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A taste of all things vintage is coming to the Severn Valley Railway this summer, as the ever-popular Step Back to the 1940s weekends return, with more on offer than ever before.

On 24th and 25th June and 1st and 2nd July, the 16-mile line and all of its stations will host a festival of forties-themed fun, with music, dancing, food, displays, vehicles, costumed re-enactors and more, to whisk visitors back in time to the British home front in the 1940s. Visitors are strongly encouraged to dress up to the nines in 1940s outfits to get fully into the spirit of things.

Passengers will be able to hop on and off the exclusively steam-hauled services as they choose, catching all sorts of activities throughout the day, including speeches by Winston Churchill, 1940s singers and dancers, a wartime wedding and fun jitterbug sessions. The Engine House at Highley will be full of vintage traders, ensuring visitors can fully look the part and experience the era in style.

In a Severn Valley first, throughout the June weekend there’ll be a replica Spitfire plane on display outside The Engine House at Highley along with a Merlin engine that will regularly roar into life. During the July weekend, this space will be taken up with a range of vintage fairground games such as swing boats, hook-a-duck and tin can alley.

A star attraction will be the SVR’s home-based locomotive ‘Taw Valley’. It’s been transformed from last year’s unforgettable purple livery in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, into a stunning new identity. Its shining ‘wartime black’ paint will fit in perfectly with the 1940s events.

“We’ve already been planning our 2023 weekends for the best part of six months,” said volunteer organiser Dave Brattan. “This year we’ve focussed on adding new features that we think will delight both regular attendees and a whole new audience who fancy stepping back to the 1940s for the very first time.”

“It’s about showing people what life was like on the 1940s home front,” added fellow organiser Paul Bowler. “Rationing of food and clothing was everywhere, but the hardships endured by everyone formed a spirit of camaraderie between people of all classes. Women in particular played a key role, taking on the traditional work of men in the factories and fields. Very importantly, it’s about having a wonderful day out, and our vintage entertainers will make sure the whole thing goes with swing and style!”

On the Saturday evening of both weekends, Kidderminster station will host the ever-popular Big Band Shows, and this year there’ll be a specially built dance floor so revellers can let their hair down and ‘get in the mood’ of the 1940s.

Daytime and Big Band Show tickets are available now at svr.co.uk with discounts for advance and multi-day bookings.

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