THOUSANDS of people flocked to the town over the weekend to be part of the nostalgic extravaganza that is Welshpool’s 1940s weekend.
The influx of people from all over the UK and even the USA brings a bonanza to the town’s economy and organiser Alan Crowe hopes the event will grow even bigger.
Alan said: “Overall it was a resounding success, we did get a bit of rain here on Saturday but it didn’t dampen spirits.
“For me the highlight was the parade on Saturday led by the Powys and Gwent Cadet Force, dressed up as Welsh Guards.”
Alan added: “We had a couple of thousand people here. Some of the events were sold out and many people stayed in hotels and B & Bs here.
“Businesses here are telling me they were very busy on Sunday.
“I’ve been visiting similar events around the country and am picking up ideas to bring here,” he added.
Originally planned as just a one-off event to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Second World War’s end in 2015, the weekend is now in its third year and growing as more local groups back the event.
Alan added: “People came from all over the UK and a woman from Florida bases her holiday in this country around Welshpool’s 1940s weekend.
“This year, saw more displays, and the Rotary Club and the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway are now part of the event.”
In a couple of weeks’ time one of the biggest 1940s events in the UK will take place at Pickering in Yorkshire. This is the event that Alan wants to emulate.
“They’ve been holding their festival for 25 years.
“The whole town, schools and businesses get behind the event and they have 60,000 people going there on the weekend.
“That’s my ambition for Welshpool.
“We’ve only held this for three years, but the sky’s the limit,” said Alan.
He continued: “I suppose I’ve always been fascinated with the 1940s after studying it at school.
“The sense of camaraderie and everyone pulling together in a difficult time is inspiring.”
See full story in the County Times