Yanks for the memories! Turning back clock for wartime Hollywood movie

THOUSANDS of spectators ignored the rain as Saddleworth stepped back in time for its annual homage to Hollywood film Yanks and World War Two.

This year’s two-day festival had the bonus of marking four decades since the movie, starring Richard Gere and Lisa Eichhorn, was released.

Many of the scenes were shot in and around the area though leading man Gere could not be tempted back for the celebrations.

The highlight of Yanks Weekend is always Sunday’s parade of Jeeps, tanks and vintage cars along Uppermill High Street attended by hundreds of people dressed in 1940s clothes and uniforms.

The cavalcade included a Sir Winston Churchill look-a-like in an open top car and also featured a parade of Royal British Legion veterans, led by Oldham Scottish Pipe Band and Northenden Pipe Band.

This was the 17th staging of Yanks Weekend but organisers are always at the mercy of the weather.

A fly past on both days by a vintage Lancaster bomber had to be cancelled because of conditions. But they could not dampen the spirit of the crowds.

“People like what the reenactors wear; the uniforms, the civilian apparel,” said organiser Steve Holt. “Everybody gets behind it.

“We started planning this year’s event in September 2018,” added Steve.

“But you can never predict mother nature. The fly past was cancelled due to high winds, rain and low cloud, but we were not the only event that suffered.”

Other highlights included 1940s musical entertainment, military vehicle encampment, period stalls and historical displays.

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