An annual event at Havenstreet’s Isle of Wight Steam Railway, which will be transformed to replicate a wartime station, is taking place between 23th and 25th June.
Organised by Isle of Wight Council’s heritage service, the event recreates the scenario that tens of thousands of school children went through over 70 years ago. Pupils and staff from schools will dress up in World War II clothes and will arrive at the Steam Railway with gas masks ahead of a ride of the train, mirroring the experience from the war years.
Pupils will taste authentic wartime food, learn about rationing and the toys children during the war played with. As happened during the war, there’s every chance the lessons could be interrupted by an air raid siren. If this happens, the pupils will be directed into a small air raid shelter. As they board their train and are waved off from the platform, they will get a real feeling for how it might have felt to be evacuated all those years ago.
Each day there will be morning sessions held between 10:15 and 12:30 with trains leaving at 10:35 and 11:51. On Thursday there will be an afternoon session between 12:40 and 14:30 with the train leaving at 13:40.
The activities have been put together by the Heritage Education Service to support the learning of students as part of their history programme.
Photograph thanks to Suzanne Whitewood