Tag: wartime

Wartime Christmas

As ever the Tank Museum at Bovington put on a great show at the weekend with their Wartime Christmas Festival. There was so much to see and do with lots of stalls selling fab Christmas goodies to wonderful living history talks and presentations. All set around some amazing displays of tanks and other wartime equipment from World War One to the present day.

We absolutely loved the 1940’s fashion show. The guys and girls putting on the fab show (The Blitz Buddies) really knew their stuff about fashion from the time and the talk was fascinating and informative as well as good fun – those parachute silk bloomers were terrific! We learned loads about utility fashion and the CC41 symbol.

In 1941 the Government introduced “Controlled Commodities” – things that needed to be rationed due to the fact that raw materials such as cloth, wool, metals etc were in short supply. These goods were identified with a CC41 symbol or Controlled Commodity 41 (often mis-quoted as Civilian Clothing 1941) and can be found on clothes, furniture and housewares. Just like foood rationing, families were issued with special coupons allowing them to buy limited supplies of CC41 items.CC41 Logo on Vintage Dorset blog

The Utility Clothing Scheme came in and although not well received at first, people quickly became adept at making their own accessories and adapting what they had.

Here’s some pictures from the fashion show. Many of the clothes were original and the group go to some trouble to trace the history of the items where they can – especially uniforms. Some of the items were reproductions but everything looked amazing!

We also sat and listened to a fascinating talk all about life during the Blitz and what it was like to live with the constant threat of bombing. The lovely men dressed in their Home Guard and ARP (Air Raid Precaution) Warden uniforms had an incredible amount of knowledge and passion for their subject. We were told about incendiary bombs and the fact that even though you can buy deactivated ones on internet sites such as Ebay they are still potentially lethal as the casings are made from magnesium which is highly flammable (be warned – if you have one of these in your home you may be invalidating your home insurance!). We also learned that more people were killed in the bombings at home than died actually fighting the war…. a truly sobering thought. Here’s some more pictures of the living history displays – thank you to all those dedicated people that keep our history alive in such a brilliant way. We had a truly great day! By the way – doesn’t this chap look just like the late (and much loved) Clive Dunn, the wonderful Lance-Corporal Jones from Dad’s Army…….


Published by annie, on 5th December 2012 at 7:47 am. Filled under: Christmas,Vintage Activities,Vintage Arts,Vintage Events,Vintage Fashion,Vintage Local History Tags: , , , , , Comments Off on Wartime Christmas

Blitz party

Themed parties are always great fun – but top of the list for vintage lovers who like to dress up in 1940’s style has to be the Blitz Party!

Vintage Dorset Blitz party scene with air raid shelter sign

The fabulous Liz & Jeremy asked Vintage Dorset to provide WW2 scene setting and help organise a fun birthday Blitz Party in the vintage hall at West Parley.  Liz was expecting around 40 guests and had a fabulous dance host to help everyone get into the swing.

We loved every moment of this one!

West Parley Memorial Hall

Venue styling!

West Parley Memorial Hall is a vintage style “Anderson Shelter” shaped building with a great vibe – the perfect venue for a Blitz party.

We visited late last year to see out how we would set up the party using the existing trestle tables and how we might create a scene where guest could have pictures and get into the mood.

Our style ingredients included:

  • Bunting in red white and blue as well as vintage bunting in floral fabrics
  • Trestle tables with vintage tablecloths and old fashioned lemonade jugs
  • Wartime kitchen and home accessories including an old bakelite radio, kitchen scales and lots of lacy doilies
  • An air raid shelter scene with a battered brick wall facade, piles of sandbags a wooden sign pointing to the “Air Raid Shelter” union jack flags (including some genuine flags from the first world war)
  • Vintage Trunks and an original fold out WW1 camp bed with bedding rolls and bedside reading of wartime recipe booklets with old spectacles, a cup of tea, an old camera and a vintage communications tuner

Blitz Party 1940's scene by Vintage Dorset

Liz is taking an MA in First World War studies through the University of Birmingham so we wanted as many genuine props as we could find from both world wars but also to create a bit of fun fitting for a party.

Guests in military costumes at the Blitz party

The costumes were amazing – people really made a great effort and it all looked fabulous:

Ladies line up

Men in uniforms and costumes at a Vintage Dorset Blitz party

Land girls in WW2 outfits at a vintage dorset blitz party

Blitz Party Food

Now no respectable party would be complete without appropriate food and we were very happy to help source local produce in the Blitz Party theme. The menu comprised:

Sgt Bun’s glorious rustic bread

-real butter and local cheddar

– pickled eggs and pickled onions from Country Markets, Bridport Markets and Washingpool

– Home-made jams and home-made cakes from the Women’s Institute Country Markets

tea at the Blitz Party Vintage Dorset

Pickled eggs and onions at the Blitz Party by Vintage Dorset

rustic bread for a blitz party

vintage cheese blitz party fare
Even the staff dig in to bread and cheese at the Blitz Party
guests tuck in at the Vintage Dorset Blitz party
union jack bunting



Published by vdorset, on 13th March 2012 at 6:00 pm. Filled under: Vintage Activities,Vintage Events,Vintage Fashion,Vintage Food,Vintage Local History Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on Blitz party