Roaring success will see spectacle return in 2014

Organisers of the first ever Brighouse 1940s weekend have hailed it as a huge success and plans are in place to make it an annual event.

Brighouse stepped back into the 1940s as an estimated 100,000 visitors came to the town ober the weekend for the first ever event by the Brighouse Business Initiative.

1940's Weekend, Brighouse. Crowds flock to Brighouse twon centre.

1940's Weekend, Brighouse. Crowds flock to Brighouse twon centre.

The town was transformed with a vintage market and vehicles lining the streets of the town centre.

Due to the incredible success, Lesley Adams, one of the organisers, said the event will be back in the first weekend of June 2014.

“The event was fantastic - absolutely brilliant. Everybody had a great time and it was great to get so many people in Brighouse who may not have ever been before.

“A big thank you must go to all the volunteers, businesses and visitors to the town because we would not have been able to do it without them.”

From land girls to soldiers, spies to evacuees, businesses and people dressed for the occasion with a host of entertainment including jazz and swing music keeping the public entertained.

Winston Churchill also made an appearance, rousing the masses with his famous wartime speech.

The weekend reached its climax with an exclusive flyby from Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire, piloted by Squadron Leader Duncan Mason.

Steven Lord, from the Harrison Lord Gallery and another organiser of the weekend said: “It has been amazing. We have been overwhelmed by the number of people who came and more importantly how many smiling faces you saw on the streets.

“All the businesses got involved and staff dressed up for the weekend. I don’t think Brighouse has seen anything like this and the community coming together since the war and the 1940s.

“Squadron Leader Duncan Mason has already said how amazing Brighouse looked and he himself has already asked if they can do another flyby next year.

“The phone has already been red hot asking if they can come back next year and from other reenactment groups and performers wanting to come.”

One of the visitors to the weekend was Donna Maskell, and her reenactment group who said one of the highlights was meeting 89-year-old George Knell from Brighouse who was a leading torpedo man and petty officer in the Royal Navy.

“It’s important, at these events, that we remember the men (and women) like George who fought for the freedom we enjoy today. We wanted to make sure that people realise the debt of gratitude we all owe to these veterans.

“One of the reasons we do re-enacting is because our own fathers and grandfathers were in the Royal Navy and we like to show the public how their family members would have looked during this period in history.

“We attend many 1940s/WW2 weekends up and down the country and we thought the Brighouse event was excellent, especially as this was the first time. Well done to the organisers, local shops and businesses for making it such a success, we will definitely be back next year.”

Irene and Peter Roberts made the trip across from Wigan and said: “We were so impressed with the way the shops, pubs and cafes had dressed their windows and interiors in 1940s style and the staff everywhere we went not only looked fantastic in their period costumes but were obviously enjoying it. The whole town had obviously put its heart and soul into the event and you all deserve a pat on the back.”