VISITORS to the Watercress Line’s annual War on the Line extravaganza will step back to the 1940s and experience a taste of railway life during the Second World War - a time when American soldiers were in Alresford preparing to fight alongside their British allies on D-Day.

This weekend (June 16-17), 1940s aficionados and families alike can fully immerse themselves in life on the home front with an American theme. There will be military re-enactments, period displays, vintage vehicles, retro market stalls, singing and dancing to live wartime music at every station, and unlimited day travel on the Watercress Line’s steam trains.

Pearl’s Pin-up Parlour will be on hand at Ropley station to give guests a period look, with nostalgic hair-dos and vintage make-up, and there will be an American-styled Donut Wagon for all those visitors with a sweet tooth.

There will also be a wartime theme in the buffet at Alresford station.

A self-guided walk will explore the places in Alresford with links to American troops, passing an exhibition in the Goods Shed at the Station and visiting the war memorials.

Ropley station will be decorated with vibrant, crocheted poppies to commemorate wartime soldiers and the Saturday event will feature a Spitfire flying over Ropley station.

Woodies Mountford, marketing manager at the Watercress Line, said: “We are delighted to offer our visitors something a little different to the norm this summer at our War on the Line event.

“Guests will be able to fully immerse themselves in the 1940s railway experience, with service men and women dashing about, loved ones saying goodbye, evacuees boarding trains, and spivs peddling their black market wares while avoiding the police.

And there are even rumours of an inspection by Churchill himself!

“We hope everyone will dress up in 1940s attire, join in a jive, mingle with re-enactors, marvel over vintage vehicles, and embrace the atmosphere at War on the Line.

“It’s as much about reliving this period as enjoying the rush of the steam engine, so be sure to jump on board one of our locomotives to experience the entire event.”

Town businesses are also immersing themselves in the event by dressing their shop window displays with an ‘Americans in Alresford’ theme. There will be a competition for the best-dressed, most creative period display, which will be judged by Major 5X5 and the Now That’s Jive dance troop.