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Bournemouth Photos!


I had a wonderful time in Bournemouth when I went there to perform at a Blitz Ball! I have never really walked around the town before, but once you look passed the chain stores, there are some real treasures! It is a relatively new town, born in 1810, so the architecture is a gorgeous mix with some fabulous 1920’s bits thrown in (and the obligatory modern catastrophes!). There is one place we found just outside the town with a whole street of vintage and antique shops, so for a whole day we staggered open-mouthed around a treasure trove of curiosities.

The Blitz Ball went really well and was held at the Bournemouth Flying Club at the airport. Unfortunately due to the weather, the daytime event was postponed, making the dance less popular. It was a shame as the DJ was fantastic and the hosts a delight. I have experience myself of hosting Blitz Balls and know what hard work they are and how much money can be lost through the expense and hard work it takes. ST Events did a grand job, but obviously couldn’t help the weather that had scuppered its big day. Ah well, other people’s loss is my gain as there was more room to dance!

The people that were there were dressed up to the nines, whether they were 1940’s enthusiasts or not! I did a singing set early in the evening before donning my bomber girl corset for a fan dance at 10.30. Low and behold one of the staves snapped just as I was finishing my last spin! The feathery swine!!!

For the rest of the evening I wore a gorgeous original 1940’s gown with red and white stripes that I bought at Stoneleigh Militaria and a pair of pale blue Johnson’s Originals shoes, with a hair bow to match.

I hope you enjoy the photos below, I will do a separate post about Russell Cotes House as it was too incredible not to warrant its own article…

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Helen & Dai’s Medieval Wedding


My gorgeous friends H P Saucy and Dai got married at St Mawes Castle in Cornwall, late September. The theme was a Merlin/ Game of Thrones/ Medieval affair! I helped Helen with her styling, did her hair and makeup and also made Dai’s doublet! It was my first time making anything medieval and managed to make my own dress and matching bag AND Mr Moo’s Richard the Lionheart outfit too. Here are a few photos of the beautiful day… I know, don’t I look different?!

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Helen and Dai!

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St. Mawes Castle in Cornwall – The wedding venue!

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Our outfits. I made my gown from crushed velvet and stiff silk with a woven pattern.
I made Richard’s ‘chainmail’ cowel, which I knitted, rolled with silver paint and then finished by painting an antique gold line around the rim. The tunic is hand painted crushed velvet.

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Game of Thrones inspired wedding outfits. You can just see the doublet I made from heavy duty cotton velvet with hand sewn brass findings and purple velvet ribbon. I also applied embroidered appliques to Helen’s gold and a gold belt with matching arm ribbon.
Dai’s cloak is a 1930’s opera cloak (velvet) with a vintage fox fur.
This is reminiscent of a Merlin character’s cloak.

 

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I know, too adorable right?

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My stone! Helen’s Ma collected heart shaped stones from Cornwall beaches and then Dai painted them all with people’s names. What a wonderful token of their day!

 

 

 

Crich Tramway Museum 1940’s Weekender


For those who have yet to go to this show…you must! Nestled in an old quarry mine, this open air museum hosts tram sheds, a gorgeous Victorian pub, old buildings and trams from all over the country. On entry you are given an old penny that is used to ‘buy’ your ticket on any tram you please and this ticket can be used again and again.

There is always some great entertainment at the show including singers, spivs and a wonderful parade of vehicles too. You will also fine a good handful of vintage stalls offering clothing and housewares, which I always head to first!

I did not take many pictures this year as nowt has changed. I think the most exciting difference was the addition of an open top Blackpool tram with strings of lights. It almost looked like a boat on rails!

Crich Tramway also has a lovely woodland trail for those not wearing heels.

Here are some photos for you…

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Crich Tramway detail photos

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Posing with a lovely vintage car!

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Some detail shots of one of the beautifully restored trams

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A candid shot of some soldier in a Willy’s Jeep in the parade

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Interior detail of one of the double decker trams

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Some of the lovely folk in their civvies

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‘George Formby’ entertaining the crowds at Crich

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The new Blackpool tram at the museum

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I may or may not have been a bit over-tired and in a silly mood when having this taken…

 

 

 

War and Peace Revival 2013 – Gallery 1


Here is a small selection of photos from the 1st ever War and Peace Revival! More to come I promise, but I wanted to get these up as I know some of you are chomping at the bit!

