Organising committee ready to welcome thousands to Woodhall Spa 1940s Festival

The George Formby experience at Jubilee Park, as part of the Woodhall Spa 1940s Festival last year.
The George Formby experience at Jubilee Park, as part of the Woodhall Spa 1940s Festival last year.

The annual Woodhall Spa 1940s’ Festival returns next weekend, and organisers say that everything – from a full programme of entertainment to enhanced traffic management measures – are ready to go.

Now in its eighth year, the event, which celebrates the best of life on the British home front and Lincolnshire’s unique role in WWII, is now one of the biggest and most popular 1940s’ events in the UK and is fast becoming one of the region’s top summer festivals.

Over 45,000 visitors attended the 2018 event despite it being one of the hottest weekends of the year, and the Saturday was also the date of the crucial England v Sweden World Cup fixture.

The festival’s volunteer organising committee expect around the same influx this year, and have prepared an exciting and varied line-up for 2019.

The festival will take place throughout Woodhall Spa on Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14, with some warm-up events including a Quiz Night on Thursday (July 11) at Woodhall Spa Conservative Club and formal dinner dance on the Friday (July 12).

Several venues throughout the village, including Jubilee Park, The Petwood Hotel, The Inn, The Abbey Lodge and The Cottage Museum, are holding fringe events and free entertainments in the warm- up to help visitors who arrive early get into the spirit and enjoy the village surroundings.

Additional to the packed and free-to-enjoy programme of re-enactment groups and specialist 1940s’ entertainers such as favourites Brandyn Shaw, Stuart Lowther as “George Formby” and The Dream Belles, other planned highlights to take place during the festival weekend will include:

• A skirmish re-enactment of Operation Market Garden at 1pm on both days in the grounds of the Petwood Hotel

• A free 1940s’ themed children’s party on Saturday morning at 10am at Coronation Hall

• Appearances and speeches from a Field Marshal Bernard ‘Monty” Montgomery impersonator

• Best Dressed Competition on both days, to be judged and presented at 3.30pm at the Bandstand in Jubilee Park

• A drop-in swing dance class at 11am on Sunday at Coronation Hall

• Displays of military and civilian vintage vehicles at Jubilee Park and Station Road/The Broadway

• Flypasts by the BBMF Lancaster Bomber at approx. 1.25pm on Saturday and 2.25pm on Sunday.

Chair of the organising committee, Andy Hunter says this year is the culmination of eight years of accumulated learning and improvements which will benefit residents and visitors alike.

He said: “This is our eighth year of putting on this show.Over the years the festival has got bigger but has not lost its unique atmosphere and charm, and must now be one the region’s most popular events.

“But every year we learn how to improve things, and I am extremely proud of my small volunteer team, who this year will bring visitors a varied and extensive programme of free entertainment, based on what we know works well, as well as enhanced traffic management arrangements that we hope residents will appreciate and benefit from.”

Sponsorship from main supporters The Petwood Hotel and The Golf Hotel, additional support from The Inn at Woodhall Spa and Woodhall Spa Country Park, plus logistical support from Coningsby-based SRP Hire Solutions, has helped make the festival plan possible.

• Visit www.woodhall-spa-40s-festival.com for full details and to plan your visit.