All dressed up for stylish day out

Goodbyee! Yvonne Somrani waves goodbye from the train
Goodbyee! Yvonne Somrani waves goodbye from the train

People put on their uniforms and glamorous dresses for an annual 1940s weekend.

Enjoying the beautiful autumn sunshine, crowds of people went along to soak up the atmosphere at Rushden Historical Society’s annual 1940s weekend yesterday (October 20).

The event is organised by a team of six and raises money for the Royal British Legion, the Merchant Navy Association and the historical society. One of the organisers, Ann Loveridge, said: “People come because they like to see how people lived in the 1940s. I’m amazed at how many people come along in costume, every year there are more. We’re hoping to get four thousand people here over the weekend.”

Another organiser, Fiona, was manning the WVS Emergency Kitchen. She said: “Many of the things in the kitchen and the WVS Make Do and Mend tent used to belong to my grandmother and I’ve added to them. I give demonstrations both days and make things like salt beef, liver and bacon, apple crumble using windfall apples and oats, and dishes that use pork because in the 1940s people were encouraged to form pig clubs and keep and slaughter their own pigs. All the waste is given to the chickens.

“This is one of the most popular events that the society organises, you can’t move on Sunday. A lot of the people who come say it brings back memories for them.”

The event was opened by Captain Gary Powers from the US base at Molesworth and there was 1940s-style singing, various displays, demonstrations by artist Keith Hills and steam train trips.

Yvonne Somrani, of Rushden, was at the event in a glamorous, 1940s style dress. She said: “I come every year. It’s good to support local events and to remember people who died for us. There is a remembrance service on the Sunday and that is always very touching.

“My mum used to say the 1940s were the hardest time of her life but also the most enjoyable. It’s good escapism and makes you realise that life today isn’t so bad after all.”

The event is on today (October 21) from 10am to 4.30pm and entry is free to people in period costume.