Last weekend, my bf and I visited Chatham Dockyard for the Salute To The 40s celebration. I found out about it from a woman at work, who told me that she had visited last year and that it was well worth going. She definitely wasn’t wrong! We booked tickets at just £14 each and was on our way!
I knew that lots of people would be dressed up in 40s clothing, but I thought this would just be those who were working on stalls and showing displays. I didn’t anticipate just how many people would get involved, and it really did feel authentic. The live dancers were brilliant!
My bfs favourite part was the cars! He loved the Land Rover in particular. It’s amazing to think that once upon a time, these were brand new out-of-the-factory-cars that were someone’s pride and joy… and it’s fantastic that people today, 70 years on, are still restoring and maintaining them.
We decided to tour around the HMS Cavalier, which is celebrating its 70th Birthday this year. All I can say is ‘Oh.. My.. Goodness…’ I literally don’t know how people managed to stay in such a confined space for such long periods of time. The sailors would eat together, sleep together and even use the bathroom together, and the corridors were so narrow, there was hardly enough room to squeeze past one another.
There was a gorgeous little market place where people were selling vintage items. I fell completely in love with a mustard coloured blazer jacket, but it was SO expensive! I managed to find a cute little blouse though for £4 which was a total bargain!
This lady’s cart belonged to her mother and was originally used to sell homegrown fruits and vegetables at the market. Can you believe it’s still in such good condition?
My favourite part was definitely the clothes! I’ve looked through hundreds of photographs of my grandparents when they were younger wearing these fashions and I’ve always loved them, but seeing people wearing the styles today – and in such a fantastic environment – made me feel so much closer to them. I wish I could show them these photographs, I wonder what they would have thought of it all?
There were sets laid out to look like shops and a petrol station from the 40s. The little corner shop was so cute. We take so many things for granted nowadays and it was interesting to see ration books and how each person would have collected their shopping.
I couldn’t resist having my photo taken with this monster!
I doubt I’m the only person who thinks this, but the ambulance was terrifying! Seriously, I get so panicky when I think of doctors and hospitals so when I saw the inside of this truck, it really hit home A, how scary it must have been and B, how lucky we are today!
We took a tour of the HMS Gannett, which is about 100 years older than the other warship we walked on. Sadly due to the boat being repaired, we were only able to see about half of the ship, but it was fascinating to see just how different the two boats are – for starters, that this one’s made mainly of wood and rope!
The live singers were great – the George Formby act was particularly good! I’d love to play the banjo!
It was such a brilliant day out and we were completely exhausted by the end! I didn’t want to leave! I really hope they decided to hold the event again next year as it really was worth the visit. Hopefuuly I’ll be able to dress up too!
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