Yanks are Back in Saddleworth 2011

I finally got to go to the “Yanks are Back in Saddleworth” event this weekend! I was so excited I could barely contain myself, as I’m sure you already know dear readers, 1940’s is probably my favourite era and this event is in its tenth year now so I was expecting a large crowd.

For those of you that don’t know, Yanks is a film starring Richard Gere set in WW2 and most of it is filmed in and around Saddleworth- click on the film poster and it’ll take you to the IMDB page.

I must state now that this article is my honest opinion, as always, and not a gushing, “its so wonderful” review. I hope that the organisers of the Yanks event take what follows as constructive criticism!


We, I went with my friend and our respective munchkins, got there early on Sunday morning and after finding somewhere to park, found Saddleworth School which is where most things seemed to be happening.

I’ve put what follows into bullet points to make it easier to read and hopefully more concise!

  • So it was £2 to get into the school area, there was nothing on the website about an admission fee but that didn’t bother us as we knew it was going to war veterans charities. What we weren’t best pleased about, was that on the way out of the school area, about two hours later, there was no one to be seen collecting admission fees we saw several people walk in for free. This needs to be fair and consistent- people don’t mind paying admission, especially if its towards a good cause, but its a bit irksome when others don’t get charged at all as there is no one manning the admission stand!
  • Also regarding the admission, there was no proof that you’d actually paid- so if you wanted to go back in later on in the afternoon, how would they know if you’d paid or not? This is easily solved by having an ink stamp for the back of guests hands.
  • Despite getting this leaflet (above), it still wasn’t really clear where and when things were happening. What time things were open and what times things closed, we even spoke to people that lived in the Saddleworth and Uppermill area, and they asked to borrow our leaflet- whereupon they had the same frustrations as us as it’s effectively just a list of activities- like the website. Great to look at but people need more information- ideally a map- perhaps on the back of the listings page? I did actually overhear a food vendor saying there “apparently been 2500 leaflets distributed”, I’m wondering who, if even the people we got talking to, had seen them?
  • There were specific things I wanted to do whilst there- but couldn’t find them despite walking around the school several times and up and down Uppermill High Street. In this age of social media and information consumption I personally don’t think there is any excuse not to have a Facebook page or a Twitter account just for that event.
  • Shout-out to the organisers- I would gladly help out with this next time!!

Despite all my moaning (!!) we did have a good time, loads of people made the effort to get dressed up and the vehicle parade was really good to see! I would defiantly go again- I just know it could be even better with a bit of tweaking!

Here are some great shots of the day which I think capture the mood- from DJ Rockets Flickr whom clearly had no munchkins to juggle!








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  1. August 16, 2011 / 1:29 pm

    We had much the same frustrations when we visited a few years ago! And we went with the same sense of excitement and good will as you. Nobody seemed to know when or where anything was happening and nothing seemed to be signposted.

    That said, we really enjoyed the event despite probably missing lots of interesting stuff, and the military vehicle parade was spectacular.

    They should definitely take you on to help with promotion and organisation! You’d be great!

  2. August 18, 2011 / 1:48 pm

    Looks like a fun day, shame about the organisation though!

  3. August 20, 2011 / 4:42 pm

    I’m actually wondering if it’s deliberate! You know, like wartime covert ops, if you’re not part of the team and briefed beforehand you’ve no idea what’s going on.

    Maybe there’s some code we need to crack?!