The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway is running its first-ever ‘War in
the Cotswolds’ event on the railway, Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 April 2013.
It’s a time for visitors to carry their identity cards, ration books and
dress up in 1940s style for this special event.
At a time when there is growing interest in British military and civilian
life during the 1940s, the railway, which operates heritage train services
over the 12-mile line between Cheltenham Racecourse, Toddington and
Laverton, is planning what it describes as a ‘light-hearted wartime
Organiser David Miles points out that oft-repeated TV shows such as ‘Dad’s
Army’, ‘Blackadder’ and ‘’Allo ‘Allo’, are eternally popular while dramas
like ‘Land Girls’ (which was partly filmed on the Honeybourne Line) and
factual programmes such as ‘Wartime Farm’ attract large audiences.
“They awaken a nostalgia for a time when everyone pulled together for their
country,” he points out.
“Rationing, making ends meet with very little, evacuation of youngsters by
train to the country and huddling round radio sets listening to Winston
Churchill as they wondered whether their loved ones would come home again
must have been heartbreaking for countless families.
“But at the same time, it brought out the finest British spirit of
co-operation and for many they were also the best of days.”
Britain’s railways played an enormous part in keeping the country mobile
during the war years, including the strategically-important line between
Stratford and Cheltenham, over part of which the present-day Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway runs.
Popularly known in the War years as the Honeybourne Line, it provided
connections to all parts of the country and was heavily used for freight,
troop movements and moving produce from the Vale of Evesham.
“We want to capture something of the days when everyone pulled together for their country and the railways played such a vital role in the war effort.
It’s a chance for everyone to play a part and live the experience.”
The weekend will offer a host of activities planned including period music
and melodies, Forces personnel on duty or on leave; the fire auxiliary
sevice and period civilian and military vehicles. And provided that there
are sufficient provisions, and air-raids permitting, catering will have a
distinct 1940s feel – and taste – too.
Visitors will be invited to come along in 1940s attire and if they have an
appropriate classic vehicle, to bring that along too.
“We’re keen to hear from anyone who has anything to offer – whether local
church groups, schools or service clubs, as well as those who might want to
run a stall selling 1940s memorabilia.
Discount tickets are already available in advance on the railway’s website.
The railway would also like to hear of readers’ recollections of the railway
during the war years.
Ticket prices are adult £18; senior £16.50; child 5-15 £10; family (two
adults, three children) £46 in advance. On the day, adult £20; senior £18;
child £10, family £55.
Only Allied uniforms will be allowed. Nazi or SS uniforms will not be
permitted. Firearms (whether replica or genuine de-activated ones) must be
authorised by the organisers in advance from [email protected]
For news, information and train times visit www.gwsr.com
Source: Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway Plc