Pickering 1940s War Weekend in a small North Yorkshire Village is transported back to the dark days of wartime Britain, Pickering, North Yorkshire, UK, 18/10/2009.
Pickering 1940s War Weekend. A small North Yorkshire Village is transported back to the dark days of wartime Britain, Pickering, North Yorkshire, UK, 18/10/2009.
Annual Pickering 1940's weekend October 16th to 18th 2009.
Once a year the small North Yorkshire village of Pickering with its 1930s period train station, a part of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, becomes window back into the dark days of Wartime Britain. It is an event which can giving rise to the strange site of German soldiers against the backdrop of English shops and Union Flags and has them walking side by side, chatting and drinking tea with Allied soldiers from almost every theatre of battle of world war two.
Do not be mistaken and think the village is filled with only uniform clad warriors, its not. The civilians are out in force too resulting in a highly effective large scale piece of living history with adults and children, male and female choosing to dress in civilian or military clothing from the period, much of which is original or very good reproductions. The people are accompanied by vehicles of the period, fully restored Jeeps, motorbikes, cars, vans and steam trains. It’s even possible to see the occasional Halftrack or Tank rolling through the streets, manned by an appropriately dressed crew.
In places Pickering and the re-enactors look like actors and a film set but this does not mean the crowds of tourist attracted to the event are kept at arms length. They brush shoulders and chat with the re-enactors, many of which are very knowledgeable about the period they portray and all of who turn out for the love of it. Re-enacting the 1940s is their hobby. This year (2009) was probably a record year for the event, one local bus driver was heard to say
"I've lived here for 12 years and never known it be so busy"
While a Re-enactor commented “I’m glad I was in the parade on Saturday, it was the only place left you could walk”
Just outside the village at the show ground members of the Northern World War Two Association have a living history encampment where more British, American, Russian and German soldiers can be found happy to talk about their uniforms, and deactivated or blank firing weapons and vehicles, that is when they are not on the display area recreating a loud and fast moving battle from either the Eastern or Western front. There was a very special treat for spectators this year, a full sized reproduction aluminium Spitfire which was raising funds for the Royal British Legion by offering people the chance to have their photo taken in the cockpit and (according to the organisers) probably the only place in the world you could see restored and running versions of the German Marder Tank Killer and a Sd Kfz 251 Ausf C Half-Track
“its probably the first time these two vehicles have shared the same battlefield since the second world war” said Paul Hilditch one of the showground event organisers.
Having done for this year the will no doubt all be back to do it all over again next year.