Flags and folk, a weekend to remember

Spen is gearing up for bumper crowds this weekend as two of the biggest events of the calendar take place.

The 26th annual Cleckheaton Folk festival kicks off tonight with the opening concert at the town hall at 7.30pm.

And throughout the weekend acts such as Maddy Prior, The Mighty Doonans and The Demon Barbers will be festival headliners.

In a break from tradition, the festival forecast is for good weather, which will be a welcome break to campers after last year’s washout.

The parade, with music, dance and street entertainers, will go through Cleckheaton town centre tomorrow from 11am, with a dress theme of mining for the parade’s revellers.

There will also be a farmers’ market and a Totally Locally street market, as well as a craft fair and car boot sale hosted by Howard Park Community School

The three-day festival takes place across the town centre with various venues showcasing new talent and familiar faces from the world of folk.

Meanwhile, just up the road in Hunsworth, fields off the A58 will become battlefields for the second Yorkshire Wartime Experience featuring re-enactments from the First World War right up to the present day.

There will be mock battles, pyrotechnics, 1940s dancers and singers, military vehicles and artillery plus 51 re-enactment groups.

Monty’s Rolls Royce – together with a Monty lookalike – will make an appearance, and there will be kids’ activities, a period funfair, trade and military stalls, food and a beer tent.

Schools will visit the site today, and tomorrow and Sunday the event is open to the public, from 10am-5pm. The activities are the same on both days, however on Sunday only, at 1.40pm, there will be a Battle of Britain fly-past.

The Dakota plane will ‘tip its wings’ in tribute to former Halifax bomber pilot Tom Scotland who heroically steered his stricken plane away from houses in Hunsworth, crashing in fields at Drub, in 1943.

On Sunday afternoon at 4.30pm Spen Valley Civic Society and the Drub Village Association will be unveiling a plaque at Drub rec to Tom, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the crash. Tom died last year but the event will be attended by Tom’s son, John, who has travelled from his home in Australia.

See next week’s Guardian for picture specials on all the events, and our website for video coverage.