High Temperatures and High Spirits for Thousands at Massively Successful 1940s Festival
An estimated 40,000 people basked in glorious weather at this weekend’s Woodhall Spa 1940s Festival, and visitors and locals alike have taken to social media to praise the “seamless” organisation, excellent traffic and parking improvements and entertainments delivered despite the heat.
Temperatures soared as high as the four Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flypasts, and visitor numbers also rode high. Attendance was on par with 2017’s event, with only the England v Sweden World Cup fixture drawing numbers slightly down on Saturday afternoon.
Feedback given to its volunteer committee and to the festival’s Facebook site overwhelmingly show the event was a massive success. With the huge range of entertainments, dances and parties, re-enactments and living history groups, vintage and military vehicles, competitions, the event has been deemed an “amazing weekend” by visitors to the village. Many have also praised business owners and the Woodhall Spa community for their enthusiasm and welcoming nature.
The additional spend on traffic management kept roads free of queues, and the increased number of shuttle buses ferrying visitors to and from the four car parks paid off, with reduced waiting times at the car parks and shuttle bus pick-up points.
Chair of the organising Committee Andy Hunter said today: “I’d like to thank everyone who came to Woodhall Spa for our Festival this weekend. We take care of all the organisation but it’s the visitors who make the atmosphere and the residents who welcome so many to our village that keeps bringing people back. The feedback we’ve heard so far seems to suggest this has been the best festival yet, and while there will always be tweaks and improvements to make I’m delighted with how this weekend has gone.”
Councillor and Leader of ELDC Council Craig Leyland echoed Hunter’s comments, as he Tweeted “the organisation and generosity of the volunteers who make it happen…” as the highlight of his weekend.
Highlights included flypasts by the BBMF on both days, crowned by a Sunday afternoon appearance by the Lancaster Bomber “Leader”, based at nearby RAF Coningsby, a skirmish re-enactment in the Pinewoods and regular sightings of a Winston Churchill impersonator who posed for photos with visitors. Operationally, the event ran very smoothly thanks to the year-long planning by the volunteer committee and locally-based support services they put in place;
• Dave Skells Traffic Management from Louth delivered the complex traffic plan
• Coningsby-based SRP Hire Solutions Provided crowd barriers, toilets and porta-cabins for the crew
• East Lindsay District Council issued 42 fixed penalty fines for illegal parking
• Horncastle-based medics LIVES treated 50 people over the weekend (60% of which were for heat-related ailments) – double the number treated in 2017.
Thanks go to the festival’s main sponsors The Petwood Hotel and The The Golf Hotel & Aqua Sante Spa – Woodhall Spa, our supporters Woodhall Country Park, The INN at Woodhall Spa and Eclipse Photographic, Dave Robson LBIPP EFIAP and SRP Hire Solutions for their logistical support.
The organisers also wish to thanks the many individuals and groups who create the re-enactments, displays and living history features, the performers who entertain the crowds all weekend and the many volunteers who assist in the delivery of the show each year.