Air raids, rations and re-enactments drew thousands of people out for the anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, this weekend.

The annual celebration at the Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey, saw a Spitfire and an American Mustang soaring through the sky, battles on the ground and life-like Forties shops set up.

For the last eight years the event has seen families come out to re-live the 1940s, or to find out what wartime Britain was really like.

General Manager, Lance Bourne, said that the anniversary event for the official end of the Second World War was more popular than ever.

He said: “Over three days we had 2,600 people turn out to the VE Day event. In fact, we had 30 re-enactment groups.

“They were all in forties dress with soldiers from Hungary, Austria and the UK speaking to visitors about their time at war.

“Some of the most popular attractions were the 1940s lifestyle exhibitions. We had a lady teaching people how to cook and a 1940s filling station.

“People were able to sit outside and enjoy tea and rock cakes in the sun.

“I have to say that this year I saw more visitors coming to the event in Forties outfits than ever, people really got into the spirit of the event.

“The feedback from visitors was great. The whole weekend was just wonderful.”