Video: Thousands flock to war weekend in Hunsworth and see Dakota fly-past

More than five and a half thousand people flocked to the Yorkshire Wartime Experience this weekend.

In baking sunshine, the crowds were treated to displays of military might and battle re-enactments from the Great war right up to present day conflicts.

Yorkshire Wartime Experience, Cleckheaton

Yorkshire Wartime Experience, Cleckheaton

It was a far cry from last year’s inaugural event when torrential rain turned the fields at the venue in Hunsworth into a quagmire.

It was so bad that even the tanks got stuck in the fields.

However this year’s heatwave brought the visitors out in huge numbers,

Around 800 re-enactors from all corners of the United Kingdom, together with more than 300 vehicles took part.

Yorkshire Wartime Experience, Cleckheaton

Yorkshire Wartime Experience, Cleckheaton

Organiser Stuart Wright said: “To say it was unbelievable is an understatement.

“It was an astounding success. Some people who came on the Saturday came again on the Sunday because they had enjoyed it so much. The weather was amazing and the crowds were brilliant. It made me very proud to be part of it.

“The highlight for me was seeing the reaction of the children. On the Friday there were around 350 children from local schools who came along and they learned so much about their history.

“Another poignant touch was when we found out that among the visitors on the Sunday was a 93-year-old Second World war Veteran wearing his medals. He was brought into the main arena on one of the military jeeps and everyone got out of the tanks and applauded him.

The Dakota plane flies over Hunsworth. Picture by John Chambers.

The Dakota plane flies over Hunsworth. Picture by John Chambers.

“And the fly-past by the Dakota was breathtaking, especially when it tipped its wings right over the field where the pilot of a Halifax bomber crashed 70 years ago without loss of life due to his courage and skill. The feedback we have had is incredible and it will definitely be an annual event. Our thanks go to everyone involved in staging and supporting it.”

Among the crowds were five-year-old Oliver Wright, who particularly enjoyed seeing the Spitfire, and his dad Mark.

Mark said: “It has brought people together from all over the country, from toddlers to people in their 80s. The highlight for me was the World War II battle re-enactment – the pyrotechnics in that were really serious!”

Visit our website for a video of the event. Proceeds are going to the Reporter Series Fund and the Royal British Legion