Visit the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway this weekend (27/28 April)
and you could be forgiven for thinking that you had slipped back 70 years

‘Wartime in the Cotswolds’ on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

Trip back to the 1940s on rail and air, as a wartime Dakota flies by

Frequent steam trains Cheltenham Racecourse-Gotherington-Winchcombe-Toddington

A ‘WD’ steam locomotive hard at work. Servicemen from the Army, Navy and

Royal Air Force off to do their duty or home from leave. World War II
vehicles, contemporary music, ration cards…and the familiar drone of an RAF
C-47 Dakota transport aircraft passing low overhead.

That’s because this is the railway’s first-ever ‘War in the Cotswolds’ event
which takes the line over this weekend, 27 and 28 April.

Colin Fewell, the railway’s commercial director says: “The railways were
vital for transport of troops and equipment, produce and supplies
particularly as this route of the Great Western Railway linked the South
Wales ports, mines and steelworks with the industrial West Midlands – with
several military establishments along the route. And of course, the fertile
Vale of Evesham, to say nothing of the livestock on the Cotswolds, were also
important in helping to feed the nation.”

The railway will take a nostalgic look back on those days in the 1940s that
shaped the nation: a reminder of when the country was in the depth of way
but ordinary life still went on.

So what will you find if you take a trip back in time this weekend?

“Well, you might meet Field Marshall Montgomery who will be making a public address each day as well as inspecting the troopsm” says Mr Fewell. “Ladies could have their hair done in a 1940s hair salon and there’ll be plenty of 1940s entertainment, too – with music from the Gloucester Police Band and the Gloucester Silver Band; jive and swing dancing and of course, typically English Morris dancing (what will the Yanks make of that?). To say nothing of the fabulous Indigo Kings jazz band!”

Displays include the Warwickshire Regiment; the 6th Armoured Division and
the 101st Airborne Division; a British Army encampment; a chance to
experience what it was like in an air raid shelter and of course civilians
could do their bit by joining the Home Guard – find out how by having a chat
with the Lamport Home Guard!

Dakota flies in: On Sunday afternoon, a real highlight will be a fly-past by
a C-47 Dakota from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, some time
between 2pm and 3pm, weather permitting of course. It will make a few
low-altitude flypasts at Toddington.

What’s going on and where…


* Wartime fire station with interactive display
* Narrow gauge railway (at extra cost)
* 6th Armoured Division display
* 1940s Hair Salon
* Morris Dancers
* 40s Military and civilian vehicles and Farm equipment
* Traders specialising in 1940’s memorabilia
* Refreshments – Flag and Whistle Café, Beer tent, Food and Drink Stall

Saturday events

* Gloucester Police Band 1.45pm and 3.00pm
* Address by Field Marshall Montgomery 2.30 pm

Sunday events

* Gloucester Silver Band 11.00 am and 1.00 pm
* BBM Dakota fly-past – between 2pm and 3pm (weather permitting)
* Jive and swing dance display 10.30 am, 12 noon and 2.00 pm
* Address by Field Marshall Montgomery at 2.30pm


* 101st Airborne Display
* Casualty Station
* Model Railways
* Air raid shelter experience
* Military and civilian vehicles
* Morris Dancers
* Refreshments – Coffee Pot Café and take-away, Beer tent, Food and
Drink stall

Sunday only:

* Indigo Kings Jazz Band pm

GOTHERINGTON (by kind permission of Bryan Nicholls)

* Lamport Home Guard Display
* Warwickshire Regiment Display
* Railwayana Display
* Morris Dancers
* Troop Inspection by Field Marshall Montgomery
* (NB There are no refreshment facilities at Gotherington Station)


* Wartime artefacts and experiences courtesy of Cheltenham Museum
* Morris Dancers
* British Army encampment
* Refreshments – Food and Drink Stall

There is a frequent timetable of steam trains between Cheltenham Racecourse and Toddington, stopping at Gotherington and Winchcombe. Full details can be found at 

Source: Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway