Lytham 1940s Weekend

Realistically, being around in the 40s would have been hard to say the least. First war, then recovering and repairing would have brought such challenges to daily life, but people faced them with community spirit and everyone played their part. Lytham 1940s weekend is an event open to everyone to come along and appreciate the era, and see the town's own community spirit shine.

Last year I happened to be visiting Lytham during the weekend quite by chance. I hadn't heard of it before so I didn't expect to see tanks lining the front, soldiers in battle, and even ordinary residents stepping out in their finest 40s style clothing. The local shops competed for best dressed, and I spotted groups of land girls, pilots, a Call-The-Midwife nurse, and Winston Churchill! This year I was prepared to join in myself, and while I had no victory in my attempt at victory rolls, I felt the part in a red floral tea dress and some vintage-style Clarks sandals.

The costumes weren't just limited to human residents, even dogs get dressed up! My personal favourite part of both visits was spotting pups kitted out and lapping up every minute of the attention they attracted, but the organisers had included lots of elements to ensure everyone went home with a highlight. The war aspect was covered by army vehicles restored to top condition, a real German plane, and even a re-enactment, while vintage cars and clothes stalls, music, and dance classes gave visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the 40s era. Thankfully, the organisers drew the line at catering with Spam sandwiches and dried egg, and instead there was a woodfired pizza stall, and gin, tea and coffee, or Lytham Fizz prosecco to wash it down.

It's tricky to get the balance right when celebrating anything related to wartime. The violence, fear, and mourning are not something to glorify, but the bravery of the nation is. Not only did young men give their lives, but mothers went to work in ammunition factories then tucked their children in bed not knowing if they would be woken by air raid sirens. It's uncomfortable, but it's not something to brush over, and I felt that Lytham hosted an event that paid respect to those incredible hardships while also capturing the joy that was felt when war was over and Britain pulled together to rebuild.

Whether you want to learn more, take an elderly relative to reminisce, or simply do something different with your weekend, I'd highly recommend going along next year. 

Have you been to an event like this?



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