Why shoppers in Harborough spotted people dressed in Second World War uniforms in the town centre

Lots of passers-by stopped when they heard them singing out loud

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 5:27 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd August 2021, 5:30 pm

Market Harborough is set to turn the clock back by about 80 years – and plunge deep into the heart of the Second World War.

You can tell straight away from Andy Carpenter’s marvellous pictures shown here that the town is already preparing to evoke the bloodiest war ever fought – and the country’s Greatest Generation.

The unique Harborough at War 48-hour event will rumble in to the Showground on the outskirts of Market Harborough this Saturday and Sunday.

Johanna and Kevin Swannack during Underneath the Arches event under the Old Grammar School. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

And the two-day spectacular was beautifully showcased and previewed on Saturday under the Old Grammar School on the town’s High Street.

Mick Crook, 54, who’s staging the all-action festival with his brother Steve, told the Harborough Mail: “We were there from about 10am until 2pm and it was a great success.

“We had enthusiasts representing both the Allied and Axis forces which took part in World War Two.

“We had a Jeep as well as a superb German motorbike and sidecar and a fantastic period Hillman Minx.

Anne-Marie Marlow sings during Underneath the Arches event under the Old Grammar School. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“Singer AnneMarie Marlow from Foxton put on a star turn too putting our best foot forward before she dashed off to entertain at the Summer Fayre,” said Mick, of Market Harborough.

“There was a heck of a lot of interest from shoppers and passers-by, so many people were coming over to talk to us.

“Excited kids were having their pictures taken with us.

“And we even had a delighted bride and groom who’d just got married at the Registration Office thrilled to have their photos snapped in our Jeep!

Alan Axon with Debra Fairbairn during Underneath the Arches event under the Old Grammar School. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“A lot of people are so keen to head along to the Showground this weekend to enjoy Harborough at War.

“Advanced ticket sales have rocketed through the roof.

“We are hoping to draw in 10,000 people from right throughout the region across the whole weekend.

“And that will be about twice as many people who turned up for our first show in August 2019,” said Mick.

40's look...Alan Axon with Melanie Jane Louise Stevens and Shirley Rees during Underneath the Arches event under the Old Grammar School. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“We’ll have a brilliant Spitfire flypast on both Saturday and Sunday.

“There will be amazing re-enactments, tank driving, fascinating static displays and a fascinating mock wartime battle.

“Some of our shops in Market Harborough are also decorating their windows over the weekend – and we’ll be picking out the best-dressed.

“Our gates will open up at the Showground at 9am both days.

“Tickets are just £10 for adults aged 16 and over while they’re just £5 for under-16s, OAPs and military veterans,” said Mick.

“Bring a brolly just in case it rains but make sure you do come along to see us – you’ll have a whale of a time no matter how old you are!”

Anne-Marie Marlow sings during Underneath the Arches event under the Old Grammar School. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Harborough Bus Community are also running a shuttle bus to the much-anticipated extravaganza at the Showground from Market Harborough’s Angel Street car park.

Run entirely by volunteers, the group are putting on buses from

9am - 4pm on Saturday and 9am - 2pm on Sunday with a final return trip at 4.30/5pm.

“There’s no charge but voluntary contributions are very welcome,” said the service.