A DAKOTA aircraft flew across the skies, Wheelock Street was transformed into a living museum and ‘Churchill’ inspected the ‘troops’ during the mayor’s parade.

Heroes from the Second World War were remembered in Middlewich at the weekend as town recreated the spirit of the 1940s.

The festival, which was organised by heritage development officer Kerry Fletcher, saw community figures unite with activities throughout the town centre.

Kerry, Sylvia Walton and a team of volunteers interviewed people who lived in the town during the war and Middlewich Youth Theatre turned those memories into a film that was shown in the Civic Hall.

Middlewich’s shop fronts paid tribute to the wartime era and many people dressed to impress with a 1940s style.

Meanwhile, the United Reformed Church in Queen Street displayed memorabilia relating to real wartime experiences and St Michael’s Church in Hightown hosted a Pathways to Peace exhibition.

Representatives from Cheshire’s 1st Mercian Regiment helped put the festival into context by talking to residents about the sacrifices British soldiers are making in Afghanistan.

The regiment also joined in the mayor’s parade on Sunday when a wreath was laid on the cenotaph.

On the same day, Gerry George, a former journalist and actor, portrayed the wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill and inspected Middlewich’s preparations for the ‘war effort’.

There were also several events in the evening including a talk about the Colonel of Tamarkan, Philip Toosey, by his granddaughter and historian Julie Summers.

Col Toosey was a Japanese prisoner of war during the conflict and his story inspired the film The Bridge On The River Kwai in which he was portrayed by Alec Guiness.

Fiona Harrison, one of country’s finest 1940s-style entertainers, also came to the town with the special concert, We’ll Meet Again.

Town Mayor Mike Parsons added: “In the 35 years I have lived in Middlewich, I have never witnessed anything like it was over this weekend.

“The main street looked like it had stepped right out of the 1940s.

“But it was not just the fabulous and authentic shop window dressings, nor the many people so creatively re-attired, it was more than that.

“Members of our fine community and visitors alike actually recreated and rekindled the ‘wartime spirit’.

“For a brief moment in today’s all-too-rushed and cluttered world, we were able to experience and enjoy people actually having time for each other and joining in together to celebrate something so special.

“I would like to publicly praise everyone who took part and did their bit in our ‘war effort’ and helped to make it the success. Your town is proud of you.”