A wartime family day out

Louisa Calder (8) models a 1940s-style sweater at the National Museum of Flight, East Fortune, ahead of the attraction's Wartime Experience event on 12 May.  The event at the former wartime airbase takes place 80 years after the start of the Second World War and features a special Home Front focus with a vintage Tea and Cake Marquee, Make Do and Mend talks, 1940s singing and dancing, reenactments, military vehicles, a heavy horse logging demonstration and a tribute to the animals of the First World War.
Louisa Calder (8) models a 1940s-style sweater at the National Museum of Flight, East Fortune, ahead of the attraction's Wartime Experience event on 12 May. The event at the former wartime airbase takes place 80 years after the start of the Second World War and features a special Home Front focus with a vintage Tea and Cake Marquee, Make Do and Mend talks, 1940s singing and dancing, reenactments, military vehicles, a heavy horse logging demonstration and a tribute to the animals of the First World War.

The national Museum of Flight at East Lothian is offering visitors an award-winning wartime experience this Sunday, May 12.

Clydesdale horse logging demonstrations, wartime encampments, battle re-enactments, plus 1940s singing and dancing and tales of life on the home front will all feature as part of the line-up of activities.

The family day out includes a theatrical tribute to the animals of the First World War from the Les Amis D’Onno equine stunt team. The performance tells the story of the recruitment, training and subsequent rehabilitation of the nation’s war horses and highlights the role of dogs as messengers on the front line.

Make Do and Mend talks by costume historian and dressmaker Meredith Towne in the Vintage Tea and Cake marquee will explore how women used to maintain a fashionable wardrobe amidst the shortages of wartime Britain.

The marquee will also host singing trio the Ragtime Dolls performing a medley of 1940s favourites, with dancing sessions and classes provided by the Fly Right Dance Company.

Visitors will be able to interact with living history groups in British, German and American wartime camps and to watch military tactic demonstrations and a Second World War battle re-enactment.

The science behind Second World War weaponry is explained in the hangars and visitors can play a variety of table-top war games and join in family-friendly crafts and activities.

Open 10am to 5pm, adults £14.50, children £9.50.

Steve McLean, general manager, National Museum of Flight said: “Our Wartime Experience event provides an engaging way for families to learn about an extremely important period in the nation’s history.

“From living history, crafts and music to the chance to discover the role of animals in wartime and to see the innovative ways women on the home front retained a fashionable edge, there really is something for everyone. We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors to this popular event again this year.”

Entry to the Wartime Experience event includes the chance to explore the museum’s fascinating aviation collections including 1940s Spitfire and Messerschmitt aircraft and Scotland’s Concorde. They can learn about East Fortune’s history as a wartime airfield in the Fortunes of War exhibition, which also tells the story of the famous R.34 airship which completed a double crossing of the Atlantic in 1919.