Saturday, 23 July 2016

Perfect weather for it.

This week end it is the 1940's week-end in our little market town.   I can't understand what it is that persuades men (most of whom were not even a twinkle in their father's eye during the war years) to dress in the uniforms of army, navy, airforce, American and Polish forces, air raid wardens,  the French Resistance men, Policemen and then parade around the market square with a woman on their arm - and a woman dressed to the nines in a lovely summery dress and a smart hat and gloves (and yes, I can understand that bit!).   But they obviously enjoy it tremendously and by ten this morning the whole town was a-buzz.

In addition to various stands selling vintage clothes and uniforms, there were vintage tractors and steam rollers, fairground rides for children, food stalls,  music from the forties at one end of the market place and a man singing Frank Sinatra songs at the other.   There was a big space left for those who fancied a jive to the music and various activities were planned throughout the day and again tomorrow.

Most of our cafes have outside tables and they were already full so the cafes will undoubtedly do very well today, which is good for trade in the town.

Here is a selection of photographs.   They are not good.   I can't ask people to pose and there were so many folk about that it was nigh on impossible to take a shot without somebody walking in to the frame from the side.  But I hope they do give you a feel for the occasion.

You will see one of an Airedale Terrier.   I was speaking to his owner who told me that during the Battle of the Somme in the First World War they were put into slings on a zip wire and sent across enemy lines with messages.   Needless to say many were lost in battle.   This chap was a beauty and it made me sad to think that they were used in such a way.   Although when one thinks of the needless slaughter of thousands of men in that battle - they too had been sent to slaughter needlessly.

On this day after yet another tragedy unfolding in Munich it makes the whole idea of celebrating war of any kind somehow obscene doesn't it.

But enjoy the pictures - albeit rotten ones - of folk (mostly well past middle age) enjoying themselves.










 


20 comments:

Derek Faulkner said...

Wow, that seems like a jolly good day out and good fun. Surely the Farmer and you can remember how to jive or lindey-hop, did you have a sneak dance and flash the suspenders.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

It all looks very "Dad's Army". Excellent fun.

Midmarsh John said...

Thank you for sharing that. The good old days when all the local bobby needed was a truncheon and a whistle. I love the 40's era big band music.

Heather said...

The women looked so much smarter than many do today, with hats and gloves. I think men like dressing up in a uniform and women just like dressing up. Great fun and great pictures. One of my daughters and her husband belong to a WW11 re-enactment group - son-in-law is an SS officer (for shame!) and daughter's nationality changes according to requirements for the next show. I wonder why it all has such appeal for some when so many others are happy to put it behind them and leave it there.

donna baker said...

Do tell Pat. Did you and the farmer dress for the occasion? It all sounds like fun to me. They must have been celebrating the end of the war. I wish I could do the jive and lindy hop. Glad you went for the fun.

George said...

An interesting post, Pat. Fun to see all of these folks in their 40's attire.

Frances said...

Weaver, even though like you, I don't quite "get" the dressing up, I do know that many folks seem to enjoy such event. I enjoyed seeing your photographs that indicate several eras' fashions on view on lovely summer day. It's as if the town was serving as a film location.

I also enjoyed the prior post about the bird feeding. My father dressed very similarly to your husband. He was very fond of caps, had one for summer and another for winter.

xo

Mac n' Janet said...

I loved the photos, would love to see one of these weekends.

angryparsnip said...

Photos were fun and I liked many of the dresses.
The Gud Dug was lovely.

cheers, parsnip and thehamish

Robin Mac said...

Looks like lots of fun, but I imagine it was a good long time after the war was over before anyone wanted to dress up and remember it, long enough to look back with some nostalgia for a different era.

Pondside said...

It looks like everyone is having a good time.
When I look at the state of my hand from gardening and sunshine I think that white gloves might be a good idea!

Cro Magnon said...

I like the two nannies.

Shilpa Chandrasekheran said...
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The Weaver of Grass said...

Can I just point out the farmer didn't go - wild cattle wouldn't have got him there (we don't keep horses!) - friend W and I went down early for our Saturday morning coffee so that we could get a parking space and watch the proceedings from the cafe window until they really got going.

Derek Faulkner said...

Ah, so no wild dancing and dressing up for P and W then, oh well.

Tom Stephenson said...

You've just reminded me that it is about time I watched 'A Canterbury Tale' (Powell and Pressburger film made in WW2). Have you seen it, Weave?

KitKatCot said...

There are so many of these WW2 re-enactment day round here, I do think 'each to his own' but why all the dressing up?

There was a similar do at a former prisoner of war camp near us a few years ago. My late father who lived with us, expressed an interest in going, so my husband went with him. They went, they came back.

Nothing was said for a few days, then I asked my husband 'did you not enjoy it'? He said there were a number of people dressed up as German soldiers and officers, which Dad found a bit of a problem, but worst of all was someone who was 'badly dressed' in a uniform from Dad's regiment who proceeded to tell Dad that he was wrong about some details of the regiment. For example 'The regiment was not evacuated from Dunkirk' My fathers reply was: 'If I ever see you, neck deep in the sea, holding your gun above your head, as I was, I will happily let you drown'



Librarian said...

I love events such as this! Not all of the ladies are dressed historically correct (I'm afraid I am very much a stickler to detail), but they look nice and you certainly caught the atmosphere of the whole thing with your pictures.
Were you dressed up, too?

Bovey Belle said...

Lovely photos Pat. We have a customer at the Fleamarkets we do who is always dressed in Wartime clothing and a hat - she has some lovely ensembles, and was dressed thus when I saw her in the Co-op the other day. One of the Militaria fairs we do also has men dressed up in Army uniform as well. It all adds to the atmosphere.

There's a Victorian week in Llandrindod Wells where everyone dresses up in Victorian clothing - I'd love to go to that.

What a lovely book you won too.

Fairtrader said...

OOOOh, that is so very british, it would never happend in Sweden this, that's what makes it charming. I love those photos and the brightness and joy of the whole thing although the fourties where nowhere near the bright side, but as I have heard from my elders, you had to cope and keep up spirits. I could have fit in there, have some of my grandmothers clothes...
Something very special for Sweden would be the homecomings. Most larger villages have a day every tenth year or so, when they arrange meetings for people that would like to visit their homebase. You always bring us such lovely views of the local life, I like that. I loved that book as well, she is really gifted , the illustrations are really wonderful!!!!