Throwback Thursday: Ellough Airfield’s 1940s dance

PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 July 2018

The article covering the Ellough Airfield dance in 2005. Photo: Archant.

The article covering the Ellough Airfield dance in 2005. Photo: Archant.


In Throwback Thursday Enjoy Beccles more takes a look back at some of the town’s major stories and events from times gone-by.

This week we take a look at the Beccles Regatta Carnival Parade from 1987.

The article below first appeared on the Beccles and Bungay Journal on Friday, July 1, 2005.

Dancing back to the old days . . . by Roy Strowger

It was rather like stepping back into wartime – but this time there was no enemy, and a lot more fun.

Around 1,000 people were transformed into the Forties at two hangar dances ay Ellough Airfield, Beccles, on Friday and Saturday night.

Many were clothed in the 1940s dress of the time, there were military vehicles outside, and the old hangar was bedecked in drapes, flags and bunting.

A BBC radio broadcast of Churchill’s words warbled across the room and then a siren sounded – before the dancing began to Tom Plunkett’s Super Swing Big Band.

“The whole idea seems to have taken on a sort of cult status,” admitted Pam Podd, trustee for Waveney Hospice Care, which ran the event.

And the immense popularity means the twin events could end up raising more than £5,000 for the charity.

“Last year we split the dance into two evenings because Saturday was a sell-out. About 210 came on the Friday last year, there were 407 this year.

“The demand is such that we expect it to be a sell-out next year,” she said.

“We were really delighted. There was a lovely atmosphere and Tom Plunkett’s band was brilliant.”

The event included a barbecue, chips, bar and mother refreshments, with many of the helpers dressed in NAAFI style outfits.

Mrs Podd said that although the event was run by the Waveney Hospice Care management committee it depended totally on expert and volunteer helpers to prepare and stage it.

-A DVD or VHS video is available from each night, for £10, and £1.50 postage. Anyone interested can write to Mrs Podd at Church Farm, Gisleham, Lowestoft NR33 8DU, enclosing a cheque made out to Waveney Hospice Care for £11.50 and stating whether a DVD or VHS is required and whether for the Friday or Saturday night.

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