About the South Devon 1940s Festival
The small town of Buckfastleigh in Devon is situated beside the Devon Expressway (A38) at the edge of the Dartmoor National Park. A bit west of the town is a famous building named The Manor House of Brook erected in 1656 by Richard Cabell. A legend grew around his death 21 years later when black hounds howling and breathing fire and smoke supposedly raced to surround the house. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle based his 1901 Sherlock Holmes novel “The Hound of the Baskervilles” on this legend. The movie version came out in 1939 just one year shy of the decade being celebrated at the South Devon Railway (SDR) with the South Devon 1940s Festival.
This event has been held for many years at the Buckfastleigh Station. The two-day July weekend will take visitors back in time to the 1940s for a fun-filled day with vintage vehicles, trade stands, entertainment, and a 1940s atmosphere all thanks to the Devon Area Military Vehicle Trust (DAMVT) and the SDR.
The DAMVT camp on the grounds of Buckfastleigh Station will once again showcase around 50 military vehicles including lorries, Jeeps, and motorbikes. The station at Staverton is the temporary home to U.S. Troops re-enacting what it must have been like to train for the eventual landing at Normandy on “D-Day”. But this event is not just about wartime activities as there will be plenty of food and drink on the trains and at the station and live entertainment all weekend long.
South Devon Railway
The SDR opened on the 1st of May in 1872 as a broad-gauge line through to Ashburton. The Great Western Railway took over in 1876. All traffic on the railway ceased on the 7th of September in 1962 and it was re-opened as a preserved steam line on the 5th of April, 1969. The South Devon Railway Trust took over the running of the line on 1st January 1991 and 2019 was the 50th anniversary year. The SDR is the longest established steam railway in the southwest.
Entry To The Event
Visitors who purchase an all-day travel ticket on the SDR will gain entry to the South Devon 1940s Festival at no extra charge. The SDR fares for the all-day travel is £45.00 for a family of two adults and two kids, £16.00 for adults, £15.00 for those age 65 and over, £9.00 for children age 3 to 15, and those under age 3 ride for free. Your pet dog is welcome for a £1.00 per dog charge but do make sure they behave. For those who want to attend the festival only, the at the gate charge is £5 for each adult and £3.00 per child. The fun lasts from 10:00 a.m. each day until 6:00 p.m.
Somewhere to Stay in Devon
Lodging can be a problem for some events, but for the South Devon 1940s Festival, there is a listing of hotels, B&Bs, Guesthouses, and “self-catering” sites for Caravans on the SDR website. From the home page banner, click on Planning Your Visit and select the last item from the drop-down screen menu titled Accommodation. There you will see a wide selection of lodging options to choose from.
Other Things To Do Around Buckfastleigh
If there are any spelunkers in your group, they may know that Buckfastleigh is famous for major caves like Bakers Pit, a phreatic (water filled) maze cave system, or Joint Mitnor Cave, also known as Bone Cave for its fossil discoveries. Visitors not into caves can drive along the coast to Dartmouth and the Dartmouth Museum. You’ll get to know Dartmouth’s famous sons, like the 18th-century inventor of the first practical steam engine, Thomas Newcomen.
There is a car park in Buckfastleigh where ample free parking is available. Wheelchair users are advised to contact the SDR and give them the width of their chair to see if it will fit through the train doors. The maximum overall size of the wheelchair we can carry is a length of 1200 mm (47 inches), a width of 700 mm (27 inches), and a weight of 230 kg (500 lbs). Dogs are welcome but remember that it is £1.00 for them to enter the trains. Hounds of any colour who are howling and breathing fire and smoke should stay away from the festival.
When is the next South Devon 1940s Festival?
The South Devon 1940s Festival is planned to take place at The Station, Dart Bridge Road, Buckfastleigh, Devon, TQ11 0DZ, Saturday 4th July, 2020. This is a Weekend 1940s Festival.
01364 644 370
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