Show Visit, Wolverhampton Bantock House 1940′s Show, Sept 2009

Congratulations once again to everyone at Bantock House Museum for another brilliant 1940′s Weekend. Held over the weekend of September 5th/6th at the Bantock House Museum, in Bantock Park in Wolverhampton, the event was part of the museum’s 1940′s month. There are various events going on during the month including a Make Do and Mend event, a 1940′s Room set up and a 1940′s Dance at the House on September 26th. Visit the link below for further information. The enthusiasm of all the team there is brilliant and there are many displays of wartime items within the Museum, including newspapers etc 

Although only a small event in comparison to others, the atmosphere here is really electric, where you can feel the enthusiasm of all taking part. Some may even say a wartime spirit prevailed ! Led by Helen Steatham, the Curator and Manager at Bantock House Museum along with Jane James, the Education Officer, the event has been going for quite a few years, at least five to my knowledge.

There are many displays of the various aspects of the homelife during the Second World War, from rug making from worn out old clothes, to a display of Wren’s, the women’s branch of the Royal Navy. Another had a display of Home Guard equipment, or Dad’s Army or even LDV’s as they were first known as. LDV stood for Local Defence Volunteers. Most I understood are run by small groups of enthusiasts that come together for the event.

Another area ran by two very enthusiastic ladies, with one looking really smart in a WAAF’s uniform, was the 1940′s Room, where you could dress up in 1940′s clothes and have your photograph taken in a replica of a 1940′s dining room. We have an example below, where the three ladies were really enjoying themselves dressing up with wigs as well as the clothes and accessories of the time.

The Museum cafe was doing a roaring trade and many took advantage of the nice sunny afternoon to sit outside and enjoy a cup of tea and some nice cake. There were many live performances singing 1940′s songs and also a mid-afternoon sing-a-long of wartime hits took place. Many of the visitors were from the wartime era themselves and really entered into the spirit of things by dressing up in wartime civilian clothing. On the Saturday afternoon, a much younger generation were dressed as Land Army girls and had a fun time dancing to wartime music that was being played over the speakers. 

On the vehicles front, we saw a nice Willys MB Jeep and Harley Davidson WL750 with sidecar on the Saturday and then a Dodge Weapons Carrier with two more Willys MB Jeeps on the Sunday. One of the Jeeps was an early Willys Script Jeep converted to an SAS jeep used in North Africa, complete with jerrycans, machine guns etc. With so many people attending, it was difficult to get a clear shot.

There were also a few re-enactment chaps there showing uniforms and equipment of German, British and US paratroopers. At least three of them were camping out on Saturday night armed with a bottle or two of bourbon whisky to keep the night cold air out, as they told me.

So to sum up, a super friendly event that is highly recommended. Usually held on the first weekend in September, pop it down in your diary for next year. I know this year the event on the Sunday, in particular was so popular, that by mid-afternoon the Museum carpark was so full, that cars were being turned away to find alternative parking in the roads nearby.  Have a look at the photos below to see what a great event it was.      

LINK TO BANTOCK HOUSE MUSEUM

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