The biggest event in Brighouse’s calendar is nearly here as the town prepares to host this year’s 1940s weekend.
The event will take over the town from Friday, June 2 to Sunday, June 4 featuring vintage tea sets, ration books, gas masks, bars of soap, faded boxes of washing powder and yellowed newspapers.
The event is organised by the volunteers of the Brighouse Business Initiative. All the town centre roads will be closed and be entirely traffic free for the weekend. The streets will be filled with market stalls, vintage and military vehicles, displays, re-enactors in period outfits, dancer and singers.
Steven Lord, owner of the Harrison Lord Gallery, said: ““I think it’s so successful because people want to keep a piece of the past.
“We are living in uncertain times with Brexit and the election looming. Young people are playing music on vinyl and using film cameras. The popularity of the 40s Weekend is all part of a back to basics approach.
“You can lose yourself in a world of make do and mend, it’s the perfect antidote to the disposablity of digital life and modern day stresses.”
Anne Colley, chairman of the voluntary group, said “With music in the air, sights to see and good food and real ale available all around, what more could you wish for? And it’s all free to enter.
“It really makes for a great atmosphere when people make the effort to dress in 40s clothes. You don’t have to go to the expense of real vintage outfits if you don’t want to push the boat out, there’s plenty of guidance on the internet on how to dress on a budget. Have a look around the charity shops who have been saving 40s style clothes. You can have your hair done in 40s style at one of the hairdressers offering 40s styling.”
Singers will perform on two stages in the town and dancing areas have been allocated in various locations.
Second World War aircraft of the RAF Battle of Britain memorial flight will do fly-overs on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, weather permitting. A remembrance service will also be held on Sunday afternoon.
With 80,000 people expected to visit the event, a special park and ride on Armytage Road industrial estate has been set up. Follow the signs for “Event Parking” on the approach into Brighouse. A free vintage bus will take people into town.
New for this year is the arrival of a German tank in Bethel Street car park which will fire its main gun on both days. A Rolls Royce engine similar to the one used in Spitfires will power up at regular intervals. Free boat trips will take place on the canal, courtesy of the Calder Navigation Society, on both days.
Vintage and military displays will be held throughout the town centre and a special model of the south coast docks with the D Day invasion lined up ready to depart to France will be on display in the Town Hall Dental building in Thornton Square.
On Saturday night at the Assembly Rooms there will be a Glenn Miller style swing dance performed by the Ashby Big Band.
The theatre group Foot of the Barrel will stage three performances of the play Goodnight Mr Tom at the Civic Hall on Friday (7.30pm) and Saturday (2.30pm and 7.30pm).
The town centre shops will be ready with staff all dressed up in 40s gear and window displays commemorating the era. The organisers would like as many people as possible to come dressed in 40s style.
Call 01484 722080 for more information.