Stepping into the Museums 1940s weekend really was like stepping back in time. If you’re a vintage enthusiast, a fan of the 40’s, a social historian, or just curious to know what life was like on the home front, then this event will not disappoint.
We were both first timers to the museum and the event, and we had a bit of a journey ahead of us. So we set off early in our newly acquired, and beautifully made WVS uniforms from Rachel at Danetree & Bygone Days, and our sandwiches neatly wrapped and tucked into our picnic baskets (along with a cheeky gin). We were very excited and ready to debut the dresses and immerse ourselves into 1940’s life for the day.
The event is hugely popular with re enactors, vintage enthusiasts and the general public, and once we’d queued (for some time – its very busy), we were greeted with a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere. There’s so much to see and the grounds are easy to navigate. You feel like you’ve entered into a real village from the past…
Visit a 1940’s shop and learn about rationing, or enjoy a silent movie in the original 1920’s cinema. Take a ride on a vintage bus or a stroll along the canal (where incidentally, scenes from Peaky Blinders were filmed).
There’s live music, vintage stalls, the hugely popular fish & chip shop, (queues all the way along the road), displays by the WVS, WI, The Land Army, Home Guard and many more. Step inside a wartime home and chat to the inhabitants about life on the home front or have a beer at the local pub. You can watch bomb disposal displays, the fire brigade extinguish a burning building and even take in a fairground ride or too ….. Phew!
Every little alleyway has a hidden gem waiting to surprise you in the courtyard beyond…dig for victory gardens with an Anderson shelter, wash day smalls hanging on the line, and if you’re really lucky, you might even find a WVS cake stall with the biggest iced buns you’ve ever seen!
And talking of the WVS, we were pleasantly surprised when we came across lots of displays and other lovely WVS ladies who were able to tell us more about the parts these remarkable women played during the war. Including clothing collections, teaching others to knit and sew (make do and mend), organising the evacuation program and handing out food and warm clothing to the returning troops.
We met so many lovely people, some that we often bump into at other events, some that we follow on social media, and others that we just got chatting to on the day. Meeting others who share our passion for these events is always fun and inspirational. So if you do ever see us, please come and say hello, we’re very friendly and love a good natter!
So that’s another superb event attended. Our one regret was that we were only there for the day. You really could spend both days at the event and still not see it all. We really wished we had booked tickets to the evening event so we could get our glad rags on and enjoy the music and dancing. But its definitely in our diaries for next year!
Incidentally, if you do go along to the event, your ticket price includes an annual free pass to the museum. And all for just £17!
If you’re interested in our wvs dresses, here’s the link to Rachel’s facebook page
Until next time….
The VT’s XXX