It was a week full of things we love:
Dressing '40s style (and indeed shopping for 1940's goodies, that's my CC41 coat I'm wearing which I bought on the Saturday)...
Steam trains, of course...
Stunning scenery and picturesque country stations...
(You may recognise Goathland as "Aidensfield", the setting for the tv programme Heartbeat, and also from the Harry Potter films.)
Back to that '40s weekend then. Folk were dressed in their forties finery. This platform at Pickering Railway Station is reserved solely for re-enactors and those in period dress which makes for great people watching.
It was customarily cold and a little dull, weather-wise, so coats, hats and gloves were definitely the order of the day.
(Golly, this makes me realise how much he's grown; well, he was eleven last week!)
There's my dashing chap, home on leave!
We were not impressed with the changes made to the event this year; moving many of the stalls to the so called Pickering Showground (a muddy field) several miles out of town, the queues to get to which were horrendous (you also had to queue through this to carry on into the town, great planning, duh). It had no atmosphere and was badly organised. So they had room for more stalls. Who needs stalls selling fudge and soaps at a 1940's event? Mud and portaloos do not a fine vintage event make. Please do like the Severn Valley Railway and hold this event over two weekends; more money for the local area and fewer crowds. Grump over!
What one can always rely on to be superb is the vintage tea room set up especially for the weekend but once a year above Reeds newsagent in the main street. Run by Anne amidst her lovely gift shop, the cakes were customarily fantastic and the welcome unbeatable. Add to this embroidered cloths, vintage floral china, Liberty print menus and flowers in golden syrup tins and you have the marvellous picture.
And what can we say about Anne's friendly helpers? Well, I've never met friendlier folk and it makes me realise how darned miserable most Londoners are. We miss you already!
Hmm, decisions, decisions...
The main street was busy with people all having a super time. It's such a picturesque little town anyway, the perfect setting to step back in time.
I always enjoy the old vans, one decorated as a mobile greengrocer and the other as a newsagent. Those who take time to put on these displays really add to the authentic atmosphere of the event. We certainly appreciate it.
It was over all too quickly, it always is. How do you like our new chauffeur? Think I'll take the train!
Whilst we're on the subject of Pickering and the 1940's, I'm going to tell you about our other trip to the nearby Eden Camp. This year, we were determined to make a visit (not least because it would be good for the Munchkin who is studying WWII at school). It promised to be a treat and did not disappoint.
Eden Camp opened in 1942 as a prisoner of war camp, initially housing Italians and later Germans. It covers a large site and is mainly composed of huts. It is extremely well preserved and now serves as a historic museum.
Each hut had a display on a different theme, ranging from Hitler and Nazi Germany to the Home Front. There were many wonderful original artefacts amongst the displays. As usual, I was very interested in those relating to life for people at home during the war. In this typical front room, the inhabitants are in their Morrison shelter, a bomb has hit and there is even a bed coming through the ceiling! (It was difficult to take photos as the exhibits were behind chicken wire fencing.)
Ooh, look at that kitchen cabinet. This room even had a tap with running water. Here, a nurse is treating wounds sustained by the young girl during the bombing.
I think this is where I could have helped out during the war, making do and mending with parachute silk...
There were shops with the sort of goods in the windows that we now covet!
Always on the look out for a pretty fabric...
The other hut which really interested me recreated the prisoners' of war barracks. It was a startling contrast how well treated were prisoners of war in this country as opposed to those in Germany and particularly Japan (there were displays about those too). Many of the POWs were very skilled and produced great works of art and craft.
It was also interesting that quite a few wanted to remain after the war and went on to marry local girls. There were lots of printed stories of real soldiers and prisoners throughout the camp which helped bring the museum alive. Several POWs have revisited the camp now it is a museum and it was most interesting to read their recollections.
It was a really good museum and well worth a visit if you are in the area, cheap entry price, too.
Cheerio Yorkshire, thank you for making us so welcome, we miss you and look forward to returning.
(Sorry about the lack of links, just can't make them work.)