1940S WEEKEND

Avery successful event was held over the weekend of 17th to 18th June and as promised in the June Bulletin a report and photos of the event follow here. All photos are by Rosie Williams unless otherwise credited.

The big guns were rolled out for our 1940s weekend! The photos above show a field gun being positioned to defend Dufftown station. Assisting in this operation is our own Desert Rat, making sure that the field gun is ready for action.

The Bren Gun is being set up in a machine gun nest to protect the Ticket Office at Dufftown. The station has already suffered from the attention of the Luftwaffe but is still open for business.

Also at Dufftown was an 8th Army encampment complete with despatch rider’s motor cycle and a first aid post to minister to casualties. Our desert rat is cooking a meal, on a field stove for himself and the nurse attached to the first aid post. Not sure what was on the menu but spam fritters is a distinct possibility! Elsewhere at Dufftown the NAAFI wagon was dispensing hot tea, coffee and spam rolls.

The KDR Home Guard manned a check point guarding the entrance to the platform. Photo by Helen Bodiam.

The Women’s Land Army were on parade too with a grey Fergie tractor and lots of healthy home produce. Also on display were some farming equipment of the 1940s. Left photo Helen Bodiam, right photo Rosie Williams.

More scenes from the 1940s farm at Dufftown.

Keith and District Silver band played a selection of tunes at Dufftown. Two visiting scale model steam traction engines show their paces in the car park at Dufftown.

Two 1940s ladies waiting for the train at Dufftown note the wicker shopping basket and head scarf tied over rollers in the left photo. The lady on the right is carrying her gas mask in a cardboard box and there is another gas mask box tied to the handles of the pram.

Left photo the Yanks are here! This couple were making another return visit to our 1940s weekend as they enjoy it so much. In the right photo two Land Army girls and our nurse are helping passengers on the station platform.

The enemy had managed to infiltrate a lady spy on to the train! The spy was taking pictures with her box camera and trying to obtain information from passengers about the military situation in Banffshire!

However, waiting in the wings (the guard’s compartment) was our trusty MI5 officer who apprehended the spy at the point of his trusty revolver.

Also on the train was a local spiv / black marketer who tried his charms on a lady to entice her into buying some black market stockings! He’d better watch out as the local bobby is on the train too.

Also on the train was a Home Guard volunteer who explained the workings of the Bren Gun as he travelled between Dufftown and Keith. The local Copper checks out our visiting Yankee’s paperwork, with spies on the train you can’t be too careful!

Keith Town station was decorated in patriotic bunting, the windows had bomb blast tape installed and posters urged us to “Dig For Victory” The Dig For Victory” garden was located at the far end of the platform and had a nice crop of potatoes, cabbage, Brussel Sprouts and even strawberries. One of the few Morris 8 cars built under wartime restrictions had managed to make its way to Keith Town and drew a lot of admiring looks.

More American visitors were visible at Keith Town. The station waiting room had been turned over to “Jones Emporium Purveyor of Household Goods” as their premises had been bombed out. Jones was on the platform inviting people to visit the temporary premises and see the display of household goods. One of the 1940s ladies also appeared on the platform with her baby in its own special gas mask. Note the portable air raid warning siren which occasionally sent people scurrying for the air raid shelter.

One of the train crew passes the aluminium pan collection which is being gathered for melting down and turning into Spitfires. The Keith and District Silver Band playing the train out on its return journey to Dufftown.