Town travels back in time to mark D-Day

Published Thursday 13 June 2024

Families and people of all ages attended a wartime themed event in Market Harborough to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Lady dressed in 1940s period clothes standing next to classic cars
1940s period dress and classic vehicles at event to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day

Harborough Indoor Market welcomed over 7,000 visitors through its doors on Saturday 8 Sunday 9 June for a special 1940s weekend which featured a variety of stalls and classic vehicles on display including the iconic Willys Jeep, a Ford Pilot and a Jowett Javelin. 

Traders, some dressed in costumes from the era, sold memorabilia such gramophones, jewellery, genuine kimonos, antiques, china and accessories. 

The Leicestershire and Rutland Historical Society supported by Katrina Friess, a professional genealogist, educated visitors about how the war affected Market Harborough and surrounding villages and how their relatives played a part in the war effort.

Guest of honour 98-year-old Eileen Pearson told stories from her past during the Second World War. Eileen was an 18-year-old young woman living in Westminster when D-Day happened. Her future husband survived the landings and she proudly showed people his medals. 

Entertainment was provided by a 1940s DJ who played music from the 1940s and early 1950s with some in the crowd enjoying a dance. 

The local ukulele band also supported the event by playing some uplifting sing-along tunes and vocalist Anne Marie performed songs to passers-by in St Mary’s Place.  

Gail Bates, Market and Events Manager at Harborough Indoor Market, said: “Traders commented what a wonderful nostalgic event it was with a terrific atmosphere and that they would like to do it again. This special weekend was also a great way of commemorating the lives of so many heroes.”

“We are looking at plans to hold a similar event next year to celebrate the 80th anniversary of VE Day and would love the whole town to get involved.”