Report by ANGELA SINGER Pictures: HELEN DRAKE OVER 7,000 people – some from as far away as Wisconsin America – turned out for the fifth Ramsey 1940s Weekend on Saturday and Sunday. All 1,000 tickets for the Hanger Dance on Saturday night were sold out wi
Report by ANGELA SINGER Pictures: HELEN DRAKE
OVER 7,000 people - some from as far away as Wisconsin America - turned out for the fifth Ramsey 1940s Weekend on Saturday and Sunday.
All 1,000 tickets for the Hanger Dance on Saturday night were sold out with nostalgic dance and song to the Jeff Scott Swing Band with singers Paul Harper and Lola L'Amour. The dances included a massive, slow conga to We'll Meet Again.
Spokesman for the organisers, Andy Elsom said: "It was great to see so many people from the local community dressed up in 1940s clothes as well as the intrepid re-enactors who travel the country about every other weekend. They take it very seriously and spend thousands on clothes and artifax. This would have been a record year - we reckon between 7,000 and 8,000 people were there - but it rained on Saturday and it was very wet on Sunday."
The displays included vintage cars and genuine 1940s tanks.
The organisers are still counting the cash but they hope to match or better the £8,000 raised for charity last year. This year's causes will include the Ramsey scout troupe, the Ramsey Christmas lights and Hinchingbrooke and Addenbrooke's Hospitals and Cancer Research.
Mr Elsom said: "We like to give out a lot of small amounts so that we help as many people as possible. Last year, we were able to pay for the Ramsey Senior Citizens' Christmas lunch."
This year's entertainment included Lindyhop dance lessons, a Battle of Britain Lancaster flypast and demonstrations of 1940s fashion, hairstyles and a mock-up of a 1940s living room.
Air Cadets from 511 Ramsey and 2331 St Ives Squadrons took part offering people the chance to be strapped into an ejector seat, originally fitted to a Canberra plane and an opportunity to learn and practice Morse code. There was also a free vintage coach ride to Ramsey from the site at RAF Upwood with a chance to look around the town.
Bizarrely, the re-enactors included people in German uniform, including one officer riding round the site on a motorbike with a sidecar, like a scene from The Great Escape. This prompted one young woman (dressed as though she had walked off the set of the television programme Good Night Sweetheart) to say airily to a young "stormtrooper": "Don't you know how it ends?"
German troops would not have been seen in Ramsey in the 1940s - except for one. As the weekend programme reminded visitors, German spy, Josef Jakobs was captured after parachuting into Ramsey Hollow, breaking his leg in the process. A map of RAF Upwood was found in his kit. He was executed by the firing squad in the Tower of London, and was the last man to be executed there.