1940’s Weekend: Arley Station, Severn Valley Railway; 25th June 2011

Despite having to contend with scorching temperatures the turn out on Arley Station was surprisingly mild for a 1940’s event.

Anne; A Brief Encounter © John Powell EFIAP DPAGB

I won’t lie! The only reason I chose to go to Arley, instead of usual journey to Kidderminster, was because you don’t get charged to walk on the platform there!

As always the people who turned up in costume were very obliging when asked to pose for the camera.

Evacuation Day © John Powell EFIAP DPAGB

I returned having met some wonderful folks and with two possible competition images.

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For my second assault on the SVR-1940’s weekend I drove to Arley Station, parked the car and make my way to Kidderminster, via the train. Although I’ve been to most of the stations along the route and photographed many of the volunteers’ I’d never actually traveled on the train.

The Station Master

The Station Master © John Powell EFIAP DPAGB BPE4

I made the twenty minute journey to Kidderminster in the first class carriage, not that you would have guessed with all the creaking and squeaking going on! At least I arrived at my destination in one piece, just! Kidderminster station was awash with Germans, French Police, Land Girls and Winston Churchill himself!

churchill

Winston Churchill © John Powell EFIAP DPAGB BPE4

Luckily for me, I was born a few years after the war had ended, but I can still remember, with affection, the old Anderson shelter, not to be confused with the Morrison Shelter, which was introduced in March 1941, for people without gardens.

Not only did Kidderminster put on a splendid display of war-time memorabilia, Duty Warden Peter Haskett, seen here with his wife, were dressed to perfection in their original uniforms of the day.

duty warden

Duty Warden © John Powell EFIAP DPAGB BPE4

It was just is if the entire station had been transported back to the forties, the only tell-tale sign of us being in 2009 was the price beer! £3-a-pint and the £5.50 train fare back to Arley!

Still, it was all worth while and very enjoyable.

Best picture over the two weekends has to be this one, Days of Despair, which is totally a candid shot, but conveys the anguish of a family at war.

Days of Despair

Days of Despair © John Powell EFIAP DPAGB BPE4

For two weekends (June 27-28 & July 4-5th) the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) goes back in time when it hosts its annual 1940’s weekend. Ironically, it was during the 1940’s that passenger traffic on the SVR started to dwindle, largely as a result of the motor car. However, it was in 1963 that the line was finally closed, with the track north of Bridgnorth dismantled.

Seeing everyone in 1940’s dress really brings the line back to life.

local invasion committee

Local Invasion Committee, Bewdley Station © John Powell BPE3

After an un-eventful visit (photographically) to Bewdley Station on the Saturday, I decided to pay a visit to Highley Station on the Sunday.  Not knowing the layout of the station or what to expect when I got there, my only plan of action was to be at the ready as soon as an opportunity presented itself, I didn’t won’t to go home empty handed again.

All American Sweetheart

All American Sweetheart © John Powell BPE3

The good thing is all these people love dressing up and playing the part, if you ask them nicely none of them will decline your request for a picture or two.

Luftwaffe Aces

Luftwaffe Aces, © John Powell BPE3

If the weather holds well, I’ll be off to Kidderminster Station next, for part two of this report.