1940s Relived 2017 Report

17 May 2017

Waves of families and individuals eager for a day of forties nostalgia attended the annual 1940s Relived event at the Museum on Saturday 13th May. This year, the focus was again centred round the Campbell Lawn as the Dance Marquee hosted a non-stop programme of music, dancing and entertainment.

The Race Bays and a few pitches opposite provided a vibrant vintage shopping village where sellers offered original and reproduction clothing, home wares and memorabilia all from the era. By the Dance Marquee the Learning Team welcomed youngsters eager to try their hand at making a Wellington bomber in a specially-themed paper craft activity.

There was no specific vehicle theme this year in order to entice a wider variety of participants and it paid off. Amongst the military and civilian vehicles were a Singer Super Ten in maroon from 1947, Ken Robinson’s 1938 German Simca Signals van that was used during the French occupation, an amphibious Studebaker Weasel M29C from 1945 and, dressed as a British Civil Defence chief warden, Stephen Wooder came with his 1948 Morris Y-Type van. Chris Sales’ 1938 Jubilee 4-berth caravan attracted a lot of attention. Complete with an awning, canvas chairs and looking resplendent in two tone green on the grass in the corner of the Paddock, visitors were allowed inside to see this beautifully restored caravan which took Chris several years to complete.

The Press Hut had a glamorous air to it as ladies queued up to get their hair and make-up done by the team from Hair That Turns Heads and at 12noon, in the Barbara Cartland Room, Sue Whyte set up a vintage portrait studio taking shots of anyone wishing to enjoy the period setting in the Clubhouse.

Inside the dance marquee music ran all day from 10am until 9pm courtesy of specialist vintage DJ Chris Reynolds aka ‘Swing Shift’. This was interspersed with a line-up of live music from vocalist Noelle Vaughn and big band Kalamazoo. Offering free dance classes throughout the day were regulars Hoc and Mark. By lunchtime the unpredictable skies finally turned bright and at 3.30pm, the dancing came to a halt as the finalists in the best-dressed competition lined the dance floor with their incredible outfits. The standard was exceptionally high this year with some fine original attire judged by Miss Vaughn and Winston Churchill himself (aka ‘Winstan’).

At 5pm the Museum exhibition areas and the Sunbeam Café closed but hot food and drinks inside the marquee kept the evening flowing as the music and dancing continued. A wave of visitors came during the afternoon to see a roaring set from the band and traders were still selling to shoppers well after 6pm.