Images of Rawtenstall’s 1940s Weekend

In a country so rich with history, the UK has ample opportunity for historical re-enactments and the rarely fail to pass up on the chance. A popular target for British nostalgia is the 1940s and its wartime significance. Near Manchester, the towns of Rawtenstall, Irwell Vale and Ramsbottom (I can’t think of joke I should use for that one) hold an annual tribute to that defining decade and I recently got to photograph the events in Rawtenstall.

The main event was the re-enacted battle at the Rawtenstall railway station. Dozens of military men in full 1940s uniforms battled it out on the rail platform in what was actually a startling display. In a way, I found it a little unsettling – sure I’ve seen plenty of WWII movies, but there was something about being able to actually feel each gunshot’s sound in chest that made this display sometimes feel a little too real. More than anything, it drove home how lucky I am to have never had to personally endure a war – I’m pretty sure I’m not cut out for it!

Mortar blasts, detailed makeup for the wounded, smoke grenades and an Avro Lancaster flying overhead added to the extremely well-choreographed re-enactment.

The battle was tricky to photograph due to so much movement taking place in so many places at once, but I managed to get a few good captures. See the gallery of photos here.

Rawtenstall Wartime Weekend

Rawtenstall Wartime Weekend

Rawtenstall Wartime Weekend

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