Saturday, June 25, 2011

Caught in a landslide, can escape from reality...

I find myself unexpectedly on a steam train, on the Worcestershire/Shropshire border, surrounded by people dressed in 1940s outfits, as the Severn Valley Railway celebrates one of its special event weekends.

It's been an odd weekend, starting with a trip back to 1897 to experience life in a Victorian industrial town at Blists Hill, with a clay mine 'experience' complete with mock landslide (don't worry, I dug my way out with a handy shovel), domestic pigs, proper(ish) money and a post office guaranteeing next day delivery to everywhere except the Scottish Highlands and Islands and... Norfolk (why am I not surprised?...).

We've crossed Abraham Darby's iron bridge (very impressive) and stumbled across a really rather good Indian restaurant in Oakengates.

But today, we're moving onto the 1940s, with identity cards and men in knitted sleeveless v-neck sweaters. Yes, welcome to World War II. The sun is shining, the Union Jack bunting is out and the 'Be like Dad, Keep Mum' posters are up.

And it is quite spectacular, with crooners belting out wartime classics, members of the cast of Allo Allo signing pictures - Ros found herself standing next to Helga in the gift shop at Highley - and men and women in uniform. Indeed, the number of people who have entered into the spirit of it and dressed up especially is really rather impressive. In short, it is the sort of entirely, gloriously, bonkers (no disrespect, my Lord) sort of event that is so quintessentially British.

Ah well, time to move on though...

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