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