Yanks are back in Saddleworth was first staged 12 years ago to celebrate the local filming of the Hollywood movie “YANKS” in 1979 starring Richard Gere. Many locations in Uppermill and neighbouring Dobcross were used in the film. Just like the movie set, living history reenactors and vintage military vehicles owners recreate an atmosphere of Wartime Britain.We had the best day out in Uppermill meandering round the picturesque village, perusing the cake stalls, sitting in various beer gardens throughout the day, listening to classic wartime tunes, watching the military air display and eating the greatest fish and chips imaginable. Here is a mini photo diary and few field notes from our fabulous day:Music + Dancing: There was musical entertainment on the field in Upper Mill all weekend provided by ‘Homefront Entertainments’. The Uppermill Civic Hall held a tea dance hosted by Pat & Colin with DJ Major Swing spinning the disc’s, from 2pm – 5pm, Backstep Boogie Club provided Dance lessons, along with a Wartime Cinema. In the evening was the Victory Swing Ball at the Civic Hall, all floors in the Civic were open and topping the bill was The Spitfire Swing Band plus the Fabulous Katie Spitfire along with top DJ Major Swing spinning the discs and playing music from the decades. Round the back of Betty’s Fish & Chip shop was a swing dancefloor with DJ’s blasting out rockabilly, modern day and wartime swing with tracks ranging from Si Cranstoun to The Stray Cats.Costumes & Parade: The Mayor of Oldham hosted a coffee morning with the Normandy Veterans followed by the Military Parade & Convoy through Saddleworth and surrounding areas. Veterans and locals dressed in full regalia to celebrate, even the pets got in on the action! Walking through Upper Mill was like stepping back in time with the historical architecture, wartime vehicles lining the streets and crowds in period costume. All the staff working in the pubs and tea rooms donned wartimes dress, the various establishments were kitted out in bunting, flags and pictures of Winston Churchill. Cakes: The Vintage Cupcake Kitchen was decked out in bunting flaunting it’s fabulous cupcakes with a stall out on the street. Uppermill has a whole host of tea rooms, cake shops and bakeries all selling freshly backed goods at rural town prices. Classic Cars: Military & Classic Vehicles from 1914 to the gulf war roamed the streets and parked up in the field to gorp at. On Sunday afternoon we watched the WWII 36.7 litre V12 Griffon engine display fly overhead, rip-roaringly noisy but very exciting to watch. We walked around the field peering in car windows and admiring the shiny automobiles, I even spied my favourite Cadillac.Fish & Chips at Betty’s: A personal highlight from the day was having a proper British Fish & Chip lunch at Betty’s complete with bread and butter, mushy peas and curry sauce, two of us ate and had a pot of tea with the bill coming to £13 the price was every bit as impressive as the food. The fish was made in gluten free batter, which meant no sluggish food coma post feast!
If you’re looking for a fun family day out, love getting dressed up or just want to sit outside in a beer garden and sit a pint amidst the action ‘Yanks are back i n Saddleworth’ is for you. the festival is an annual event and is free to enter, the dress code and attitude is relaxed with locals and visitors all there to enjoy a nostalgic trip. Uppermill was a beautiful village sat on the canal and riverside, only a 20minute train journey from Manchester City Centre (train approx £4 return) set amongst surrounding rolling hills and would be the perfect spot to go walking and indulge in a spot of afternoon tea, even when it’s not festival time.
‘I am easily satisfied with the very best’ -Winston Churchill