Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Perfick Pickering

Hello readers.  I hope this post finds you all tickety boo.  Here we are, all safely returned from our annual jaunt up North to the charming county of Yorkshire.  We were so looking forward to taking part in the "Railway in Wartime" event on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, once more from our base at the railway cottage in Pickering.

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.

That naughty Munchkin was being evacuated again, too.

(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...

Did I mention the proper tea pots and tea cosies?

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.)


  1. I loved seeing your pictures of 1941, also the POW camp!

  2. Thank you for taking us on your adventure Hen! What a fabulous event!
    Victoria xx

  3. It was so nice to see you all again and hope you enjoyed the rest of your week,Hen.Thank you so much for the lovely comments and photos.I do hope you have made your feelings known to the railway as they seem to think it was all very good and there have been many grumbles....I don't think they are listening.To spread out the events over a week would make it much more enjoyable and less pressured.I can't believe how quickly time is passing It's almost two weeks since the war weekend and I haven't posted my photos shame this space.Much love to you all,
    Anne x

  4. Looks like you had the most wonderful week being transported back to the 1940's wish I was there too.
    Julie xxxxxxxxxx

  5. All of it - just gorgeous!

    I know Goathland very well and it is such a lovely place - would love to see it 1940's style. My favourite though, is the cafe - so utterly quaint. Looks like you had a fabulous time.

  6. What a lovely post, you all look fantastic. You're going to have to rename the Munchkin, hes definitely grown! My own Munchkin nephew is now taller than me (I'm 5ft 8") and still only 14 and growing. Talk about growth spurts.

  7. A wonderful post. I love the photos and the enthusiasm with which you enter into it all.

  8. I always enjoy coming along with you to these events! I do love that era, for fashion and vintage antiques. I'm sure it was a tough time for the people, though. We're at the beach, I posted some photos of a house on a cliff over the ocean this morning that I wish I could live in! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  9. Belated Happy Birthday wishes to the handsome Munchkin!

    As a dedicated fair isle knitter, I also want to compliment you and yours on the lovely jumpers.

    I do hope that your sensitive, reasoned critique of the the Pickering relocation might reach folks who might reassess their decision before the next event.

    As always, so many thanks to you for your wonderful enthusiasm and reporting of these vintage events.

    Bravo! xo

  10. Looks like such a wonderful time, and such great photos!! Love your beautiful coat and hat! xo Heather

  11. I'm so jealous of your wonderful weekend. It so far away for me, even for pops! My parents went to Camp Eden a few years ago, they loved it xx

  12. I do love Yorkshire,such happy memories you've brought back of our holiday there and trip on the railway.
    As always your photos are wonderful and capture the spirit of the occasion so well. :0)

  13. What a great week you've had! Looks like a lot of fun! Yours hire is such a beautiful county, perfect backdrop for a forties themed week! Ada :)

  14. Oh how lovely Hen, so enjoyed reading about your weekend. You look so great in the charcoal coat/jacket and hat, and is that one of your brooches? (the bunch of pink flowers), looks so beautiful.

    Always a delight to hear about your 1940s trips.
    Have a lovely week.
    Fleur xx

  15. Hello Hen, looked like a brill weekend. We saw the fruit & veg van at the Croft Circuit Nostalgia (which is not far from Richmond N. Yorks) weekend in the summer. We thought it looked great. I meant to go to the Pickering event but forgot it was on. Love your outfits, you look super dooper. Cheers Sharon

  16. Love the jade green hat- excellent coat too.
    My Grandmother had a cabinet very like that in her kitchen ( or kitchenette as she called it) was built into the "kitchenette" when the house was purchased from plan in the 30s and was still there when she moved out in the late 70s. Same colour too.
    Thinking about it, great influence on my own kitchen!

  17. my dad went and said it was fabulous

  18. You all look so lovely and I adore your CC41 coat - just can't beat that styling. We did wonder what moving the traders so far out would do - it obviously wasn't for the better, such a shame. Lovely photographs, as always :o)

  19. Thanks for sharing your wonderful time in Yorkshire Hen,great post and picciesXxx

  20. How pretty-i love your pictures.
    its a pity that they moved the even though, it does seem silly.
    The other bits of it look good, i would love to see a tea room like that, it was so nice and warm looking.

  21. Lovely pictures and bad organisation!! I didn't even know about the out of Town showground thank goodness,we were just in the main part of Pickering also although we bought a paper to access the station and I briefly flicked through it I couldn't see a full time table (unless I flicked too quickly)!!Great event but quite a few hic-cups, me thinks it needs a woman to organise things in future!! Lucey x PS Are you going to Scarborough Vintage fair tomorrow? if so I may see you there. x

  22. I always look forward to hearing your thoughts on this weekend. We live 15 minutes away from Pickering and love the wartime weekend - this year I thought the 'cameos' behind the station (in the car park) were particularly good, and the town was buzzing and alive as always. We never bother with the Showground - very over-rated and no atmosphere at all. Plenty to see without going there!
    So pleased you enjoyed your visit to Yorkshire and to Eden Camp too - a great little place to learn more about WWII. Hope you visit again next year. Norma xx

  23. Loved this blog - fab pictures! I too have that miniature milk bottle, also from Bridport, probably from the same stall as well x

  24. Eden Camp is so fascinating. I love visiting. It reminds me of being little and going on school trips.


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