North Norfolk Railway 1940’s weekend in Sheringham

The Poppy Line in Sheringham, Norfolk, staged a 1940’s spectacular that re-enacted scenes and memories from wartime Britain.

An array of working steam trains complete with people dressed in clothes from the era graced the platforms in Holt and Weybourne.

The trains ran every half hour along the route giving visitors ample time to see vintage bikes, wartime re-enactments and memorabilia from a golden age.

Couples danced on the station platform to familiar Glenn Miller big band sounds that included, In the Mood, Moonlight Serenade and Chattanooga Choo Choo.

Shop fronts were transformed into colourful war time displays thanks to local artist Colin Seal. Mr Seal, who has painted murals around the town over the past 12 years, said: “The idea was to create a 1940’s atmosphere throughout the town and include shopkeepers in this amazing event”

Tony Shipp MBE, Chairman of Cromer Voluntary Entertainments Organisation Ltd was invited to judge the window displays and best dressed shopkeepers. There were so many, it took hours to complete.

It was an emotional experience for some of the veterans whom lived through the hard times the first time around. Even though leisurely items were hard to come by during that time, it was a reminder how a Nation pulled together to overcome lack of resources.

The ladies demonstrated how they managed to look their best in a display of makeshift fashions, pretend stocking lines, hats and glamour.

Photographers and film enthusiasts poured into Sheringham from all over the world to capture the romance and drama.

Town mayor Tricia Brooks said the unpredictable weather didn’t seem to deter enthusiasts and the sea mist added an air of extra magic to the proceedings.

Between 1942 and 1945 more than one and a half million American servicemen descended upon Britain. Many had never heard an American accent nor met an American until then, so it was inevitable the Yanks (as they were called at the hight of the Second World) created a bit of stir amongst communities.

It sparked many romantic encounters that resulted in fifty thousand British women becoming GI brides and settling in America by the end of the war. This was emphasized at the event with a mixture of American and British military uniform.

Line general manager Trevor Eady said “The event has grown in popularity over the years and more and more people dress up for the occasion now and they return on a yearly basis”

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