Melton Mowbray 1940s Weekend

Melton Mowbray 1940s Weekend

In an effort to attend more events in 2024, one of those that I have pencilled in my diary was the Melton Mowbray 1940s Weekend. Aimed at marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day it took place on May 11th and 12th. I managed to attend for a few hours on Saturday 11th May and the crowds enjoyed some lovely summer sunshine.

Melton Mowbray 1940s Weekend Entertainment

The event took place in Play Close Park which had plenty of space for all the displays, stalls and performances. Walking through the park one of the first areas I came across was set aside as a German camp. It was interesting to chat to some of those in this area who were representing both German and Austrian regiments. Despite the glaring sunshine there was some tree cover which allowed for better lighting for portraits. This area also featured a brass band from Derbyshire dressed in lederhosen and a few food stalls, one specialisting in German sausages like Bratwurst.

For vehicle enthusiasts there were a number of classic cars, both military jeeps and some civilian cars. Also getting lots of attention was a vintage green BBC outside broadcast vehicle. I have a feeling the vehicle dates to the 1950s from the little research I have done online. In another part of the park was a Merlin engine like those used in the Spitfire planes which could be heard throughout the park when it was started up.

I think it’s fair to say that the busiest area was the central bandstand and the marquee just behind it. There was a DJ playing 1940’s songs on the bandstand as well as a few live singers including Jeep Johnson who I’ve seen a couple of times at the Haworth 1940s Weekends (sadly not taking place in 2024). There were also a number of ‘lookalikes’ of famous people from the period including Winston Churchill (Steve McTigue), Charles de Gaulle (Stefen Dicks) and Montgomery.

For those who wanted a 1940s look themselves there were a number of stalls selling vintage clothing as well as a hairdresser who would complete that 1940s look. The marquee behind the central bandstand featured a number of performers dressed and acting out a number of historical and day-to-day scenes from the era.

All in all it was an enjoyable event to attend, even if the intense sun was not ideal for outdoor portraits. Depending on my schedule next year it’s certainly one I would consider attending again, especially as it’s relatively close to my home in Northampton.

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