At The Swan, In Lavenham
The Vintage Weekend
17-20 May 2019
In May 2017 and 2018, the village of Lavenham held Vintage 1940s Commemorative Weekends. To see details and images of these past events, please see The Swan at Lavenham’s Facebook page.
In 2019 we’ll be commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the 487th Bombardment Group, 8th United States Army Air Force moving in to RAF Lavenham (AAF Station 137), by hosting a wonderful weekend celebrating all things 1940s. The events are organised by a local committee of like-minded volunteers called ‘Friends of Lavenham Airfield’, supported by The Swan at Lavenham.
Over the weekend many events will take place in Lavenham. The 2017 and 2018 events included:
• Commemorative Church Service
• ‘In Gratitude’ Gathering
• A 1940s swing dance
• Vintage vehicle display
• Evacuees Exhibition at Lavenham’s wartime evacuee centre (Lavenham Little Hall)
• Wartime Food Stall at Lavenham’s wartime ‘British Restaurant’ (Lavenham Guildhall)
• Military history display at The Swan at Lavenham
• Vintage Afternoon Tea and a separate Sing-a-long Afternoon Tea – The Swan at Lavenham
• Lavenham Airfield visit – (bring a picnic)
• A history talk and ‘Wartime Lavenham’ guided walk
• Vintage Fair (stalls selling vintage goods)
Please come along in Vintage 1940s dress. But please don’t be put off, if you’d rather not
The Vintage Fair (stalls selling vintage goods) will take place on Sat 18 May, 1100-1600hrs at Lavenham Village Hall. To pre-book a stall (£15 each), please contact T: 01787 248599 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friends of Lavenham Airfield’s mission:
Lasting Memorial at Lavenham Airfield
These events are organised by a local community group of volunteers, who are known as FOLA – ‘Friends of Lavenham Airfield’. FOLA are raising funds to create a lasting memorial to the 487th Bombardment Group, 8th United States Army Air Force, who were stationed at RAF Lavenham (AAF Station 137) during the Second World War. The aim of FOLA, is for the planned memorial to be located at Lavenham Airfield, in time for the 75th Anniversary of VE Day, on 8th May 2020
Please join us for the 2020 Vintage 1940s Commemorative Weekend in Lavenham:
8-11 May 2020*
*Friday 8th May 2020, marks the 75th Anniversary of VE Day
75th anniversaries of the Second World War
Between 18th and 21st May 2018 Lavenham will mark the creation of Lavenham Airfield, while between 17th and 20th May 2019 the commencement of operational flights by the 487th Bombardment Group will be remembered. And everything will culminate in a celebration and commemoration of the 75th anniversary of VE Day on 8th May 2020, with events taking place from 8th – 11th May 2020.
Anyone making the trip across to the UK for these events may also be interested in a newly launched Heritage Guide. The guide will enable people to visit many of the wonderful World War II heritage sites connected with the 8th USAAF across the East of England.
The US Army Air Force and UK service personnel stationed near Lavenham during World War II have long departed but their names remain inscribed on the walls of the Old Bar in The Swan, which they frequented. Renamed the Airmen’s Bar, it’s full of their memorabilia and photographs alongside the autographs as well as the names of the servicemen who took up the challenge of downing 3.5 pints of ale from a glass boot and how long it took them; the record seems to be an amazing 40 seconds held by WH Culling!
With many signatures fading, the Eighth in the East are working in partnership with the Stour Valley Community Archaeology Group to record and discover more about the individuals who wrote them before they disappear with time. Read about the ‘Signatures Project’ here.
Book a Stay
One of the top hotels in Suffolk, book your stay at The Swan Hotel & Spa and enjoy the vintage weekend in style. You can book online, or contact our team:
T: 01787 247477
Credit: Mike Hodges – photographer