MORE than 8,000 visitors stepped back in time to the 1940s and the post-war 1950s Britain last weekend.

They attended the three-day Vintage Nostalgia Festival at Stockton Park near Warminster on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 31-June 2.

Russ Topham, of RMJ Top Events at Codford, says the festival, now in its 8th year, is all about having fun with good friends and family, making memories and celebrating them.

He added: “This year’s festival has been superb, probably one of the best yet. It is a real family weekend.

“We’ve seen many visitors leaving with smiling faces and that’s what it’s all about really.”

More than 600 exhibitors attended the festival, displaying everything from vintage clothing to classic and vintage motors and car parts.

One of the festival highlights was the classic car line-up on Saturday and Sunday.

New for this year was a classic motorcycle and automobilia auction organised through Charterhouse Auctioneers of Sherborne in Dorset.

Also new were dance classes, including for the first time a swing dance competition. Other classes included teaching visitors the jive, lindy hop, swing, and the Charleston.

Mr Topham said: “We even had a specialist ‘Dirty Dancing’ session where visitors could learn the moves from the iconic movie.”

Period dress is always a big part of the festival and many of the visitors were dressed up in vintage clothing from the 1940s and 50s. They were able to enter the best dressed competition.

Among the exhibitors at the show were Frank and Pat Annable who came dressed for the weekend in their 1950 attire to match the vintage of their car - a 1955 Rover P4.

Mr Annable said: “We won best dressed couple last year and just love these vintage festivals.”

Another couple who dressed for the part were Andrew and Andrea Wallis from near Warminster.

They were showing a rare 1945 Morris Minor with a side valve engine, a model which has become rare as it is powered by a Cowley unit prior to Morris fitting the more common overhead engine.

Mr Wallis said: “We won at Beaulieu recently and were told we have one of only four models still in existence.”

Andrew and Andrea were dressed in the 40s outfits and Andrea said: “We just love vintage.

“We have gone to events all over the country and I think this event at Stockton is the best event.”

Fun-loving George Luck from Chippenham is another vintage enthusiast with his home furnished with 1940s furniture.

He is well known at World War Two re-enactment events where he takes on the role of a spiv with his suitcase of black-market items.

Along with his re-enactment colleagues, he was posing as a newspaper seller from the 1950s at Stockton Park.

He said: “When we are attending a re-enactment to do with the war we show respect and depict the period correctly.

“But here at this nostalgia event we can have a bit of fun and come up with different poses. I just love to put smiles on people’s faces.”

Female members of the Chippenham-based Nippy’s group were walking around the site in their white and black waitress uniforms as waitresses from the once-famous J Lyons tea rooms.

Gertie Clarkson said: “It’s all good fun and people can associate the nostalgia interest with the Lyons Tea Rooms.

“The waitresses were termed Nippy’s as they moved around quickly but we are touring the site and raising a smile in a more leisurely way.”

Entertainment for the children included The Flying Seagull Project and funfair rides including a swing boat.

Sponsors included the Ringwood Brewery and donations by visitors to charity will go to the Wylye Valley Disabled Children’s Charity, which provides camping holidays for children.