Saturday, 17 July 2010
What's the date today?
If you were to go in Leyburn, our little market town, today you could almost be forgiven for thinking that we have gone back in time. This weekend is a nineteen-forties weekend. Everyone dresses up in forties gear, there is a steam train running on our local scenic railway, the hotels are serving forties meals, the shop windows are dressed forties style - everyone enters into the spirit of the thing and people come by the bus load from miles away.
Half of me thinks that those days are best forgotten not gloried in, and I know that several of my friends feel strongly about that. But then I see all these folk dressed up and really enjoying themselves and I am torn between that view and the view that as everyone is enjoying it does it really matter (almost without exception the people taking part are not old enough to have been alive during the war!). There is a Holocaust Museum tent this year I see - some people are very scathing about that - but I saw a huge number of people queueing to get into it. So you can see I have very mixed feelings. But you, dear readers, can make up your own minds.
I could have taken loads more pictures but I was late for my coffee date - so here is just a taster. The hotel where we have coffee on a Saturday morning, The Golden Lion, has sandbags around the door and sticky tape on all the windows. In the doorway Glen Miller is bashing away, not too loudly, into the market square, and the menu for the day includes - 'fish and chips in newspaper', 'G I Toad-in-the-hole' and 'Spam Fritters.There are a lot of 'Captain Mainwaring type figures' strutting around in their officer's uniforms and a scattering of GI's, airforce officers and the like - but it is the women who really come into their own.
There are Mrs Mops with their aprons and turbans, wartime nurses (all the female staff in The Golden Lion are dressed as nurses and the men as airforce officers) but best of all there are couples - men in trilby hats, black suits and two-toned shoes and women in fantastic hats, very high heels and really beautiful 'frocks'.
I just hope the weather stays fine for all the shennanikins. Tonight there is a dance to forties music - three quarters of me would like to go (the feet are the bit that cries off!)