Hundreds help recreate wartime in Dales

WARTIME spirit returned to a Yorkshire market town when historical re-enactors young and old put on displays to evoke memories of the 1940s.

About 300 actors from across the country dressed in period military and civilian costumes to celebrate the third annual Operation Dalesman weekend in Leyburn.

Among those gathered was a 93-year-old former Spitfire pilot who served during the Second World War and had travelled to Yorkshire from Australia to watch the activities.

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Children were "evacuated" to Bedale from Leyburn Primary School, while pupils from The Wensleydale School organised a display to commemorate the Holocaust.

Leyburn hosted a military parade and a caf was converted for performances of a Yorkshire version of the BBC wartime comedy Allo Allo – called Ey Up Ey Up.

Those who lost their lives during the war were remembered yesterday at a church memorial service, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony.

Other events, including live music performances, were planned at stations on the Wensleydale Railway between Redmire and Leeming Bar.

Railway passengers were issued with identity cards at the ticket offices and had to provide them for inspection by military personnel during their journeys.

Wensleydale Railway customer services manager Amanda Pearson said: "This is the third year that the event has been run and we think it's a wonderful idea.

"This is living history, and people shouldn't forget what happened all those years ago. That's why we have re-enactors of all ages taking part."