Wave of nostalgia as historic hall evokes memories of wartime

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IT WAS a base for air crews during the Second World War and over the last four days Beningbrough Hall and Gardens has been paying tribute to the heroes of the skies.

The National Trust property, near York, put on an event, which started on Yorkshire Day, August 1, to tell the stories and remember the local and Canadian air crews billeted at the hall.

A spokeswoman for the Trust said: “The 1940s themed event came to Beningbrough as part of the hall’s year-long From Country Lanes to Violent Skies exhibition – looking back at life during the war at Beningbrough.

“In 1941 the hall was requisitioned by the RAF as a billet for bomber crews from nearby RAF Linton-on-Ouse and from 1943-45 for air crews from the Royal Canadian Air Force.”

The project is part of Duty Calls, a Yorkshire Country House Partnership project exploring the impact of war on the country house and its communities, on show throughout Yorkshire in 2013 and 2014.

During the four days there was a chance for visitors to take part in drill activities, a chance to delve deeper into the stories of the men and women at Beningbrough and hire a bicycle to explore the parkland – just as the men did in the 1940s.

There was also a variety of music plus military vehicle and weapon displays.