Back to the 1940s again in north Suffolk

ONLOOKERS could have been forgiven for doing a double take, as it seemed as if the clocks had been turned back at one north Suffolk venue.

A genuine second world war hangar provided a fitting backdrop for the setting of a popular 1940s themed dance at Ellough, near Beccles, at the weekend.

And with scenes reminiscent of 1940s wartime England, revellers, who were dressed as soldiers, sailors and airmen of all ranks mingled with nurses, spivs, evacuees and ladies in traditional 40s-style posh frocks at the annual hangar dance.

The original T2 hangar at the former RAF Beccles at Ellough was the setting for the 11th anniversary of the 1940s-themed dance – which again proved so popular that the 500 tickets for Saturday evening's event were quickly sold out, with last Friday's sales not far behind.

The first dance was held in September 2001 and ever since then the event has grown with most people entering into the spirit of the occasion and dressing in 1940s-style fashion or wartime uniform.

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Ellough is still an active airfield and the dance was held in one of the two hangars on the site. The hangar, now regularly used for a farmers' market, was decorated with drapes, flags and bunting, while outside the Norfolk Military Vehicle Group brought along all kinds of military vehicles to add to the wartime atmosphere.

Music for dancing was again provided by the 18-piece Super Swing Big Band with their talented vocalist – playing and singing 1940s and 50s music – with the interval dancing demonstration by the Chicken Junction Lindy Hop Dancers.

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Malcolm Berridge, chairman of the Waveney Hospice Care Trustees, thanked Bryan and Sandra Collen for giving permission to use the hangar.

He also praised the support of everyone who helped with the preparations for the dance and those who attended on the two evenings.

He added: 'We were delighted to have managers from St Elizabeth Hospice at the dance to enjoy our biggest annual fundraising event – which raised �10,400 in 2010.

'Earlier this year Waveney Hospice Care agreed to merge with St Elizabeth Hospice and one of the aims of the merged organisation is to expand Waveney Hospice Care's existing services and provide access to specialist palliative care.'

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