Life and times of 1940s Britain commemorated at Brooklands, Weybridge

Life and times of 1940s Britain commemorated at Brooklands

Historic times: The 1940s changed the world

Historic times: The 1940s changed the world

First published in What's On Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter - Richmond and Twickenham

The sights and sounds of the 1940s will once again fill the Brooklands site for a celebration of a decade that changed the world.

During and following the Second World War, Brooklands aircraft factories dominated life in Surrey and, to mark its important role, everything from Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) street parties to wartime cinema screenings will return to entertain guests during the full day of celebrations.

As visitors enter the site, they will be greeted by a street party, with the motoring village turned into Jackson Street.

A 1940s party would not be complete without a hair and beauty parlour and hordes of people dressed in authentic vintage clothing, all of which will make guests feel as though they have been transported back in time.

For those who have not come dressed for the occasion, the extensive trade village will feature some of the best vintage sellers, with everything from hats, suits, shoes and accessories for sale.

Dancing played a prominent role in street parties in wartime, and the Swingtime Dance Company will be on hand to lead free dance lessons throughout the day.

Even if you have come without a dance partner, you will be matched with another person who is ready to get their feet moving.

For those who fancy taking a walk around wartime Britain, original buildings and aircrafts at Brooklands will be opened up and put to good use.

Along with air raid shelters, pill box and displays of military and period vehicles, the Bellman Hanger and Barnes Wallis bomb exhibition will give further insight into the war.

At this year’s event, there will also be the chance to venture in to the Stratosphere Chamber which was built in 1947 and has recently opened after an 18-month restoration.

To draw the day of historic fun to a close, the Edwardian Clubhouse will be transformed from 7pm to incorporate a dance hall, vintage portrait studio a cinema showing a full programme of black and white films.

To mark the end of guests’ visit, the “all clear” will sound at midnight, marking a return to the modern world.

The 1940s Relived; Epsom Brooklands Museum, Brooklands Road, Weybridge; May 17, 10am to midnight; daytime tickets £11 adult, £6 children, evening tickets £7 adult, £4 children, full day tickets £16 adults and £8 children; advance tickets available at the museum shop until May 16; for more information, visit

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