CHIPPING Sodbury’s Big Lunch is this year stepping back in time for a 1940s themed day of family fun.

The third annual event, which invites people to bring their own picnics, tables and chairs and enjoy an afternoon of free entertainment in Broad Street, takes place on Sunday, June 1 (12noon-6pm).

As well as a packed line-up of singers, dance troupes and children’s entertainers, for 2014, organisers will bring history to life by showing what life was like in Chipping Sodbury during World War Two as a commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings the following week.

Local historian Jim Elsworth will stage a photographic exhibition of the American 165 Signal Company stationed in the town up until the D-Day Landings and artefacts such as gas masks and ration books, loaned from Yate Heritage Centre, will help children understand the difficulties of wartime life.

Students from Chipping Sodbury School will retell local people’s war memories, collected by the Yate and District Oral History Project, by dressing up in period costume and acting out particular anecdotes.

Chipping Sodbury-based cookery teacher Ann Murray, who runs Cooking 4, will be giving out free samples of recipes cooked from rationed food and 1940s vocal harmony trio The Cat’s Pyjamas will perform two half-hour slots including many wartime songs.

Committee chairman Alexandra Womack said: “We have worked very hard to bring wartime Chipping Sodbury to life in a way which commemorates, not celebrates, this important anniversary of the D-Day Landings.

“There will be something for everyone, from people who remember the town in the 1940s to children who can learn more about World War Two and what life was like back then.

“This has been very much a community effort involving lots of different groups and individuals and we as a committee are very grateful for all the support received.”

A haycart stage, decorated by Sodbury in Bloom, will also see the return of last year’s hugely popular Bristol Samba Band, performances from Sodbury Players and there will be displays by Razzamatazz theatre group, Yate Star Twirlers and REDDS dance group. Alfredo the Clown will entertain children and there will be free face painting during the afternoon.

A children’s fancy dress competition this year takes on a nursery rhyme and fairytales theme and Thornbury and Yate MP Steve Webb will judge a miniature garden competition, bring your entries to the control tent by 4pm on the day. A raffle will be drawn at 5pm.

So far the event has been supported by grants from Chipping Sodbury Town Lands’ Charity and Waitrose’s Community Matters scheme.

For more information visit or search Chipping Sodbury Big Lunch 2014 on Facebook.