Ilkeston - Swing Back To The Forties
w/e 03 July 2011
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
The Erewash Museum regularly puts on special exhibitions
and events throughout the year especially when the schools are
closed for half term. Two weeks ago however on Saturday 18th
June there was an event that appealed to the older generation
and well over a thousand people turned up to "Swing Back
to the Forties".
The first half of the 1940s was of course dominated by the Second
World War and much of this event was devoted to that period too.
A selection of military vehicles and American Jeeps in particular
were stationed in the grounds of the museum although the Austin
10 GSI Saloon near the entrance was a post war model from 1946.
A sign on the car stated that the GSI was a new design with an
alligator bonnet, external boot hinges and central pillar door
openings and this particular car had only had two former keepers
A view in the back of one of the Jeeps show that it has not changed
a great deal during its lifetime but the plastic lunch box and
rucksack are obviously modern day accessories!
Displays all around the grounds illustrated various aspects of
the decade and again the war was featured in many. Here we see
the Women's Land Army, a lady taking shelter behind a sandbag
wall and interest being shown in an array of medals and other
memorabilia from the period.
Some of my family were directly involved in the war in France,
Italy and North Africa but many of those who were not in the
Armed Forces played their part as Air Raid Wardens so I spent
some time talking to this gentleman who kindly posed with a wind
up siren that was used during air raids.
Weapons and other equipment formed another display on the lawn
at the museum and they all seemed rather primitive - but just
as deadly - as their modern equivalents.
Period uniforms were to be seen all around with the entertainment
section ENSA represented alongside and was that Captain Mainwaring
giving me a fixed stare? Don't panic! Corporal Jones is about
Meanwhile the "Top Brass" assembled in front of the
museum and appeared to be discussing tactics.
And everything was carried out under the watchful eye of this
reincarnation of "Winnie", England's wartime leader
Sir Winston Churchill.
Although the uniformed people were obvious there were also several
more attired in civilian dress that was fashionable in the decade.
And the event was not just about the war for in the courtyard
between the museum and the Hayloft, dancers also in period dress
showed how to jitterbug and jive along to the fabulous swing
music of Glenn Miller and other bands of the time. Nostalgia
was rife at the Erewash Museum in June 2011. The 1940s couldn't
have been that bad though - after all as well as the music and
the dancing it WAS the decade when I was born!