Monday, 9 June 2014

Sing As We Go: A Very Wartime Weekend

This is Ramsbottom. An unassuming little town in Bury.

Last weekend, the union jack flags came out in their masses, bunting adorned the streets, Vera Lynn's We'll Meet Again floated out of every shop. Ramsbottom was transformed into a 1940's haven for their Wartime 'Sing As We Go' weekend. For us, of course, this meant a day trip on a sunny Bank Holiday Monday.
 Helen was detained at work for this one, so Catherine went it alone...

...Not that she minded!
It feels rather fitting to write this blog post days after the anniversary of D-Day, and here I just want to take a moment to remember those who gave their lives 70years ago for our freedom. The fact that we are still celebrating wartime victory 70 years on just shows how significant D-Day was.

And the town was certainly in celebratory mode. Bunting lined the streets, the sun was shining, and for every person dressed in jeans and trainers, there were five dressed in military wear and tea dresses. What did I wear in the town that compromised of steep slopes? Well, this genius popped on a pair of these beauties.

Beautiful, yes. Practical, hmm debatable. They were very comfortable, and I imagine they are perfect for work, a trip to the theatre, a wander around a stately home (ahem, National Trust), but maybe just not for walking up steep and narrow streets, weaving in and out of crowds. That said, they are beautiful, well made shoes. These were purchased at Clarks - living up to the mantra my mother instilled in me from a young age...trustworthy shoes come from Clarks. And in these shoes I trust.

Moving on! We were treated to a brass band concert, an original air raid warning siren being used frequently throughout the day, and to a display of classic cars. My favourite was the one with the National Trust Membership plastered proudly onto the windshield.

My highlight of the day came in the form of the steam engine. Unfortunately we couldn't get tickets to actually take the train but just seeing it pull in and out of the station was enough. Here is my slightly geeky confession. I love steam trains. I don't know why, call me sentimental, but I think they are the most romantic things...a steam filled platform, the distant sound of a whistle and a cry of 'all aboard! - it's the beginning of an adventure.

The platform was awash with some fantastically kitted out ladies and gentlemen. My highlight was the family who arrived complete with original vintage prams. Now that is dedication. I salute you, vintage family! The joy of it all was that everyone was so happy. As the train pulled out of the station I waved my Union Jack flag, giving them a proper send off, and there wasn't a single passenger who didn't wave back, capturing the spirit of the day perfectly.

It was also a great day for a bargain. Ramsbottom is packed with fantastic charity shops and I certainly picked up a few gems. I collect coronation/jubilee crockery, from George V to Elizabeth II, and I was ecstatic to find this beautifully delicate cup (just look at the scalloped edging!) and two saucers, along with this plate, all for £10! And my mother picked up a rather gorgeous clothes brush. We also couldn't resist a bag of boiled sweets. Pear drop, anyone?

And now we come to my favourite photograph of the day. These charming chaps obliged me with a picture and it made my day.Probably my first and last time of feeling like the Forces Sweetheart!

Remember, we are now on twitter, so do follow us for more photos, anecdotes and vintage musings...

                                                                        H & C

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