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Salute to the 40s

17 Sep 2016 - 18 Sep 2016

One of Britain’s Best Vintage Festivals

Please buy tickets on the link below

Dress in ‘40s style and become part of our 1940’s Family, and then be transported back in time, for a weekend of vintage delight! Living history, live vintage music, dancing and variety acts. Not to be missed, an event filled with vintage spirit!

Find out who is supporting us this summer & join the conversation!


Music and Dancing

With live music across the site both days, the sweet sounds of wartime music will stay with visitors all weekend as they enjoy entertainment of the era which kept morale and spirits high. With an emphasis on victory and celebration visitors will want to put on their dancing shoes! Performances all weekend will give visitors the wartime sing-a- long they have come for.

At the end of each day join all the performers, entertainers and re-enactors for a ‘Finale Sing Song’, accompanied by The London Swing Orchestra on our Spitfire Stage. Wave flags, sing and rejoice as we KEEP CALM AND PARTY! The perfect way to finish off your day.

Madeline Brown

Madeline’s 1940’s show covers all of the wartime singalongs. Madeline will convey as much of those wartime hopes, fears and dreams as possible whilst also getting into the spirit of the period and the underlying value that we, as a country, were working towards a victory that would provide a better future for all.

The London Swing Orchestra

The London Swing Orchestra led by Graham Dalby is a ‘Big Band’ of international reputation who are leading exponents in re-creation and interpretation of original arrangements of popular music from the great dance band days. The London Swing Orchestra represents the very best of British talent in its field. The LSO recently performed for the VE Day 2015 70 Celebrations for the BBC.

George Formby Experience

The Award Winning Paul Casper is the closest resemblance one could see and hear in the world to date. His performance and look is said to be “uncanny”. His performance and tribute to the Great British Legend is not to be missed!

The Polka Dot Dolls

These three little ladies make up the beautifully vintage singing group, The Polka Dot Dolls. Enjoy their delightfully rich harmonies which capture the romance and emotion of the war era. The Polka Dot Dolls also know how to get you dancing, with their toe-tapping swing numbers you will be up out of your seat jumping and jiving!

Natasha Harper

A delightful performer who is well seasoned in the 1940’s musical scene, sometimes appearing with her father Paul Harper; she is loved by all that see her. Natasha performs musical theatre, with numbers from the wartime era of the 1940’s.

Puttin’ On The Blitz

Winners of “Best Musical Performer 2014” at The National Vintage Awards, Puttin’ On The Blitz are Britain’s premier wartime quartet perform all the vintage favourites in four part harmony. Enjoy the timeless songs of this nostalgic era and relish in the close vocal harmonies and great humour of Puttin’ on the Blitz, who are guaranteed to leave you wanting more.

Adam Hoffman

With over 20 years of experience, Adam has combined his background of magical expertise, comic timing and cheeky character with his uncanny ability to perform to any audience on any level creating an engrossing and captivating form of entertainment. You can expect 1940’s comedy magic, singing and witty banter from Adam Hoffman.

Justin and the Argonauts

A fresh four piece ensemble from Kent comprised of violin, accordion, guitar and tuba they play original covers of some of the best in 1940’s music.

Mickey Driver

Since 1983 Mickie Driver has toured his one-man shows throughout Britain. During this time he has earned a reputation as one of the finest entertainers available. With his pearly King and Barrel Drum performances he is a favourite with all visitors of all ages.

The Femmes

A professional 1940’s close harmony girl band that met in Musical Theatre training, at the Guildford School of Acting. With their passion for choreography and singing and their mutual love for everything 1940’s this well practiced harmony group, are certainly one of the best new comers to the scene. With a varied repertoire, hear the girls perform iconic records and contemporary songs with a vintage twist.

Gypsy John and the Cinque Port Lindy Hoppers

This vintage dancing troupe have been together since 2001 and performed many years at Salute to the ‘40s, across the country at various events and for the BBC. They perform to large crowds and teach their audience how to dance to authentic Lindy Hop music from the 1940’s.

Medway Lindy Hoppers

This 125 strong dance group have dancers from the age of 7yrs to 80yrs. Their dance ‘family’ welcomes people of all dance levels, to join them on the dance floors and enjoy moving to the musical performers on stage. There will be dancers and dance teachers in every location so visitors can be guided with how to lindy hop. See them break into dance in various locations on site and put ‘your best foot forward’!

Living History

Animating the site will be the Dockyard locomotives, hundreds of 1940’s military and civilian re-enactors, military camps, a bombed-out house, anti-aircraft gun display, land army displays and animals, a fire station, vehicle parades, fashion parades and a ‘Royal’ Visit.

Visitors will see members of the ‘Royal Family and their Party’ wandering the streets, meeting the public, re-enacting and celebrating the Country’s victory as Germany surrendered. King George VI and Winston Churchill will address the crowds with their victory speech and join in with a musical finale spectacular, which is not to be missed. Crowds will wave flags, dance, sing and rejoice with the presence of Royal Family and the Prime Minister.

Vintage Fair and Traders

For 1940’s collectors and fashion enthusiasts you will find an array of authentic and replica traders on site over the weekend. Fashions, accessories, jewellery, uniform and so much more will be on sale to visitors. Not only is the Dockyard Vintage Fair (No. 1 Smithery Courtyard) filled with vintage goodies, there will also be traders dotted across the site at the 1940’s Village Fete (behind the Clocktower) and with ‘Wheels and Frills’ (between the Historic Warships – OCELOT and GANNET) with everything 1940’s you could ever need!

Visit the Evacuee Reunion Association and a number of Women’s Institute Groups in the Edward Holl Room in No. 1 Smithery. Recruitment and fundraising activities will be in this area.

