Nostalgia to fill Harrogate for 1940s Day

The World War Two Dakota plane flyover is to feature among a roster of bands, singers, good food and drink
The World War Two Dakota plane flyover is to feature among a roster of bands, singers, good food and drink
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As nostalgia and thousands of visitors fill Valley Gardens for 1940s Day a vintage aerial display will sweep across the sky, helping to raise funds to honor the Peacemaker King.

Organised by the Friends of Valley Gardens the seventh incarnation of the spectacular free event is expected to attract 30,000 visitors when it takes off this Sunday (18, June) from 10.30am to 5pm.

The World War Two Dakota plane flyover is to feature among a roster of bands, singers, good food and drink to help pay for the restoration of the Green Park Entrance to Valley Gardens and the installation of the King Edward VII Memorial Gate.

Chairman of the Friends of Valley Gardens, Jane Blayney said: “The day is so important to Harrogate and an all inclusive day. There is something for everybody and it is good because everybody can come and have a good time as long as we are open.

“Money will be raised at the same time, all of which will go towards the restoration of the King Edward VII Memorial Gate.

She added: “Its a day for all ages, people really take to it dressing in military uniforms, 40s furs and hats, people can even buy their costumes for next year.
“It’s a great day out for the family and for those who want to reminisce about those times.”

‘Evacuated children,’ played by pupils of Western Primary School, will march to the beat of the Harrogate Band alongside Harrogate Mayor, Coun Anne Jones, who will formally open the day at the entrance.

Performances from bands will include the Harrogate Harmony Barbershop Chorus, Maria Manchester and the Echo 42 Big Band taking to the stage.

The flyover at 2pm has been organized by Peter Blayney, secretary of the Friends of Valley Gardens, which is being carried out as a Battle of Britain memorial flight. A former pilot himself the plane will be making the flight as part of it’s route across the north west.

Vintage army vehicles will be up set up during the day by Simon Roberts, opening up his collection for visitors to enjoy a glimpse into the past.

Members of the RAF will be on duty during the day, helping to set up stands and shake buckets to help raise funds. The Harrogate Lions will also be out in force on the day, volunteering their time as marshals.

An army assault course will also be set up in Valley Gardens, putting visitors through their paces for the endurance test near the children’s playground.

Red,white and blue will blanket tables and picnic blankets as Leeds Beckett University’s catering department donates 300 cupcakes for the day.

Visitors can also take part in a raffle and tombola on the day with prizes on offer including a bottle of magnum champagne and sweets.

While free all proceeds from the day will go towards the group’s efforts to restore Valley Gardens which has been on-going since 2009.

Mrs Blayney said: “Its such an important community event, the fundraising we have been doing since the end of 2009. We have managed so far to raise £200,000 towards restoring it.”