March 17, 2022 11.39 am

Lincolnshire Wolds Railway cancels 1940s wartime event over Ukraine invasion

People aren’t happy and say the move is a ‘disgrace’

Lincolnshire Wolds Railway has cancelled its popular 1940s Wartime Weekend to avoid “unintended anguish” due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The event had been due to take place in September, but the Heritage Railway Association has since advised any military re-enactment style events should not go ahead – and is now considering scrapping all future war themed events.

The 1940s wartime event at the Ludborough railway, near Louth, normally attracts thousands of visitors over the weekend – and people aren’t happy it’s been cancelled.

The 1940s event won’t go ahead this year. | Photo: Lincolnshire Wolds Railway

Some people have said the event could have been used as a fundraiser for Ukraine following the full-scale invasion by Russia, and others have questioned why the event wasn’t cancelled due to wars in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a social media post announcing the cancellation, Lincolnshire Wolds Railway said it didn’t want to cause “unintended anguish” to people of Ukrainian heritage and the “due consideration” had been given on the decision.

The post stated: “In light of the current situation in Ukraine, advice and instruction given by the Heritage Railway Association, that railways should not go ahead with military re-enactment and ‘war weekend’ style events, we announce that our 1940s Wartime Weekend is cancelled for this running 2022 season.

“After several requests for advice from other Heritage Railway Organisations with concerns that such an event could cause unintended anguish to visitors of Ukrainian heritage, due consideration was given by the board of the HRA with the decision made.

“We hope that, although some will be disappointed, that you understand the decision made and that we all send love and wishes to everyone suffering, that we all stand together to express our support to Ukraine.

“Many Heritage Railways have already cancelled their events and more will follow with the instruction given by the HRA.”

The Lincolnshire Wolds Railway says it will now hold two ‘normal running days’ over that weekend.

The event sees people dress up in military gear. | Photo: Lincolnshire Wolds Railway

Responding to the post, Andy White, said: “It’s the snowflakes in the Heritage Railway Organisation that are main problem.”

And Steve McTigue said the Heritage Railway Association was “disgraceful” and “should be ashamed of themselves”.

| Photo: Lincolnshire Wolds Railway

Heritage Railway Association chief executive, Steve Oates, said: “A small number of members had already taken unilateral decisions that they were uneasy about military re-enactment style events in the light of the war in Ukraine.

“The HRA also received requests for advice from railways with concerns that such an event could cause unintended anguish to visitors of Ukrainian heritage.

“In light of the huge suffering being seen in Ukraine, we fully support those member railways that have decided to alter or rearrange their events. And we felt that it was only right that our advice to members should be updated to reflect the current situation.

“Our heritage railways are powerful educational tools for a number of eras in British history and fundamentally that will not change. But nobody would want to cause unintended anguish at a time like this.”