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!)

22 comments:

Poet in Residence said...

You could go to the dance and be a wallflower. I mean that in the nicest possible way. Tell them you 'accidentally on purpose' forgot to fetch your dancing pumps. :) Why not? You'd like it.

willow said...

How fun is this? I want to go!!

Pondside said...

.......if only for the music!

jan said...

Sounds like great fun, I love Leyburn!

Sal said...

What fun!
There seem to be one or two events like this springing up! Sadly not near me..yet!
;-)

Heather said...

Proper dance music Pat - you could just go and listen. I think it is a great idea and a good thing that the Holocaust is remembered along with other very sobering aspects of those years. I don't see Leyburn's celebrations as glorifying the war - just a reminder of times past. Those who don't approve can always stay at home or do something else.

Arija said...

Odd how those of us who were deeply affected by the war find it hard to equate that time with jollification. I too am ambivalent about it.

ArtPropelled said...

It sounds like fun..... hmmm it depends on the weather. If it's a fine evening I would go. If its as cold as it is here at the moment I would stay next to the fire watching a good movie on the box.

George said...

I think you should go and dance, Weaver. Celebrating life is always a good idea -- any day in the forties and any day this year.

lakeviewer said...

Go on, have fun! What music will be playing?

lakeviewer said...

Go on, have fun! What music will be playing?

angryparsnip said...

It looks like a very fun weekend.

I understand the about not wanting to remember but even with all the bad times I know there must have be some nice times too.
After all it is just a great reason to dress-up and enjoy something different this weekend instead of what we usually do.
I am doing clean-up chores as the painters and builders just finished.

cheers, parsnip

jeannette said...

Like the way you handled this post, Weaver!
Yes, the forties are hardly the good ole days!!! But I think, like you say, it's all the costumes that everyone likes to wear.
Also I can see that if someone did some important work in saving people during world war II that one wants to commemorate that once in a while.
People scathing about the Holocaust Museum...they wouldn't scathe if they had some family members killed...blind ignorance?

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

It's the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and man people will have marked that. We hear criticism about people not knowing or remembering those times so we ought to welcome any attempt to remember, along with the spirit of comradeship. The Holocaust tent is a good thing.

Hildred and Charles said...

"Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour'. Winston S. Churchill, June 1940

Surely still true just seventy years on, and worth remembering. They were honourable times, and I know Charles and I would be there dancing if we could!

MarmaladeRose said...

Oh, I sooo wanted to dress up this year but the hunt for 1940's style shoes eluded me. Hopefully next year.
I was stopped in Cambells by a lovely lady called Sue and her husband Neil. She very cleverly recognised me from my blog, isn't that amazing! I believe you're meeting up tomorrow for a cuppa so have a lovely time and say hello for me.

Noelle Renee said...

I think that this is a lovely idea. You have a chance to reexperience a bit of history and culture. The two of you look smashing. Have a great time!
Noelle

The Weaver of Grass said...

I am glad that you all seem to be in favour of the weekend. I would point out that the couple in 40's dress are not the farmer and I - I don't even know their name but they were keen to be photographed.
Also, the people who were scathing about the Holocaust Museum were not denying that it took place, they were scathing because they felt it paid lip service to the whole 40's thing and was too important to be stuck in a tent at celebrations.
The weather has not been kind to the weekend but nothing daunted they have all continued to celebrate.

Thanks for the comments as usual.

The Weaver of Grass said...

The music was pure Glen Miller - ah those were the days, when I could understand the music and keep time to the beat.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Message to Poet.

Dancing was never really my thing and alas, I was often a wallflower!

Golden West said...

I grew up to the music of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie and Duke Ellington, as my parents were (and still are) huge fans. I was immune to its charms. My own daughter, however, is a big fan of the music from my generation - Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Who - moreso than the music created in her youth.

BT said...

Well that's just the kind of thing I absolutely love. Dressing up, oh yes! I'm sorry the weather wasn't good, but I'm sure you all had a good time in spite of the dampener.