Railway lovers in Lancashire were taken back to an age of ration books, sharp suits and World War Two uniforms on the first day of a nostalgic heritage event today.
The first day of the East Lancashire Railway’s 1940s weekend featured a Spitfire fly-past, speeches by a Winston Churchill impersonator and afternoon tea dances and vintage fairs.
Soldiers playing the part of the ’82nd Airborne 505th RCT’ descended on Bury Bolton Street station, on the heritage line between Heywood in Greater Manchester and Rawtenstall in Lancashire.
However, the railway’s uniform policy banned guests from recreating ‘those elements of German and Axis military re-enactment that are likely to inflame emotions and cause offence to our visitors’.
The rule stated that anyone dressed as a member of the SS or Waffen-SS, or wearing a swastika on a red armband or other ‘overt Nazi insignia’, would be denied entry to the railway.
Some children came dressed as evacuees in flat caps, as though heading for the countryside to escape German bombings, while Union Jack bunting lined the station.
It comes weeks after the village of Levisham scrapped its Railway in Wartime event on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, where it was transformed into a German-occupied village called Le Visham, over fears of ‘possible offence’.
Soldiers playing the roles of the ’82nd Airborne 505th RCT’ carry their weapons through Bury Bolton Street station
Two women in matching outfits from the Bluebird Belles sing wartime hits at Bury Bolton Street station
A soldier with a U.S. flag on his arm boards a train at Bury Bolton Street station during the 1940s weekend
Soldiers in full World War Two uniforms take part in a battle re-enactment at Ramsbottom station, renamed ‘Nouvion’
Three-year-old George Jackson is dressed as an evacuee on a train at Bury Bolton Street with his grandmother Sue Gaskell
Two soldiers from ’82nd Airborne 505th RCT’ carry their weapons while spectators watch on at ‘Nouvion’ station
A Winston Churchill impersonator, who made speeches on the first day of the event, speaks to a magician in Bury
Union Jack bunting lines the ticket office at Bury Bolton Street station on the first day of the annual 1940s Weekend
Re-enactment soldiers at Bury Bolton Street station meet a magician on the first day of the World War Two-themed event
Re-enactment soldiers stand in front of a train and a sign dressing Bury Bolton Street station up as Trafalgar Square
Soldiers walk along the platform at Bury Bolton Street station which was decorated with Union Jack flags and colours
Re-enactment soldiers shout to each other on a platform decorated with Union Jacks at Bury Bolton STreet station
An actor playing Winston Churchill, dressed in a bow tie, meets a fan at Bury Bolton Street station at the 1940s Weekend
Enthusiasts watch the City of Wells steam train leave Bury Bolton Street station during the 1940s re-enactment
A re-enactment soldier crouches and holds his weapon during a mock battle at ‘Nouvion’ station in Ramsbottom
A soldier crouches down in Ramsbottom while a boy dressed as an evacuee poses for a picture at Bury Bolton Street
Three-year-old George Jackson looks out of the window accompanied by his grandmother Sue Gaskell at Bury Bolton Street
The engine room of the City of Wells steam train which departed from Bury Bolton Street on the 1940s weekend
Re-enactment soldiers watch 1940s-themed singers the Bluebird Belles at Bury Bolton Street station today
A re-enactment soldier holds a weapon at Ramsbotton, renamed Nouvion station, during the 1940s Weekend
An enthusiast dressed as a soldier holds a vintage camera after boarding a train at Bury Bolton Street station
Re-enactment soldiers board a train at Bury Bolton Street station at the start of the 1940s Weekend