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What is Winston Churchill doing in Norfolk?

PUBLISHED: 06:00 28 August 2017

War-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill made a special appearance. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

War-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill made a special appearance. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

archant 2017

Thousands of people in mid Norfolk have been taking a step back in time – to the 1940s.

Village at War event at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. Michael Butterfield from the Allied Star Reenactment Group. Picture : ANTONY KELLYVillage at War event at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. Michael Butterfield from the Allied Star Reenactment Group. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

The annual Village at War event began at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, near Dereham, yesterday and continues today. Village at War: Life on the Home Front, has been held at Gressenhall for more than 10 years.

Miriam Burroughs, events manager at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, said: “This is definitely one of our most popular events of the year, possibly the most popular, with more than 2,000 each day for the two days.

“People just find that era fascinating and we have some great people involved to bring Norfolk back to how it was at the time.”

Visitors were able to step back to the glitz as well as the Blitz of the 1940s and discover how the Baedeker raids changed the local landscape.

Village at War event at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. Picture : ANTONY KELLYVillage at War event at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

On display were a wide range of military and civilian vehicles.

There were costumed characters from both the British and American forces, toe tapping 1940s music and live radio shows from the band Timescape.

There was also the chance to see how far the rations can be stretched with 1940s cooking in the farmhouse kitchen.

Heads were turned with the appearance of Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who has been visiting the village for the weekend, to help boost morale.

Village at War event at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. Picture : ANTONY KELLYVillage at War event at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

People also took the opportunity to meet military enactment group the Royal Norfolk Regiment on manoeuvre and chat with costumed servicemen to find out about active duty.

Youngsters were able to experience the life of a war time child and see how children were able to do their bit for the war effort with the Girl Guides and Southern Norwich Scouts camping 1940s style.

War time classroom experiences were recreated and, down at Gressenhall Farm, visitors learned about the spirit that helped win the Second World War by keeping the country fed.

Miss Burroughs said: “It’s the first time in five years where they’ve not had rain at this event.

Village at War event at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. Picture : ANTONY KELLYVillage at War event at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

“It’s great to finally have some sunshine, which has added to the lovely atmosphere, and I’m sure that will have a positive impact on the numbers here.”

Village at War continues at Gressenhall today, from 10am until 5pm.

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