Monday, 13 May 2013

Forties Fun

Oh the weekend, didn't that pass by in a flash?  It's not to say it wasn't one to remember, however.  It certainly had a 1940's theme which is always a good place to start in my book.

Saturday saw an early start, packing up my wares and heading to Stag and Bow (fast feeling like my second home!) to welcome those eager to make felt posies, just as they did back in the '40s.   I took many of both my vintage and my own handmade items to hopefully inspire those attending.

I can't really think of a nicer to way to while away a Saturday morning!

I think the lovely ladies certainly got the hang of it.

Sunday saw us as a family getting ready for a bit of a jolly.  Off into the Sussex countryside we went.  It was a bit of a mixed day and we were glad of the good sunny spells which broke through.  The Bluebell Railway is set deep in the countryside and the drive through the winding lanes is rather beautiful at this time of year.

We arrived to find the station bustling with activity.  The ladies had been busy baking and brewing up and Mr HenHouse thought he'd better make the most of it with a cup of rosy lee.

Many people had got into the spirit of the era, whether in military or civilian clothing.  It always makes for a good atmosphere.

Horsted Keynes is a particularly well preserved station and has featured in many well known films and television programmes.  It makes a stunning backdrop to this event and the railway also used period correct engines and coaches.

This lady looked rather splendid in the jumper she had hand knitted from a vintage pattern.

The station is home to a fabulous collection of enamelled signs and poster art.

On the platforms, there were some interesting and informative displays.  You often see them at the various 1940's events but this was a new one to us and this lady from the WVS was suggesting ways to save fuel at home, particularly in the kitchen.  She showed us how to cook one pot meals and even how to keep food warm in front of the coal fire in a warmer made from an old biscuit tin.  Here, she is showing how you could keep a "carried meal" (a packed lunch) warm by placing it in a pot in a gas mask box (once the threat of gas attacks had passed), surrounded with hay and with a pillow of rags on top.

She had come in her vintage car which dates to 1936 and I do love it when people bring along ephemera from the era.

The Munchkin was drawn to this noisy piece of equipment!

Next door, we could see the sort of conditions of the time people would have experienced when the air raid warning siren did go off.  (Nice eidys!)  I love all the original bits and pieces you can see in these displays.

One element of this event which could be improved is the lack of vintage merchandise for sale.  There is virtually none of this which is a shame as the railway frequently holds toy and train collector fairs.  For folks like us, the chance to browse and maybe buy vintage treasures is a big part of the day.  Come on Bluebell Railway!

We took a picnic with us, in our vintage picnic hamper, and after a few obligatory sandwiches, out came the cream tea.  Yummy!  (Very good scones, using Paul Hollywood's recipe from the BBC Good Food website, for the first time.)

We had a rest and did a spot of vintage reading.  My wartime sewing book extolled the virtues of patchwork...

...and Mr HenHouse had his own reading matter. (I'm not convinced he'd necessarily agree with the sentiment!)

Master Munchkin seemed to turn into a 1940's Dr Dolittle.  First he found the station cat...

...then it was the spaniels (he loves this breed of dog).

We listened awhile to the entertainment.

But they couldn't hope to compete with the spectacle of the Spitfire overhead (though it wasn't actually one from the Second World War).

Phew, it was a lovely day but it's always nice to head for home, don't you agree?  Especially in style. 

My love affair with the fabulous Forties continued when the postie rang the bell this morning, (he was not wearing a period correct brown jacket and tie, I'm sorry to say,) and delivered my latest find. A most treasured original 1940's posy necklace.


Have a super week. XXX


  1. what IS it about felt that makes you feel so happy? is it the colours or the feel or what? I don't know how or why but I just love it!

  2. It looks like you had a fabulous day. I wish I could have tagged along!!

  3. Looks like another fabulous weekend. Glad the class went well. x x

  4. This looks like a wonderful weekend to me. I would love to attend one of these events, they always look like so much fun on your blog. Your Munchkin is so cute with the animals. Your new posy necklace is really pretty.

  5. What a fabulous weekend Hen! If only everyone could dress this smart!! xo

  6. I'm a HUGE fan of this era! I can't get enough Call the Midwife,Foyles War, and love the Maggie Hope mystery books by Susan Elia MacNeal. Your blog always give me a little hit of it!

