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/
Before the 27th August 2013 Southampton was just somewhere the train went through on it’s way to Poole and, later, a city with a tragic association with the Titanic (I’d been to see Southampton’s Titanic Story at the SeaCity Museum the previous year http://www.seacitymuseum.co.uk/?page_id=229), but there is a lot more to Southampton than I gave it credit for.
It turned up that grade II listed The Civic Centre, which incorporates The SeaCity Museum I had visited the year before, does not sit in splendid isolation (as it appeared to me as I approached it from the train station). In fact it’s a stones throw from the shops “Above Bar” and some beautifully parks (it was a sunny day and a sunny day always shows a park off to its best advantage). The City was also in the middle of a rhino themed public arts event, which deserves a write up of its own in my opinion. Below the Bar, a gateway that sits in the middle of the pedestrianised High Street, you’re into the historic heart of Southampton and it’s straight down to the harbour and the Isle of Wight ferry – but not yet.
Tucked away between Bugle Street and the City wall is The Tudor House and Garden. This isn’t a history lesson, so if I had to compress 800 years of a buildings history into one sentence I’d say; The Tudor House has been around. To elaborate; the house has been home to Southampton’s Tudor elite, both mercantile and civic, as well as the centrepiece of one of Southampton’s worst slums, before becoming a museum and some how surviving the Southampton Blitz of 1940. Since then it went into decline again only to be extensively renovated to its present condition. So when I visited it was probably looking as good as new; if not a bit better! The house has a lot of character and I think people have noticed that over the years and thought, “This is a place we need in our lives”, whilst other buildings have been dismissed and demolished around it.
If history doesn’t interest you, head straight to the garden at the rear of the property. Walk around the knot garden like it’s the 1500s, look at the grapes dangling from the vines (a big surprise, although it probably shouldn’t have been, as The Old Bishop’s Palace in Lincoln is a lot further North and they have grapes or at least they did at one point) and listen to the water fountain gently trickling away.
Oh… and the most important thing; get yourself a pot of tea and a slice of Victoria sponge cake and some friends to sit and enjoy the views of the garden with. The Tudor House Café is worth a visit in its own right, in fact, I viewed the house on my own and my travelling companions waited in the café for me (not because they thought the house would be dull, but because they’d visited it before).
A great place to visit (incorporating a refreshing brew and nice slice of cake).
You can read more about The Tudor House and Garden here: http://www.tudorhouseandgarden.com/
Spotted this fairy tale cake in the window of the “Sugar ‘n’ Spice” cake shop in Hull (that’s the Paragon Arcade window as opposed to the Paragon Street window at the front of the shop). I never miss an opportunity to walk through the Paragon Arcade; what with a cake shop at one end and a sweet shop at the other!