For the seventh year running, a canalside village is hosting its popular Village At War weekend.
During the war the Grand Union Canal played an important role in transporting essential supplies from the Midlands to the London area.
Story has it that part of our gold reserves were shipped from the Bank of England to Liverpool during the invasion scare of 1940.
And the narrowboat Sculptor, moored outside the Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum, was called into service as a fire boat in London during the latter part of the war.
Stoke Bruerne pays its tribute to the war years next Saturday and Sunday.
Organised by the Friends of The Canal Museum, the weekend kicks off on Friday evening with Lola Lamour singing nostalgic songs of the 1940s in The Navigation pub (table booking advised).
The wartime theme continues over the weekend, with village hall tea dances, firepower demonstrations and battles, vintage and military vehicle displays, a ‘black market’ and re-enactments from living history groups such as the Pitsford Home Guard, Women’s Land Army, Dogs Army, Allied Assortment, UK Tank Club, Trucks, Troops and Stores and the Tommy Atkins Society.
Working narrowboats, many decorated in full 1940s style, will throng the canal.
More musical entertainment and 1940s glamour will be provided by George Formby (aka Paul Casper), Lola Lamour, The Swingsters and Ruzzit Buzzit, while personalities such as Churchill, King George VI and Field Marshall Montgomery will be in evidence inspecting the troops.
There will be plenty to do, with air raid experiences, Marjorie Cartright-Jones’s Make-Do-and-Mend cabaret show dispensing tips for hard pressed housewives, vintage fashion shows, a Sunday morning Drumhead Service at the Church and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will be buzzing the skies overhead.
Saturday evening festival goers can practice the Lambeth Walk, the Palais Glide and Lindy Hop at the Swing Dance (tickets in advance £15 pp including food).
David Blagrove, Chairman of the Friends said: “The whole village of Stoke Bruerne joins in. Even the school runs a very authentic Lyon’s-style Nippy Tearoom and the church provides a unique catwalk for the fashion parade, so the wartime atmosphere and community spirit is quite authentic.”
A day ticket is £5 per person, with free entry for accompanied children under 16. Parking in village car parks is an extra £3, payable to the car park operator.
All surplus proceeds from the event are donated to The Friends of the Canal Museum registered charity and other village and not-for-profit groups also benefit.
For full details see www.friendsofcanalmuseum.org.uk