Monday, 23 July 2012

Miss Baked Bean and the Black Country...

Miss Baked Bean at the end of the Day with no Lippy on- shock horror!
Well Folks, I can now breathe a sigh of relief!  My little fashion exhibition for the 1940's evening at the Black Country Living Museum went, I’m glad to say, without too many hitches (naturally there were a few, but hey, they could have been worse!).
I’ve shown my wares (haha) quite a few times, and I always have a moment before I arrive when I get all nervy, but for some reason this time, I really did have the jitters, though weeks before instead. I will quite honestly say that I was just plain scared, as I felt a tad under qualified to be part of such a wonderful place! I feel like I’m still in-between roles at the moment- not quite a reenactor, but a little more than the average member of the public!
In the end it turned out that my fears were unjustified, they were all extremely lovely and appreciative, and it was to be a lovely laid back event, with the most wonderful summers evening we have had this... well, soggy summer!
The Black Country Living Museum also makes the perfect location for this kind of event, as it really did look like you were back in the 40's (well, if you got rid of the public it did!). It was a shame that I was tied to my tables for most of the evening as I haven't been to the museum in about ten years and much has changed. I did manage to pop out now and then to have a shufty at what was going on, buy a few bits to add to my collection... got moved on by a policeman saying "Move along ladies, I know what you are waiting here for..." or something along those lines, then came back later saying he had half a crown (wink, wink)! You know, twas the usual evening out!!!

Well anyway that’s enough of my waffle. I say “To the pictures!”

I’m also adding a disclaimer here for the bad quality. The  early ones taken in the light aren’t very good- a little rushed, while the later ones were taken when it was much quieter, and much darker. You see, there were four light fittings in the school house, one for each of my fellow exhibitors/ friends, but it just so happenes that the light bulb over my corner was the one that didn’t work- bloomin’ typical! And look 'ere, I’m waffling again!

Excuses made…. To the pictures and this time I mean it…..

It's my usual way of showing off the stuff...."The pile it all in" and the "heaven forbid a piece of table cloth should show" look. Actually I don't pile it all in, however much it may look like it- a lot of angst was had whilst trying to decide where to put everything (I was inwardly panicking!). Also a lot of it stayed in boxes ; (

Matters were made worse by the fact that I was table-less for quite a bit of our set up time, resulting in Tupney still putting things out when the public arrived!

I really need to try and compact my exhibition, just in case I get asked to do another one somewhere,-this one only just fitted in the car! Still, it's an improvement on the 8 hours it took for me to fill a church once!

Some wedding dresses and Mini Rex in his rather lovely pinstripe jacket! To the right of him are some utility swimming trunks with the most moth holes ever seen on a single pair of trunks, aptly named "Leeknit", though I think it's Lee-knit really!!!

My super new display cases!
With some Board of Trade leaflets on "Make do and Mend", homemade jewellery, ration books...
Whilst the case on the right holds, make up in wartime packaging, more jewellery and wavers!
One of my favourite cases!
With some of my most precious bits in- including both an RAF and Merchant Navy instruction booklet for "Knitted Comforts"- may I say with their badges too!. A handmade POW ciggy case with adorable engraving, two RAF sweetheart rings, sweetheart compacts and brooches, war collection badges and a propaganda hankie.
Notice the lovely suit on the left- How come it fits Miss Busty here and not me anymore eh? I'm going to have to try and compact my shoulders and while I'm at it, shorten my arms too!
Some Kiddies bits.....
I had to strip Edmund of his Shirt (green), tie, zipper, and cap. Though I drew the line at his shorts, because the prospect of battling with two detachable legs in such a small space.... well it wasn’t worth the hassle! Special notes go to the utility Liberty bodice (bottom left) and the beyond cute, red leather, rabbit fur and sheepskin lined utility slippers (top left)- please someone make them bigger!
The washing line, with lots of utility undercrackers- you can't really see them, but I do rather like the peach bloomers with the elastic at both ends. Tupps says they are...
" comfy and roomy, with the added bonus of no drafts!".
Also the Smock is made from Horrockses Utility fabric. It may only be a smock, but it's extremely snappy and stylish on.

This darling little lace blouse was a gift, and is annoyingly a tad on the small size. If I can get the material, then it's one I would love to copy. Also, the gorgeous Utility Monks shoes on the left are Mammy’s (I could spit as they are too big for my tootsies!), but the cute utility bar strappy ones fit me fine- yay!

Another view (bored yet?)

And lastly, what I wore- the Miss Baked Bean dress,
Utility Wool Jacket for when it got chilly around town!
Black felt tilt hat, black suede shoes (not shown) for tottering around, Corde bag and my sturdy tan leather walkers for the sorting of bits!
Apparently I was showing too much knee, well, according to one lady I was.

Right'o, that’s enough for today.
I have more to share (nothing to do with my display you will be glad to know!)
but I thought I would do it in two parts so to give you a comfort break ;)

Ta Ta
Tupney xxx


  1. Wowwee Tups that all looks fab, well done! I don't know why you get so nervous, your displays always look super duper, so many amazing items! Those new display cases are just the job! Jx
    ps. I'm in SHR all week if you chaps are popping in, and I've got a new hat that I really need a second opinion on!

  2. Lovely display, how did you fit so much into your car? :)

  3. Such a lovely display, you have such amazing pieces that you needn't be worried! Love your outfit, especially the colour of your dress
    Isabella xxx

  4. You have an amazing collection of items - what a fabulous display you put on :o)

  5. What a splendidly wonderful trove of vintage treasures you created. I've scrolled through these photos three times, finding new details and items to covet with each viewing.

    Wishing you a gorgeous Monday & week ahead,
    ♥ Jessica

  6. What lovely wares you have!! Love seeing your collection :) x

  7. Brilliant collection, and I love how you have displayed everything! X

  8. I so want to visit this place, in fact I want to move in and live in it! Wonderful display you have there.

  9. I love your display style, it looks so intriguing.


Ta very much for your messages folks!

Tickety Boo Tupney xxx

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