Letter: The German re-enactors are integral to wartime weekend event

A Wartime Weekend re-enactor in German uniform at Levisham Station.
A Wartime Weekend re-enactor in German uniform at Levisham Station.

I was disappointed to read of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s decision not to have German Army re-enactment people at the next Wartime Weekend in Pickering.

This event has been hugely successful over the years, attracting visitors from far and wide as well as those of us who live much closer to hand. I went along to “Le Visham” with a friend last autumn and enjoyed the experience greatly - we talked to different people, watched the displays and in particular reflected on what this commemoration is - or should really be all about.

I was born in the early ‘50s so did not live through the war, but when I was growing up it was still fresh in the minds of parents and other adults and we learnt much about what had happened only a decade earlier. I have always taken a keen interest in current affairs and history - how do you know where you are going if you do not know from where you have come?

The Wartime Weekend grew rapidly from a nostalgia event with some music and dancing into what we had last year, with displays and attractions in Pickering, Levisham and Grosmont.

The “German occupation” of Levisham station provided an atmospheric and educational addition to the rest of the activities on offer and as such I see it as an integral part of the whole event, a reminder that there was a very serious side to this period in our history.

Young adults and children attend the Wartime Weekend and we saw many of them last year at Levisham, dressed for the part and joining in. It would be wrong for them to go away from the next one with the notion that 1939-1945 was only about ration-fed, dewy-eyed individuals singing “We’ll Meet Again” and dancing the night away to Joe Loss and his band.

Richard Bedford

Green Park Road, Cayton