north norfolk railway 1940s weekend 2021
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North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend 2021

The North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend returned in September 2021 after the Covid pandemic resulted in 2020 being cancelled. It was a scaled back affair with the events confined to the train stations of Sheringham, Weybourne and Holt. In past years I’ve spent most of my time in Sheringham where the shops in the town centre also get involved. This year however I found that Holt was the better photo location. If you want to read my article about the 2019 event please click the following link:

Sheringham 1940s Weekend 2019

Events At Holt Station

As in previous years the majority of the classic vehicles, whether they be civilian or military, were based at Holt station. For anyone who loves classic cars there are some great examples, from simple British Austin models to some exotic looking American cars like Plymouths etc. Naturally you expect to see some 1940s military vehicles, including the Willys Jeep. The image below is of a lovely looking Citroen from 1949.

Citroen Traction Avant at the North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend
Citroen Traction Avant

I noticed that there were far less vehicles than in previous years. Some people may prefer the more scaled back approach as when events become too popular they can feel quite stressful.

Entertainment At Holt Station

Holt was also the main location for most of the entertainment on offer. In the field next to the station a number of performers entertained the crowd with some 1940s music. One of the acts that performed on the Saturday was The Knightingales, a female trio who I believe are regulars at this event.

The Knightingales performing at North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend 2021
The Knightingales

As well as a stage, the field at Holt station also has a number of traders, typically selling 1940s fashion.

North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend – Poppy Line

As with most of the 1940s weekends that take place within the UK, they seem to be located where a steam railway line exists. In the case of The North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend, this steam train railway is known as The Poppy Line. It’s only a small section of track that takes in Sheringham, Weybourne and Holt. There are usually a couple of different steam trains and a few different carriages as well. The added interest of a steam railway certainly does add to the overall authentic feel of a 1940s weekend. Most of the stations themselves haven’t changed much since the days of steam and there are a number of enamel advertising signs for products that have long since disappeared. The image below was taken at Sheringham station. I processed it in such a way to give the colours a slightly muted feel to try and give it a vintage feel. I also tried to make the smoke more noticeable.

Steam Train at the North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend 2021
Steam Train at Sheringham Station

1940s Fashion

The main reason I attend the North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend is because it’s a great place for some outdoor street portrait photography. Most people attending the event get dressed up in 1940s fashion. Some go a military outfit, either Army, Navy or Air Force. Others opt for civilian dress, like in the photograph below.

Couple in 1940s dress at the North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend
1940s Fashion

It’s not uncommon to see women dressed as land girls and children dressed as evacuees. When you compare fashion from the 1940s to now a few things stand out to me. Firstly, female fashion back then had a more feminine look than is typical today. For many today, clothing seems to be about comfort rather than any particular style. I’m also struck by how common it was for men to wear hats back in the 1940s.

I’ve only included a few photos within this article. If you would like to see more you can find examples on my Facebook or Instagram pages. Hopefully I will attend the 2022 North Norfolk Railway 1940s Weekend. Check back soon though as next weekend I hope to attend the Haworth 1940s Weekend.

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