Last year I was fortunate to stay at the breath-taking Tattershall Lakes with my partner, family and friends.
Not only were we treated to wonderful weather and terrific views, but we also had the opportunity to take a trip back in time to the 1940’s where the nearby village of Woodhall Spa had turned itself into a vintage, classic recreation of war-time Britain.
Almost every road, store, cafe, bar and restaurant was designed to look just the the war-time era of 1940’s Great Britain and was bustling with visitors, stalls and wares all dressed for the time. Over 40,000 people descended onto the beautiful Lincolnshire village to revel in the festive celebrations that boasted many events, parties and reenactments during the well organised war-themed weekend.
The journey into Woodhall Spa started with a classic London Double Decker bus ride into the village. Despite the bus being slightly crowded, the distinguished looking commuters were smiling, deep in conversation and not a mobile phone was in sight! It really was the 1940’s! Well, despite not being around then I can assure you it wasn’t your typical modern bus journey.
As we stepped off of the coach, we were greeted by large crowds of visitors dressed in their war-time clothes and there was an assortment of classic automobiles lined up in the street. The music of the Ink Spots was playing through the speakers and the flypast of the Spitfire roared its terrific engine above in what was looking to be a truly, memorable weekend for everyone.
We strolled through the markets which were brim with many trinkets, items and wares to buy. The festival events and entertainment included singers, dancers, vintage exhibitions and historic displays of the 1940’s. One of the most exciting parts of the weekend was the many appearances of Winston Churchill who was wearing his trademark bowler hat, puffing his cigar and giving the peace sign at various moments. We would see more of the Prime Minister later that weekend.
A chilling aspect however was the woodland area that featured many soldiers in the woods who were patiently awaiting their next orders, unbeknownst to when that may be. Some soldiers were setting up camp, living off the small amount of rations they had and some laid injured and confused, painting a sad but realistic portrait of the war.
The festival wrapped up with a fantastic reenactment of ‘The Eagle has Landed’ which featured a plot to kidnap Winston Churchill during the height of the Second World War. It was an action packed display filled with gunshots, smoke and staunch defence of the wartime Prime Minister. I was able to smuggle in a futuristic device to capture some footage of it but nothing is quite like experiencing the real thing.
The festival was a fantastic homage to an era that although was very difficult for many, also resonated the unity and pride of the British people. It’s no doubt we will be back again for 2017 and dressed for the part too!