Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 September 2022
The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine has shocked the world and, whilst it is by no means the only significant conflict across the globe – past or present – it has brought war to the doorstep of Europe and refocused national attention on the fragility of peace. Images of separated families fleeing aerial attack are stark and strike an uneasy accord with the experience of millions of people 80 years ago, during the Second World War.
As a heritage attraction, we firmly believe that we have a responsibility to present thought-provoking and potentially challenging narratives to fully interpret the role that our railway played in the lives of local people throughout its history. Our September 1940s Weekend has been a long-standing feature of our operating calendar but, considering the current international context, we have taken the time to reflect on the focus and tone of the event. Whilst we’d normally be thinking about putting tickets on sale at this time of year, we now consider it inappropriate to do so.
We appreciate that there are compelling arguments on either side of the debate, but we do not wish to run an event that inadvertently reimagines a period of national turmoil through rose-tinted spectacles, especially when presenting this to an audience which may not have been directly impacted by war. We will therefore take the time to orchestrate an event for the future which both captures the spirit of the period, but which also sensitively explores important themes.