Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Steaming into the '40s

So at the weekend, my sister came to kindly occupy the Munchkin and Mr HenHouse and I escaped to the Spa Valley to take part in the 1940's weekend on the steam railway. You may remember our trip to Tunbridge Wells a few weeks back. We enjoyed it so much we thought we'd make a weekend of it this time.

This 1940's event is probably not so well known as the larger affairs at the SVR or the NYMR and unfortunately, few folks had dressed up. We were not to be deterred though and those who had dressed the part, really did look good.


We spent Saturday around Groombridge where we were entertained by some super lindy hoppers.

We have seen them at various events and they always put on a good display.

Groombridge is a very cute station which the railway volunteers have basically built from nothing (the original station building was sold off years ago after the line was closed). They even have an authentic grow-your-own garden along the lineside.

We repaired to the nearby Junction Inn which we had been informed was also entering into the spirit of the weekend with a wartime-inspired menu.

We sat at a garden bench awhile with our drinks whilst enjoying a quintessential English country scene being played out in front of us.

Most splendidly, the pub has a tea room to the side and well, it would have been rude not to...

Before long, it was time to steam back to our hotel for a few Twenty-First Century comforts and get ready to attend a special concert that night with the Greenwich Concert Band, where we got into the wartime spirit and sang along to "Run Rabbit Run" and "We'll Meet Again".

Next day, it was back on the train. We arrived at Eridge to find scenes of wartime. There was a pawnbroker's shop.

Mr HenHouse must have seen something which took his fancy.

Hope it wasn't dodgy as the Old Bill were not far away!

Outside, the "Home Front Bus" had arrived and we enjoyed a look round. This is a private enterprise and the bus is taken along to events such as this and to a lot of schools to teach people about the Home Front, of course.

Downstairs, was a typical living room...

Love that "Home" cushion.

In the back of the bus there was a shop where the shopkeeper told us about rationing and upstairs, there was an air raid shelter and a recreation of an air raid. Amazing but true!

Back at the station, Mr HenHouse partook in a cuppa with Viv the Spiv. He was such a hoot with his suitcase of black market goods and his witty one-liners!

All in all, we enjoyed a super weekend (despite dodging the constant showers).



  1. What a simply spiffing day! I do love coming along with you on your 40's days out.Many happy returns to your lovely hubby! :0)

  2. What a fantastic post!!! Looks like you had a really lovely time! Those cakes looked nice!!!!!

    Happy Birthday Mr Henhouse, Hope you have a wonderful day!!!!

    Vanessa xxx

  3. looks like you had a fab weekend.. what a lovely thing to get involved with.. love the red shoes to !!


  4. Happy birthday Mr Hen House, I must say you look very dapper in your lovely fair isle pully and pipe!! Hen, don't yopu look lovely in your beautiful blue dress (and suffolk puff bracelet) what a wonderful time you had, it's always nice to play along at these events, thanks for sharing, Lucey x

  5. Happy Birthday to your lover! So lucky to have such a beautiful woman!

  6. Looks like you had a fabulous time! And I love your shoes in the last picture :)

  7. What an absolutely wonderful weekend, and I love that Home cushion too! A very happy birthday to Mr Henhouse.
    Jo xx

  8. Looks like a great weekend. You obviously didn't have the torrential rain we had here on Saturday. Glad you enjoyed it.

  9. I agree! what a fantastic post...I have read and reread and looked at the wonderful pictures...I so wish my dad were alive he would have just loved it....My poor husband it trying to get off to work and I keep saying " wait look at this !! " You both looked wonderful..... loved it !!!!

  10. Oh my you had a fantastic time.
    Love your pretty dresses just my style. The tea room looked wonderful. Did you make your pretty red brooch?
    Julie xxxxxx

  11. Oooh, looks like you had a fabulous weekend!! Everyone looks fantastic in there '40's attire!!

    I'd love to go to something like that, how did you find out about it?

    Happy Bithday Mr H!!

    S x

  12. Oh WOW - looks like a fantastic weekend - love all the outfits! The tea-room looks incredible!

  13. Oh how I love living vicariously through your blog when you do the 40s outings. Wonderful! Thank you for sharing. Love Viv the Spiv!!

  14. Brilliant !! wish I could have come, you both look great. Viv the Spiv looks very natty.
    Twiggy x

  15. Looks like so much fun!


  16. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful weekend,I would love to do something like this.
    Love the outfits,you look fab,sepecially love the red shoes and the felt flower brooch.xxx

  17. awww WOW what a gorgeous post i didn't want it to end. What an amazing weekend. You have some amazing days out and what i love about you is that your husband and you do it all together. I would have loved to see the lindy hoppers. You both looked fabulous. And boy that tea room looked so pretty and cosy. Enjoy the rest of your week, dee x

  18. Gosh you two look terrific. I adore your vintage dresses Hen.

    How lovely to share some time away together and such a fab experience. Nive too see you got some sunshine, I'm sick of all this rain!
    Take care and Many Happy Returns to Mr H.

  19. What a great way to spend a weekend! Must look out for one of these locally!

  20. *H*A*P*P*Y* * *B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y*!*!*!* to Mr. HH!! What a fun weekend for you both! We're going on a train trip soon, on the Mt. Hood Railroad.. there will be views of Mt. Hood, providing the clouds stay away. Did you see my post of the Sternwheeler trip we just went on? Hope so!
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  21. I'm so glad you had a lovely time Hen. You look really beautiful and Mr HH very dashing, what a gorgeous couple you are. Happy Birthday to your lovely man x

  22. Looks like you had another great weekend, both Mr Henhouse and yourself look every bit the part and Viv the Spiv loos like a real charmer.

    Now then what did Mr Henhouse find to buy in the pawn shop?

  23. It has to be said ,you look so fab in that dress and red shoes. your blog is amazing . thanks from hesta at green-glamour

  24. Loved this post -what an absolutely amazing weekend you had ! you lucky thing. We live in N.wales and one day we had a trip out to Llangollen and stumbled across something similar at the railway station there -we loved it and had a great time ! this brought back those happy memories - birthday wishes to your hubby.

  25. The Home Front Bus looks fab - I will have to keep an eye out for this event next year as we live only a hop skip and a jump away and I think the children would love it.
    Glad you had sch a lovely weekend despite the weather and I hope Mr HH had a lovely birthday.

  26. Looks like a lovely weekend. The afternoon looks great, I'm trying to find somewhere local like that for my BIG birthday this year. I too love the home cushion :) x

  27. Hen, these forays that you and Mr H take back in time are done so stylishly. I really admire the two of you for your enthusiasm for an age that, yes, did have some real hardships, but also had style.

    Happy belated Birthday, Mr H! That photo of you in fairisle splendor forefront, with the also tempting china in the background, is a winner. Hoping that Ms H...that's you, Hen, has done a savable print of this portrait.


  28. How lovely! It sounds a blissful way to spend a day to me...
    We have a 1940's stage next to our craft marquee on saturday as part of the Heritage estival in Peterborough and I know I shall be in heaven listening to the songs all day!
    I'm very excited as well as we are going to the Twinwood Festival this year for the first time...all that nostalgia...wonderful!
    Thanks for the piccies my lovely...it's great to see other events.
    Karen x

  29. Just got home after a swim, cup of green tea, your lovely blog - what could be nicer! What a splendid weekend you've had, and thank you so much for sharing, with these great photos too.

    Blush to admit I'm not a vintage gal, so much, but you do it with such style and authenticity, you can't help but be fascinated. Keep on keepin'on, Hen!

  30. What a wonderful way to spend a weekend. Thanks for sharing!
    Belated greetings to Mr HH!
    Z xx

  31. That looks such fun! Thank you for your bloggie comment, how funny that you had spotted the little painted brush set in the T-wells CK shop! Lizzie x

  32. PS this was the link I mentioned earlier http://www.dig-for-victory.com/-THE-BLITZ-BUDDIES-ON-PARADE
    lovely people! xx


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