Chatham Historical Dockyard Volunteer Society will have their workshop open for visitors to see restoration projects past, present and future. Here there will also be the opportunity to sign up as a Dockyard Volunteer!

Things to do


Unfortunately due to increased Civil Aviation Authority restrictions since the 2015 Shoreham Air Display Accident, on 11th August 2016 they have cancelled the Kent Spitfire Air Display scheduled on both days of the event.  We are sorry for any inconvenience or disappointment caused but we know that you will still have a wonderful weekend packed full of vintage displays!



A heart stopping broadside gun firing from the Second World War Destroyer, HMS CAVALIER. Experience a midday salute as we fire Guns A, B and Y.


Visitors can experience what it would be like in an air raid attack. The Historic Dockyard’s ARP Warden will guide you to the shelters, whilst the air raid siren echoes across the site. * Small additional fee *

Even more to explore

  • Rope Making Activities
  • Ladies – have your Victory Rolls put in and have a vintage make over – No. 1 Smithery Courtyard
  • Meet the Land Army Girls and animals and see them doing daily farming tasks – Commissioner’s House Front Lawn
  • Meet a WW2 Evacuee – No. 1 Smithery
  • Meet, learn about and join the Women’s Institute – No. 1 Smithery
  • Play with Vintage Toys – 1940’s Village Fete
  • Play with Penny Amusements – Wagon Stop Canteen
  • Learn how to dance with Gypsy John and the Cinque Port Lindy Hoppers
  • Visit our Dig For Victory Garden – Commissioner’s House Gardens
  • Learn about life on the Home Front – Home Front Zone
  • Learn about life on a Military Camp – Military Zone

Wheels and Frills

This year Salute to the ’40s will be host to ‘Wheels and Frills’. A brand new collective of traders and caterers wishing to bring you the best in food, drink and entertainment. Sit in street party style and be entertained by a stage filled with music, dance, have-a-go activities (including making rope with our Ropemakers!), talks and a full entertainment

Watch displays and take part in workshops with Gypsy John and the Cinque Port Lindy Hoppers, music from a number of live entertainers and variety style acts! To fill the times where performances stop, keep your toes tapping and your hearts singing as DJ Danger UXB plays the best in 1940’s music. Sit back at our street party style tables and chairs and enjoy the atmosphere overlooking our Historic Warships.

Vintage Vehicles

Hundreds of vintage cars, trucks and jeeps will be on site and a ‘Coming Home’ Parade in the afternoon of both days, which will bring the heritage site alive.

Food Rations

Find the perfect place to relax and refuel

Commissioner’s House

For a special treat why not enjoy a Vintage Afternoon Tea in the splendid surroundings of Commissioner’s House.  To make your afternoon tea sparkle why not add a glass of champagne.  To book your place in the Sunne Room of the House by the balcony which overlooks the gardens, please Call 01634 823846 or email to receive your booking form.

Wagon Stop Canteen

Enjoy wholesome Kentish foods in The Railway Workshop beside our locomotives. Door stop sandwiches, sausage rolls, pies and snacks and refreshments are available, with a kiddie’s lunch box option too.


In the large indoor soft play, let your little ones ‘let off some steam’, whilst you refuel with a drink and a bite to eat.

Dockyard Mobile Kitchen

Snacks, cakes, tea, coffee and refreshments can be bought at our little blue Mobile Kitchen.

Other Catering

We also have a large variety of food traders on site

  • The Holdsworth Arms – Ales, ciders and a tot of rum served from a 1940’s themed pub!
  • Shakey’s Diner – Gourmet burgers and hot dogs served from a vintage airstream caravan.
  • Scoff and Sip – Beautiful Vintage Trucks with Mr Whippy Ice Creams served from ‘Belle’ and ‘Ema’, Pulled Pork baguettes served from ‘The Hog Shed’, Pimms and Prosecco from the vintage ‘Horse Box’ and Chips and Dips served from the retro styled ‘Hippy Friterie’.
  • British Bus Bar – Alcohol served from a traditional converted red double decker London Bus.
  • NAAFI Wagon – Bread pudding and tea served from a 1940’s vintage military truck.
  • Kalopsia Coffee – Specialty Barista coffee served from a vintage Citroen H Van.
  • Westlands BBQ – Pulled pork and sausage sandwiches served from a little black Locomotive BBQ.
  • Vintage Allsorts – Vintage Afternoon Tea and Cakes
  • Vintage Vending – Vintage sweets and toffee apples
  • The Flipping Frog – Sweet and Savoury crepes and locally brewed ales and ciders
  • Kent Cider Co. – Kentish Ciders

Buy tickets today

For discount fast track entry

The extra details….

  • Holders of 12 month tickets for The Historic Dockyard are not able to purchase tickets on-line as ID will be requested.  Please purchase in advance by telephone (01634 823826) or in-person.  Alternatively purchase on the day of your visit and bring your 12 month ticket or receipt with you.  12 month ticket holders may purchase a two day ticket at 2x their one day ticket price.
  • Group prices are available for groups of 15 or more. Contact Group Sales on 01634 823815 or
  • Visitors registered as ’Disabled’ wishing to obtain tickets for themselves and Carers should contact our Front of House Ticket Team at or on 01634 823800
  • *Telephone and in-person purchases are only available during normal Historic Dockyard opening times.

*Please note that all images are used for illustrative purposes only and act as a guide to the content of the event. Information correct at time of printing. The organiser, Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, reserves the right to change the programme or cancel activities without notice. 

Adult: £18.00 / £27.50

Concession: £15.00 / £23.50

Child: £12.00 / £20.00

Family: £50.00 / £75.00

Child +: £8.50 / £16.50

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