The National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port will be transported back in time 75 years this weekend as it becomes The Wartime Port.
The event, on Saturday, October 25 and Sunday, October 26, will bring to life the key role that the canals, waterways and ports played during the days of the Second World War.
Re-enactors will recreate scenes and activities of events that would have taken place during the wartime period with original and reproduction equipment and vehicles. Visitors can expect to see a variety of allied military personnel, as they transit through the port, civilians and civil defence workers, home guard, land army and many others. Alongside this, entertainment will be provided throughout the day by singers Paul and Natasha Harper, together with 40s DJs, Cotton Town Hot Club. The entertainment will continue into the evening with a Victory Party.
Archivists at the National Waterways Museum will be hosting a local memories workshop, where members of the public can find out about events and stories form the time or bring along their own (or their family’s memories) to share. The museum staff would love to hear from local people who may have wartime memories along with documents and correspondence from the time. They are keen to share stories of local residents along with port and canal workers particularly Idle Women (the waterways version of the Women’s Land Army).
Along with ration book demonstrations by the Ministry of Food, the local Scouts will be collecting saucepans for spitfires, so feel free to bring along a donation of any old aluminium pans. Re-enactors will be on hand to explain about re-cycling during the Second World War and how people in the country not only managed during these austere times, but kept their spirits up.
Between 11am and midday re-enactors will take part in an historic vehicle parade through Ellesmere Port to the Civic Sqaure, where they will lay a wreath at the Cenotaph.
The event will run between 9.30am-5pm on both days, with the Victory Party being held in the Rolt Room between 7-11pm. Normal entrance fees will apply during the daytime.
Tickets for the Victory Party are priced at £8 each and available from Skiddle or on the door on the night (subject to availability). Further information can be obtained by calling the museum on 0151 355 5017. If you’d like to get actively involved in the event contact the organisers via Facebook ‘Wartime Port’ or ring Mark on 01244 370 496.
- Some of the re-enactors who will recreate events from the Second World War period at the National Waterways Museum.
National Waterways Museum