Tuesday, 21 September 2010

How to stop a tank!

I thought I'd share with you some pictures of a World War II re-enactment event I visited last weekend. I hadn't been to one of these before and had no idea what to expect. It was a free event at Rufford Park so I thought it was worth a visit.

I loved it - people were dressed up and really throwing themselves into the spirit of things. I learnt all sorts of useful things - this young man taught me that even I could stop a German Tank in its tracks (well, not even in my heyday, I thought!)but yes, two enamel plates on the ground in front of a German tank, at a distance, with the light shining right on the plates, was enough to persuade Gerry that there might be mines ahead. So bear that in mind should the need arise.

Lots of the visitors to the event also dressed up and there were stalls showing off different aspects of life in the war.

These kitchen cupboards and their contents had me smiling - I've picked up lots of these items over the years so could have my own re-enactment right here at home (I'm sure Niobe thinks we do most of the time). I'm working on getting myself one of these cupboards...

Lovin all that nostalgia!

Oh look - two Singer machines - that brought on a quick photo and i was a bit taken aback when the lady at the machine spoke to me as if she knew me. How embarrassed was I when I realised we sit only feet apart at work! I hadn't recognised her in her officers uniform! She was altering a skirt and I had a little look in her sewing tin to find the usual wooden cotton bobbins etc. This has brought me to thinking about the brass buttons that we all find in the jars and tins of buttons we pick up at car boots etc . It occurred to me that instead of me throwing these out as not being of any use to me I should be giving them to my colleague who would be able to pass them on to people trying to put together authentic uniforms of the war time. So - if anyone has any please get in touch!

I enjoyed brwosing some of the stalls and managed to find a couple of little treats which I haven't pictured yet - a lovely Tootal scarf (probably 50s rather than 40s but I wasn't going to be picky!)

Loving the hats and hair rolls...

I'm going to have to have a go at one of these rolls - doesn't it look stylish?

These girls were having a good time - singing their hearts out

while some in the audience got to their feet and fox-trotted around the courtyard

All around the courtyard were war time posters,

the graphics on some of these were great...

Freedom - still something we still all hold dear

I haven't even shown you the displays of the tanks and soldiers running around - not close enough to get good shots so finally - the "hospital"

Don't look too closely at the scary instruments...

and if you're going to the dentist soon I hope your's has something a little more up to date than this kit for his weapons!

If you get the chance to go to one of these events go! Next time I might dress up myself!

Have a good week!



  1. It looks like great fun,there was one on locally here at the weekend too but I didn't manage to get to it.
    Ann x

  2. What a trip down memory lane. I remember my mother wearing her hair in a roll like that back in the late 40s!


  3. What a great event! All those lovely period clothes and all those wonderful vintage goodies.

  4. This is the sort of day out that I love, and thanks for posting the lovely photos - I heart the one of the kitchen cupboard!

  5. What a fantastic event....I always wondered where my vintage bags, furs and shoes went to when people bought them for "re-enactments"
    I must look out for one in the future....
    Julie x

  6. you cant beat a good nostalgic weekend I agree dressing up for the event does aound like fun .Those girls get around dont they ,I saw them up here in the summer

  7. How fantastic my kids would have loved that. We've done loads in the past, Romans, Vikings, Knights etc but nothing 20th C.
    Will pass on the tip of the two tin plates Sam is very into tanks and war fare at the mo.
    Also reminded of my Grandma and her kitchen lovely nostalgia.

  8. We had one of these near us a couple of weeks ago and it was great - but yours looks bigger and better! I have my Grandads old button tin and i'm sure Ive got some original Brass Buttons in there - i'll take a look and let you know. xxx

  9. I would love to attend one of these, I love everything about the 1940s, would be fantastic to dress up! x

  10. Love all that wartime nostalgia.. specially the clothes! Lizzie

  11. Thank you for all of those lovely pictures, it looks like it was a super day
    Lynn xxx

  12. wow! what commitment and authenticity ( think my spelling might be right off there) but that looks great, if you weren't dressed up you must have felt a little like a clothed person in a nudist camp . must remember the enamel plate trick might come in useful some day.
    nice to be back to have a look around here wend .....st brigid says i'm only allowed 3 minutes !!!

  13. That looks like a great day out, and certainly much of the same stuff was about in the fifties! My mother wore her hair in a roll when she was in the WAF as it wasn't allowed to touch your collar. She said she had a padded 'sausage' to roll her hair round. We still have her uniform, but unfortunately it is very moth eaten.

  14. Looks like you had a great day out Wendy. A lot of my kitchen pieces come from that period and I remember my mother-in-law had one of those cupboards - she threw it out when she had a new fitted kitchen put in - darn it.

  15. I'd love to go to an event like that, it looks so interesting! And yes you must dress up next time!
    Lisa x

  16. Don't know how this post slipped through my net, but I am glad I went looking back through my dashboard tonight and found it! LOVE that hat and hair roll! A great event by the looks of it.

  17. Help ! just saw you had sent me an email and I ve not got it argggh!!! panic JA email gone astray......helllllp please send again xxxxxxx

  18. How wonderful - looks great fun