germans at the World War Two re-enactment

For the last 12 years, its quaint station at Levisham has been transformed into "Le Visham", a German-occupied town in northern France as part of a larger re-enactment weekend also involving Allied forces.

But negative coverage of last year's event led the railway to withdraw their invitation.

In a statement, it said: "We understand why re-enactors are upset and are sorry that after so many years of working together we've been forced to make this very difficult decision.

"As a registered charity, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway exists to deliver benefits to the public at large through the preservation and operation of its heritage railway."

It said it needed to protect its family image, adding: "With this in mind, as we plan for this year's Railway In Wartime event, we had to consider last year's national media articles negatively portraying Levisham's German wartime re-enactment.

"As a public charity we cannot ignore the media's portrayal and so it is with considerable regret the unanimous decision was that the invitation to the re-enactment group, who have provided loyal support at Levisham for many years, would be withdrawn."