Village at War event returns to Stoke Bruerne

Organisers are pulling out all the stops to get people into the swing of things for the Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum Village at War event this weekend.

As the museum celebrates its 50th anniversary the village will once again be filled with 1940s re-enactors, memorabila, entertainers and militaria.

Stoke Bruerne, Village at War (WW2) recreation event.

Stoke Bruerne, Village at War (WW2) recreation event.

One of the highlights will be a 15 minute display by a Spitfire from the Battle of Britian Memorial Flight from 2pm on Sunday.

David Blagrove, chairman of the Friends of Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum said: “This year is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the canal museum and we are pulling out all the stops to make this the biggest and best Village at War Weekend ever.”

The event is thought to be the only wartime themed canalside festival and kicks off tonight, Friday, with a nostalgic performace from singer Lola Lamour at the Navigation Pub from 7pm. Tables should be booked by calling 01604 864988.

The wartime theme continues with tea dances and vintage fashion shows in the church, a black market, tanks and other military vehicles.

The fog of war will descend on a field just outside the village during a battle and firepower demonstration and other re-enactments from living history groups such as The Pitsford Home Guard, Allied Assortment, UK Tank Club, Le Companie de Francois, Falling Leaves, Trucks, Troops and Stores, The Tommy Atkins Society, Foxhole Fugitives, BARS and the 7th British Infantry.

This year the festival will focus on the wartime government’s call for ‘Holidays at Home’ and how picturesque villages like Stoke Bruerne might have done their bit to save essential transport for the troops.

Some will be throwing themselves into the spirit by camping along the canal.

With bands playing in the afternoon, visitors will be able to learn a few steps to dance with them as lessons take place in the village hall.

More musical entertainment and 40s glamour will be provided by George Formby (aka Paul Casper) and Winston Churchill (aka Peter Austwick) will be seen inspecting the troops.

Other attractions include a summer produce show, a health and beauty display complete with a 1940s-style keep fit class, and as usual the canal will be filled with historic boats, including the museum boat Sculptor which saw action in London as a fire boat during the Blitz.

Tomorrow, Saturday, evening there will be a swing dance with the Sticky Wicket Band at Roade Village Hall. Tickets cost £18 and include a light supper. Coach transport to Roade costs £2.

The cost of a day ticket is £5 and accompanied children under 16 can enter for free.

Weekend passes cost £10, and parking costs £2.

For more information visit www.friendsofcanalmuseum.org.uk.