Every year, the East Lancashire Railway host a 1940s weekend at the end of May and it’s an event that’s firmly noted in my diary. It’s become somewhat of a family tradition and one that I look forward to immensely.
Adam and I catch the steam train from Bury then spend the day hopping on and off to check out the vintage and military stalls that are dotted about (admittedly, I enjoy perusing the vintage goods much more than he does and always come away with a bag full of preloved treasures).
Being on the steam train always fills me with a sense of warm nostalgia. When I was younger, it was my go-to happy place and I’d spend hours riding the railway with dad and sister. The distinctive sounds and smells, along with a glimpse at the footplate if we’re really lucky, still evoke those childhood memories that I adore reliving.
A few weeks ago, we met up with a handful of like-minded family members for this annual gathering. I like to make an effort and find that it’s a fabulous excuse to showcase my favourite vintage outfits.
The weather was typical of North Manchester and the sideways rain/wind not only destroyed my carefully coiffed vintage curls in about 0.8 seconds but also led to a rather unsavoury ‘Marilyn’ moment in the car park as my circle dress blew over my head and exposed my granny pants to innocent bystanders.
We headed to visit Bury Transport Museum to take cover, which is handily located right across the road from the train station. This year, they had a working spitfire in the car park which was quite something, especially when they started up the engine; I’ve never heard a noise like it before!
Inside the museum, we enjoyed music from the George Formby Appreciation Society before settling in for tea and scones in a former train carriage. Back on the Bury platform, we bumped into ‘Winston Churchill’, The Bluebird Belles, various ‘Allo, ‘Allo! characters and a pair of very cute dogs.
CBeebies were also there filming during our visit so my eagle-eyed readers may well spot yours truly lurking in the background of a few frames. Along with the French Café display in Ramsbottom and the battle re-enactments, there is always loads to do and we’ll certainly be back again next year.