Back to the 40s

Friday 14th, Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th June

About the Event

Click here to download a PDF of the event guide.

Our brand new event for 2024 lets you step back to the bygone era of the 1940s. We've teamed up with Bainbridge Events to bring you a truly nostalgic trip into the past. There will be interesting period displays, traders, music, dancing and re-enactors around the railway with everyone getting into the spirit of the 1940s decade. Don't forget the steam trains too!

The railway will be operating a special regular timetable and tickets are valid all day on any train plus entry to the event. Alternatively, visitors can purchase an event only ticket for the Wirksworth Station and Duffield Station sites without travelling on the train.

Each day will feature a programme of different acts and exhibits which is outlined on this page.



  • Spitfire Mark IX - reconstructed for static display, courtesy of WW2 Iconic Aircraft
  • Forties Re-Enactment North
  • Danger UXB - D-Day mobile museum
  • South Staffs Living History - Home Guard display
  • Austin 12 Panel Van
  • Barry Littlewood - ARP display
  • Trent Valley MVT - Halftrack military vehicle
  • Leyland Hippo - military lorry
  • Leicester Modellers and M4H Derby- WW2 related kit models on display
  • Nattyjack and Co
  • Imps
  • LMS 10000 - Ivatt Diesel Recreation Society
  • Rolls-Royce Wraith HUB1
  • Afrika Korps 200fg-German tank officer tent set up 1943
  • British Army of the Rhine Battle Group - Royal signals radio display
  • 21st panzer division - Living history group who display the period of 1944 Normandy
  • World Wars Forces Network - Showing the public what Britains volunteered to do to keep the country safe
  • Lincolnshire Re-Enactment Display Group


  • South Staffs Living History - Home Guard display
  • BBC at War - war correspondent display of cameras etc
  • Classic car display (various vehicles at various times)
  • Home Front Display 1
  • Home Front Display 2
  • Poor Bloody Infantry - Display of British airborne equipment on the jeep


  • Sheffield Polar Bears & Bloody Red Tabs (49th Division LHA) - British Railway Transport Officer display, and British Infantry in transit/training for D-Day
  • 1st Airbourne Recce LHA

Traders & Re-Enactors

Traders (all at Wirksworth):

  • Now & Then and Textile Treasures - clothing, hair accessories, hats, handbags etc
  • Sweet Memories Vintage - clothing, umbrellas, compacts, jewellery etc
  • Virtue to Victory - reproduced retro hand knitted/crocheted items
  • Patricia's Jams and Chutneys - homemade jams, chutneys and Derbyshire honey
  • Florence Barker - pre-packed sweets, rock, lollies, fudge etc
  • C&P Supplies - military uniform, badges, ladies 1940s clothing
  • Soldier Soldier - airsoft range, military clothing, airsoft accessories, kids toys

Re-Enactors (roaming)

  • King George VI
  • Winston Churchill
  • Father Brown
  • Police re-enactment
  • Sergeant Major Marmite
  • Charles de Gaulle

Friday Programme

  • ‘Make Do and Mend’ with Wild Roots Creative 11:00
  • Anniversary of the last passenger train on the line in 1947
  • Lissie Allsopp, singer, intervals throughout the day
  • Mary Kingsnorth, singer, intervals throughout the day
  • King George VI - meet & greet and Kings Speech

Make Do and Mend Flower Brooch Workshop

Come and join Wild Roots Creative CIC on their 1970s first class static carriage for a relaxing craft experience. During the war people would make the most of any scrap materials to make their own jewellery and embellishments. Learn how to use small pieces of fabric and felt to fashion beautiful flowers which can be turned into brooches, added to greetings cards or used to embellish clothing. 11:00 - 12:30. Book now...

Saturday Programme

  • Jayne Darling, singer, intervals throughout the day
  • Afternoon tea on board the train (for pre-booked guests) + Mary Kingsnorth - on board for tea - singer
  • ‘The Great Gathering’ of Churchill, Charles de Gaulle & King George VI cabinet meeting, 13:00 plus characters make other appearances at intervals throughout the day
  • ‘Dance to the 1940s’ with DJ Dapper Dan and Lilly Lovejoy from 18:00 at Wirksworth Station (reserve your ticket at Wirksworth Ticket Office, subject to availability)
  • Shirley Mann - local author talk times tbc

Saturday Evening Entertainment

Click image to book tickets - £5.00 for the evening only or free for those with tickets for the day time however you must reserve your place.

Sunday Programme

  • Eric Umpleby - Padre mini remembrance service - morning
  • Bud and Ches - intervals throughout the day - singers
  • King George VI - meet & greet and Kings Speech
  • Winston Churchill - intervals throughout the day
  • Shirley Mann - local author talk
  • Vintage Vehicle Parade, Coldwell Street in Wirksworth 10:30
  • Re-enactor Parade, Coldwell Street in Wirksworth 11:00
  • Remembrance service & wreath laying at Wirksworth 11:30
  • BM&W Brass Band from 14:00 at Wirksworth
  • Best in Show Awards at 15:00 at Wirksworth

Car Parking


As we expect the event to be busy and some of the parking space at Wirksworth Station will be taken up by traders and displays. Therefore alternative off site parking with a free park and ride genuine 1940s bus 'Walter' to the event will be at The Lime Kiln pub DE4 4RF. This is just a few minutes walk from the station.

Should this car park become full, we have additional overflow car parking arranged at TDP which is at the other end of the town DE4 4BG. The shuttle bus route will be altered to take in this location too if required.

Map (click to enlarge)


There will be some classic cars in the EVR car park at Duffield (off Chapel Street) which will take some capacity from visitors. There is a pay and display car park next door for the mainline railway station or the nearest public car park is at Eyes Meadow off Donald Hawley Way, walkable to the station via an underpass under the mainline railway.


  • The Station Cafe 10:00 - 17:00 - all three days - Wirksworth
  • The Apollo Bar - 11:00 - 17:00 Fri & Sun 22:00 Sat - Wirksworth
  • Ice Cream Shack - all three days - Wirksworth - weather depending

Dining on a Steam Train

Travel in style on board our steam train. Board the train early afternoon for a return trip from Wirksworth and we'll serve a freshly prepared delicious tea consisting of a small selection of sandwiches and a scone with jam and cream 1940s style. Be entertained during the journey by Mary Kingsnorth singing 1940s classic songs live on board. Must be pre-booked in advance, tickets for the tea train include a full day ticket for the rest of the trains and the event.

Afternoon Tea SOLD OUT as of 09/05/24.



Day Tickets for the Train and Event Entry

  • £24.50 Adult (£21.50 online)
  • £22.50 Concession (£20.00 online)
  • £15.00 Child, Re-Enactors, persons in period dress (£12.00 online)
  • £50.00 Family 2A & 3C (£48.00 online)
  • £10.00 Members, Carers etc, persons bringing displays, vehicles & traders

Day Ticket with Tea on the Train

  • £79 Day ticket for two people (£39.50 each) with period afternoon tea on the train (Sat lunch)

Event Entry Only

  • £10.00 all day Adults
  • £5.00 all day re-enactors or those in period dress
  • FREE Under 16, persons bringing displays, vehicles, traders

Saturday Evening Dance

  • £5.00 per person
  • FREE for those with tickets for earlier in the day but you must reserve your space

Buy tickets now...

Online Advance fares available until midnight before the day.

Tickets for Saturday are valid in to the evening too.

Train Timetables for the Event

Here are the train timetables for the event. Click here to download enlarged printable copies (PDF).

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