Welcome to the South Devon Railway 1940s Weekend!
The festival has been held at Buckfastleigh Station for many years. The show has grown and developed greatly and now boasts a large amount of displays, vehicles, trade stands, entertainment and atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else!
We are pleased to announce that a full size replica Spitfire will be attending this year’s festival! The Spitfire is modelled on EN398 which was the Personal Aircraft of British Flying Ace W/Cdr Johnny Johnson D.F.C. It has a complete original cockpit and a working WWII Rolls Royce engine which you will be able to hear start up at regular intervals throughout the event.
The Devon Area Military Vehicle Trust (MVT) will once again be building camp in the grounds of Buckfastleigh Station. There will be around 50 military vehicles including lorries, Jeeps and motorbikes for you to look over for the duration of the weekend. Quality trade stands of both Military and Civilian clothing and curios will provide you with the chance to acquire a lasting memento of your day.
Civilian vehicles will be represented with a small display beside the military camp. Cars and Lorries were often commandeered for the war effort and were used for the Home Guard and other groups assisting the needs of the country. Modifications such as headlamp shrouds and white lines being painted on the wings were carried out, with no consideration to the vehicles prestige or value, for the purposes of blackouts during an air-raid.
Formed by historic military vehicle enthusiasts, the MVT has grown into one of the largest military vehicle preservation groups in existence with branches worldwide and a membership of thousands.
The Devon Area has members who share the aims of the Trust which was established for the purpose of restoring and preserving military vehicles of historical interest and the preservation of books, drawings, records, documents, sound and visual recordings, films, photographs and other media and ephemera relating to such vehicles, their history and development, and promoting and encouraging the same aim in others.
Staverton Bridge – US Army Camp
Alight at Staverton and visit the U.S. troops that have set up their temporary Training Camp alongside the station. This camp is being used to train the troops for what could be expected at Normandy, soon to be known as “D-Day”.
Make sure you pay attention as the troops will be on hand to explain the requirements of an assault course and give instructions on detecting mines.
A small selection of vehicles have been made available to the camp for training purposes but troops are having to rely on train services for the provision of supplies.
Food, Drink & Entertainment
Refreshments are available at all of our stations and even on some of our trains! Why not try some of the local produce on offer or even take home some Devon fudge as a memento of your day.
A Bar is available by the Entertainment Marquee, as well as on some of our trains, and will be serving a selection of Beers, Ciders and Wine.
Our Entertainment Marquee will be home to quality live performances throughout the day where you can sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of the fabulous forties.
Music was often used during the war to provide a morale-boosting atmosphere at times of dismay and hardship. Therefore, tunes were generally very memorable and upbeat so as to encourage mass sing-alongs and camaraderie.
This timetable can also be downloaded as a PDF.
Entry to the 1940s Festival is free to those who have purchased a ticket to travel on the South Devon Railway for that day. There is a fee, payable on the day, of £5 per Adult and £3 per child for those wishing to visit the festival field only.
Tickets for the South Devon Railway entitle you to all day travel on any of our trains and includes entry to the festival. They will be available to purchase on the day or you can buy them in advance here.
Sample of fares:
Senior Citizen (65 and over) £14.00
Child £9.00 (3 years – 15 years)
Children under 3 – FREE)
Family £43.00 (two adults and two children)
Joint fares are also available with the Rare Breeds Farm at Totnes and Dartmoor Otters & Buckfast Butterflies at Buckfastleigh.
Full details of fares.
If you’d like to register to be a re-enactor and benefit from concessionary entrance fee and train travel, please fill out this form and return it with an SAE to us at Buckfastleigh.