Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Steaming in the Severn Valley

Last weekend was one much anticipated in the HenHouse and we packed up our little trunks and headed off for our annual trip to the Severn Valley for a weekend on the railway, vintage style.

We stepped back into the Second World War era but admittedly, we did not suffer any of the hardships people really did back then. It was, in truth, a blissful weekend. All aboard the GWR then.

We stay in the picturesque town of Bewdley but there is much to explore in the area.

The boys wonder whether we should travel by motor car?

Not on your nelly, not when the steam train is an option!

First though, mummy in particular must have her retail fix, no clothes rationing for her.

I must confess that the chance to shop for original vintage clothes and accessories is a highlight of the weekend for me. We see "Vintage and Revival", aka Lyn and Rob, at various '40s events through the year and they always have a fabulous and tempting selection of clothing and accessories. Knowing that they are very knowledgeable about the period, you can safey put yourself in their hands if you want a whole outfit and many people arrive for the weekend and then do just that, emerging from the changing cubicle Mr Benn style!

At Kidderminster station, there is also the fabulous Black Market Shop, stocked by "Panama Hattie". I always find beautiful things here too, particularly hats.

There's also a wonderful WH Smiths newsagents kiosk stocked with original vintage items.

The Munchkin waits patiently!

He finds something to amuse himself in the waiting room which has a fantastic display of railway posters.

All aboard!

The SVR is fortunate to have some really fantastic coaches. This one is from the 1930's and is resplendent in its vintage moquette and all original fittings. Travelling in this sort of coach really enhances the whole experience.

At the end of the line, we find entertainment at Bridgnorth station and an old favourite of ours, the brilliant singer Lola Lamour, belting out '40s tunes.

Hmm, this car goes nicely with my outfit, thinks Hen!

A spot of trouble arises when a spiv is found to be trying to peddle black market goods (I could do with some nylons!) The police soon move him on and we decide to venture further down the line too.

At Kidderminster, there are some fantastic recreations of the period including "2 Railway Cottages".

Every detail is carefully thought of.

The lady of the house is busy in the kitchen making the most of the family's rations, I expect. (Love those curtains at the window.)

The Munchkin is intrigued by the ARP station and in particular, the air raid siren.

Best get into the shelter, Munchkin!

Outside the shelter, the lawn has been given over to growing your own to supplement the rations.

Back onto the steamer because there is much to explore, let's head for Arley, the picturesque country station.

Goodness me, there is much merriment to be found there with singer Kevin Mack boosting morale!

To the strains of "The Lambeth Walk" and other such wartime favourites, some finely turned out ladies really get into the spirit!

What a fabulous weekend, roll on next year, one little fellow certainly can't wait and is missing those steam trains already...


  1. What a fab post! Absolutely LOVED reading it! Looks like you had such a super time! xxx

  2. Fab post! We've been on the Severn Valley Railway many times with my young boys ('Thomas the tank Engine' days) but never done this theme, love it. Incidently my inlaws gave the air raid siren to the station so it was particularly interesting for me to see it here. Thanks for really setting the mood of the time. x

  3. I just found your blog today while browsing, and I am glad I did :) That looks like such a fun event..I felt like a took a mini trip looking at the lovely photos. I will have to try and visit there one time, on holidays.

  4. looks like a really great weekend, you must've had so much fun!
    Thanks for posting lots of pics so we can all enjoy

  5. Thanks for a wonderful post. Each time I got to a photo I would think "Oh that's my favourite photo" then I would come to another and think "Oh no maybe this one..." and then another...and another. The weekend looks so well organised. I must admit the munchkin is a bit of a favourite for me. He looks gorgeous dressed vintage style.

  6. What fun! It looks like the day had something for everyone

  7. Glad you had such a great weekend - it's certainly a lovely area. Some great frocks on show there - I showed my elderly Mother-in-law the photos and she was very tickled to see some familiar shoes (just like the ones she wore to get married in 1941).

