Sweetbriar Dreams

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Sunday, 18 August 2013

A Trip Back to the 1940's

Do you ever have one of those days when you set out to just have a rest but end up doing so much that at the end of the day you think, I would never have planned this?  Well, Saturday was one of those days.  Myself, Mumsy and Miss Teenager set off to the 15th century mansion Ayscoughee Hall to one of their events.  Now, it wasn't the best of weather but it made us take a break out of the norm of a typical Saturday of cleaning, washing, ironing...yawn! and it was FREE!  Such a treat during summer holidays when the prices are hiked up to sting us parents further.  So, this week we are going to step back in time to those war time years, take a look at those iconic and nostalgic items that we may still choose to remember.  So, as I am taking you on another tour, you know the drill, a nice cup of English tea, a yummy cake and feet up as I take you around.

The first thing that struck me as we came to the front of the Hall was this lovely little MG, such a cute little shiny car and beautifully set against the old brick and stone work of the Hall.
Another view of this car with this fabulous man.  Yes, even back in the day, they had socks and boots with shorts!  And look at that magnificent mustache.
The Hall itself is a magnificent building that has just had some improvements to keep it at the right standard and the sweeping horseshoe driveway is perfect for these vehicles.
The ambulance set off the view from the road perfectly.
So, shall we take a look inside?  Let's start with this fun lady, she was so happy to pose for photos and just jumped into action every time she was asked.  It was so strange to see her sit back at her desk and work on her computer but everyone was commenting on her friendliness and great smile.
In the background you could hear this great lady singing her heart out to the tunes of the 1940's.
And dotted amongst the paraphernalia of the age were the Home Guard.  This one was very knowledgeable and I just loved the way he posed next to the artwork of 'Dad's Army'.
The exhibits were full of things that shouldn't really be familiar but they were, even to Miss Teenager.  The brand names were there, just the containers were a lot more robust in those days and probably more environmentally friendly than those used today as they could be used again and again.  Oxo, Vicks and Spam really jumped out at me as they have hardly changed.
Then, obviously a completely different era, the cigarette containers.  All made to look inviting and sophisticated.  How times change.
Sunlight soap My washing day would have been a lot longer way back then!
Coming from a fire brigade family, this exhibit made me smile, stirrup pumps and buckets.
Then the heart strings start to pull with things that we would love to see again.  The old record player and the turn dial phone being two of them that brought back so many memories.  Miss Teenager couldn't believe the phone and there being no buttons to press.
Then there was this, it's a saying that has become fashionable once again - Make Do and Mend.
And obviously, there had to be the weapons of war too.  Such awful things to see but necessary for the next generations.  Miss T couldn't stay near this exhibit and quickly exited the room as she felt uncomfortable with the gas masks and weapons.
Of course Ayscoughee Hall is not just about events such as this.  There are permanent displays of this historical place.  The kitchen is my favourite place, with the rocker by the range.
The stained glass windows that give you sneaky peaks of the building outside.
As I looked out I could see the weather was turning more and more grey and the gargoyles looked menacing so I was glad I wasn't on my own!
So, off we set into the wind and rain (guess who didn't bring a coat?!).  I very nearly jumped into the back of the ambulance - that stretcher looked quite comfortable.
And into Spalding Town Centre.  It was market day but not really a lot was going on apart from walks along the river bank.
So, a drive to the local garden centre for a nice spot of lunch and a look at more telephone boxes that the owner had bought.  He buys all sorts of bits and pieces but the telephone boxes are great as he plants them up!
Also looking at the new stock he has in.  These deck chairs were great - Save Water, Drink Champagne and the VW ones (especially 'Hers' Mr Hubby - my birthday coming up... hint hint!) 
Then through the cornfields with Moulton Mill in the distance.
I then started to take on the role of Land Girl!  The plums on the tree were just ripe and the wasps had begun to descend so to start the ball rolling - and to give the hubby and Mr Teenager the pleasure of dealing with those horrible stingy insects, we started to pick some for a crumble.  There were loads, to date we have 15lbs picked and more ripening!
The crumble was rather thrown together, but it was delicious!
The grape vine didn't escape my sudden harvest, but the grapes were left (we have tonnes this year!) and my favourite part - the leaves - were thinned out a little.
Miss T's favourite dinner is Dolmades and during the year we collect loads of leaves so that we can freeze them for the winter months.  These little parcels contain such delicious flavours - maybe an acquired taste but we absolutely love them!).
And now, there is even more washing on the line, which means more ironing to do and a full working week next week, so time for me to take advantage of a couple of hours on a Sunday, kick off my shoes and relax with a cup of tea to read what's been going on in blogland. 

Have a wonderful week and take care. 


 (Remember that if you want to see a larger version of my photos just click on one and a slide will appear)

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  1. You have been busy!
    That rocker by the range looks very cosy, and what a harvest. One day I will get round to planting a grape vine.

  2. Oh, my goodness - we never had events like that when I worked at Ayscoughfee Hall! So many memories for me as when the curator and I set up the museum we just had hundreds of stuffed birds and a wildfowling punt and gun. It grew from there and we opened galleries upstairs and down. I left in the mid nineties and it has changed such a lot since then. What a super plum harvest you have had - we haven't got many plums on our tree this year:)

  3. What a brilliant day! I've just been having a look at the Ayscoughfee Hall website, what a gem, and free too!

  4. Great photos. They do museums very well in England.

  5. That looks like such a fun event. I would love to attend something like that. The containers and tins would have been my favorite part; I spent a long time looking at your pictures of them. That place looks really interesting; I love the flowers planted around the grounds and the gargoyles are so cool! Scary, but cool. Glad you had a good time there.

