Air raid sirens and one crashed Messerschmitt at Leighton beer festival!

LBO land locals enjoyed dressing up!
LBO land locals enjoyed dressing up!
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A Leighton Buzzard pub travelled back in time to the 1940s, as wartime arrived in the town – complete with air raid sirens and search lights!

The Black Lion, High Street, held its annual beer festival from August 24 to 28, complete with a camouflaged front, crashed Messerschmitt, and fancy dress.

Fiona Harrison

Fiona Harrison

For some residents, it really did seem as though Leighton Buzzard had travelled back to World War Two, as bewildered social media users reported hearing sirens, before quickly being informed of the High Street fun.

Nikki Brodin, landlady, said: “The bank holiday went brilliantly. We had over 70 different beers over five days which all sold out, and on the Monday it was VE Day, with flags and fancy dress.

“Lighting company, Drax, provided lighting, speakers, an amp and an air raid siren sound effect that we played each evening for three minutes along with searchlights, and we had a lot of daytime regulars coming along especially at night.

“They were saying, ‘quick, it’s ten to nine, we need to get to the Black Lion!’

Nikki sent Stev up a ladder to decorate the pub!

Nikki sent Stev up a ladder to decorate the pub!

“We also had an eight foot Messerschmitt tail made from wood, which had crashed in the garden.”

Nikki and her partner, Stev Stipanovic, moved to Leighton Buzzard three-and-a-half years ago becoming landlady and landlord, and are known for holding big, bold events, getting clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority in order to use their wartime effects.

The World War Two event also featured “amazing local singer” Fiona Harrison, and a beer dedicated to Henlow lad Matthew Burlison, 19, who has just finished training with the British Army’s 5th Battalion The Rifles (‘Five Rifles’), and had a beer named in his honour called ‘Five Rifles’.

Nikki added: “I think a lot of people know that we are crazy, but our events bring people into the town!

The crashed Messerschmitt

The crashed Messerschmitt

“We also want our staff to have fun.

“Next year’s beer festival?...It could be any theme!”