Pageant At Sycamore Hall Bainbridge-1940s

1940s Pageant and Exhibition at Sycamore Hall Bainbridge in 2006

organised by Angela Kershaw

  • more photos to come

This exhibition was the largest project the day centre has ever done. The planning and preparation went on for months. Sycamore tenants and day centre members worked very hard researching the period, surfing the internet looking for things like ration books stockings fashion etc.

Old materials were aquired and altered to make do and mend.

Many of the products on display were reproductions we made using craft skills and the computer to reproduce the packaging, ie Oxydol, Brook Bond tea with the stamp on the front, dolly blue bags, sugar in blue bags, Force breakfast cereals, boxes of chocolates (Terrys All Gold) didn’t realize they had been around for that long.

Displays included a stage set of a traditional living room with radio, chair with antimacasser, (for those who don’t know it’s the cloth you put on the back of the chair to stop dad’s Macasser oil staining your furniture) black telephone, mothers sewing basket, proddy rug, living room table with sewing machine and craft materials of the period and a photgraph of Freda Metcalfe as a young girl. Freda was our longest serving member of the day centre. She received a long service medal for 18 years a lovely lady and still geatly missed.

There was a full kitchen and laundry display. A green and cream kitchen cabinet was imported along with all the contents of the time. We had the old fashioned ironing board, tin bath, washing soap and sodas, possers, gas irons, flat irons, clothes horse, oak ewbank carpet sweeper kleen-eez-ee brushes and mops etc. etc.

There was a full toy display, a wartime ARP table with instruction on what to do if a lady went into labour, fashions, newspapers, books the list is endless. Day centre menbers even put in some of their own work/craft they had created those many years ago.

We produced over fifty photgraphs of the period to go up in the room. Quite a few photos were of the older generation at Sycamore when they were much younger.

Research was also done on fashion from the austere 40s to the more colourful 50s and many people made their own costumes for the occasion. Many more costumes were made for staff and friends. All the children and staff from Bainbridge school came to the party. They had made the most amazing newspapers hats I have ever had the joy to see. Teachers and children were all bedecked in costume. They even brought their own pianist to play for us in the afternoon.

A competition was devised for the children where we had 18 unusual objects that they had to guess their use. The children who went and asked the older generation did the best although even they were stumped on some items.

Over 90 people joined us on the day.

The food in the afternoon was traditional for the period which included egg and spam and tuna sandwiches, sausage rolls, fairy buns, jellies and tinned fruit in several flavours and lashings of lemonade.

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