Second World War battle re-enactments, military equipment, living history displays and a replica Spitfire will be on show at one of Britain’s largest ‘wartime festivals’.
Thousands of people are expected on Lytham Green today and tomorrow, with visitors previously coming from across Britain and as far afield as America, France, Canada and India.
This year’s Lytham 1940s Wartime Festival features WW2 battle re-enactments, complete with gunfire, bomb blasts and authentic uniforms and equipment.
The theme will be Operation Market Garden in Holland – the unsuccessful attempt to shorten the war by defeating Germany from the north.
Coun Cheryl Little, chairman of Fylde Council’s Tourism and Leisure Committee, said: “People look back on that era as Britain’s finest hour.
“They are incredibly proud of our role and the people who saw us through those hard times.
“This festival is an opportunity for people to see for themselves what life was like. It is very realistic and, in a way, glamorous as many people dress up to look their best in 1940s clothes.
“The whole town takes part, with many shopkeepers dressing their windows with a 1940s theme.
“But the most exciting and eye-catching part is always the battle re-enactments on the Green. They are very realistic and include genuine weapons and vehicles from the Second World War.
“It is always an action-packed and fun-packed weekend and, once again, we are expecting tens of thousands of visitors in Lytham.”
The festival will feature an assault course and rifle range; a static display of a genuine troop-carrying Huey helicopter and a genuine military spotter Loach helicopter from the Vietnam war.
There will also be a replica Spitfire, lessons in food-growing and cooking on the Home Front plus historic vehicle displays.
A living history encampment will give visitors a taste of civilian life during the war and there will be a procession of historic vehicles through Lytham.
For the first time there will be an evacuee exhibition, looking back to the time Fylde became a temporary home to children from Manchester and London.
Visitors can also enjoy some vintage refreshments at a 1940s café and enjoy themselves at two Saturday night 1940s dances – with one at Arnold KEQM School, featuring music by Lilli de Carlo and the Cotton Town Hot Club and the other at Lowther Pavilion, featuring the Big Bluebird Band.
n Further details are available at: www.lytham1940s.co.uk