Woodhall Spa: End of an era for 1940s-themed festival

People in period dress
Hundreds dressed up in period gear for the event at Woodhall Spa

A wartime-themed festival in Lincolnshire has been cancelled due to rising costs, organisers said.

The two-day Woodhall Spa 1940s Festival, which attracts thousands of people, was last held in July.

"Sadly, operating costs have now simply become too high for us to carry on," organisers said.

The free event, which featured shows and military re-enactors, as well as flying displays across the weekend, was first held in 2012.

In a statement, the Woodhall Spa 1940s Festival Committee said: "As our free event has become more and more popular year on year, the costs of keeping so many people safe [and] well served... have risen very sharply.

"Those costs also show no signs of easing in future years," a spokesperson said.

"As a team of volunteers, we have taken a hard and considered look at the viability of the festival, and it is with very heavy hearts that we now have no choice but to thank everyone who has supported us in any way since 2012 and say a fond goodbye."

Men and women dressed in 1940s military uniform
The festival attracted hundreds of military vehicles and re-enactors

Organisers had previously considered axing the event due to sensitivities over the war in Ukraine.

In 2022, the festival attracted its largest ever crowd as it bounced back from Covid cancellations.

Julie Rouse, who runs the Kitchenetta Deli in the village, said it was "going to impact us massively".

She told BBC Look North: "The 1940s festival has absolutely put Woodhall on the map

"It's a beautiful village and the tourism trade has really increased in a large part due to that," she added.

"It's made people aware that we actually exist."

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