GALLERY: Historic railway in Moray travels back to 1940s for heritage weekend

Rosanna Garden and Morgan Wood inside the catering van.
Rosanna Garden and Morgan Wood inside the catering van.

The unbreakable spirit of wartime Britain was recreated on Speyside at the weekend as part of a 1940s heritage event.

The Keith and Dufftown Railway group turned back the clock at its stations to make them appear as if they would have done during the Second World War.

More than 40 historical reenactors brought the era to life by performing songs from the era as well as demonstrating equipment and vehicles.

Camp fire smoke blew across the station in Dufftown where Celia and Jim Davidson travelled from South Ayrshire to prepare meals on Soyer stoves, which were used by troops during the conflict.

The couple made stews, soups and desserts for the event’s entire cast as well as interested visitors.

Mrs Davidson said: “It’s not quite wartime rations that we’ve been doing, as we are used to bigger portions these days.

“We like to demonstrate the cooking from the time. This would have been what a family living on a bombed-out street would have been eating.”

The heritage event, which is the group’s busiest single weekend of the year, was the seventh time the railway has celebrated the 1940s.

Up to 170 passengers at a time boarded service between the towns, where they were entertained on board by a performance where police officers tracked a suspected spy.

Among the new additions to this year’s event was an Anderson shelter, which until this year was still buried under earth in the garden of a Dufftown guesthouse.

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Enthusiasts spent three months repairing the metal hut and intrigued visitors yesterday sat inside to sample what it would have been like to take refuge from a bombing raid.

The shelters were used across the north-east and were free to those on annual incomes of less than £250 – while others had to pay £7 for one.

Railway chairman Nigel Bodiam joined the visiting reenactors by bunking down on Saturday night at the station with vintage trailers, tents and the station building itself used for accommodation.

He said: “This is a huge event for us. Last year we actually got 10 times the number of passengers compared to the weeks leading up to it.”