Crich Tramway Village prepares for Battle of Britain living history weekend

By Culture24 Staff | 04 August 2010
a photograph of three poeple dressed as a 1940s civillian, Filed Marshall Montgomery and an Air Raid Warden

Event: 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, Crich Tramway Village, Derbyshire, August 14 – 15 2010

World War Two re-enactors and living history enthusiasts will be heading to Crich Tramway Museum next weekend for one of the Transport Museum's biggest events of the year, the Battle of Britain commemoration weekend.

Organisers are promising a weekend that will have visitors "feeling like they have stepped through a portal back to the 1940s" as the popular heritage site's fleet of Trams are readied for war.

Anti-blast netting is being installed in the windows; destination boards are being blanked to confuse enemy spies and lights are being fitted with blackout masks.

Elsewhere, sandbags will be piled up around doors and windows of houses and shops and identity cards and ration books will be issued. World War Two RAF personnel will also be on hand to tell visitors about the local aerodrome at Wakebridge, and a Spitfire will be having its Merlin engine test run.

"It will be historically authentic, with plenty of entertainment throughout the day to appeal to all the family," predicts planner Doug Kightley. "Children in particular will be fascinated to see this picture of life in wartime Britain."

To add to this authenticity, a flypast of the Battle of Britain memorial flight will take place on Saturday, and visitors throughout the weekend will be subjected to air-raid warnings and the sound of low flying aircraft.

There will even be spivs selling black market goods and wartime songs belted out by an authentic Entertainments National Service Association concert party throughout the weekend. The Red Lion pub and Rita's Tea Rooms will be serving suitably period food and drink.

The Battle of Britain Historical Society have also helped to turn the tram shelter at Wakebridge into a memorial displaying a Roll of Honour of the 2,936 British and Allied airmen who took part in the Battle of Britain between July 10 and October 31 1940.

Visit the Tramway online or call 01773 854321 for more details.

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned: