Woodhall Spa 1940's Festival 2015

Dear Readers,

Last weekend we attended the fourth Woodhall Spa 1940s Festival which we were very excited about. From the very beginning this has been a well organised event and you can tell that the committee who organises it are re-enactors themselves because they have put together an event with everything you would want from a wartime weekend. There's re-enactments, fly pasts, living history displays, entertainment galore, and of course some good shopping to be had too! I love the entertainment which is dotted around at different locations throughout the town and they get some great performers in. It's all for free too which is amazing when you consider the cost of running the event which is a whopping £20,000!

It was beautiful weather while we were there and Indi was happy that he could wear his straw boater. It did rain on Sunday morning but as I am unable to leave the house before noon we totally missed it. On Saturday I wore a dress I bought a while ago from Tasty Vintage in Lincoln but as yet I've not worn it. I was a bit unsure at first as to whether I should wear it since I kind of felt it didn't suit me but after a great response from my lovely Facebook chums I went for it and I'm so glad I did. On Sunday I was feeling more about comfort and scrapped my plans to wear my green dress in favour of my blue gingham one. It's light yet sturdy and I just absolutely love it. I seem to wear it to Woodhall Spa 1940's festival at least once a year but it's just so practical.

On Saturday we met up with my mum and dad and spent the day wandering around town with them. I wore what I consider to be comfortable heels but as there's so much walking around town and on hard pavement too my feet really were killing me by the end of the day. I made one purchase of a beautiful hazel leaf brooch which matches some earrings I bought at Twinwood last year. The enamel is in beautiful leafy greens and brown which I think will be just perfect for autumn.

On the Sunday Indi and I started the day with a picnic - well it was lunch time! We sat on the grass next to some roses and had a great view of Sarah Jayne who was singing. Unfortunately Lola Lamour only performed at a dance on Friday night so we didn't get to see her this year. Sarah did a wonderful job though and looked stunning in her dress. She was really friendly too and we spoke once or twice throughout the day. We bumped into friends throughout the day which is one thing I really love about local events. In the afternoon we went to the air raid display at the Golf Hotel which I have never been to before as I favour watching the singers. There was explosions, smoke, and some unfortunate victims of the air raid attack but I felt that it could have been more dramatic though maybe that's just the AmDram in me!

While we were at the Golf we met with an old chum Zac who we met a good few years ago now during our brief foray into lindy hop dance lessons. Zac brought Daisy who is a beautiful English bull mastiff and she got lots of fuss and attention all day, I love Daisy Doo. After the air raid we made our way down to The Lancaster Inn and saw Heather Marie performing and took some much needed refreshment. Unfortunately I didn't get to chat to Heather Marie but I'm glad I saw her perform because she's so good. We had to leave before she had finished because we had bought a radio from Age UK and needed to get to the shop before it shut. We tootled off to the shop and then headed to the car to stash it away. While at the car we started munching on left over picnic, I had made too much food so there was lots left to nibble. It was actually really fun sitting on the bumper, chatting, nibbling and listening to the swing music drifting through. It was nice and shady which was lovely since it had been really hot standing in the sun at the Golf. Following the impromptu car picnic we headed over to Jubilee Park for one last look around the stalls and then had a coffee in the cafe. Yet again we sat in the shade, chatting, and listened to the music drifting over. I think that's my favourite thing to do!

All in all it was another fantastic year and the committee must be very pleased with themselves for bringing such a fantastic event to the town. It just gets bigger and bigger every year with more visitors drawn to experience Wartime Woodhall. I will say that I don't cope well with crowds and felt harassed at times with the
rudeness of some people, The amount of people who come as tourists vastly outweighs the number of us dressed in period outfits which is something that happens at a number of events, not just Woodhall. I don't begrudge people coming who aren't dressed up, don't get me wrong, the more the merrier is my attitude. But it can get to a point where you feel like you are a tourist attraction as people stare, make comments, and take sly photos without your permission. I completely understand that we are going to stand out and that's going to draw attention; that's something I came to terms with years ago when I started wearing vintage, but just because I look different doesn't mean manners can go out of the window!

