DORSET is going back in time this weekend with a spectacular series of events lined up to remember the Second World War.
Events are being held across Weymouth and Portland and also in the village of Broadmayne, near Dorchester, which is set to relive its history as a major embarkation camp ahead of the D-Day landings 70 years ago.
The weekend will honour veterans and the men and women who are currently serving in the armed forces.
Around 30,000 people are expected to flock to Weymouth to see the annual Veterans Day parade.
For the first time Armed Forces Day and the Veterans’ Day parade have been expanded with additional Weymouth and Portland at War events.
Highlights will include the Service of Remembrance, a Seafront Parade lead by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth, an historic military vehicle convoy from Weymouth Esplanade to Castletown on Portland and afternoon band performances.
The grand finale on Saturday will see a spitfire flypast at 4.30pm.
Co-organiser of Weymouth at War Dave Allen said: “This year we’ve got a bit more going on.
“It’s not often that we get to hold something like this in one of the original places where troops left for the Normandy landings.
“We’ve got people coming from all over the country.
“This is a brilliant new event to put on alongside Armed Forces Day and Veterans’ Weekend, it’s come partly from the fact that Maiden Newton At War isn’t happening this year.”
Second World War boats My Girl and The Enchantress will be on display on the day.
Visitors will also be able to take a pleasure cruise around Portland to visit the castle and see the wartime Portland defences from the water.
The weekend will see the 29th Infantry Division set up on the land adjacent to the Nothe Fort, and elements of the 82nd Airborne will be camped there as well.
On the same day entertainers paying tribute to the 1940s will be performing in Hope Square.
Meanwhile, buildings in Weymouth will also take a trip back in time.
The underground crypt of the Holy Trinity Church will return to its use as a US Army field hospital, while Pilgrim House will become a Home Guard tea room.
Those who have wristbands will have free access to events including the Militaria Fair at the Pavilion, the Militaria Auction at Brewers Quay, and the Weymouth D-Day Museum.
A number of shops, pubs and clubs will also be offering a minimum 10 per cent discount to anyone wearing a wristband.
A 1940s themed dance will take place at the Pavilion on Saturday evening, with tickets costing £15.
The dance will include a performance from The Decadettes with period dress preferred for those attending On Weymouth Beach on Saturday afternoon The Royal Engineers will be performing a bridge laying and construction display.
There will also be static displays up on the Nothe Fort area and displays all along the harbourside and elsewhere across town.
Over on Portland, visitors to Portland Castle will be transported back in time.
The two-day event, which is part of the Weymouth at War celebrations, will explore the castle’s role in the war and give a taste of what life was like for the people working in the castle in the 1940s.
Characters from the Home Guard and Land Army will bring the castle to life as they set up camp in the grounds and answer questions.
The castle will also host a special display of photos and letters from a Fleet Naval Clerk who was actually based at Portland during the war.
Those who have wristbands, which can be bought from Pilgrim House in Hope Square for £4 each, will have free access to events including the Militaria Fair at the Pavilion, the Militaria Auction at Brewers Quay, and the Weymouth D-Day Museum.
Tickets can be bought from the Pavilion dance hall door on Saturday evening from 7pm, when the dance begins.
The dance will include a performance from The Decadettes with period dress preferred for those attending.
• Events taking place across the region
Saturday June 21
• Militaria Fair, Pavilion Ocean Room – 8am-3pm, entry fee applicable
• From 10am – Historic military vehicles arrive on the Pavilion Forecourt
• 10am-4pm – Support our Ex Service charities, awareness and fundraising stalls along the Esplanade
• Noon – Beach Assault followed by bridge building demonstration on Weymouth Beach (Pavilion end)
• Noon-4pm – 1940s afternoon, Osprey Leisure Centre, Portland, free entry, 1940s display and interactive exhibition, music and themed fun, cheer the arrival of the historic military vehicle convoy, live performance from local singing group the Decadettes
• 1pm – Approximately 60 historic military vehicles leave the pavilion forecourt and convoy through the borough to Osprey Leisure Centre, Portland for an afternoon display
• 4.50pm – Spitfire Flypast, Weymouth Seafront
• 7pm – 1940s Big Band Dance Evening, Weymouth Pavilion
Sunday June 22
• 10am-4pm – Support our Ex Service Charities, Awareness and fundraising stalls along the Esplanade
• 11am – Armed Forces Service, Cenotaph, Weymouth Esplanade
• 11.20am – Start of the Parade of Veterans along Weymouth Seafront lead by HM Band of the Royal Marines, Plymouth
• 12.30pm to 4pm – Historic military vehicles on display on the beach and harbourside
• Afternoon band performances on the Pavilion Forecourt: 1.30pm – Wessex Military Band
• 2pm – Dolphin Marching Band; 2.30pm – The Guards Division Corps of Drums association • 3pm – Portland Sea Cadet Band; 3.30pm – HM Band of the Royal Marines, Plymouth
Monday June 23
• 10.30am – Armed Forces Flag Raising, Civic Flag Pole, Council Office, North Quay
• 2pm-4pm – Tea Dance, St George’s Centre, Reforne, Portland. Entry costs £2.50 per person which includes refreshments
Saturday June 21 and Sunday June 2
• 10.30am- 4pm – Portland Castle, Liberty Road, Castletown, Dorset, DT5 1AZ Event is included in standard entry – Adult £4.90 / Child £2.90 / Family £12.70 Members go free
Friday June 20
• 12pm – Military Campsite opens l 7pm – Entertainment at the Black Dog Inn in Broadmayne and the New Inn in West Knighton
Saturday June 21
• 11am-12.15pm – Local history group presentation in the village hall
• 12.30-1pm – Remembrance Ceremony on the playing field
• 1pm-4.30pm – 1940s church fete and entertainment in the village hall and playing field
• 4.30pm – Barbecue on the playing field
• 7pm – 11pm – Big Band dance evening in the village hall
Sunday June 22
• 9.30am – Groups and vehicles leaving for Weymouth for the veterans parade
• 7.30pm – Vintage cinema evening in the village hall - a screening of Will Hay’s classic film Oh, Mr Porter! Limited capacity, book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
• Excellent days out
WHAT: Evershot Country Fair
DETAILS: There will be demonstrations of traditional rural crafts, food tastings and 70 stalls, ringside entertainment, live music, trailer rides around the Melbury Estate deer park. Adults £2, children and parking free. Dogs on leads are welcome. For more information visit the website evershot.org/ec.