THE 1940s were brought to life with a spectacular wartime weekend festival in Lytham.
Living History was the theme as tunes by the forces sweetheart Vera Lynn serenaded visitors who packed onto Lytham front.
Enthusiasts were treated to a Spitfire Dakota fly past, a working Rolls Royce jet engine with propellers, a series of mock battles and a number of military vehicles on show as the Green was overtaken by crowds.
The festival, in its third year, saw the town centre thrown back 70 years, with sand bags, bomb-blast tape on windows in cafes and pubs, and visitors dressed in wartime clothing as the Fylde coast was awash with wartime nostalgia.
Brenda Ellender and Sarah Relf – both from Lytham – said the event was hugely enjoyable, and that it was important not to forget heroes from the past.
Brenda said: “We originally saw the festival at Tatton Park and thoroughly enjoyed it.
“When we knew it was coming to Lytham we just had to come down. Walking down the front listening to Vera Lynn singing was wonderful – I may even have sung a few lines myself!
Sarah added: “I’ve brought my son along today and I just feel it’s important we never forget the sacrifices made, and that neither does he.”
As well as the huge crowds, Living History volunteers helped give the festival it’s wartime feel.
Mark Farnworth, from Wigan, had a display in tribute to the South Staffords Airborne, who took part in the infamous Operation Market Garden, the attempt by the Allies to bring a swift end to World War Two with an airborne assault over the Netherlands and The Rhine in Europe.
Mark said: “We are a North West group and we are proud to support fantastic events like this. One week we are down South, the next we are in Scotland. The popularity of these events never ceases to amaze me.
“I am pleased the weekend has proved so successful in Lytham.”
Among the crowds were Alan Leach, Brotton, Redcar, and Zena Hodgson, Lytham, who were visiting the festival for the first time, having rekindled their romance after more than 40 years.
The couple, who worked together in Northern Ireland when Alan was in the infantry in 1969, and Zena was a teacher at the Ministry of Defence, were reunited last year and enjoyed the displays.
Alan, a veteran of several tours to Malaysia said: “Festivals like this really take me back. I always try and support the veterans when I can and we have both really enjoyed today.”