It was the era when Dame Vera Lynn lifted spirits with ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’ and dance halls across the land echoes to the big band sounds of Glenn Miller. It was the era when American GIs introduced the nation to the jive and the lindy hop and Tommy Handley’s ITMA radio show kept families laughing through the dark days of war.
If entertainment was crucial to maintaining morale during the wartime years, so it is also playing an important part in Brighouse’s 1940s weekend which runs until Sunday.
The nostalgic fun starts tonight with a special screening of the movie Casablanca and pie and peas supper at Brighouse Civic Hall. Doors open at 7pm.
Friday evening’s entertainment will come from the Boo Booby Doo Burlesque Show at Brighouse Civic Hall, 7.30pm for an 8pm start, and there will be wartime sounds from the Crown Top Kings at the Ritz Ballroom at 8pm, doors 7.45pm.
On Saturday and Sunday there literally will be dancing in the streets of Brighouse town centre as Natasha and Paul Harper, Katie Spitfire, Dickie Lines and Pete Jones keep the crowds entertained.
Those interested in brushing up their fancy footwork will be able to take dancing lessons from the Back Step Boogie Club at Brighouse Civic Hall on Saturday and Sunday afternoon and pupils from Lightcliffe C of E School will be performing the play ‘The Evacuees’ on Saturday.
Brighouse and Rastrick Band will be playing on the street on Saturday as well as giving a Summer Brass concert at Central Methodist Church on Saturday evening.
There will be plenty to put the audience ‘in the mood’ at a special variety show at Brighouse Civic Hall on Saturday at 7.30pm with the band Swing of Things and impressions from Dickie Lines.
Also on Saturday from 8pm the music will come from Five Star Swing with Simone on vocals at the Ritz Ballroom.
Sunday’s highlights will include a talk by historian Chris Helme on Brighouse in wartime at the Salvation Army Hall, King Street, at 2pm, followed by afternoon tea, and a flypast from a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at 3pm (weather permitting).
Programmes for the 1940s weekend and tickets are available at town centre shops in Brighouse.