  6. Fantastic! Ex-RAF flyboy is on his walkabout but I must share this with him! (not long to wait, the whole island is 1 1/2 mile long by 1/2 mile wide after all!) Thank you so much for sharing and so glad you had such a good time (just wished I was along!)
    God bless,

  7. I remember making one of those cross stitch sewing thingies at primary school.

  8. Flyboy here Chel and enjoying photos very much! Made me wish I was along just as my wife said! Hospital truck Dearie is called an ambulance (drove afew of those in my time!).
    A heartfelt thank you from this ol' boy, great memories!

    1. Thank you Mr Noelle The Dreamer I have emailed a proper reply but will correct now (my brain could not think of the right word!)

  9. What a lovely day out with your mom and daughter...:) Sure beats laundry, dishes, and the like! Great photos too! The plums and grapes looks so yummy....and that crumble....yum! I am off to find out what a dolmade is....my curiosity has gotten the best of me. Have a wonderful Sunday afternoon my friend!

    Blessings, Vicky
    Life On Willie Mae Lane

  10. great photos, love the phone box. Dolomades are one of my favourites, cant wait to go to Cyprus to have some! As for the plum crumble, well I have envy haha! Thank you for your advice and for your research, much appreciated. I have taken your husbands advice too to prop up the heavy branches, and it seems to be doing the job til I can at least make a crumble from my tree!!
    BH x

  11. What a gorgeous building - and so much nostalgia within it! And your plums - you are a lucky lady to have such prolific fruit bearing tress! I grew up on a hobby farm with a pear and apple orchard. How I miss those days when I could run outside to get my afternoon snack!!

  12. Yes - you had one full day! Loved all your photos from the tour of the 40s.

  13. Hi Chel, what a great way to spend the day, just the girls out! I love those kind of days and you need at least one day on the weekend to get away from the normal house chores. I loved all of your photos and how wonderful to have all those plums! My family loves them and the grape leaves look so yummy! Have a great week.

  14. This is a very odd coincidence that you posted a photo of that particular MG. I went to a estate sale a continent away from where you took this photo, they had the very same car sitting in the driveway. Theirs was in may pieces, but it was the same car & the same color.

    Great shot all of them.

  15. What a wonderful outing! Boy do I just love that setting and all of those old containers and vintage items!!! Makes me want to run out to the flea market and search for little treasures!!! I enjoy everything from that time period...the music, the clothes...ahhh great post lady! Have a great week!!!

  16. I love seeing all your pictures, Chel! So fun you got to visit!

  17. A beautiful tour, Chel - I always enjoy pulling up the chair with a cup of tea for your lovely outings. The mansion is just gorgeous with it's beautiful windows and doors and all those vintage items. The gargoyles were quite menacing, especially in the rain - aren't they odd, but keeping the evil spirits away must keep them busy. Your plum crumble is the perfect ending to a wonderful day. Loved all your beautiful photos. Hugs, xoxo

  18. The exhibition is lovely, the building great, but my favourite part was the ladies' dresses!

  19. Looks like you had an amazing time. And your crumble looks great.

  20. Oo I love a bit of nostalgia - what a great event to visit - it must have taken some time to put the exhibits together - as you say, a lot of things seem familiar and take me right back to my grandparents house. Nice one Chel.

  21. You can't go wrong with a free outing! And what amazing things you got to see. You could probably go back again and again to see it all. Love the look of those ripe plums, too. Enjoy your week my friend! Sweet hugs!

  22. Your dinner looks like stuffed cabbage to me, my mom makes a mean stuffed cabbage... love that stuff!!
    While I was reading and looking through this, It reminded me of that show in England "Goodnight Sweetheart", I like that show, though it's a bit slow sometimes, I like it :)
    It's just the kind of place I would love to visit, and I wonder... did that Kit Kat have chocolate in it?
    I didn't even know you had spam in England! My dad loves that stuff...
    I hope the rest of your week is great,

  23. Chel - What an awesome day trip. The tour was fantastic. Thanks for taking us along with you. A nostalgic trip through the past.
    I am your newest follower.


  24. Thanks for the virtual tour of Ayscoughfee Hall. That car is wonderful. And, I didn't realize that SPAM was sold around the world.

  25. Oh wow - I'd love to have a day out like that. Loving the handlebar mustache though he does look a bit Dad's Army!

    Nina x

  26. Hello Chel, many thanks for stopping by. I've just spent some time reading back through your posts and having so much fun......and getting very homesick naturally! Loved this latest post - seeing all those British foods etc., and as you mentioned, some packaging has hardly changed at all.

    Off now to finish up my soup pot - that includes fabulous, can't live without, vegetarian OXOs.....which makes me realize I need to plan a trip home before I run out! They are one item I've never been able to find in the USA so guess they don't export the little cubes of magic!

    Happy weekend - Mary

  27. Oh perfect timing on the recipe for the dolmandes...I love them, and since my sister has a vineyard on her property...grape leaves!

    What a great museum to have nearby, I love what they have done with it.


  28. Chel, I really enjoyed this post and a look back at the 1940's war years. Lots of great memorabilia in that museum. The MG is a real beauty. Thanks for sharing. Pamela


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