Whitby to remain neutral as war breaks out

Waiting for the train at Whitby station during Wartime Weekend
Waiting for the train at Whitby station during Wartime Weekend

Clocks will be turned back to the 1940s this weekend for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s annual Railway in Wartime event, but the three-day festival is once again set to bypass Whitby.

A lack of interest and funding meant that aside for a small re-enactment at the town’s train station, Whitby was not involved in 2013’s festivities.

This year, no NYMR-led events are scheduled to take place in the town, although there will be an evening of 1940s music at The Met on Saturday and a Vintage Fair is being held at Whitby Pavilion.

In 2011 and 2012, there were food and craft stalls in the town, dancing at Dock End and hundreds of people present in 1940s costume.

Speaking on behalf of NYMR, Danielle Ramsey, said: “We would very much like to bring Railway in Wartime back to Whitby, but unfortunately we have neither the resources nor the manpower to do so.

“With so much to organise elsewhere, we would need someone in Whitby to volunteer to manage events there.”

The nearby villages of Goathland and Grosmont are however still set to play a big part in this year’s proceedings.

Goathland Station will provide a home for Pontefract Home Guard, with junior NYMR volunteers taking part in drills, while other civilians make the best of the wartime rationing with ‘make-do-and-mend’ displays throughout the weekend.

Although it may be better known as a railway station, Grosmont will become the base of operations for the RAF over the three days. A replica Spitfire will be present in the station car park alongside an authentic RAF Dispersal Hut. Weather permitting, the ground-based displays will be supplemented by a Tiger Moth fly-by at 1pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Further along the line, Levisham and Pickering will also be hosting a variety of events.