DARWEN's 1940s Day yesterday may have lacked an appearance of the Red Arrows, but it was still a ‘spectacular success’.

The world famous RAF flying team was due to fly over the wartime-themed event but cancelled following the death of Flt Lt Jon Egging, 33, last month.

But there were still plenty of attractions to keep the crowds entertained.

The day, organised by the Soldiers Support Group in aid of the ABS soldiers charity, featured a parade, vintage and military vehicles, Darwen Brass Band, Milltown Cloggies and swing music.

Organiser Pat Melia said: “In spite of the rain it was very busy and people were clearly having a good time.

"The Red Arrows cancelled their entire Northern Ireland tour, and we were told a week in advance.

“Luckily there was a lot for people to see and do, the Houghton Weavers alone were a massive attraction. Everyone stayed until the very end. It was a great day."

The day began at 10am as the Darwen Town Crier Coun Anthony Meleady introduced the Mayor of Darwen Coun Paul Browne.

Mayor Coun Paul Browne introduced guest of honour Kingsman James Kenyon, who started an air raid siren to signal the beginning of the event.

Visitors were able to enjoy a spread of typical food from the period in Darwen Market Hall and the Bridgewater, while a climbing wall and children’s activities were also supplied.

Entertainment was provided by 40s singers the Octavius Sisters and swing music from singer Ricky Lee.

Crowds were also entertained by winner of Darwen’s Got Talent Competition 2010, Pamela Hacking, the Houghton Weavers and the Banjo Man.

Winners are urged to come forward to claim their raffle prizes.

A signed Blackburn Rovers shirt was won by pink ticket 350.

Pink tickets 816-820 won a digital photo frame, white tickets 121-125 won a voucher for the Mangiamo restaurant, and white tickets 386-390 won a voucher for the Friar Rugg chip shop.

A Mark Graham salon voucher was won by white tickets 556-560, three bottles of wine by pink tickets 916-920, a CD organiser by pink tickets 661-665, a pair of headphones by pink tickets 771-775, and a citrus juicer by tickets 826-830.

To claim a prize, telephone 07970 215399. The ration book booklet must be produced.

Click on the link below for our photo gallery.