Sunday, 24 August 2008

Yesterday's World

Yesterday we decided to have a family day out and settled on a visit to the place named Battle, in East Sussex, to "Yesterday's World".

This is a "social history" museum encompassing the last 100 or so years, from the reign of Queen Victoria to the psychedelic '70s and is housed in a 15th Century Wealden hall house.  It basically comprises a series of walk-through displays in the form of shops and rooms to transport you back to past eras.  It was set up by a Mr and Mrs Buckley who had a genuine love of collecting nostalgia, antiques and memorabilia.  In 1982, Mrs Buckley entered a competition in Good Housekeeping magazine to create a window display; this she did in her local newsagent's window with items from their collection.  The display duly won 1st prize. When the couple began to dismantle the window display, many customers were disappointed and the suggestion was made to create a more permanent display somewhere.  This is where "Yesterday's World" began, in 1986.

Nearly all of the displays were behind glass so I apologise that some of the photographs are less than marvellous but are the best I could manage.

First up was the 1930s grocer's shop which had me eyeing up all those fantastic vintage tins...

These beautiful cards were in the window of the old newsagents:

A display which was particularly interesting to the smallest member of the group was the 1920s confectionery shop. Yum yum!

There were more lovely vintage jars and tins in here.

This shop also housed a glass fronted cabinet filled with vintage children's toys.

I remember those Eye-Spy books!

I think this original enamelled paint chart at the Ironmonger's could give Farrow & Ball's a run for its money!

This one in the chemist's was not so attractive!

This one was outside the Grocer's.

Of particular interest to me, were the Lace Maker's shop window and the Drapers from the Victorian era.  Apparently, specialist shops such as the Lace Maker's were the norm back then.

Not sure I'd swap my new Janome for this (even if it is a million times more attractive!) Apparently, this Singer sewed a "chain stitch" as an equivalent to our modern straight stitch.

There was a wonderful display of old toys up in the attic rooms, the Munchkin being particularly taken with the Hornby railway.  The old beds were really tiny back then.

Look at this fab mini children's kitchen dresser:

One of my favourite displays was the "wartime kitchen", circa 1941.  Oooh, I'd love one of those old cabinets (and just about anything else in it really!)

There was another general store, this time from the 1970s and based on Arkwrights from "Open All Hours".  Look at those Avery scales (lust!)

I spotted this lovely old magazine:

Outside, there was a great play area for children which comprised a "village" of miniature buildings. Even the interiors were kitted out. How I would have loved to play shop here when I was little! The Muchkin was more interested in the fort.

If you are in the area, I recommend a visit, we certainly enjoyed ourselves.  I hope you've had a lovely weekend too.


  1. what a fantastic place..I wish there was a 'yesterdays world' a bit nearer to us, although we do have the free 'museum of local life' in Worcester a very similar set-up but much smaller,which my 2 boys loved when they were younger.It even inspired my eldest to collect a few WW11 items! A fascinating post! x

  2. Your Blog is great. I love all the photos. That Singer is great, I have an old black Singer (electric not foot powered) that I sew on and I have to say nothing is better for straight stitch. Between is and my Serger they are all I need.

  3. It looks fabulous.Fantastic pics too!!
    We have a similar place in Torquay.It's called 'Bygones' ;-)

  4. What a wonderful post. I think I will have to visit this place. I adore such old time historic scenes as this place has set up so nicely. I think I would get stuck with the lace - so lovely!

  5. what a fabulous neighborhood of vintage shops full of all sorts of treasures! Looks like a wonderful way to spend the day.

  6. Me encanta tu tienda llena de color y cosas bonitas!Un saludo!Mónica


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