It was incredibly hot for the whole week with only a short cloudy burst on the Friday. I didn’t get around the dioramas due to a hectic schedule and feeling as if I were walking through treacle from the heat, but did get to the Vintage Village and the rest!

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Miniature Jeep or 60ft woman? You decide! Kitten von Mew at War and Peace Revival 2013. Taken by RvM

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Kitten signing her centre page pin-up poster of Military World Magazine. Taken by RvM

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Kitten with Vicki Michelle and Sue Hodges of ‘Allo ‘Allo! Taken by RvM

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Kitten the poster gal! Check out the monster banner behind! Yowza! Taken by RvM

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In the Vintage Village Display watching Beverly teach someone how to darn a sock!
Photo by Kitten von Mew

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Vintage textile bits and bobs on Bev’s display. Taken by Kitten von Mew

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More of Bev’s display including a wonderful crochet bra! Taken by Kitten von Mew

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Wet stocking been dried in the Vintage Village with Mr Mew behind! Taken by KvM

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A vintage pantry display in the kitchen diorama. Taken by KvM

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Kitten von Mew in the 1940’s living room diorama! Taken by RvM

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Toy soldiers for sale in the market place. Taken by KvM

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WW2 tin toy armoured vehicle in the market place. Taken by KvM

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Sincerely Yours, Swingtime Sweethearts, Viv the Spiv and Kitten von Mew in the V Marquee

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Kitten von Mew and her wonderful ‘Colonel Whiskers’, her favourite at the events. Taken by RvM

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Kitten and RAF crew with one of the model spitfires at War and Peace Revival

More to come I promise!!!

Who You Gonna Call?…Dambusters!


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On Saturday I was lucky enough to sing at St Peter’s Church in Wellesbourne, which was playing host to a special event! Philip West (an amazing aviation artist) and the local historical society Walton History Group arrange a special celebration for the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters Raid. This bombing raid, known as Operation Chastise was completed by the 617 squadron and Squadron Leader George L. ‘Johnny’ Johnson was there! Johnny as he is affectionately called was the bomber aimer in one of the specially modified Avro Lancaster Mk III’s and told us all about his time in the war, from training to be a pilot (which he was dreadful at and had no intention of being) to becoming a husband and bomber aimer for one of the most significant raids in WWII history.

We also had the pleasure of meeting the daughter of Barnes Wallis; the creater of the bouncing bomb too! She shared stories of how her father tested out bouncing bomb ideas in the garden using her marbles.

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I volunteered to sing some 1940’s songs in exchange for one of Philip’s fabulous prints and an autograph from the artist and George Johnson! My cheeky request was accepted and I was so happy to be part of this wonderful event. Everyone was wonderful and we got to meet some amazing people such as Iris Erwin who’s husband Sgt E C Erwin was one of the Path Finders in the war and was captured and sent to a P.O.W. camp. He escaped a few times, but was soon found again and put back. He survived the war, but unfortunately no longer alive, so his wonderful wife now holds on to his amazing paraphernalia. From a rice paper P.O.W. map of Germany and the border hidden in the back of a bible to his RAF jacket, she has kept everything immaculately. She even has a wedding card in the shape of a black cat’s head of which he took with his to war and it never left his pocket, even in the prisoner of war camps. I was so taken with this wonderful lady that I am planning to ask her for an interview as a feature in Military World Magazine soon. She completely stole our hearts, especially as whilst I was singing a bit of Gracie Fields, she came and shuffling and bobbing along with her little walking stick. She reminded me a little of a wind up tin toy doll and we wanted to take her home with us!

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I do not wish to say much more as I plan to do a write up on this event in the magazine, so do not want to be repeating myself! Rest assured there will be more photos added and I will post a copy of the article once it has been published!

