Family festival takes you back to the 40s

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The hugely popular Forties Family Festival will make a welcome return to Bletchley Park in 2015.

Visitors can step back in time as the atmospheric restored parkland is taken over by 1940s re-enactors with singing, dancing and interactive displays representing both military and civilian life during the Second World War.An exact date for the festival hasn’t been set, although it is likely to be in May.

More prestigious speakers will grace the podium in the Bletchley Park Presents lecture series through the year, while in March, Michael Smith will talk about his new book The Debs of Bletchley Park.

Victor Madeira will consider the first Cold War in April, when he speaks about his book Britannia and the Bear: The Anglo-Russian Intelligence Wars, 1917-1929.

London during WW1 is the subject of Jerry White’s book Zeppelin Nights. His talk in May will be a prelude to the launch of a major new exhibition about Codebreaking in WW1 at Bletchley Park.

The WW1 theme continues with Taylor Downing in June, as he speaks on his book Secret Warriors: Key Scientists, Codebreakers and Propagandists of the Great War.

And in July, best selling author Sinclair Mackay will recount the story of RAF Fighter Command, tying in with the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

For a day out steeped in wartime glamour, visit the 1940s Boutique, with dates from Valentines’ Day to Christmas. Vintage stylist Sarah Dunn teaches the secrets of how to create iconic wartime looks including victory rolls, and the makeup to match.

New this year, BrightSparks@BletchleyPark will offer activities for children every day in the school holidays, the highlight being the ever-popular Family Fun Wednesdays, featuring craft activities and spy workshops for all ages, children’s guided tours, trails, quizzes and handling collections.

See www.bletchleypark.org.uk