Woodhall Spa is such a great event and still gets to hold the title of our favourite event of the year. Maybe we are biased as we love Woodhall Spa at any time of the year not just when the 1940's weekend is on. We visit the town regularly when we are at a loose end and we never go to the Odeon in Lincoln any more as we much prefer to go to the Kinema in the Woods. As happens every year I now can't believe the event is over and I'm sad that it is but excited too that we have so many other events just around the corner.

Did you go to the Woodhall Spa 1940's festival this year? You can read about our previous years at the festival here.


What's On - August 2015

Dear Readers,

Woodhall Spa 1940's weekend is just around the corner and I am so excited you would think it's Christmas (which I love and it's absolutely not too early to begin thinking about). The events calendar is really going to get into full swing now and I couldn't be happier. Although it does make me feel funny to think that it's been a whole year since the last Woodhall Spa 1940s weekend and quickly that year has gone; indeed this will be the forth year the event has been held and we have been attending since the very first one. There are more events besides Woodhall and here's a few of the events we will be going to this August.

1st - 2nd August 2015
Baston in the Blitz
Follow the success of their one day event last year Baston in the Blitz is back again and this time for a full weekend. We went last year and there was a lovely village fete kind of atmosphere. I'm so pleased it was successful enough for them to run the event again and this time for both Saturday and Sunday. There's a packed schedule of performances to go and see including the Blitz Dancers, Katie Mustang, and the Tweedie Sisters. There will be stalls, some speeches by Winston Churchill and living history groups. There were some lovely vintage vehicles there last year too.
For more information go to www.bastonblitz.org

3rd - 9th August 2015
Crich Tramway Village 1940s Week
For a whole week Crich Tramway Village will be stepping back to WW2 with re-enactors, singers, and lots to see and do. We went to their 1940s event in the spring and despite it being a bit of a drive out of town it was well worth it. There's so much to do at the museum anyway from riding the trams, taking a wander around the museum and stopping for a drink at The Red Lion. When the war week is on it's a busy day and a few of us had to have a restorative nap in the car on the way home (apart from Indi thankfully as he was driving!). I'm particularly looking forward to seeing Marina Mae performing there this time and also the shopping is good. Did I mention I enjoy shopping?
For more information go to www.tramway.co.uk/events/ww2-home-front-0

15th - 16th August 2015
Ayscoughfee Hall Museum 1940s Weekend
Down in Spalding this year the Ayscoughfee Hall Museum and Gardens are having a 1940's weekend where there will be vehicles, entertainers, stalls and more! On the Saturday there is even a flypast from the BBMF. I'm not sure if this is the first year they have held this event or if I've been totally oblivious to it but I've never been before. Unfortunately I won't be attending as I have plans to visit friends in London on that weekend. We have some very good plans indeed but it's a shame I won't be available to go check this little event out. Spalding is really pretty with the river and though I've never been in the hall it looks lovely and a great setting for a 1940s weekend.
For more information go to www.sholland.gov.uk/leisure/ayscoughfee/

22nd - 23rd August 2015
Ramsey 1940s Weekend
Another event that is out of the county but as Indi's folks live near Petetborough we often stop over with them so it's not much of a drive to Ramsey. This is another event I get excited about because I always have so much fun when I'm there. I don't want to jinx it but we have always had lovely weather whenever we have been and it just got all the elements you need for a great 40's event. There's top notch entertainment in the big top tent (I just love big top circus tents!), lots of vintage vehicles, great living history displays, fly past, oh and maybe some shopping. Really the shopping is great and I have noticed that some of traders at Ramsey who I then see again at Twinwood Festival and since we won't be going to Twinwood this year or next (something important came up, like our wedding!) I'm going to be extra into all of the stalls. This year we are hoping to meet up with friends while we are there so it's going to be even more fun. I will say though that this year we will be packing a picnic to take with since me being a vegetarian I do struggle to find something I like to eat. Although having said that we were told last year that there's a really good Naafi there which has completely past us by!
For more information go to www.ramsey1940s.co.uk