London Trip – Churchill’s War Rooms and the Troxy


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Kitten von Mew outside the Imperial War Museum, London

In February we decided upon a  weekend trip to London, originally to go to The Imperial War Museum and a cinema event at the Troxy. I had been waiting for a free day to visit the museum and we were so excited about it! After a rather bad night at a Premier Inn (Angry Welsh drunks shouting down the corridor and the receptionist pumping up the volume of the foyer music to ease her boredom), we got dressed and gleefully made our way to the IWM. I can honestly say that I shed a tear as we were met at the door by a security person who told us the museum was closed until late summer and that most of the WWII exhibits were being relocated to Duxford. My insides were throwing toys out of my pram as I tried to outwardly keep composure, but the poor lady saw how mortified I was.

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Imperial War Museum in London, taken by Kitten von Mew

We decided to check out Churchill’s War Rooms instead as we were dressed up, so made the trek to St James’ Park over the river. The ticket price was £17 each, which seemed a tad steep, but did include an audio tour in the form of a handset. The cabinet war rooms are a maze of tunnels and rooms below the Treasury building and feature original fixings, furniture, maps and phones. You definitely need the audio guide as you walk around as it is the only thing to explain what you are currently looking at. This is nice in a way as walls are not covered with descriptions, but not great for deaf visitors (although I am sure they must have a special free guide book for that purpose).

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Churchill’s War Rooms – Phone and WWII Map. Taken by Kitten von Mew

I especially liked looking at the old war maps with their pins, string and roughly penned sunken ships and notes. The coloured scramble phones were also amazing (look out for the green handled ones that were used for top secret, highly important information!). It was also great looking into Winston’s bedroom and his wife’s room further down the corridor. They had even gone to the trouble of putting out one of his cigars on the bedside table ashtray!

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Winston Churchill’s bedroom in the Cabinet War Rooms. Taken by Kitten von Mew

Lighting is extremely low in the War Rooms and as the doorways to rooms are covered with clear perspex, this makes it difficult to take good photos, so excuse my efforts!

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Close up of the pins and string for the maps in the Cabinet War Rooms. Taken by Kitten von Mew

The next day we dressed up in our finest to go to the Future Cinema event at The Troxy. This time it was Casablanca and the theming of the place was perfect.

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Mr Mew outside the ‘Rick’s Cafe’ entrance to the Future Cinema event. Taken by Kitten von Mew

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Richard and Kitten Von Mew outside the Troxy back entrance.

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Interior of the Troxy. Capturing some of the action of Future Cinema’s Casablanca! Taken by Kitten von Mew.

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Play it Sam! Kitten and ‘Sam’ at The Troxy.

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Kitten von Mew, taken by Richard Von Mew

What a great way to watch a fabulous film and round off the weekend!

Once More onto the Beach Dear Friends


Well it may have been the Weymouth Olympics, but Mr Mew and I ventured to the seaside town as a last nod to my parents wonderful harbour view flat. Although it has been a rental property for the passed few years, we have been able to spend a few precious weekends looking over the boats, being awoken by the crazy artist living above us and mew-andering through the town and onto the beach. It is with much sadness that my parents have to sell the flat and it is now that I am realising how much I adored the place.

We also used it as a great excuse to go back to Lyme Regis; a chocolate box seaside town with a steep hill, adorable beach and some fine vintage shops too!

 

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Richard and Kitten von Mew with the colourful Lyme Regis Beach Huts

I tell you one thing. You have to praise what the council has done to brighten up the place for the Olympics!

The dress (above) was bought in one of the antique shops and it was a relief to get out of my heavy 40’s jacket and trousers into an original, cool summer dress!

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Painting pebbles on Lyme Regis Beach. They were selling them in aid of the Lifeboats which we thought was lovely. I donated mine to the cause and copied the view of the coastline in front of me.

I haven’t painted stones since I was little and I have to say it was wonderfully therapeutic! They were selling some for charity, so I decided to do one too to add to the collection! Very proud of my efforts 🙂

 

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Kitten von Mew on Weymouth Beach with the Punch and Judy Theatre

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Collage of Weymouth Beach. Loving the deckchairs!

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The Remembrance Garden and monument by Weymouth Beach. I was very moved with the sun bleached wooden crossed, some of which had the names of people who served in the 1st and 2nd World Wars.

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Some of the wonderful people in the crowds of the Olympics and the traffic sign that once said ROAD CLOSED now emblazoned with Ben Ainslie GOLD