Keep calm and attend Milton Keynes Museum’s 1940s Weekend
You definitely don’t want to keep mum about the next big event at Milton Keynes Museum – the return of the hugely popular 1940s weekend will take place on September 2 & 3, and the Museum is promising no rationing of entertainment at the big bash which offers something for all ages.
With the country involved in conflict for half the decade, times were tough, but that just made everyone even more keen to find enjoyment where they could – and music played its part in raising spirits. Big players back then included Glenn Miller and Bing Crosby, and the Museum has its own ace singer bringing the tunes over the weekend; Miss Lola Lamour will get the dance floor jumping with her engaging style.
Over in the bandstand, Johnny Victory will be in tune too, so there’s plenty of opportunity to go with the flow and show off your fancy footwork.
There will be lots more to take in, including The Hertfordshire Home Guard. They were tasked with defending against invasion, and they’ll be sharing more of what that role involved during the weekend, while high ranking RAF officer Arthur Bomber Harris will be reading some of his speeches.
Did you know that every street was supposed to have its own air raid patrol warden (ARP) during the war? The 1940s Weekend is your chance to take a peek inside a typical patrol office.
And fictitious village Dodwick will be occupied by its RAF Post of 693 squadron – the air crew will be waiting for their next mission. Let’s hope things stay calm during their stay.
Elsewhere in the Museum grounds, take in a display exploring the role played by the resistance, and engage with information and artefacts from the American Red Cross. There will be a Women’s Voluntary Service display too; the ladies worked tirelessly to support those left homeless in bombed streets – a cup of tea and a chat was never more important than when it was served by them in dire times.
If you get the washing day blues now, spare a thought for those who came before us – housewife Peggy Skivvy will be sharing details of a typical ‘wash day’ in the 1940s, with lots of merriment. Automatic washing machines and tumble driers definitely weren’t the norm back then!
What about war time nuptials? With rations and supplies of so many items running low, the 1940s was a time to be creative; after all, every bride still wanted the perfect gown. An exhibition of original wartime wedding dresses, some homemade, some bought with coupons, and others made from parachute silk, will be visually appealing.
If you fancy doing a little shopping, traders will be selling military items, vintage clothing and collectibles, and when you need some refreshments, the vintage tea room is a must visit for sweet and savoury snacks.
Eyes will be to the skies on Sunday too, with a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Flypast by a Lancaster Bomber.
“Our event is more about the spirit of ordinary people uniting together under threat than about war, which makes it perfect for everyone of all ages,” promises Museum Director Bill Griffiths, “Step back into history and absorb all the sights and sounds from this important decade at this ever popular weekend.”
The Museum will be open 10.30am-4.30pm both days and standard admission applies.
For more information visit miltonkeynesmuseum.org.uk