23rd August 2015
1940s Day at Lincoln Brayford Waterfront
Again another event right on our doorstep! This is for one day only folks and will include The Lancashire Belle wartime singer, a wartime blitz fire engine display and lots of stalls. Also scheduled is a flypast from the BBMF Lancaster Avro but I'm not sure if this will go ahead as the Avro is poorly. Unfortunately we will be in Ramsey as we had already planned to go and made arrangements with friends by the time we found out about this event. Also sandwiched between the Odeon and Wagammas I'm not sure it's the best setting. If you do go let me know what your experience was like, I'd love to know!
For more information go to www.visitlincoln.com/whats-on/1940s-day-8-15

28th - 31st August 2015
The Asylum - Lincoln Steampunk Festival
As I previously mentioned in my last post Dieselpunk Inspiration I am highly excited for the Steampunk weekend this year. It's such a fun event to go to with loads to do even if you're not a steampunk yourself. It attracts a lot of visitors to the city and is the biggest steampunk festival in Europe, imagine that! We don't usually buy wristbands for the weekend though they get you into a lot of the events but there's plenty to do mingling and browsing the stalls to keep us happy. The castle grounds are now free to enter too so if the weather is nice you could take a picnic to enjoy some of the best historical surroundings going. You can read about what we got up to and wore at last years event here. It never used to be on the Bank Holiday and it's a bit of a bind that it's been moved really because ordinarily we go to Twinwood Festival on August Bank Holiday.
For more information go to www.asylumsteampunk.co.uk

29th - 31st August 2015
Rauceby War Weekend
This was one of the very first vintage events I attended many moons ago and after I vowed I must get an amazing outfit like so many of the ladies I had seen there that day. In recent years we haven't been again as it clashes with Twinwood but this year we are hoping to go on the Monday as we have decided to skip Twinwood this year in favour of trying out some of the events we never get to go to due to the clash. There are lots of things going on at the event with a lot of living history re-enactments and if I remember right last time I went you could ride in a tank! There's an arena with staged battle re-eactments, vehicles, dances, entertainment, stalls, and as it's in a field there's a Naafi too for refreshments, and you'll work up a thirst going round the event since there's so much to do!
For more information go to www.raucebywarweekend.co.uk

Sorry for such a long post folks but there is just so much going on this month. When the summer is over I'm going to need a lie down in a dark room to get over it. What's in your calendar this summer? Are you going to be at any of the events I've talked about?


Dieselpunk Inspiration

Dear Readers,

Despite having many events in the calendar before the Steampunk Weekend this August Bank Holiday I still find myself extremely excited for the weekend and dressing up for it. I seem to do that a lot and always look to what's on the horizon and want to be there rather than appreciating where I am at the moment. I do love the Steampunk Weekend though as it adds some good variety to the events calendar and I have attended it every since it began; albeit the first time was entirely by accident. We have been trying more to get into Dieselpunk for the occasion as it's already based on an aesthetic we love and we have a lot of outfits in our wardrobes that can easily be dressed up for the occasion.

Generally we have always just attended the Steampunk Weekend dressed in our 1940's outfits but recently I have been wanting to make more of a special effort and do something which feels more Dieselpunk. I think though what I really end up doing is more of a Captain America based cosplay since that seems to be a lot of my inspiration. Last year I wanted to be a bad-ass Agent of Hydra but really all I wore was a Collectif dress I already own and Indi made me a little Hydra logo lapel pin badge. But I felt bad-ass anyway so mission accomplished!

