THE county town of North Yorkshire turned back the clock with a spectacular celebration of the 1940s as large crowds supported the town’s first Home Front Wartime Weekend.

More than 7,000 people joined in the fun as soldiers, airmen and land girls in period uniforms joined live entertainers to recreate a Second World War atmosphere on the High Street.

Visitors sang along to hits from George Formby, Glenn Miller and the Andrews Sisters performed with gusto from a stage in front of the town hall. They also took the chance to admire an array of vintage military vehicles and classic cars.

There was even an “unexploded bomb” outside Bettys, with a disposal team carefully removing the ignition system as relieved families looked on.

Other major attractions included vintage traction engines billowing smoke across the marketplace, stalls featuring ration books and gas masks and displays by the Royal British Legion, The Forum and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Wartime Weekend is the latest big event to be organised by Northallerton Business Improvement District, which is pledged to support and revitalise the High Street, and follows the success of the Classic Car Show in April.

BID manager Julia Chance said: “It’s gone better than in our wildest dreams. People have gone to so much trouble to catch the flavour of the 1940s - and it’s wonderful to see.

“This is certainly an event we will repeat. In the words of Vera Lynn, we’ll meet again.”