Get ready for a big celebration of life on the home front as the Historic Dockyard Chatham gears up to host its annual Salute to the 40s!
Described as one of Britain’s best vintage festivals, the hugely popular event will take place on Saturday, September 21 and Sunday, September 22 at the Historic Dockyard Chatham.
The unique 80-acre site will be transformed into a bygone era - reminiscing on the whole decade, from military wartime displays through to the glamorous years in the late 1940s.
For years, the event has welcomed families in huge numbers and this year, family fun is certainly not going to be rationed.
The FREE vintage funfair rides will include family favourites such as a ferris wheel and swing boat chairs.
Visitors will also have the chance to experience living history first-hand, discover an air-raid experience and tour one of the Dockyard’s air raid shelters to immerse themselves first-hand.
The Historic Dockyard’s usual galleries and museums will be open to visitors and there will also be the chance to see the last remaining British Second World War Destroyer – HMS Cavalier.
Visitors will be able to climb aboard the famous vessel as well hop on to the HMS Gannet and HM Submarine Ocelot to discover what life was like at sea.
Those looking for food and drink can also tuck into some traditional Fish and Chips.
Looking to really get into the swing of things?
Visitors can join in with the vintage look for the best Instagram photos and here are some tips put you well and truly in the running.
At the start of WWII, there was a strict rationing on fabric, so dresses became shorter and were brought up to knee length.
Women’s dresses which you would now call “Tea Dresses” had a masculine militant look with shoulder pads that extended past the edge of the shoulder.
In the latter 40s, more fabric could be used and due to the end of the War, women started to embrace colourful patterns.
What about shoes?
The 1940s saw wedge shoes becoming popular and the peep toe was a common style too as well as pumps. Don’t forget the accessories too! Anything from berets to turban hats were very popular as well as flower clips.
And if you’re a dapper chap looking to get into the 40s’ spirit, then there’s something for you too?
You can’t go wrong with a spiffing tweed 3-piece suit.
Suit trousers were usually flat-fronted or with single pleats. They were worn at the high waist with a 3-inch waistband.
Trouser legs were wide around the ankle which are the opposite of today’s “skinny” suits.
Usually, they were either straight hemmed at the bottom as required during the war or 2-inch trouser cuff (turnups) which most men preferred.
Don’t forget to finish off your look with some 2-tone brogues.
Nothing to wear? Don’t despair.
There will be vintage hairdressers and vintage stalls galore to find the perfect outfit and accessories.
There will also be plenty of chances to get dancing too with two live music stages accompanied by dance floors.
If you don’t know how to jive, fear not; there will be plenty of Lindy Hopping groups that can teach you the moves.
With music from The D-Day Darlings, Adam Hoffman, Miss Holiday Swing and more, you’ll hear the hits of the 40s from Vera Lynn & Glenn Miller to the Andrew Sisters.
Click here for more information about Salute to the ‘40s at The Historic Dockyard Chatham.