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Tag Archives: ww2 events

Wartime in the Vale 2018


For Father’s Day this year, we thought a trip to Ashdown Camp’s Wartime in the Vale would be a great idea. I had to swallow my pride a little, as I used to perform there many years ago and was let go when a new entertainment organiser was brought in.

We firstly stopped at the fabulous Fourteas in Stratford Upon Avon to have a family breakfast (thoroughly recommend the G.I. Breakfast and Earl Grey tea!) before heading to Evesham.

The event has increased hugely from the small field event it once was. I could hardly recognise the place! We got there at midday, with no entrance queues and there were huge displays of military vehicles. The main arena had First World War and WWII vehicles, tanks and cavalry (best displays I have seen at a show).

There were lots of stalls (a few good ones, but 50% were annoying tat, Lindy Bop 50’s dresses, 80’s doing vintage or extremely overpriced vintage military (£35 for moth eaten military breeches that needed patching up, sewing and new fly buttons and lacing?!). It kind of reminded me of how War and Peace started to go, so they could entice young people and families.

Amazing box made by a WW2 POW out of newspaper!

I was also NOT impressed by one guy representing Help for Heroes, who made some kind of tongue-in-cheek comment about my ‘big buns’ and a bake sale, before somehow thinking it was hilarious to say “You know, if you can tear yourself away from Jeremy Kyle or whatever it is you do in the daytime…” seriously?!?! At least these two were professional!

Thanks to my friend Stephen, I had the honour of going inside the First World War tank, which was fascinating. Boy was it cramped! With lousy suspension and lack of headroom it would certainly be no good for just popping to the shops in…

One of the most dangerous places to be in the First World War, they were cramped with exposed scolding-hot pipes, toxic fumes, noise and more. Around 8 men would be put into these hazardous machines and many became ill or died from heat exhaustion, carbon monoxide poisoning from the engine, horrendous burns from the pipes or killed by the axis forces.

Back to the show!

For the little kids, there was a mini fun fair that certainly amused Betsy for 20 minutes before home time! The mini swing boats were actually from 1945, which was awesome!

I would say that it would have been nice to have some smaller entertainment spots, set up at a couple of other areas (other than the main marquee), but it would’ve been impossible. Everything is set around the central arena, which is obviously rather noisy and the main focus of the show. Any singers or music would get completely drowned out by the tannoy, pyrotechnics or engines!

I think I would go back for a day out with the family, but would bring ear defenders for Betsy Boo next time! There were warnings with most of the explosions, but some we were unprepared for and she soon started trying to hide!

I would thoroughly recommend the displays, which were fantastic, but if you go with shopping in mind, maybe go to a carboot sale before hand and just enjoy the rest!

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Bletchley Park 1940’s Weekend

Bletchley Park 1940’s Weekend

This weekend I will be singing at Bletchley Park’s 1940’s Weekend! The weather is set to be beautiful too! The museum will be open, so you can gaze in awe at the Enigma machine, computer and historic mansion. Walk around the beautiful grounds, enjoy the entertainment, vintage stalls, reenactors and more!

I will be performing on the Saturday and Sunday only, at 3pm and 4pm, so come and say hello.

Black Country Museum WW2 Weekend


I am soooooo sorry that this post (and others coming) is crazily delayed. To put it bluntly, I not only have my computer in a rather nippy brick shed, but little Betsy likes to come in here and throw my crafting things around. It takes me a good hour to edit photos before even attempting a post, and that is if Richard is here to look after her!

So I thought I would go through my camera card to see what delights we had in 2016 and this was one of them. I have been to the Black Country Museum several times, but never to one of their wartime events. The open air museum is a huge expanse and is also linked to the waterways. Some of you may recognise parts from Peaky Blinders, which used it as a set!

Workshop BCM

Workshop

richard-rubble-bw-web shoe-mender-bw-web

house fire black country museum

Mock fire in the main street. It did make me chuckle howt hey had to aim the water at the brick wall, but it was a nicely done reenactment

You can take a really great tour on the barges through the limestone tunnels that were important networks for the iron industry in the 19th and 20th century. It is an extra fee, but seriously worth it and a nice sit down after all the walking.

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caves-betsy-web

limestone tunnels dudley canal

Inside the limestone tunnels

Richard and Betsy

Richard and Betsy

Kitten and Betsy on the Barge

Kitten and Betsy on the Barge

Barge Trip on Dudley Canal

Barge Trip on Dudley Canal

It was lovely seeing the place themed to wartime and the amount of people dressed up in civilian and military! There was a little Land Army set up in a garden, plenty of fabulous vintage vehicles, the old fun fair (extra charges again), a mock house fire in the main street, Churchill making appearances and some vintage stalls. We found the best clothing was in the brick buildings as you enter the museum! The school house had a very interesting exhibit of original clothing and brooches that I was swooning over for a rather long time…

ww2 Women's clothing exhibit

Women’s clothing exhibit

ww2 childrens clothing

The Children’s Clothing Display

ww2 brooches and pins

Brooches and Pins Display

Live music was scheduled throughout the day, but unfortunately we were too busy walking around to see any of it. BE WARNED! There is an awful lot of walking, so if you have young children, prams, high heels, this can get rather tiring. The ground is uneven or stony in many areas. Things are very spaced out, so be prepared. Also, one thing to point out is that by the coal mine, there is a lot of coal gravel. Betsy enjoyed picking these up and her shoes (and Richard’s white trousers) got covered in coal dust. Not a major thing, but just a heads-up to parents.

We had a wonderful day and I think Betsy enjoyed the strange sights and sounds too. There is a little park area that she could toddle about in and she didn’t cry once in the darkness of the canal tours. There are plenty of places to eat and we chose the restaurant after the barge ride. It serves hot and cold food and we ate a little early to avoid the huge lunchtime crowds! So here are a few photos of our lovely day. Maybe you could go this year!

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Williams Motors motorcycle helmet

Williams Motors motorcycle helmet

land army black country

Land Army

kitten von mew black country museum

Wearing a 1930’s dress coat, 1940’s crepe dress, original hat and handbag.

Kitten and Soldier

This wonderful chap interviewed me at Severn Valley Railway 10 years ago!

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Having a natter

winston churchill black country museum

Churchill needs longer trousers…

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betsy-carousel-1-blur-web

 

 

Blitz Ball 1st March 2014 at Bournemouth Flying Club


blitz ball 2014

The daytime event may be postponed, but this Blitz Ball is still going ahead! Pre-book your tickets HERE

Proceeds go to Help for Heroes! Hope to see you there!

Performance Dates Added!


With next year being the 70th Anniversary of the D Day Landings, it is set to be busy with WW2 events! You will find my confirmed bookings HERE for 2014, so don’t forget to update your diaries!

You will also notice a commemorative steam train journey on 6th June, which may interest puffer nutters, families and wartime revivalists alike. I will be doing a special post on this journey, but more information can be found at Train of Events in the meantime!

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…

crich-tramway-museum-photos

Crich Tramway detail photos

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Posing with a lovely vintage car!

crich-tram-museum-vintage-trams

Some detail shots of one of the beautifully restored trams

crich-1940s-weekend-soldiers-in-jeep

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

crich-tramway-ww2-weekend-civilians

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…

 

 

 

New Dates added!


Check out my performance dates page for new Burlesque and singing dates!