  7. War or not, they were so stylish, weren't they? I'm a big fan of Foyle's War, so I really enjoyed this!
    Cheers, Colette

  8. What an excellent way to spend the weekend... many thanks for sharing it with us too... loving the felt necklace.. Cx

  9. A lovely post bursting with vintage beauties of many different types.
    Lisa x

  10. What a gorgeous post! This looks like loads of fun, both making the posies (which, by the way, are amazing!) and dressing up for this event. Seeing things like this event is one of the many reasons I love England so much. What a great way to instill a love for history in your son. He might grow up one day to be the curator of the British Museum!

    My best friend's family always have King Charles Spaniels. They have had two that look like the one you featured, and their names? Churchill and Winston! ;-) They also had Barclay, Winthrop, Reagan, and Wilson. And there is a girl whose name I can't recall... maybe Midge? Or is that Barbie's best friend??? They truly are the sweetest dogs ever.



  11. How fabulous! Lovely to hear that the course was a success; I hope you get to do more.
    Ah, the lady in the green, vertical stripe jumper! I met her at the North Norfolk railway a couple of years ago and remarked on her jumper. I have the pattern to knit it, simple yet stunning.
    Never been to the Bluebell Railway, we always seem to be busy when the '40s event is on, next year, maybe!
    Lovely to see the jumper being worn ;-)
    Lucy x

  12. Hi Hen what a fabulous weekend it looked lots of fun! I am desperate to come on one of your courses, I adore the posy brooches and would love to try and make one myself. A gorgeous post as always Hen, have a wonderful week
    Lots of love

  13. Thank you for sharing your day. I really enjoy it -- felt like I was there.
    You are a really lovely family.

  14. Wow what a fab day out! Great pics.

  15. Dear Hen,
    Thanks for sharing - what a wonderful week end! I jumped in my chair when I saw your lovely felt necklace - I have had it marked as "favorite" on Etsy for ages but never came around to do anything about it! So glad you found it too - it could not be more at home but with you! If anyone knows how to wear a 1940's felt necklace as it should be it is you! I love the idea that we both fell in love with the same necklace!

  16. Looks like you had a wonderful weekend. We both seem to have the same reading matter as I have a copy of Wartime Needlework. Its a great book. Love the necklace.
    Julie xxxxxxxx

  17. What a fun weekend you've experienced. I would love to be there for a display of history like you attended. Thank you for the pictures. Since I won't be able to take part in actually attending one it's the next best thing.



  19. What wonderful days out you and your family have. The Munchkin looks very smart in his uniform and I don't blame him for going for the air raid siren, think I would too :) It's amazing to see all of the wonderfully preserved ephemera, and I know there were a lot of privations and rationing during the 40s, but didn't that bring out the sheer creativeness of the average British woman? I love Mr Hen's fairisle sleeveless top. I am currently making one in lovely period colours for a customer, from an old 70s pattern she found. I was able to match up the colours from modern yarns very nicely and it looks fantastic.

    How I wish I lived close enough to come to your workshops. Maybe one day.

  20. What larks! Look a great weekend, good to know the classes are going well.

  21. A lovely lovely post. The felt posy workshop looks wonderful - thinking about having a go myself - I particularly love the decorated bag. And the day at Bluebell Railway looks a great way to spend a Sunday - lots of inspiring images - complete with your lovely hamper of goodies! Thanks for the day out x Jane

  22. I wonder if these railway type thingsare run mostly by men, that could explain the lack of vintage shopping. Perhaps they should contact you :-)? Nice to hear about the info from the WRVS lady, some of her tips could be useful now. I must keep a eye out for copies of wartime needlework, they look really interesting.

    Love your new acquisition, I've been having a go at making felt brooches myself this week.

  23. What a wondervele blogspot this is. It feeds like I'm walking in the station with you! I even went so far as to have my non-blogreading husband read it. In the Netherlands there is less romance involved with this era and certainly no reenactment days. Love to see it on your blog.

