IT’S full steam ahead as the East Lancashire Railway prepares to stage its annual 1940s event this weekend.

Thousands of nostalgia enthusiasts are expected to descend on Bury and Ramsbottom for the event, which will take place from Saturday until Monday.

The weekend, which has been held at the railway for the past 18 years, attracted almost 6,000 visitors last year.

Starting at Bury’s Bolton Street Station, the experience will include battle re-enactments, live music and dancing, classic cars and military vehicles, WW2 plane and tank displays, luxury cream teas in the Observation Saloon and vintage stalls along the 12-mile line.

The iconic British plane, the Spitfire, will also be roaring across the Bury skies in a spectacular flypast on the Saturday of the event.

This year’s highlights will also include music from The Rum and Cola Girls, George Formby Appreciation Society and The Bluebird Belles, amongst others.

Dozens of businesses in and around Ramsbottom town centre will also be getting in on the act, turning the clocks back 70 years to celebrate the vintage style, glamour and history of the era.

Each business has contributed £30 to help organise the event in the town, and staff working in pubs and restaurants will also dress up in 1940s attire.

A 1940s disco will also be held in Market Place, next to the Urn, while a mock wedding will be held in Church Gardens.

Military vehicles will be stationed at several locations across the town centre, and more than 300 military personnel will march down Bridge Street towards Ramsbottom station at 1.30pm on Sunday.

Jane Pritchard from Mrs P’s Luxury Ice Cream shop, who has spearheaded the organisation of the events in Ramsbottom, said: “I think we have done a reasonable job.

“The town need to reclaim its identity rather than burger vans coming in and collecting all the income.

“It is nice to see everyone behind it.”

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