Party in the park

Ding dong! Last Night of the Blickling Proms 2014. (From left) Mary Wilson, Darren Edgeway and Natas

Ding dong! Last Night of the Blickling Proms 2014. (From left) Mary Wilson, Darren Edgeway and Natasha Edgeway. - Credit: Archant

It’s time to party like it’s the 1940s, with this year’s Last Night of the Blicking Proms, says Tiggy Moore.

The sights and sounds of the 1940s will fill the air on Saturday, August 8, when Blickling Hall plays host to the Last Night of the Blickling Proms for the fourth year running. This year, the event is celebrating the 75th anniversary of Blickling Hall being handed to the National Trust as well as the WI centenary, and organisers are planning a host of treats to put concert-goers in the mood.

The 1940s was a time when the British people pulled together and organisers are encouraging visitors to bring their own “street parties”. For those who wish to get into character, there will be a magnum of champagne on offer for the best dressed visitor as well as four tickets and a hamper for the 2016 event.

It’s easier than you think to recreate the classic look, the key is to keep it simple, as Tamsyn Morgans, stylist at Sandra Reynolds Agency, explains: “The 1940s was an iconic era for fashion, and with the revival of vintage style clothing in most high street stores, it’s really easy to dress top to toe 1940s style. A pretty floral tea-dress catches the mood of the decade really well, especially when teamed with a fake fur stole or tweed jacket.”

As Lisa Ward from Revival Productions says: “It’s amazing how many people love to dress up and get into character, but it’s fine if you’d rather not! The emphasis is on having fun and enjoying the atmosphere. We’re also delighted to be welcoming back the Grace Spitfire. The Spitfire was an iconic aeroplane in the 1940s, so as well as having music from the era, it will be fantastic to have the Grace Spitfire dancing in the skies too, it should be a memorable evening.”

The Grace Spitfire will introduce the evening with a choreographed routine to Ron Goodwin’s Battle of Britain which will then lead in to other well-loved music from the era, including Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller, the main theme from Gone with the Wind, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and We’ll Meet Again, made famous by Forces’ sweetheart, Dame Vera Lynn. The second half will include some rousing Proms favourites, and organisers are delighted to welcome the Norfolk Belles WI choir to the stage, as part of their centenary celebrations, to sing their anthem Jerusalem.

There will also be a collection of vintage 1940s vehicles, including a refurbished 1937 Morris being brought by John Taylor, who says: “During the war, civilian car production ceased, so the car is representative of the vehicles that would have been around in the 1940s; the model is also quite rare.”

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The concert will be led by conductor Roderick Dunk with music by Sinfonia Viva. As well as having free parking, guests can bring their flags, bunting, picnics and wine and soak up the atmosphere with friends. The evening will end with a fireworks spectacular over the lake and £1 from each programme sold will go to the Veterans Norfolk charity.

Tickets (£33 in advance or £36 on the night) and all event details are available online at, or call the box office on 01263 223500; group discounts of up to 20pc are also available.