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Category Archives: Day to Day

Performing 



You aren’t just a performer, you are an audience member…watching the people in front of you, waiting for reactions for gratification…scouring for signs of mirth, boredom, admiration, disappointment. Just as you become connected with characters on screen or stage, their reactions and feelings get absorbed into you. Your performance may become better and livelier with a hedonistic audience. With quiet, unresponsive viewers or those that chatter through a set you either become disheartened, detach yourself from the situation with shopping lists or find it the perfect challenge to get their attention.

So to the girl and her mother who rolled their eyes, sneered and said ‘thank god’ when I announced my last track at a friend’s private performance just now…you are not the first, you will not be the last, but I’m not singing for you. I’m singing for myself, for the people listening and appreciating. For the children who don’t know the songs, but dance anyway. I sing so people can reminisce, to set the scene of an era and to keep them alive. I sing because I don’t have the guts to stop and tell you that I can hear every word and see every gesture. I sing because you can’t.

Severn Valley Railway 1940’s Event


I meant to write this post LAST year, but just never got around to it. It was more of a chance to tell you about Kim Clark at Time Machine Vintage than anything! I wore her gorgeous summery dress to last year’s SVR WW2 event and Betsy wore the matching little playsuit! I had a few other things made by the talented lady, but could never find the perfect weather and location to don the all in one trouser playsuit. Low and behold, June came round again and so did Severn Valley Railway, with sunshine and warm weather! So I got to wear 2 Time Machine outfits at this fantastic event!

Both have been sooooo comfy and far more enjoyable to walk around in than a suit and high heels. There is so much to see at the 40’s event and quite a bit of walking, so I wanted to be comfy but of the period. The linen jumpsuit is actually based on a 1930’s pattern, but Kim and I loved the styling and it was easy to create an early 40’s look with it too. I cannot wait to wear it on holiday with some yellow bakelite jewellery and a more 30’s twist! Kim has a real eye for vintage style fabrics (and sometimes gets her hands on 40’s and 50’s originals too!).

It was fantastic to be back at Severn Valley. It had its ups and downs in past years, but it truly is a lovely event and a wonderful day out. Where else can you get on a steam train and stare out the window at soldiers, scenery, elephants and rhinos?!

Pushchairs are not easy to get on and off the trains, so you may find yourself carrying your little people more than anything, but it is a perfect event for families. Some of the ‘vintage’ stalls were more 80’s does 40’s and polkadot 50’s dresses, but there were some good authentic stalls inside the Engine House (albeit flipping pricey!!!!). You may want to bring your own lunch and snacks as food is very pricey, but you can always have a cooked breakfast to start they day off at the station’s restaurant.

Very much looking forward to going again next year! Here are some photos of the 2016 and 2017 Severn Valley Railway 1940’s Events…

2016

Time Machine Vintage 1940’s reproduction summer dress and baby romper!

 

 

2017

With cheeky Chico!

Time Machine Vintage’s wonderful 1930’s outfit, twinned with an original 30’s hat and WW2 brooch. Shoes by Rocket Originals.

I love the fact that Betsy has never actually been on a modern train yet! Only vintage trams and steam trains!

Support Your Local Fete!


I just love a good village fete. There is something very ‘Darling Buds of May’ about a decent fete in fabulous weather. Ive been lucky enough to go to 2 so far this summer (One performing, one pleasure) and have another in the diary too. It is wonderful how a little place can rally together and create something lovely each year!

Snitterfield Village Fete was yet again great. This year had a light Back to the Future theme, with the presence of a DeLorean and the compare dressing as Doc! I just wish that they had a better variety of vintage cars and stalls there. Maybe a carboot area would work well? They have some great entertainment from a choir, ukulele group…myself obviously…and even a mini Crufts. Eatery wise, they had a pig roast (yum!), cream teas and more.

I happened to be invited along to a very quaint fete in Pershore this weekend just gone. My friend’s daughter was one of the May Pole dancers and I couldn’t wait to go and see! It was a great set up, right in the heart of the village, either side of a little brook. There were even a couple of stall in people’s gardens! This one had a dog show too, a couple of guys playing guitar and a duck race. It was lovely to have some real bric-a-brac stalls to rummage through , but not enough of a selection of savouries to eat unfortunately. Luckily our friend had made us a slap up lunch, so we just wanted an ice cream in the shade!

So here are some photos of both days for you. I do hope you support your local fairs? Usually they are raising money for a village fund, school, youth club or the like, so it really is important to have you there.

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Teacup ride with Betsy! I got waaaay too dizzy on this, but she loved it. Snitterfield 2017

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In the DeLorean with Doc and Betsy! Snitterfield 2017

May Pole Children Pershore Fete

In line, ready for May Pole. Pershore 2017

May Pole Children

The May Pole in Pershore 2017

Cooling off in dappled shade! 31 flipping degrees!

