HUNDREDS of people braved the worst June weather on record to experience the sights and sounds of war.
The Yorkshire Wartime Experience took place last weekend on fields off Hunsworth Lane, Hunsworth, under constant downpours – but crowds were not put off and waded through mud to get to the site.
Organiser Stuart Wright said: “Everything that could go wrong did go wrong but the camaraderie was amazing.
“The World War I lads said it was like being in the Somme with 6ins of water in the trenches – they loved it.
“At night we had a disco for people staying on site but because they couldn’t get on, we had to use the wartime vehicles to get to the car park and pick them up and bring them on site. It was wonderful because it proved how versatile these vehicles still are after 70 years.
“One man heard about the event on the radio and came down just to help tow people in his landrover. I don’t know who he was.
“We were expecting 800 schoolchildren on the Friday and 500 came up. When you saw them walking round with smiling faces but drenched to the skin it was heartwarming.
“We had 226 military vehicles booked in but only 42 turned up due to the weather. We had 42 re-enactment groups booked but less than 10 came. We were expecting seven tanks but we only had two. Three of the stalls blew down.
“You’d never have thought in a million years parts of West Yorkshire would be completely shut and we still carried on!”
Stuart also thanked Steve Robinson, the landlord of the New Inn at East Bierley, who owns the land, for his support.
He said: “Everyone pulled together and helped each other out and that was the great thing about it. The camaraderie was wonderful.
“We are definitely doing another one next year.”