Village at War

at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, Dereham

26 and 27 August, 10 am-5 pm

Got any gum chum? Celebrate the impact of the ‘Friendly Invasion’ of American GIs and discover some of Norfolk’s American Connections as Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse turns back the clock to the 1940s. The annual Village at War event at the 50 acre site near Dereham promises to deliver an impressive display of home front history. Stroll around military and civilian vehicles and meet costumed characters from both the British and American forces. Between 1942 and 1945 there were 50,000 US personnel stationed in the county at any one time. Discover more about this fascinating period of our county’s heritage with a special exhibition and archive footage. There’s entertainment too, with toe tapping 1940s music from Timescape and costumed wartime radio shows from The Time Travel Team. The fun doesn’t stop there. Enjoy the traditional fairground with swing boats and coconuts shies. If the sun shines, see the Land Girls at work down on Gressenhall Farm, whilst a Standard Fordson 1940s tractor with binder helps the Suffolk Punch horses to bring in the harvest. Witness the spirit that helped win the Second World War. See the Girl Guides and Southern Norwich Scouts camping 1940s style. Discover military enactment groups – the ‘Royal Norfolk Regiment’, ‘Liberation 44’ and ‘Ranger Re-enactments’ on manoeuvre. Meet the ‘Civil Defenders’ and find out how they helped protect the home front. Chat with costumed servicemen and find out about active duty. The Prime Minister Winston Churchill also plans to make an appearance, delivering some of his key speeches – a wonderful photo opportunity! See just how far the rations could be stretched with cooking in the farmhouse kitchen, while all children can come and collect their weekly ration of sweets from the Village Shop. Pick up your ID card and make sure you have it to hand in case you are stopped by the Home Guard! All eyes will be on the skies on the afternoon of Monday 27 August as we watch out for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flypast (weather permitting!).

For information, follow the link!

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Museum of Norfolk Life

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