Town in the swing with a 1940s street party

Charlotte Saunders with the Lydey Chicks

Charlotte Saunders with the Lydey Chicks

First published in

ACAPELLA artists sang wartime songs as a community tried to bring trade to a quiet part of town.

Banbury’s Old Town Association took the town back to the 1940s in style with the help of big band and swing music.

The event was organised in partnership with Cherwell District Council to help bring more shoppers to Parson’s Street and Church Lane.

Banbury Cake:

Angela Reynolds

It included shopkeepers in period dress, re-enactments from living history groups and women dressed as wartime landgirls Charlotte Saunders was part of Lydey Chicks, a female singing group from the musical theatre company Lynden Players.

She said: “It was a party to celebrate the 1940s and to bring business to the town.

Banbury Cake:

Rimski plays a piano mounted on a bike

“It was a great atmosphere and there were a lot of people around so it was good fun.

“I hadn’t done any street singing before but it was great fun.”

The event marked the 70th anniversary since D-Day, when Allied troops invaded Nazi-occupied Europe in 1944.

Banbury Cake:

Michael Hallett and Jess Michael stare into each other’s eyes, while Jeanine Venter gives Brian Tegg a peck on the cheek                                                             

There were also balloon modellers, face painters, stilt walkers and street entertainer Rimski playing a bicycle piano.

Patrick Cooper, 68, runs the Old Town Deli and Cafe, in Parson’s Street, with his wife Cathy.

Banbury Cake:

Patrick Cooper with 92-year-old Evelyn Green

He said: “I really enjoyed it and everybody I know did.

“We are all absolutely shattered. It took a bit of preparation but it was really enjoyable.

“I have never seen Banbury smile so much.”

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