  8. This is fabulous-loved this post ! I`am on holiday this week and hubby and I already planned a run out to Llangollen railway station-where they are re-inacting a scene from Brief encounters on the railway station there Thursday evening-we are also planning to get tickets for the Miss Marple murder mystery on the train and looking forward to dressing up 1930`s style !!

  9. wow thats all I can say to this. What a super weekend that must have been. I'm so jealous

  10. How fantastic!!!! What a wonderful adventure for you all especially your boy. My son is crazy about steam trains and would love this xxx

  11. A fabulous weekend indeed, you all looked wonderful in your period clothes.
    I usually go to NYMR Wartime Weekend but don't think I shall make it this year, boo hoo.
    Carol xx

  12. Glad you had such a lovely weekend, your photos of Railway Cottage take me back to my Nan's house when I was a child, especially the Singer sewing machine which we used to treadle. Those were the days!

  13. I love all your photos! Looks like a great weekend! Cx

  14. What a lovely post and photos. You might like my recent wartime post about Archie and Wilbur!
    M x

  15. Next time you go let me know..........!
    Looks like you all had a wonderful weekend.
    Julie xxxxxx

  16. wow! looks wonderful, the pics are so wonderful- a true and detailed glimpse into wartime life for families- your outfits are wonderful ;0)x

  17. Oh, that looks amazing! I love looking at your photographs of these events!

  18. Wow, it looks like you had a FABULOUS time!!

    S x

  19. That looks like so much fun! I love your dress! Did you make it? You look adorable! Thanks for sharing.

  20. Love the interior of that coach...... such lovely colours.

  21. You look like you all had a really fun weekend! We were most disspapointed to not go on Sunday. After we'd made our plans to go, we had a not so well boy so thought it best to not make the trip. He was really upset, but I did tell him we'll go next year! Your pics are so lovely, makes us all feel as though we are there with you too!

  22. I LOVE all your posts like this one!! The photos are fabulous and you and your family look wonderful in all your vintage splendour! :)

    Gemma x

  23. Wish we had something like that around here, but if there is, I've never heard of it. I'm prone to playing dress up when I can. Looks like you had a wonderful time.

  24. Dear Hen, thanks for sharing all the photos from your wonderful weekend. I think one of my favorite photos is the one of your hubby standing in the arched doorway, it's very artistic. Did I ever tell you that my husband was a Railroad engineer for 32 years? So, I particularly love seeing your vintage railways. I do hope you pop over to my blog to see my photos of our 4th of July parade yesterday!
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  25. Oh Wow i grow up in Tenbury wells in Shropshire and my family are still all there. My mum is from Kidderminster and so is all her side of the family. I used to go every weekend when i was little to visit my nan and grandad. I spent a lot of my childhood around there. What a delightful post and i never new that Kidderminster had all that on offer blimey. I loved this post it took me right back. You all look amazing as always, dee x

  26. Wow! What a fabulous post! This had to be so much fun! Thank you for sharing this with us! Have a most lovely week!

    Waving from Our Back Porch,

  27. Aah You all fit in so well, you should have your own tv show! I was in London on sunday and noticed sign for a vintage festival, not sure where or when but I guess you'll be there.

    Thanks for your comments on my quilt, I do appreciate them, especially coming from a british quilter.


  28. What a lovely weekend you had - and it was so nice to see you in the August edition of Homes and Antiques Magazine - what a lovely place you have down in Dorset - its also one of my favourite magazines. You once posted on a lovely village (I believe in Yorkshire) where I think it was a living Musuem can you tell me where this was as we are thinking of going this year and I can't find your old post!!

  29. How lovely that you all dress the part too! I had no idea there weekends like this. :)xx

  30. What a great day day, and the attention to detail is amazing. I particularly like the photo of you and your family, what a lovely keepsake.
    louise x

  31. Congratulations on your home featured in my favourite magazine,Homes & antiques,You must be very proud.juliexx

  32. I look forward to your post about this event. The South Devon Railway's 1940 weekend starts on Saturday, I will be going but it's not as good as this one! :) x

  33. I love that the whole family dresses for the occasion. What a fun time!

  34. How delightful it all is! Thanks for sharing.


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