1940s weekend……in Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall


Entrance to Rossendorf Station (Rawtenstall)

 For the past 18 years East Lancs Railway has put on a 1940s weekend and each year the event has grown so that now thousands of visitors don silk stockings, Fedora hats and gas masks to step back in time for Ramsbottom’s 1940s weekend.


Defences outside the station

You are also certain to see people in traditional garb including Allied Forces uniforms, two-piece dress suits, fox furs and red lipstick to celebrate the event over the Bank Holiday weekend.


Inspection parade on the station

The nostalgic event is organised by the East Lancs Railway and Manchester Military Vehicle Trust to celebrate the spirit of the glamorous decade.


The train arrives……..

Visitors enjoy wartime re-enactments, vintage and military stalls and a full military parade as well as tunes from 1940s singers and musicians.


The local “spiv”

The award-winning event draws re-enactors to Ramsbottom, Rawtenstall, Summerseat, Irwell Vale, Bury and Heywood railway stations throughout Saturday, Sunday and this year Monday also.


Children enter into the spirit of the weekend

Having missed last years event I decided that this year I would not, so off I set this morning and drove the thirty odd miles to Rawtenstall station which, when I arrived there had been captured by German forces in full dress and field uniforms.


The “Hotsie Totsies”….eat your heart out the Andrews Sisters!

At the side of the station was a recreation of a field hospital with several badly injured soldiers (models) and demonstrations of the kind of surgery that took place in such crude conditions. The mock-ups were quite gruesome but realistic.


A little jiving to the music of the Hotsie Totsies

I sauntered up the platform at the station, which was manned by German guards and awaited the arrival of the train. After about thirty minutes the “City of Wells” train arrived packed with people in military uniforms, 1940s outfits including very young children.


Smithy Mushrooms at the farmers market

On the platform a group of young ladies who go by the name of the “Hotsie Totsies” were serenading the public with renditions of Andrews Sisters songs along with stuff from Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman………….and excellent they were too. I think they said they came from the “mid west”……….I take that to mean the mid west of Lancashire.


Now that you have got to admire

Some of those dressed in uniforms and their partners started a little dance competition on the platform.


Have you ever seen four more elegant ladies…….incredibly cool hats


I had a little walk up into Rawtenstall but very little was open and they town did not seem to have embraced the 1940s spirit. However, the redeeming feature was that I came across a small farmers market and bought a lovely box of mixed mushrooms from Smithy Mushrooms Ltd at an incredibly competitive price.


The German officers

After walking back to my car I drove the few miles back to Ramsbottom, parked up and walked into the town. The station and the town were heaving with people, members of the American army were on guard at the station along with all manner of American Jeeps.


GI chats up local girl

There were also some beautiful vintage cars parked outside the station, a reminder of an era when engineering was king. And the ladies had really gone to town in their 40s gear…………I haven’t seen so much fur and fox stoles on display for many a year, but oh, so elegant.


One very happy customer

I spent about an hour just wandering around the station, watching the steam trains come and go and generally just “people watching” and all under a sunny and clear blue sky.


Vivre le France……..

All in all, and excellent day out and hearty congratulations to the organisers (East Lancs Railway and Manchester Military Vehicle Trust) who must have put so much work into this, they deserve all our support.


What a cool dress and outfit


Photographs (c) Kindadukish (usually available free of charge in most cases).





This entry was posted in British railways, Culture, Education, Germany, Industrial Heritage, Lancashire, North of England, Photography, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to 1940s weekend……in Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall

  1. info4u2bu says:

    Reblogged this on ulearn2bu.


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