Ironbridge WW2 Weekend 2017


Well it’s not long now until I get to sing at this exciting event! I am especially excited as this will be my first time at the Ironbridge WW2 Weekend! Singing on Saturday only, on the main stage at 12.45. I hope to see you all there!

Crich Tramway WWII Weekend 2017


Although I’ve had a migraine since last Tuesday, we were hell bent on getting a nice family outing in this Easter weekend!

Luckily Crich is only around 90 minutes from us, so doable with a 21 month old. It was Betsy’s first time at the open air museum and she LOVED the ride on the tram!

I think most people were shocked at the fact we actually had a ‘real live person’ inside our vintage pram as we trundled across the cobbled streets. It was lovely to see familiar faces from past events, but the weather was a little chilly and we found it hard to stand still for too long (even in my coat!).

So here are a few photos from this year. I should’ve taken more, but was had to keep my eye on Queen B at the same time!

jayne darling

Jayne Darling, 1940’s singer

Myself with Jo Francis. Was lovely to catch up with this truly lovely lady!

‘The stand off’…

History on Wheels Museum


I had been to this fantastic little gem with the MVT many years back! We were lucky enough to be shown around by Tony Oliver himself, who collected the amazing range of First World War and WWII pieces in the cabinets as well as all the vehicles. When you arrive at the site, you may be mistaken for thinking that you have arrived in the middle of a giant police raid, but all the cars inside and out are available for (or have been used) in a variety of television shows and movies. As well as police cars there are military vehicles, bicycles and motorbikes from many different eras. The main exhibit focuses on 1900’s to 50’s, with a great collection of WWII vehicles (including Lt.Gruber’s ‘Little Tank’ from Allo Allo and another vehicle used in Indiana Jones!). General MacArthur’s Cadillac is gorgeous and there is also a very pleasant USO Shows exhibit too!



If you aren’t fussed about cars and bikes, there are so many other things to admire. From the resident pussy cat to vintage prams, wartime sweetheart jewellery to the lovely little cafe selling homemade apple pie, there is something for everyone.

 


My favourite was definitely the gallery of wall cabinets. Full of dusty old wonders from the world wars, you can see uniforms, souvenirs, toys, paraphernalia and medals from Allied and Axis forces. There is even a taxidermy dog that was once found by Mr. Nicholas and his ambulance crew, whom were part of the Royal Army Medical Corps in the first war. They named him Tiny and he stayed with them throughout their time in France. Mr. Nicholas was permitted to take his doggy pal home, but unfortunately Tiny was struck by a car years later. He now sits and stares at all the visitors as they enter the museum!

There is a rather quaint (but out of place) Princess Diana exhibit of souvenirs and memorabilia owned by another member of the family and also a little Anderson shelter, 30 seat cinema and living room set up too.

It’s a bit dusty, a little damp and yes, there is bird poo on a few posters and flags, but you can see the pure joy and commitment that Tony had whilst building his fascinating collection. It is wonderful that the family are still looking after it and opening the museum doors once a month to the public!

This doll was found in a bin in the 40’s. A man cleaned it up, made a dress out of parachute silk and gave it to his daughter.


Hitler Puppet

Hitler Puppet for Punch and Judy


WW2 Peddle Cars and Tank

WW2 Peddle Cars and Tank


First World War Chalkware Figurine

First World War Chalkware Figurine

The museum is generally open on the last Sunday of each month. Their website is currently not up to date, so it is best to call in advance: tel:07850 38136

You’ll find the museum on Common Rd, Eton Wick, SL4 6QY.

PLEASE NOTE:The museum doesn’t take card, only cash! We did manage to pay via PayPal, which was handy!

Mussolini’s Villa on Rhodes


You may remember a an article I wrote for Military Reenactors Magazine about Profitis Ilias on Rhodes a couple of years back? Well this time we travelled that way once more to visit a villa built as a retirement home for Mussolini. Blimey, the amount of steep climbing we had to do to get there, I couldn’t imagine him nipping to the shop for more Tzatziki.

General Cesare Maria De Vecchi stayed there between 1936 and 1940, whilst he was the Italian Governor of Rhodes. Mussolini planned to use Rhodes as a major naval base, but luckily never set foot in his villa, which was later abandoned in 1947.

There is still a haunting grandeur about this derelict building. Blindsiding the graffiti and obvious looting, you can still see what a remarkably beautiful house this was. The view from the veranda, overlooking the roof of the Elaphos Hotel and onto the sea, is breathtaking. I managed to save a few photos to my computer before Betsy miraculously hid my camera card. Here is what I have for you!

Probably unplanned, but note how the tiled floor of the entrance way looks like an elongated Star of David pattern…

 

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