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Visitors wearing 1940s costumes

Thousands of visitors donned forces uniforms and forties finery as they hopped on board steam trains and travelled back in time for a weekend of battle re-enactments, military vehicle displays and parades.

Rain couldn’t dampen the blitz spirit as the East Lancashire Railway transported passengers back to the1940s.

Thousands of visitors donned forces uniforms and forties finery as they hopped on board steam trains and travelled back in time for a weekend of battle re-enactments, military vehicle displays and parades.

Spectators watched as Germans ambushed a French cafe at Bolton Street station in Bury and got a glimpse at a replica Spitfire on display in Ramsbottom.

The fighter plane was among dozens of vintage vehicles, both military and civilian, on show at the station and at Bury, where there was also a tank courtesy of its transport museum.

Bury also hosted displays from the Prestwich Jewish community as well as an exhibition of Second World War paintings and a display commemorating the centenary of the First World War.

Children enjoyed retro funfair rides over at Heywood station, where vintage buses ferried people to and from town on Saturday.

Music and merriment were in rich supply all along the line as visitors got their jive on at afternoon tea dances.

The weekend was set to a swinging soundtrack, with entertainment from singers Paul Harper, Katie Mustang, Maria Manchester and Jane Francis.

The Greater Manchester Army Cadet Forces Pipe and Drum Band led a spectacular military parade through Ramsbottom yesterday, and there was also music from Middleton Youth Brass Band in Bury on Saturday.

Monday’s events kick off as the first train departs from Bury at 9am.

Highlights include a 1940s proms concert at St Paul’s Church in Ramsbottom at 2pm.

Wartime workshops will be held at Heywood station at 11am, 1pm and 3pm as well as a re-enactment at 1.15pm.

Bury will host German ambush re-enactments throughout the day again on platforms three and four, where there will also be musical entertainment.

Vintage and military vehicles will be on display in the car park, while over at the transport museum there will be a dance session at 1.30pm.

Ramsbottom will also host vehicles and entertainment all day, and there will also be a 1940s prom concert at St Paul’s Church at 2pm.

Source: Manchester Evening News

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The East Lancashire Light Railway Company Limited registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Bolton Street Station, Bolton Street, Bury, Lancashire, BL9 0EY Registered number: 02023981