This year I started out with a very specific character of my own creation, The Aviatrix, and I have been using a lot of photographs from the women pioneers of aviation as inspiration. Ladies such as Ruth Eldar, Amelia Earhart, and the stunning Katharine Hepburn.

Image Source: http://coolchicksfromhistory.tumblr.com/post/5875393796/aviatrix-ruth-elder-1902-1977
Image Source: http://semioticapocalypse.tumblr.com/post/82028902804/amelia-earhart-before-the-first-flight-across-the
Image Source: http://wehadfacesthen.tumblr.com/image/44005139389
As always though I am drawn back around to Captain America and of course I want to be Agent Carter; she embodies everything I wish to be! She's a stunner and has fantastic dress sense (that hat!) but also she kicks ass. Peggy gets the job done even when everyone around her says she can't, and especially if people say she can't. She does everything the men do only in heels.

Image Source: http://faymcwrath.tumblr.com/post/115454060556/o
In my mind I want my outfit to be somewhere between my two inspirations. I'm not looking to make an exact replica of either Peggy Carter's outfits or the original Aviatrix Outfits from the 20s / 30s. I think that's what's nice though about the Steampunk and Dieselpunk aesthetics as there's a lot of imagination involved so you can mix it up a little bit if you wish.

These are the types of things I am going for to accomplish my Dieselpunk Aviatrix outfit. I haven't got all of the pieces together just yet but it's beginning to come together which I am very excited about. You will have to tune in to my blog after the Steampunk Weekend to see how my outfit looks once complete.

Are you coming to the Steampunk weekend this year? Will you be dressing up for the occasion? Let me know what you think to my outfit plans, I'd love to hear from you!


post script - special thanks to my friend James for technical support during the making of this blog post. You're a darling!

What's on - July 2015

Dear Readers,

Time is just flying by over here in Lincoln and before I realised where I was at June had been and gone with decidedly not enough vintage events on for my liking. We did go over to Wicksteed at War but since that is in Northamptonshire I didn't feel like it was close enough to Lincoln to include in a What's On post. We did, however, have a lovely time even though the weather was threatening rain the whole time. July on the other hand is a very busy month events wise and the calendar really starts filling up. Fun times ahead folks!

11th - 12th July 2015
Thorpe Camp "We'll Meet Again" Event
Set in the visitor centre of the Thorpe Camp they will again be holding their annual 1940s weekend.
For more information go to http://www.1940weekend.co.uk/

18th - 19th July 2015
Woodhall Spa 1940s Weekend
I have to say this is one of my favourite events of the year so you will definitely be seeing me around for this. There's so much to do from dramatic air raid re-enactments, living history displays, singers and entertainers, dances, shopping, flypasts and more! The whole town gets involved and there's just such a good atmosphere with it all. I'm so excited for the event this year and am hoping to arrange a little picnic with some friends in the Jubilee Park. I love Woodhall Spa anyway and the setting is so idyllic for a 40s weekend. You can read about when we went last year here.
For more information go to http://woodhall-spa-40s-festival.com/

25th - 26th July 2015
Newark Air Museum
70th Anniversary Commemoration of V.E. & V.J. Days 1945 - 2015
This is not too far away and has all you could want for a very enjoyable day. The weekend includes, re-enactors, entertainers, vintage trade stalls and museum activities. There will even be a flypast from the the BBMF Hurricane. Normal museum admission rates apply.
For more information go to http://www.newarkairmuseum.org/Victory-Days_2015

25th - 26th July 2015
Festival of the Forties, The Plough Event Site, PE7 3DR
This one is a little out of town but luckily it's very close to where Indi's parents live so we do tend to go to this event every year. It's set on a huge event site so there's lot of re-enactments and displays there. We usually go for one day due to the travel but there's so much there to entertain you all weekend. Plus I always find something to buy there as the shopping is good!
For more information go to http://www.1940sfest.org/

Are you going to any events this summer? Let me know if I've missed any events oout oor if you have an event coming up. I'd love to hear about it!