A dreary start to Bridlington Old Town’s first 1940s Festival couldn’t dampen the spirits of thousands of festival goers.
High Street was heaving with the sites and sounds of wartime Britain for the first-of-its-kind festival, that drew visitors from all corners of Britain.
A whole host of entertainment, from musicians and performers, to dancers and re-enactors, helped to turn back the clocks in Old Town and secured the “major, major triumph” for Bridlington last weekend.
And fleets of historic military vehicles all added to the new-found vintage theme that the town has embraced, following on from Bridlington’s starring role in the filming of the Dad’s Army movie.
David Hinde, the Bellman of Bridlington Old Town and a member of the Old Town Association, said he was “still aching” from the weekend’s festivities.
“It was a major, major triumph”, David proclaimed, “both on the Saturday night at the Priory, and on festival day itself.
“I reckon there were between 8,000 and 10,000 people – that’s fantastic. Last year we had about 4,000 at the summer festival.
“It was just magical, it was the pinnacle of everything I have been involved with.”
The 1940s Festival kicked off on Saturday with a sold-out performance by John Miller and his Orchestra at Bridlington Priory.
The main event was on Sunday, as thousands descended on Old Town to enjoy the free-to-attend Festival.
Festival-goers got into the Dad’s Army spirit as a grand parade thundered through from Kirkgate to Westgate Park at 10.30 am.
The procession was led by Bellman David Hinde and followed by Home Guard re-enactment groups from Pontefract, Howarth and Redcar, as well as veterans and representatives from the Royal Naval Association, the Royal British Legion and also Bridlington’s Sea and Army Cadets groups.
Mayor Cllr Liam Dealtry said he was more than impressed with how the event turned out, and thanked organisers for their planning and preparation.
He said: “It was such an immense event. Everything was fantastic, from start to finish.
“The organisers need to stand up and be counted – it was unbelievable.
“I get excited about a lot of things but this was amazing.”
Special guests performing on the day included the George Formby Experience, Madeline Brown, Lola Lamour and Ruby Macintosh.
And dancers from the Julie Hatton School of Dance kept revellers entertained, as they took to Westgate Park alongside Coastal Voices Choir, the Makara Morris Dancers and The Evacuees.
Disappointingly, the planned Spitfire flyover was cancelled, after officials deemed weather conditions on the day were unsuitable.
Nonetheless, David Hinde added feedback from Bridlington’s first ever 1940s Festival had been overwhelming.
He said: “It’s just comment and comment. It makes it all worthwhile.
“I am sure it is an absolute must for next year.
“Normally, the first festival is the hardest. Now we are firmly on the 1940s festival footing.”