Whitby War Weekend 2018
Posted on 17th August 2018 at 13:55
In time for the last bank holiday of the summer, Whitby War Weekend will be THE place to be on Saturday 25th, Sunday 26th and Bank Holiday Monday 27th August 2018.
The location is Whitby Showground, at Abbey Farm, on the town’s East Cliff, not far from Whitby Abbey itself.
It is within walking distance from the Riviera, and given it takes place during one of busiest times of year, going on foot might be the best option!
The event will include three days of living history, where you can see, hear and experience modern warfare in an educational yet picturesque setting.
There will be a vast array of displays and stalls including military vehicles, re-enactment battles, a 1940s hairstylist, live entertainment by Jump Jive and Swing and a firing display.
There’s also a licensed bar, hot food available, exhibits and evening entertainment by Lancashire Belle.
If the above gets you into the nostalgic mood, Whitby as a town has been affected by both the First and Second World Wars, and there are reminders today of these important past events.
During the early months of the First World War, Whitby, along with nearby Hartlepool and Scarborough, was bombarded by the German battleships as they approached the Yorkshire Coast from the North Sea.
Whitby was undefended when the attack started at 9am on 16th December 1914. The terrifying experience lasted around ten minutes and it’s thought 50 rounds were fired at the town. Tragically, three people lost their lives.
The German ships – Derfflinger and Von der Tann – made off in the fog, evading capture.
During World War Two, the Yorkshire Coast had various pillboxes and other fortresses along the majestic cliffs. The area, being relatively remote, was an ideal location for military training for the conflict.
A firing range was built at Jugger Howe on Fylingdales Moor. A severe wildfire that swept across Fylingdales Moor in 2003 revealed a number of practice trenches for guns or rifles.
RAF Danby Beacon was a moor-top site from 1937 to 1957. Perhaps its most famous wartime moment was in February 1940 when it guided in Ft Lt Peter Townsend following his shooting down of an enemy aircraft, the first to do so since World War One to fall on English soil.
The Moors National Park Centre at Danby includes information about this gallant aspect of the local war effort.
Of course, Whitby is synonymous with the fishing industry, which played a vital role during World War Two.
Of course, Whitby is synonymous with the fishing industry, which played a vital role during World War Two. Fisherman saved lives at sea, rescuing crews from stricken ships and pilots who ended up in British waters following the loss of their aircraft.
The war also had a severe effect on the British fish supply.
In 1938, the supply from all sources (fresh or frozen) hit nearly 22.5m hundredweight (cwt). By 1941, this figures slumped to 7.7m (cwt).
The early years of World War Two (1940 and 1941) hit the fishing trawling trade very hard. It is thought around two thirds of the English and Welsh trawlers were lost through enemy action.
While these facts and figures are very sobering, at the same time we think it should be remember these brave men and women helped win two world conflicts. Attending the Whitby War Weekend is one way of showing our appreciation for our current way of life that was gained from darker times.
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