Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Charmed in Chatham

Well who would have thought it, here I am again!  How could I miss telling you about the super day out we had on Sunday, 1940's style, of course.  This time, it was fortunate that the event was taking place a relative hop, skip and a jump from us.  Off we set for the old naval dockyard in Chatham in Kent, then.

It's quite a marvellous setting in its own right and the day was more special for us as we were accompanied by Mr HenHouse's parents, his Dad having worked for many years in this very dockyard.  Of course, out came the gladrags...

You may likely have spotted that Mr HenHouse was looking even more splendid than usual.  He's worked really hard to research his uniform, making sure he has all the correct buttons and so on.  I think it really suits him.  I always did like a man in uniform!

Aside from all the special displays for the '40s weekend, the Dockyard is already a visually spectacular place.

There was a super collection of vintage cars to ogle, often with stylishly dressed owners.

A stray evacuee was up to mischief!

My favourite part (other than the shopping!) was the recreation of a wartime village.  We have attended this '40s event once before a few years ago and this time, it really felt like it was getting into its stride; well organised with many more displays, more food outlets and more entertainment.  The village was a new display for us.  Let's have a wander down memory lane, shall we?

Good humour was in plentiful supply, especially at the butcher's shop!

There were some beautiful clothing items on display and the make do and mend section was of particular interest for me, of course.  I was very taken with the dressing gown made from a candlewick bed cover (I am a massive fan of these anyhow and sleep with one every night!)  The coat was made from an old woollen blanket.  I like the colourful cuffs and collar.

I loved the recreation of a typical kitchen-come-parlour. Oooh, I drooled plenty over the goodies in there.

Somebody was understandably more interested in the toys by the fireside.  (I was more interested in the bread bin!)

Then he spotted the sweet shop, but would there be anything inside given the rationing?

Best find out, just in case there might be the odd jelly baby.

The second hand shop would have been doing a roaring trade, I'm sure.

This display was also rather charming (ok, yes, I was coveting the biscuit tin.)

Moving on, it was time for a spot of vintage shopping.

The shopping is usually quite good as there are some less well known dealers there who we don't see elsewhere.  It's good to see different stock and their prices are usually pleasantly reasonable.

Outside, there were more stalls.  Some traders had made attractive displays with their stock. They were also very knowledgeable, always have a natter with folks at these events as they're really friendly.

What is it about washing lines?  They can look so attractive, don't you think?  (If you ignore the ironing that's coming next!)

Ok, prepare for a cute overload.  Don't say I didn't warn you!

And more.  Meet Queenie.

There was an excellent recreation of a fire station, using many artefacts original to local Crayford Fire Station.  This lady was able to tell us so much about how the station would have worked during the war years.

What I haven't done is show or tell you about all the singers who were keeping everyone entertained or the marvellous dancing (though I do think it is difficult to see the dancing properly within the confines of indoors, it would be better outside in my opinion).  The day ended with the sun coming out and everyone waving flags and singing along to the classics:  We'll Meet Again, There'll Always be an England, Rule Britannia and of course, God Save the Queen.



  1. Wow what a great day out. You both look so glamorous. I like the dressing gown and coat, they had so much imagination in those days. I Sit and sew at a desk like the fire station desk. Great post.

  2. Loved the back yard scene ... I would have coveted everything! Fab day out, I always look forward to your jolly posts xxx

  3. Looks like a grand weekend indeed! x

  4. What did you buy and did the kitten come home with you?? Looked very comfortable on the shoulder!

  5. Did the Munchkin get to keep his new friend I wonder?
    As usual, you all look absolutely splendid my dear, so right... some people just can't carry the fashions of those times, but you definitely can.

  6. Just looks fab - and you 3 look great too. Love MrHH's uniform - my Dad was in the RAF in the 70's and tbh I don't think the uniforms changed that much :)

    Go on - what did you buy - am sure plenty came home with you ;)

  7. You all really do look the part. Reading your blog reminds me of a Rosamunde Pilcher movie, like Coming Home or Shell Seekers :)

  8. I've never been to Chatham because it always clashes with another event we do so it's always lovely to see some shots. I have the same green bread bin, it's perfect for storing wool :o) Some of the people in your last shot are from A2Jive, excellent dancers. Glad you had a good day :o)

  9. Oh you do tell a good yarn, one of these days I'm going to don my best frock, throw a fox around my shoulders and march down there with you for a smashing day out!!haha I wish, Lucey x

  10. Love it! Obviously a great day was had by all, Oh! by the way was that an early clock radio I spied or just a clock on top of a radio?? it was difficult to tell in the picture!! LOL

  11. Thank you for taking us through this and sharing it with us. What a fun day and educational, too! I love all the vintage things, and that bread box would look perfect in your new kitchen! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  12. How fabulous - I LOVE events like these! At first I thought that you'd been to the Goodwood Revival - that was last weekend as well and is always great fun for dressing up.
    You all look so amazing, and gorgeous. Beautifully done.
    Best wishes,
    Paula x

  13. I love your 'dressing up' posts! What started you going to these events? You always look like you're having fun! Ada :)

  14. I always love going back in time with you!

  15. What a brilliant day out.If I had been there it would have been spend,spend,spend.Thank you for sharing it with us.

  16. Fascinating it all looked so very interesting, loved your outfits very in keeping, your attention to detail is very clever
    Thank you for sharing
    Thea x

  17. Looks brilliant- fight you for the bread tin...

  18. Looks like a lovely day out. I wish we had some more events in Devon :( x

  19. Looks like a great day. I went to a wedding there about 20 years ago!
    So funny you should show the vintage kitchen and bread bin. I've literally just blogged my own vintage kitchen and photos of numerous bread bins I used to sell in my kitchenalia days. I've got that biscuit tin on my worktop!

  20. What lovely and utterly inspiring photos.....thank you for making my day! Celia

  21. What a grand day out, and aren't you just the smartest family.

  22. What a splendid day you must have had. The organisers of the event obviously put in a lot of hard work and thought into the day to make it so realistic. As to shopping, everything looks so tempting and must have called for a great deal of self-restraint. Thank you for sharing all the photos with us. Philippa xx

  23. Hen, Hen, oh Hen!! This all looks quite glorious - I would have competed with you in the drooling stakes over some of those displays. These look particularly authentic and I know just what you mean about eyeing up the key items in a display...
    Jolly Days indeed

    Best wishes


You are warmly encouraged to leave a comment here. Your comments are emailed directly to me so rest assured I read and treasure every one. Thank you for supporting my blog with your comment. X