Events & Experiences

Forties Weekend 15th & 16th September 2018

Step back in time with The Living History Mobile Museum in partnership with the West Somerset Railway for a weekend of West Somerset in the 1940s.

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West Somerset Railway
Robin White & Andy Norman

During this two day event, visitors will travel behind our historic steam and diesel locomotives between all of our 10 stations. This event will center around the historic harbour town of Watchet, where the majority of the events and attractions take place. Washford and Minehead will also be holding various events and displays for visitors to explore. 

Throughout the event attractions such as: 

  • Military train loaded with vehicles to run from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard and back each day where it will be stationed in Minehead's platform each afternoon. 
  • Intensive service of steam trains taking you between stations. 
  • Military and civilian vehicles and displays at Minehead, Washford and Watchet. 
  • RAF display at Minehead
  • Forties dance on Saturday evening under the Minehead Station canopy (more details to follow). 
  • A 1940's hair dressing 'pop-up shop' at Minehead before the dance in the evening. 
  • Land Army, Civilian Life and Home Front displays at both Watchet Station and Watchet Town. 
  • Uniformed British & American troops who were both stationed in the area during the war. 
  • Turntable Cafe at Minehead will be open. 
  • There is also a rumour that Winston Churchill & King George VI will make an appearance. 

Tickets for the dance as well as further information will be available nearer to the event.

Dates
Rover Tickets Tickets available
Rover Tickets Tickets available
Minehead Station Dance

 

We will be running an evening train specifically for the dance - tickets for this can only be purchased along side a dance ticket. The cost for this is £10 return regardless of the station you board the train. If you purchase a train ticket, please let us know which station you will be boarding from by filling in this field on your booking. Tickets for the dance and for the train can be purchased here 

Further Ticket Options

Enjoy the full two days of the Forties Weekend using the train to travel between stations. We offer a Freedom of the line ticket which is valid for up to 7 days travel on the West Somerset Railway.

The price for this ticket comes in at £35.00 Adult, £17.50 Young Person and £75.00 Family (2 Adults & 2 Young Persons) 

This ticket can be found here

Attractions at Minehead Station
  • Selection of military vehicles;
  • Vintage hairdresser (available for bookings) and vintage clothing rental at station;
  • 1940s dance on the platform (Sat evening 7.00-10.30 – ticket only – open to public);
  • Memorial service on Sunday morning;
  • Military train can be viewed as timetabled;
  • Civilian and civil defence re-enactors.
Attractions in Minehead Town
  • Parade of vehicles (Sat and Sunday);
  • The Deane Big Band playing music from the 1930s and 1940s at the Regal Theatre Sunday night (tickets from Regal Box Office);
Attractions at Washford

 

  • Narrow gauge military railways exhibit;
  • US Army military camp in field behind station (29th US Inf and Ist US Div);
Attractions at Blue Anchor
  • Garrison of soldiers;
  • Good view of Pill-boxes on the beach opposite the station.
Attractions at Watchet Station
  • Access to Watchet town attractions;
  • Scheduled performances on the Station Platform.
Attractions in Watchet Town
  • Vintage Fair and displays on the Esplanade;
  • Civilian vehicles of the period on the Esplanade;
  • WI presentation on wartime cooking;
  • WI wartime meeting recreated from original minutes;
  • Performances of 1940s songs by Watchet choir;
  • ‘Victory Stores’ in Smugglers’ Cove;
  • Shops with wartime displays and taped windows;
  • Memorial service at the War Memorial Sunday morning;
  • Military camp;
  • Land Army display;
  • Military vehicles;
  • !940s road repair team;
  • Mock Air Raid drills (as timetabled);
  • Wartime meals and activities at various venues as advertised;
  • Civilian re-enactors and civil defence personnel;
  • Watchet Cinema Club showing ‘Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’;
  • Watchet RBL Tea Dance with the ‘Liberty Sisters’.
Attractions at Williton Station
  • ‘Dig for Victory’ focus with vegetable planted in raised beds and signs to illustrate.
Attractions at Stogumber Station
  • Land Girls at Large;
  • Military garrison.
Attractions at Bishops Lydeard
  • RAF Bishops Lydeard with static Spitfire (in RBL/Darby’s field);
  • RAF vehicles and personnel (in RBL/Darby’s field);
  • Military vehicles;
  • Field hospital display;
  • Military train can be viewed as timetabled;
  • WI display on ‘make-do-and-mend’.