Yorkshire Moors Railway Wartime Weekend
Pictures by Stephen A. Carr
around the stations on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, the Wartime Weekend
takes the railway back to 1943, remembering the essential railway workers who
kept the transport system running. Each station on the line has different
displays ranging from period vehicles, air raid shelters, army field kitchens,
period dancing demonstrations, plus of course civilian and military re-enactors.
Because each area is effectively a different event, I am enlarging the usual
page of pictures to one page per location.
largest area of displays is at Pickering Station and this also extends
into the town, where many shops and pubs are turned back to the '40's,
complete with period entertainment. The next station up the line is
Levisham. This station has changed its name for the weekend to Le
Visham, and is set in occupied France with a guarding German Garrison.
Further North again is Goathland Station, back in wartime England. The
last station on the line is Grosmont where last year there was a small
preparation for the Wartime Weekend begins the week before the event at
Pickering Station. This involves transforming the station back to the 1940's.
The work is carried out by volunteers who help with the running of the station
all year round. Part of the transformation involves replacing or hiding
non-period signs, building the entrance to the air raid shelter, building the
NAFFI hut, taping up the windows etc.
Building the entrance to the air raid shelter and taping up windows to
prevent flying glass in case of a nearby blast.
Assembling the NAFFI hut which served tea throughout the weekend.
outside the station were several civilian and military vehicles, and one which
particularly caught my eye was the blue Singer two seat car seen below. Several
major leaders and personalities were seen during the weekend, and Mr Churchill
himself made a speech to the gathered troops from platform 2 of Pickering
Station. Among some of the displays in the Pickering Station car park were
dioramas by the US 101st Airborne and 42nd Field Hospital, military and civilian
vehicles, plus a halftrack and at times, two Chaffee tanks, 'though they
appeared at several locations throughout the weekend.
the day, frequent 'Air Raids' saw civilians and the military run for the air
raid shelter on the platform of Pickering station. At one point, a 'direct hit'
set alight to the pump house, but the fire was fortunately brought under control
as can be seen below. In the car park behind the station, a
NAFFI truck was serving tea etc to calm the nerves of those caught in the air
from the raid were quickly taken for first aid. Also on show here were some
civilian displays including fresh vegetables in the back of a green grocers van.
Getting the Chaffee tanks in and out of the station car park was a very tight
squeeze, even with one of the gates removed, and took several minutes of
positioning to get a clear run through. While seen individually across the
weekend, it took until mid Sunday before I found all of the 'Dads Army' Home
Town Page 2