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Down Memory Lane

October 2012  

Going down Memory Lane

Down Memory LaneWhen most of us were children, the Second World War was a fairly recent memory. Our parents would have lived through it, the rationing cards, the shortages and other repercussions lasted well into the 1950s.

Then came the 1960s. The war was long over, a new atmosphere of energy and freedom had arrived and Britain moved on.

The circle is turning though and today more and more people are interested in the 1940s; a time when despite tragedy and deprivation, people felt a close bond with each other, people showed outstanding courage and goodwill to their neighbours, a time when food was short but morale was high.

Today events based on 1940 and 50 themes are hugely popular and growing all the time. A 1940s nightclub has opened in London, music from the “war years” is hugely popular. War time themed parties and restaurants are blossoming.

In late September the amazing Goodwood Revival in Sussex was totally sold out - and not surprisingly. This must represent the pinnacle of historical re-enactment. Along with an extraordinary collection of old cars and motorbikes racing around the track, everything there was a replica of the 40s and 50s. Even the programmes were produced with the correct font and style of the period. All the visitors had taken enormous trouble to dress in appropriate outfits, from military uniforms to land girls to the waisted dresses and longer style coats of the period. Dads Army was in full presence along with various bands and groups dishing out lively music from the era, a recreated Earl’s Court Motor Show, and numerous displays and entertainments. This special event sells out early, the 2013 dates have yet to be announced but keep an eye on their web page

Another successful war based event this summer was the Wartime Weekend organised by the Great Central Railway in Loughborough. Supported by the British Legion, it featured aerial displays, wartime displays, 1940s fashion shows, military gun displays, hundreds of re-enactors, military vehicles, and even King George VI and Winston Churchill (well, alright, characters representing top names from the war). This year it seemed there was even a motley dressed crew of French resistant fighters! Keep a eye out on for details of what they may be planning for next year.

Lytham St Annes is one that has already publicised its dates for next year. Its amazing Wartime Weekend covers so much from the dark days of Dunkirk, through the blitz and hard times on the home front to D-Day and victory in Europe and Asia, with memorabilia, battles, educational talks, demonstrations, historic vehicles, plus music and dance of course. You can even join the Home Guard at this event.

VIntage Fashion on GridIn fact, the whole wartime scene is growing so much in popularity that support services are now available, from people hiring out authentic costumes and dress from the period to courses in 1940s dance styles. Most fancy dress hire shops now also cater for the 1940s and some specialist shops such as are now opening as well.

To put you in the mood there are numerous compilations now available of war time music and Amazon has recently greatly enlarged its range of music from the war and the 1940s.

With Christmas coming, there are some excellent 1940s themed parties and events coming up. Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset has gone one step further with its Wartime Christmas Festival for this year and is offering an event that spans the period from the Christmas truce of 1914 right through the two world wars.

With so much enthusiasm for this period, there is bound to be a 1940s or War Years themed event in your region this winter, offering so much fun for everyone and a certain amount of nostalgia for those of a certain age!

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