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Thousands flock to Grassington 1940s weekend
10:00am Friday 27th September 2013 in News
The second Grassington 1940s Weekend has been hailed a success after thousands of people flocked to the event at the weekend.
“Everybody’s had a really good time and it was an absolutely fantastic event,” said John Benson, chairman of the 1940s Weekend sub-committee.
Countries set aside their wartime differences to provide re-enactment camps and displays, which included an American encampment of the 101st Airborne, a German 21st Panzer Division LHG and a Russian 13th Guards Poltavaskaya (rifle division).
“The Germans got along with the Russians and the Russians got along with the Americans,” said Mr Benson.
The West Riding 28th Battalion Home Guard also entertained the crowds by detonating unexploded butterfly bombs and launching molotov cocktails.
Burnsall Empire Players kicked off the event on Friday night by performing both serious and light-hearted wartime sketches and singalongs in Grassington Town Hall.
One of the most popular displays was a full size replica of the MK1 Spitfire in the Grassington Square.
“It was a big, eye-catching display,” said Mr Benson.
“They started up the Griffon engine, which is made by Rolls Royce. I couldn’t believe that it used three-and-a-half gallons of petrol per minute.”
Mr Benson said that everything went according to plan except a flyover of two Spitfires, which had to be postponed on Saturday because of heavy cloud cover.
The Spitfires flyover did go ahead on Sunday and Mr Benson described it as a “show stopper”.
“One of the pilots spoke to our team and said ‘what a lovely little village we have’, which I thought was a nice touch,” added Mr Benson.
“I’d like to say a great big thank you to all the people who helped me to put this event together,” said Mr Benson. “We must have had 50 volunteers.
“I’d also like to thank the people of Grassington, who were so patient despite having to put up with all the road closures.”
He also expressed his thanks to the many sponsors.
Although Mr Benson said that while he was happy that “it all came together”, he admitted that cleaning up was still being done on Monday evening.
“We had to empty hundreds of sandbags, which were used in displays over the weekend.”
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