Last Saturday I attended the Pickering 1940s Wartime Weekend with my parents and husband (still getting used to saying that!).
Pickering is a 1940s re-enactment event that has been running for 20 years and is one of the biggest in the country. Although the centre of the event is Pickering North Yorkshire there are events held across the North Yorkshire Moors Railway line, from an evacuation re-enactment at Goathland to the occupation of French village LeVisham.
Travel between events via the railway on beautiful steam trains was the way most seemed to get around but, sadly, we didn’t have time to travel by train on the Saturday.
We did however manage to get onto the train platform as a train was arriving, the platforms were separated into one for ‘period costume’ only and one for everyone else. I believe this was so photographers could get ‘authentic’ vintage shots, but who knows.
The station was not only the focus point for many re-enactors but was also the location of several musical performances and a mock blitz air-raid (which was pretty scary).
There were also lots of vintage stalls selling clothes, accessories and military memorabilia, we even managed to find a retro beauty parlour tucked away in a back street.
And everywhere you looked there were vintage cars!
At one point my mother took a photograph next to a vintage car and a swarm of photographers started taking my picture, it was fun for a few moments but then I began to feel a little embarrassed – it wasn’t even my car!
We also stopped off in the local church where they were serving tea and cakes and they were also creating a memorial installation using poppies form the poppy appeal.
The streets were full of people, so many of them in full costume I was really amazed by how much effort people put into their clothing. There were a lot of men and women in vintage armed forces uniforms, as would be expected at a war re-enactment event, but what was really amazing was that so many children were dressed up too. It was nice to see history so alive and well in the hearts and minds of those attending the weekend.
All in all I had a great day, but to get time to see everything, or even close to everything, it would be a good idea to spend more than one day there. But I would recommend it to anyone even vaguely interested in vintage, the 1940s or the home front.