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8th Wartime Weekend & Vintage Fayre

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1940s enthusiasts and families alike can celebrate holidays at home at the annual 1940s Wartime Weekend and Vintage Fayre held on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 July at Kelham Island Museum.

Now in its 8th year, this spirited Second World War event takes place across the museum’s atmospheric grounds and hosts a wide range of wartime demonstrations brought to life by local re-enactment groups, such as a weaponry and firing display by the Allied 39-45 Group and a bomb disposal display by Homefires Burning. The Pontefract Home Guard will be at hand to greet visitors, whilst the Spirit of the Home Front provides a variety of demonstrations from mining, chaplaincy and WVS to Land Army farmhouse, weddings and make do and mend.

A collection of vintage vehicles will be on show including the South Yorkshire Transport Museum’s 1949 Tower Wagon, alongside army vehicles, jeeps and classic cars and the museum’s own Sheffield Simplex car.

Headlining the music stage over the weekend will be the UK’s No.1 George Formby Experience and Pete Jones who will entertain with wartime classics joined by vintage vocalist Natasha Harper. New for 2017, Big Band sounds will be provided by the Langsett Dance Orchestra on Saturday afternoon.   On Sunday afternoon, and for the first time at the museum, visitors can see the Official No.1 Tribute Lorrie Brown - A Salute to Vera Lyn.

In the tradition of moral boosting dance halls of the time, the Sunday Afternoon Tea Dance, which includes beginners dance lessons, takes place between 2pm - 4pm where visitors can learn to Lindyhop with G.I. Jive (an additional £2 entry fee applies to the Tea Dance).

This year’s Vintage Fayre offers fifteen antique, craft and vintage stalls selling an array of wares from authentic clothing and collectables to pie and peas, preserves and cakes!

The museum’s Steam Hammer Café will provide a wartime menu including Fish & Chips as one of the few foods not to be rationed during the Second World War. The Millowners Arms Brewing Gallery will also be open for the first time at this event, serving a refreshing gin cocktail and Millowners Ale. Meet our lively 1940s Pub Landlord for some good old fashioned banter and watch out for some piano-playing sing-a-longs throughout the weekend.

Families can enjoy have a go activities as part of the re-enactment displays and make and take museum activities with traditional toys and games and flag and lavender bag making.

The Sheffield Sea Cadet Band can be seen marching along the cobbles and be on the lookout for Luke Robson’s Honest Magic – our smooth talking 1940s style ‘Spiv’ ‘selling’ stockings and coveted wartime items from his jacket pockets! The term ‘Spiv’ was particularly used during the Second World War and in the post-war period when many goods were rationed due to shortages.

The museum itself will be showcasing the mighty 12,000hp River Don Engine, the most powerful working steam engine in Europe, which can be seen in steam at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm each day. New displays explain Sheffield’s role in shipbuilding and how the engine helped roll armour plate for ships, tanks and spitfires. Other wartime objects from the museum collection, such as the Grand Slam Bomb, can be seen as part of the living history WW2 tours taking place over the weekend.  

“Our annual wartime event is one of our favourite events with hundreds of people coming back year after year” says Niki Connolly, events and marketing manager at Sheffield Industrial Museum’s Trust. “This year, we are introducing a live Big Band and Best Dressed Competition to encourage even more visitors to come dressed in their 1940s best and take to the dance floor!”

The event runs from 11am - 5pm on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 July.  Normal museum admission applies Adults £6 and accompanied children under 16 go FREE. An additional £2 admission charge for the Sunday Afternoon Tea Dance applies and includes tea and cake.  

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