Friday, 26 July 2013

1940 revisited.

This week-end is our 1940's week end here in our little market town.   As soon as our Friday market finished today at around 4.30pm, the square was cleared and folk arrived to set up the various exhibitions.
In the shops forties clothes are appearing.   There is a lingerie shop which has corsets and bras in the window which look like instruments of torture.   One of our dress shops has uniforms for ladies - nurses, WVS, forces etc. and another has very old-fashioned looking dresses and coats.
For me it brings back memories as I can remember it all, but increasingly there are fewer and fewer who can.  On our loval TV news a man of 95, who was a navigator on a Catalina Flying Boat in the war, has his first ride in one since leaving the air force on demob.
Our local Wensleydale Railway is holding special steam days tomorrow and Sunday so that folk in costume can ride up and down on the line, pretending they are back in those times.  And some of the cafes will be serving 40's menus like spam and chips.
I find it all a little strange personally.   I don't want to be a killjoy, but why do people get such fun out of dressing up and pretending they were back in days when really life was awful?
If I go into town in the morning I will try and take a few photographs for you.   But I can assure you of one thing - there will be plenty of men in military uniforms - RAF, Navy, Army, US Army - they will all have a woman in forties dress on their arm - but none of the men will be privates - they will all be officers.
 

15 comments:

Ann Conway said...

This reminds me a bit of how my aunt used to read "Good Old Days" magazine here in the US. She often bemoaned the present, world going to pot, etc. (and this was in the 80s). To which my uncle remarked, "You know, Gabe, the good old days weren't all that good!"

MorningAJ said...

Was life awful? It was short, yes, and unpredictable, but so it can be today. People made the best of what they had back then. And they were grateful for what they had. Maybe there are lessons to be learned from it today.

Barbara said...

It's too bad that history gets romanticized. But, the event sounds very interesting and educational. Maybe?
We always talk about the "good old days", however...I'm not so sure they were. There is a country song that goes "in the good old days...when times were bad..." Could be a lot of truth in that one.

Tom Stephenson said...

If I want to relive the days when life was really awful for me, then I just take all my clothes off and stand around in public.

mrsnesbitt said...

We may pop over Pat xxxx Jon will love the hardware shop xxx

Pondside said...

Movies and books always portray the past as somehow more romantic, more pure and with people who were somehow more noble. They need to read history. I loved your last line!

Twiglet said...

Some folks just like dressing up I guess. Most will have no idea what it was really like to live through those years.

Elizabeth Wix said...

Sounds fascinating.
My mother (in the 1960's) used to say that during the war there weren't all these young men hanging doing nothing or up to no good.
My brilliant reply: "No, they were all off getting shot at."
She did have the grace to admit that that wasn't such a good alternative!
Yes, I will send you some info about running a writing workshop.

the veg artist said...

I'm afraid I feel the same about all the home 'nostalgia' trend. Chipped enamel plates, cracked china, faded fabric. My father fought in Burma at the end of WWII. He would not have understood this "good-ole-days" nostalgia. He wanted better for us.

Rachel said...

My mother couldn't stand people re-enacting "the good old days" and if school children dressed up and pretended it was wartime well that was the end.

Pam said...

I guess Pat, unimaginative cooking, scarey visits to the dentist and hospital, forced adoptions, not to forget a male chauvinist pig or two (or thousands!) might have made those in the 1940'S enjoy all the good times they could grab! I used to admire the respect for authority in that era, but it is obvious now that the church in particular definitely took advantage of that.
Still the activities the village has planned sounds like fun - hope you can take some pics!

thelma said...

I have seen it at Pickering and Whitby, there is something totally weird watching women walking by in furs and stockings with a seam, and as you so rightly say with an officer as an escort. People do love dressing up though, Goth weekend is pretty spectacular to ;)

Dave King said...

I'm with you. The 40s was not a good time. For my family and me it was awful. I do not want to go back, unless to remind myself how lucky we are now!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Nostalgia is a strange thing, but it does sound like an interesting event!

Cro Magnon said...

All this re-enacting stuff baffles me. I'm quite happy with today, thank you!