Pack up your troubles as wartime weekend returns

All aboard. One of the highlights of the weekend is the steam train
All aboard. One of the highlights of the weekend is the steam train

THE SPIRIT of the 1940s will be evoked in Whitby this weekend when the town once again joins in the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s annual wartime weekend.

This will be the second year the event has extended into Whitby, while events taking place at villages all along the line are likely to be hugely popular once again.

Last year more than 10,000 people visited the centre of Whitby over the weekend.

Scarborough Borough Council events officer Rowena Marsden said: “I’m delighted that we were able to play our part last year, when Whitby participated fully for the first time.

“It was great to see visitors getting into the spirit of the 1940s and the town thronging with people dressed in period costume, all looking to soak up the authentic experience.”

Whitby shops and businesses will be getting in the mood by dressing their shop windows 1940s-style and offering “wartime specials”.

Entertainment at the event arena on Dock End and Endeavour Wharf will be provided on Saturday by 1940s tribute singer Cherie Lawrence and on Sunday by a swing ensemble led by jazz trombonist Andrew Kerensky.

Students from the Paul Nicholas School of Acting in Whitby will be performing vignettes based on home-front scenarios on Saturday at the event area at Dock End.

Principal Katrina Stead said: “The students are looking forward to taking part.

“They first created the vignettes two years ago when they performed at Scarborough Armed Forces Day.

“They have been very busy recently being involved in a ‘Back to the Good Old Days’ fund-raiser show at Whitby Pavilion and Heritage Open Days at the Spa Theatre.”

The acting school gives an opportunity for youngsters between the ages of 4 and 18 to learn acting skills.

Its students will also be on Platform 1 at Whitby railway station to welcome arriving steam trains.

Regional food guru Irene Myers is creating a programme of 1940s-themed cookery demonstrations by renowned Yorkshire chefs, including Rob Green, from Whitby.

These events will also see the return of the Whitby Gazette “cook off”.

Welcome to Yorkshire area director Janet Deacon, who heads the local area tourism office, said: “One of the main focuses of the borough’s tourism strategy is to support the delivery and promotion of events and festivals but in particular to encourage the development of festivals outside of the main summer season to ensure the destinations provide a year-round tourism offer.

“Last year’s Railway in Wartime weekend was a great success for Whitby, with around 10,000 people around the event site.

“It was a great atmosphere with many of the business in Whitby really getting behind the event.”

Ryedale Folk Museum, at Hutton-le-Hole, is exhibiting throughout the wartime weekend. Its centrepiece wartime exhibit includes memories sourced from editions of the Whitby Gazette published during the war, including details of a German Heinkel bomber crash-landing and enemy sailors who were washed up at Sandsend.