Do you love to dress up? Like the 1940s? Ooh me too! Last weekend we travelled back in time to World War II and found ourselves in Pickering surrounded by actual, proper, real 1940s people (well that’s how it felt)! My goodness how splendid they all looked too, fox furs and trilbys flooded the crowds as we arrived (with the whole family in tow) by steam train to this popular and amazing event.
Pickering has been holding this re-enactment event for over 20 years (this was our first time) and I can’t recommend it enough. We caught the train at Grosmont and travelled through the German occupied (my girl was searched!) ‘French village’ of Le Visham (Levisham, clever oui?) before getting off at Pickering station. Everyone (so it seemed) was in costume!
I have to say, I was in awe all day of the wonderful clothes people were wearing. There were many women in gorgeous outfits that I coveted, men in suits, hats and ties galore, babies in old fashioned prams and evacuees with their gas mask boxes. It felt a bit like being on a film set and when you stood still and took it all in, it was actually quite moving. The tragedy and tremendous losses behind the event were far from forgotten.
I went into a bit of a panic in the week before as I realised my plans to make a dress were unrealistic and the beret I’d foolishly paid good money for (£4 no less!) made me more Frank Spencer than Charlotte Grey. Not to worry, I would curl my hair and pop on a cloche hat (yes, yes, I know, it’s more Downton than The Land Girls but I was ‘making do’). Unfortunately my hair absolutely refused to play cricket and hung straight and lifeless as if to mock me, it would do nothing not even stay up in bobby pins, it just remained, shamed and moody under that bloody cloche all day!
At least I had a nice frock to wear, Mum’s 1970s does 1940s beauty that I wrote about here. I also had some seamed stockings, a 1930s clutch bag and my winter coat didn’t look too out of place either.
Jimmy looked fab with his vintage wool (“they’re not itchy at all”) trousers, trilby and suitcase. His wild beard wasn’t authentic to the time (lice, trenches, say no more) but the pipe gave him an air of Trevor Howard in Brief Encounter and I felt quite his Celia Johnson (except I wasn’t tempted to run orf and have an affair)! My girl also cut a dash (what’s with all this old talk?) as a land girl in another 1970s does 1940s blouse that my mum made, Cath Kidston cardi, cords and boots. My boy refused to dress up but he is 16 and instead hung round looking cool all day with his camera.
So, roll out the barrel (stop it), here we are in all our glory …
Right, I must go and get my gas mask, it’s Friday and I’m off to the flicks.
Have a lovely weekend x