1940s and 50s weekend heading to Kelham IslandPosted by: Ashley Birch
Experience Life on the Home Front at the Vintage Island
Kelham Island Museum is hosting its annual 1940s and 1950s event this weekend (13 and 14 July), giving vintage enthusiasts and families alike the chance to celebrate holidays at home at Vintage Isanld.
Now in its tenth year, the popular event has had a name change for 2019 and takes place across the museum’s grounds. “Our annual Vintage Island event is one of our favourites at the museum, with hundreds of people coming back year after year” says Gemma Holden, marketing co-ordinator at Sheffield Industrial Museum’s Trust. “This year, we are also bringing a bit of 1950s rock n roll to the event for the tenth anniversary celebrations and we encourage visitors to come dressed in their vintage best.”
The event will host a wide range of 1940s wartime demonstrations brought to life by local re-enactment groups – Pontefract Home Guard will be on hand to greet visitors, whilst the Spirit of the Home Front provides a variety of demonstrations from mining, chaplaincy and WVS to Land Army farmhouse, weddings and make do and mend.
A collection of vintage vehicles will also be on show including a bus and cargo lorry from South Yorkshire Transport Museum, a 1940s fire engine from the National Emergency Services Museum, alongside jeeps, classic cars and both the museum’s Sheffield Simplex cars. This year the event also covers the 1950s and visitors will be able to see a 1956 Pontiac Cheiftain along with a Ford Pop car from Doncaster Museum.
“Our annual Vintage Island event is one of our favourites at the museum, with hundreds of people coming back year after year” says Gemma Holden, marketing co-ordinator at Sheffield Industrial Museum’s Trust. “This year, we are also bringing a bit of 1950s rock n roll to the event for the tenth anniversary celebrations and we encourage visitors to come dressed in their vintage best.”
Headlining the music stage over the weekend will be the UK’s No.1 George Formby Experience and Pete Jones who will entertain with wartime classics joined by vintage vocalist Natasha Harper. Big Band sounds will be provided by the Langsett Dance Orchestra on Saturday afternoon and new for 2019, 50s rock n roll band Tombstone Buzzards will take to the stage on Sunday. Visitors will be able to relax in the sunshine on deckchairs and enjoy the atmosphere. Local swing dance groups will be also demonstrating throughout the weekend.
In the tradition of moral boosting dance halls of the time, the Sunday Afternoon Tea Dance, which includes beginners dance lessons, takes place between 1pm - 3pm where visitors can learn to Lindyhop with G.I. Jive (an additional £2 entry fee applies to the Tea Dance).
This year’s Vintage Fayre offers antique, craft and vintage stalls selling an array of wares from authentic clothing and collectables to traybakes and cakes and vegan pie and peas!
Families can enjoy have-a-go activities as part of the re-enactment displays and make and take museum activities with traditional toys and games, lavender bag making, peg dolls and badges. Children will love our balloon modelling on the Sunday!
Be on the lookout for Luke Robson’s Honest Magic – our smooth talking 1940s style ‘Spiv’ ‘selling’ stockings and coveted wartime items from his jacket pockets! The term ‘Spiv’ was particularly used during the Second World War and in the post-war period when many goods were rationed due to shortages.
The museum itself will be showcasing the mighty 12,000hp River Don Engine, the most powerful working steam engine in Europe, which can be seen in steam at 1pm and 3pm each day. New displays explain Sheffield’s role in shipbuilding and how the engine helped roll armour plate for ships, tanks and spitfires. Other wartime objects from the museum collection, such as the Grand Slam Bomb, can be seen as part of the living history tours taking place over the weekend.
The event runs from 10am – 4pm on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 July. Admission is £6 Adults, £5 Concessions and accompanied children under 16 go FREE. An additional £2 admission charge for the Sunday Afternoon Tea Dance applies and includes tea and cake.