Brunswick Park is a gorgeous green space in the heart of Wednesbury. It was opened in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, and it retains a wonderful air of calm, a perfect place for a picnic, to walk your dog or just to spot local wildlife. But on Saturday and Sunday last week, the park was alive with the sounds of Big Band tunes, and awash with colourful 1940s fashion as it played host to the first ‘Brunswick in the Blitz‘, transporting the park and its visitors back to the heady days of 1940s.
The beautiful bandstand, which is usually closed, was open once again, as the Ashby Big Band played the tunes of Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra and Cole Porter. The sun shone for at least part of the afternoon, as couples dressed in 1940s dress, from military uniform, land girl garb and more glamorous tea dresses, enjoyed dancing to the memorable tunes. There was also a sing along of wartime songs from another conflict, with ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ particularly enjoyed.
A red Routemaster bus provided the perfect bar for refreshments of the alcoholic kind, whilst more refined tea and coffee could be found at the Blitz tearoom, which was also stocking a range of delicious homemade cakes and cookies.
Brunswick in the Blitz had a range of stalls that offered information about the 1940s, from ‘Dig for Victory; and growing your own, to the reality of rationing. I was fascinated by the false and elaborate wedding cake that was made from cardboard, and housed a rather more modest fruit cake underneath. There were beautiful vintage cars to enjoy, and military vehicles too. And then there were stalls, selling a range of beautifully curated vintage fashion and homewares, all at very reasonable prices, and totally adding to the authentic feel of the event. From retro furs to glorious hats, and beautiful leather handbags and vintage cake stands, this was a treasure trove that would delight vintage lovers of all ages.
Brunswick in the Blitz was a fantastic event which I hope will happen again very soon. It was simply lovely.