Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Rufford Abbey At War

So we are in September already!  Isn’t this year rolling along quickly?  Although the days here in Suffolk are still decidedly sweltering, the mornings are fresh and there is a definite nip in the beautifully clean air, signalling that autumn is just around the corner. 

We were away this weekend and certainly felt the dip in temperature.  No longer able to sleep under canvas with just a single layer, the girls were bundled and snuggled, while my Mr and I lay awake discussing how we should have taken more bedding with us!

Where did we go?  Well, the unimaginative title of this post already gives the game away as to where we have been; the delightful and beautiful Rufford Abbey.  And the reason for our visit; their annual Rufford at War weekend!!

The event is in its 7th year, but this was the first time we have attended.  Being 160 miles away from home, it’s somewhat further than we normally consider travelling with our vintage wares but, with Wimpole at War clashing with Sheringham’s 1940’s event (which I’m highly peeved about, I must tell you!!!) we thought we’d better pick up another event, so Rufford it was.

Rufford Abbey is an amazing place.  Although no longer as grand as it once was, the Grade 1 listed Ancient Monument is incredibly beautiful and more than a little eerie when wandering around it’s vast grounds at dusk, when your husband, knowing what a coward you are, finds it hysterically funny to liken the structure to Count Draculas home!!! 

The event was brilliantly organised and had a good dose of proper re-enactment.  By that, I mean that the re-enactors who had given their time to attend the event really got involved and engaged with the public.  Railway events and the like are brilliant for promenading in one’s finery, and I really mean that, but from a historical perspective, it’s nice to see true re-enactors giving a good portrayal of what life was really like during the dark days of WW2.


My dad is part of the Civil Defenders re-enactment group, and once kitted out from top to toe in his battledress and webbing, becomes Norman, a member of the 10th Battalion Suffolk Home Guard. 

He, like me, is not a great fan of the camera and distance shots are about the best we get!!

The girls had a wonderful time and even took park in a swing dance competition where they danced their little hearts out to 7 songs to become the swing dance winners of the day!  Their prize, rather aptly considering the Abbey had turned back the clock to WW2, was a banana, presented to them by The Spitfires, a great trio of female vocalists. 

My little scruff bugs!  This was taken on the 2nd day of camping, after they
had been digging around in mole hills!!

For me, the best bit of the weekend was meeting a lovely lady who actually reads this little old blog of mine!  I know people read my wafflings, because the stats tell me so, but to actually meet a real person; I was absolutely made up, if a little embarrassed! 

The lady was a stall holder and had an enviable collection of knitting patterns, 10 of which came home with me, plus 2 more Needlework Illustrated magazines!  The collection is growing, slowly but surely :o)

Also on her stall were these beautiful brooches!  Aren’t they pretty?

Based on original designs of the brooches I collect, they are absolutely beautiful!  They are so neatly finished and I believe you would be hard pushed to know they weren’t originals, unless you turned them over to look at the fastening.  If you have fancied owning such a piece, but have struggled to find an original one at a reasonable price, then they may be right up your street, so to speak :o)  I’m not sure if they are available online, but you can contact the maker through the following email address;

To the lovely lady and her family, this is a special “hello” to you.  I hope you like how the brooches photographed! xx

In other news, Mr Y has gone back to school now, 6 wonderful weeks over.  We are slowly getting back into the swing of things such as the 5.50am alarm and 11.45pm bed time; no wonder I look tired all the time!  But, as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case, being awake for so many hours means lots of crafting time and, thanks to an incredible gift from a fellow blogger, you know who you are I hope, I have some wonderful patterns to work from, the results of which I hope to share to you soon!! 



  1. Looks like a fantastic weekend Lucy, well done to your little ones for winning! I love the brooches :) x

  2. I love those brooches. Looks like you had a wonderful weekend.
    Julie xxxxxxxx

  3. It looks like you and your family had a great time at Rufford Abbey, and I can relate to your knitting pattern purchases!

    P.S. Thank you for leaving a comment on my recent post; its appreciated :-)

  4. Oooh just found your lovely blog, hope to read lots of your past posts. x

  5. Just discovered your wonderful blog today! I love Rufford Abbey and this looks like a great event ! Thanks for the photographs!
    Ava xx