Back to the fab forties!

After a pause of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Woodhall Spa 40s Festival is back this weekend.

The Woodhall 40s Festival's 2019 event.
The Woodhall 40s Festival's 2019 event.

Now in its tenth year, the event, which celebrates the best of life on the British home front and Lincolnshire’s unique role in WWII, is one of the biggest and most popular 1940s events in the UK and is fast becoming one of the region’s top summer festivals.

More than 50,000 visitors attended the 2019 event, however the event could not take place in 2020 or 2021 due to the Covid lockdowns.

Now it is all set for a 2022 return, the festival’s organising committee estimate the same attendance in the village over the two festival days on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July, with some warm-up events including entertainments at Jubilee Park and a party at Woodhall Country Park on Friday.

On top of the packed programme of re-enactment groups and specialist 1940s entertainers, such as favourites Brandyn Shaw, Stuart Lowther as “George Formby”, Boston’s The Dream Belles and Woodhall Spa’s own Miss Sarah Jayne, other planned highlights to take place during the festival weekend will include drop-in dance classes at Coronation Hall at 11:30am both days, appearances and speeches from Field Marshal Bernard ‘Monty” Montgomery and Winston Churchill impersonators.

There will also be a Best Dressed Competition on both days, to be judged and presented at 3.15pm at the Bandstand in Jubilee Park, a WWII farming exhibition outside Coronation Hall, a genuine Spitfire in the grounds of the Petwood Hotel and plenty of displays of military and civilian vintage vehicles at Jubilee Park and Station Road.

A Flypasts by the RAF Coningsby’s RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster, Spitfire, and Hurricane will also be on both days.

Chair of the organising committee Andy Hunter says this year is particularly exciting: “We are so excited to bring back one of the region’s leading events for not only the first time since 2019, but for our tenth anniversary year. There is a great appetite from locals and visitors alike for the festival to return after the doldrums of the pandemic, and we are all looking forward to putting on a first-rate weekend. We are all ready and set and I would like to thank the residents and businesses of Woodhall Spa in advance for their part in making this festival such a success”.

Cllr Craig Leyland is also keen to see the return of the festival and commends the economic benefit of this event: “The Woodhall Spa 1940s Festival is a significant highlight in the Lincolnshire calendar, and it is great to see the festival all set to come back this weekend. It is a real boon to the Woodhall Spa economy and its return will hopefully see local businesses busy and thriving this coming weekend. We must do all we can to support our beautiful village, get behind the businesses and promote the vibrant Lincolnshire visitor economy. The organisers do a great job and given how the event has grown over the years their commitment to ensure this is well run is much appreciated.”

Emma Brealey, Managing Director of headline sponsor The Petwood is ready to welcome visitors and residents to the hotel’s grounds: “It is a pleasure to add the Petwood’s support to the Woodhall Spa 1940s Festival again this year and we are so excited to see the event return. Hospitality businesses have really missed large events like this for the last two summers, so we are really looking forward to welcoming back our regulars and many new visitors, and to hosting a range of entertainments across the weekend. Our gardens, terrace and bar will be open for the whole festival and I can’t wait to see everyone in their 40s finest.”

General Manager of Woodhall Country Park Ross Grant has big plans for this return year: “All of us at Woodhall Country Park are counting down the days to the 2022 Woodhall Spa 1940s Festival. Every year is a delight and we’ve really missed the event since it was last on in 2019. We are really looking forward to the whole weekend and can’t wait to feel the buzz of a full park and the sound of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight soaring over. We are also hosting our first annual 40s themed Party in the Park on the Friday and Saturday with a BBQ and hog roast, and all are welcome to come along.”

Residents are encouraged to check and adhere to the temporary traffic management scheme which is in place 9am-6pm on both event days. The organisers wish to remind readers that Broadway and Station Road will be closed to all traffic during those hours and a number of residential roads are only accessible to residents with passes distributed in early June. Visitors will park at four designated areas on Tattershall Road, Monument Road, Green Lane and Horncastle Road and use the shuttle service to and from the centre of the festival action.

The 2022 festival is sponsored by the Petwood Hotel, Woodhall Country Park, and McCarthy Stone, and delivered with support from Jubilee Park and SRP Hire Solutions.

Visit www.woodhall-spa-40s-festival.com for full details and to plan your visit, or pick up a copy of the Festival newspaper from The Cottage Museum and The Post Office in Woodhall Spa or any of the Showguides & Info Points for £1.