1940s weekend, American Paratroopers, Bronte Parsonage, cake, Claude Greengrass, Cow, Haworth, Haworth 1940s weekend 2014, Haworth parish church, historical re-enactment group, HM Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, Parkin cake, Public houses, Souvenirs, St Michael and All Angels Haworth, Worth Valley
I didn’t expect to see quite so many photographers up at Haworth for the 1940s weekend, a fund raising event for the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen’s Families Association (SSAFA), so I was somewhat overwhelmed by the occasion and didn’t take many photographs myself, but here are some of my favourites (in no particular order):
It seems that, even on the busiest days, the church yard of Haworth parish church is an oasis of calm. The 1940s weekend coincided with the church fete, where I purchased a delicious slice of Parkin cake. At the moment the stone and brass memorials to the Bronte family have been joined by very interesting photograph memorials, made up of newspaper cuttings, dedicated to local men who served in the armed forces during the First World War. The last time I visited Haworth the church was covered in scaffolding, so I was very pleased to see it back to its old self. If you’re in Haworth you’ll probably pass it on the way to the Bronte Parsonage or the country walks beyond.
The town was awash with people in period uniforms and costumes, of various qualities and degrees of accuracy, but the squad of American paratroopers probably made the biggest impression on me. It was quite easy to imagine troops on an exercise in the Worth Valley before jumping into mainland Europe on D-Day. I would have liked to have seen them running up the hill in Haworth in full kit in a “Band of Brothers” style, but there wouldn’t have been room; the hill was so busy.
An inspired example of period costume, but possibly the wrong period, was on display outside one of the pubs. I spotted a chap outside “The Fleece Inn” who looked suspiciously like Claude Greengrass (played by Bill Maynard) from ITV’s long running drama series “Heartbeat“, which I believe was set in the 1950s. The likeness was uncanny.
I don’t know if the cow was there to give a sense of scale (it was positioned next to some vintage tractors) or if it was just there for raise a smile, either way, nobody else seemed to be taking much notice of it at the time, so I thought I’d photograph it. There were lots of Land Girls about; maybe it belong to them.
The top of the hill was very busy. There was a Spitfire or a very convincing replica in the Bronte Parsonage car park and people were queuing up to have their photographs taken next to it and in its cockpit! I didn’t take a photograph of it for you because the internet is probably saturated with photographs of it by now!
However, I did see a more unusual replica leaning against a stack of boxes on a stall catering for historical reenactors. It was a Panzerfaust or “Stuka zu Fuss” (as I’m sure Antony Beevor described it in “Berlin: The Downfall“, but the internet doesn’t back up that remembrance). It’s an odd looking thing; a one shot, recoilless, anti-tank weapon used by German forces towards the end of the Second World War. You certainly wouldn’t have seen many knocking around Haworth in the 1940s.
I didn’t think at the time of asking how much a replica of a Panzerfaust costs! I wish I had now.
There were plenty of vintage buses, if that’s your cup of tea. They took a lot of marshalling and it seems that the old adage is true, “There are no vintage buses and then three or four turn up at once”.
My only pint of the day was had in “The King’s Arms” public house, which has a very strict no Nazi policy, which is good, because there is nothing worse, in a pub context, than fighting for a space at the bar with someone dressed like a Nazi. Anyway, I had a pint of Tetley’s, which was very welcome on such a warm day. It was standing room only at the bar, so I retreated to the beer garden.
The best dressed man present on Saturday afternoon was surely HM Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Major S. M. Hardy (Rtd) TD, who suddenly appeared outside the Tourist Information office, accompanied by Rector Peter Mayo Smith, Rector of St. Michael’s & All Angels, and two other gentleman who I haven’y managed to identify. A very smart looking chap on the Deputy Lord Lieutenant’s left appeared to be wearing the Military MBE and the maroon or red beret favoured by the British Army’s Parachute Regiment and associated units. I don’t know if the people taking the photographs of these VIPs were press photographs or enthusiastic amateurs, but I managed to fit in amongst them and take my own photograph, which I am very pleased with.
There was also the knitted railing. but I have already mention that in a previous post: https://anticsroadshowblogspot.wordpress.com/2014/05/18/owl-themed-guerilla-knitting-haworth-170514/
Souvenirs: Rover Ticket, Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.
I arrived in Haworth via the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, as did a great many other people. It has always been very convenient for me because the steam railways terminus at Keighley shares the same station building as the line from Leeds up to Skipton and beyond, so I just have to cross from one platform to the other. If you are a fan of period drama you probably will have seen Keighley station and one the KWVR steam locomotives billowing atmospheric steam without even realising it. I left in a hurry that morning and I am pleased to say that Keighley station is now home to an excellent little business, “Nana Nellies“, where I purchased a much needed sausage sandwich. The staff were very friendly, as were the regulars. The train ride down to Haworth was the most enjoyable leg of my journey; I think it was the combination of the gentle motion of the steam train, the rolling countryside of the Worth Valley and Nana Nellies’ sausage sandwich.
A previous blog entry of mine regarding the KWVR can be found here: https://anticsroadshowblogspot.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/photo-archive-keighley-worth-valley-railway-12th-october-2012/