WHITBY in wartime is set to be recreated as a new event in the town is launched this week.
The Whitby Wartime Weekend, being held in the autumn, will transport residents, businesses and visitors back to 1943.
It is part of a bid to capitalise on the success of the war-themed events which take place each year in Pickering as part of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s “Railway in Wartime” weekend.
Last year, more than 26,000 extra people visited Pickering – taking the town almost to saturation point – and it is hoped the activities being lined up in Whitby can relieve some of that pressure and attract visitors to Whitby in what would usually be a quiter part of the tourist season.
Partners including the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR), Esk Valley Railway Development Company, Northern Rail, Welcome to Yorkshire, Scarborough Borough Council, the Whitby Gazette, the Whitby and District Tourism Association and Whitby Hospitality Association.
They are now busy planning entertainment for the event which will take place over three days from Friday 14 October to Sunday 16 October – and it is hoped this could become an annual event.
There will also be authentic displays and activities at the station and on Endeavour Wharf to tie in with the railway’s 1943 theme.
NYMR is extending its wartime trains into Whitby, with nine return services into the town over the week.
It is hoped that could bring an extra 5,000 people into the town, in addition to those who will drive through from Pickering, Levisham, Goathland and Grosmont.
Welcome to Yorkshire Area Director Janet Deacon said: “We want this event to be a roaring success and become established over time – and the more people from the community who become involved the more likely it is that this aim will be achieved.
Borough Council Project Officer Rowena Marsden said: “If you have a café or restaurant, getting involved could be something as simple as offering an authentic 1940s dish on the menu, or you could decide to dress in clothing authentic to the period.
“You might want to decorate your shop window as it would have looked in 1943.
“The possibilities are endless and this has the potential to be a really great event for Whitby.”