  24. What a fab day! I keep missing the 1940's day in Tenterden, my mum & dad went once and it happened to be on but I'm quite far away now! Looks like a lot of fun :) I'd never get my other half dressed in the spirit though :p

  25. So many beautiful photos to look at. The weekend looked full of fun. It must take lots of work . I love all of your felt jewellery, so colourful.
    I can just see my mom wareing it on the way to meeting dad, her then boyfriend in the 40's. Thanks for shareing this little piece of history

  26. A great day out by the look of it, your photos are so good, it doesn't matter if we can't go to these places we seem to be living vicariously through you, where are we off to next week? ♥

  27. Hen, you've again been very kind to share some lovely times with us.

    I know that the classes you are giving at Stag and Bow are going to grow from strength to strength. Lucky folks who can share your enthusiasm and talents and skill first hand.

    The vintage weekend at the Bluebell must have been so much fun, even without much vintage shopping. Mr HH's fair isle v-neck is a winner. I've knitted these myself, and definitely appreciate them. Munchkin is looking as adorable as ever, but as he is growing up, I think I might soon have to say...handsome.

    It always amazes me that folks will contribute their appreciation, knowledge and talents to make those vintage weekends successful. Someday, if I were over on your side of the Atlantic, I'd love to participate. As an extra, of course. My credentials include having been born in early September 1945.


  28. How fun! This is a great post, I we had more events like this in the states. I so want to learn to make those posies. And the cookies that say "Home Made"!!

  29. Hi Hen,
    What a wonderful weekend!! Oh, how I wish I could come to your posy workshop!! And, what a fun 40's event!! Such great history. I just love all the sweet clothes!! Darling photos!! Have a wonderful and crafty week!! xo Heather

  30. Awww wee Hen family, your little weekend jaunt made me smile. Nice that you got dressed up and enjoyed yourselves. Thanks for sharing, I felt like I had a weekend away too.

    Julie and Poppy Q

  31. What a great weekend!!! Looks like you all had fun xx

  32. thank you for sharing your weekend and those wonderful photos! I am in love with everything British and so enjoy glimpses into your world ( the quilts and handsewn items are a HUGE bonus!)I always look forward to your posts and never rush to read through them, there has to be enough time to enjoy every minute!

  33. How fabulous to be transported back to those times. I still miss my grandparents and their house which hadn't changed much from those days and their stories. Thanks for taking us on this journey. xx

  34. Aah,hah,Hen..I see you ventured into my neck of the woods!
    What a great day...and a fab picnic.

    Bellaboo X

  35. Oh Hen, I do so love reading your vintage day out posts! I remember taking a trip on the Bluebell railway when I was rather little, it was brilliant.
    It sounds as though you had a wonderful weekend, and you look completely gorgeous in your 40s outfit xxx

  36. Hi, I just wanted to let you know how much your blog and Instagram inspires me! I remember reading your post a while back where you were disheartened by the lack of comments etc but I honestly await every blog post/photo with anticipation to get a glimpse of your wonderful life!

    Please never stop sharing your lovely photos with the world, it would be such a loss!!

    Lauren x

  37. What a fabulous day! Thank you so much for sharing, with your photos and commentary - loved it!!

  38. I do enjoy reading about your adventures and it is lovely to see how everyone really gets into the spirit of the day. Keep doing it.

  39. This looks like a truly fabulous outing and you did indeed travel in style. Love everything, and covet that station cat too. Minerva x

  40. Beautiful creations. And brogues!!

  41. Hi Hen, glad the workshop went well, I guess you'll be doing them regularly now, they do look like great fun.
    And what a fab day you all had, love that you all dressed up, thanks for sharing the photos.
    Your new necklace is very pretty, really suits you.
    Linda O xx

  42. Your workshop sounds fab, I love the little felt flowers too & try to buy any vintage magazine featuring them. What a lovely find in that pretty little posy necklace, lucky you! K.

  43. great post as ever. colourful, yummy ,happy and bright. hx

  44. Hi,
    I came to say hello as my friend Poppy mentioned in my comments that you had also been to a 40's weekend and maybe it was the same one. I see that you were at a event in the South. We were at Haworth and it was very busy but a brilliant weekend as always. We do go to many events around the country but have not been down your way yet. Very nice to see your pictures and comments on the event. Hugs GJ

  45. LOVE your outings! They make me so jealous, yet so happy. And now you've made me hungry too. :D That drink looks fabulous.


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