FOR the fifth year in succession Stoke Bruerne on the Grand Union Canal is preparing to step back in time some 70 years to the days of the Second World War.
As in previous years visitors will be able to experience life in the forties including air raids, watch detachments of the Home Guard undertaking their duties, take cover in a bomb shelter and learn to ‘do' the Lambeth Walk.
Living history groups
Members of living history groups from all around the country will be in evidence. Watch out for the Women's Land Army who will be ‘digging for victory' and Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Winston Churchill and Field Marshal Montgomery inspecting the troops. This year on Saturday, a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will be buzzing the skies overhead and on Sunday morning there will be a Drumhead Service on the lock side.
Musical entertainment will be provided by singer Lola Lamour and George Formby look-alike Paul Casper, while the Village Hall will be hosting a Tea Dance provided by Ruzzit Buzzit (with full instruction for novices) and on Saturday evening there will be a Swing Dance at nearby Roade Village Hall with Sticky Wicket and Linda Morris.
Forties music night
As usual tea and cakes will be available at the Nippy Tea Rooms (aka Stoke Bruerne Primary School) and a collection of military vehicles will be on parade. On Friday night there will be a forties music night in the Navigation pub and on both days there will be a reminisces exhibition and fashion show at the church.
David Blagrove, Chairman of the organisers, The Friends of The Canal Museum explains:
"Stoke Bruerne has changed little in the last 70 years, and the canalside provides a setting that is unrivalled for both its intimacy and its ambience. We are immensely grateful to the residents of Stoke Bruerne who not only put up with the bangs and air raid sirens but enthusiastically decorate their houses in appropriate 40's style for visitors to enjoy."
Assortment of boats
Various items of military hardware will be on display and there will be an assortment of working boats tied up along the canal. A representative of the Ministry of War Transport will be on hand to ensure that traffic is kept moving and that boatmen do not spend valuable working time in the licensed premised beside the canal. Refreshments, hopefully off ration but not Black Market, will be available on both days.
Because of the open nature of the village the organisers will be asking for an admission fee of £5.00 per adult and £2 per car payable at the village car parks. Admission for Children under 16 accompanied by an adult is free. All surplus proceeds go to the organisers, the Friends of the Canal Museum, a Registered Charity, who thereby manage to support the Museum and its work.