Woodhall Spa is a small resort village in Lincolnshire. Famous for its peaceful and relaxing atmosphere boasting several hotels and guest houses. For one weekend a year though, this quiet and peaceful resort becomes the home of arguably one of the largest and best 1940’s events in the UK.
The village itself is home to several aviation heritage sites related to 617 Squadron, otherwise know as the Dambusters. You’re humming that tune now, aren’t you? We are too. They squadron was set up in 1943 specifically to undertake one operation. The plan for Operation Chastise was to breach dams vital to the German war effort - specifically three enormous dams in the Ruhr. After the operation, the unit was retained to carry out other specialised attacks - but they’ll always be known as the Dambusters. Woodhall Spa was filled with military personnel during the Second World War; RAF Woodhall Spa was built in 1942 on the southern edge of the village, and the officers took over the Petwood Hotel in the village as their mess. The Dambusters were one of four squadrons serving at Woodhall during the war. From 1942 onwards, many soldiers arrived in the village, many of them billited in the large houses and hotels. In the build-up to D Day in 1944 the village became more and more busy with military personnel. The village is steeped in history and the perfect place to celebrate the 1940s.
This 1940s weekend takes over the whole village of Woodhall Spa, with entry free to everything except a few a few concerts. This creates a unique atmosphere, as close to going back in time as you can imagine. This year there are entertainers, living history groups, re-enactments, vintage vehicles, concerts, trade stalls and history tours. And, of course, everyone attends the weekend in full 1940s fancy dress - even the children!