Reporter and photos Ruby Anstee
Every year in the Saddleworth area there is a time warp back to the 1940’s when celebrations take part, connected to the filming of a scene in the 1979 cinema release Yanks. Uppermill and Dobcross both take on a wartime look and many Characters can be spotted wandering around, chatting and dancing. I caught up with a few of the Characters and asked them how and why they do what they do. I have withheld most names as I think their Characters speak for themselves.
I firstly literally bumped into this Red Cross Nurse as she waited for her beau to return from his flying mission. He duly arrived in full RAF Uniform. She has a keen interest in all things 1940s and is adamant to keep her Red Cross outfit authentic. Being unable to make a 21st century career in nursing she enjoys dressing up and re-enacting the voluntary role of a Red Cross Nurse.
The next gentleman I encountered was this one. He thoroughly enjoys these 1940’s weekends, meeting people and enjoying the atmosphere. When asked why he chose his uniform he told me he has no political bias and just wanted to be slightly different from the rest.
Wandering further up the High Street, I met 3 members of the Royal Association of Fusiliers, Oldham Branch, that had walked in the Yanks Parade. “It is nice to be able to represent Veterans that served in the British Forces. We’re all Lancashire lads, and the filming [in Dobcross] was about Lancashire” said Michael Whitehead, Veteran of the Royal Artillery and Chairman of the Oldham Veteran’s RA branch.
After leaving the lads, I bumped into a lady from the Women’s Voluntary Service babysitting for a GI baby. She told me ‘ I live local, and first came here about 4/5 years ago and saw everyone and thought it was amazing. I joined Trina’s dance class in Greenfield and learnt to dance. I’ve met so many lovely people, long term friends. It’s fantastic’. Here she is with her husband who is ‘in the RAF’.
And lastly this little lady took my eye. Her name is Tilly and she’s a 4 month old Boxer dog wearing a union jack cape. ‘ We’ve brought her to help to train her and to get her used to socialising , people, vehicles and noises. The people are so friendly. We did it with our other boxer dog when she was a puppy. We used to always bring her. It’s been a lovely day’ says Carol, her owner.
Saddleworth News would like to say a big thank you to all those that agreed to be interviewed and hope you all enjoyed the rest of your day.