Workshop Wednesday – 2 weeks to go…

In just two weeks from today, we’ll be taking the first vehicles and sets up to the showground, so there’s plenty to do!
Firstly – SETS. The periscope box is looking rather smart in naval grey.

The kitchen is nearly complete, and the gang are adding to the ever-growing pile of show signage by manufacturing some new speed limit signs, information boards, and barriers.

It’s only taken us 11 months but the mighty Scania has finally been unloaded! This gave us space to finish off the pillboxes. Test fitting completed, it was time to clad the exteriors.

The petrol pump is looking fantastic…




On to the vehicles, we’ve been busy trying to get trucks ‘woken up’, including the Matador timber tractor, Austin gun portee and Beachmaster Jeep. The ‘Little Lady’ Jeep has had a few coats of Army green  on the underside…

Rich has managed to fix the vacuum-operated wipers on the OY, yay!
IMG_9821One MASSIVE task has been to make the Spitfire Wing/DJ booth trailer more easily transportable. The donation of some commercial spec tyres has enabled us to move the trailer back to the yard to get some braces for the wings made up.

Food Historian Seren Evans-Charrington

serenrhubarbThe professional food historian, period cook, consultant and writer Seren Evans-Charrington is returning to this years show with her fantastic and informative cooking demonstrations!

serenhairybikersSeren and the Hairy Bikers from a recent filming.

At this years Dig for Victory Show, Seren will be focusing on the Home Fronts Ingenuity: the delights of Mock Meals. She will cook up various mock recipes of mock crab, mock salmon and even a bit of mock tea as well as preserving some seasonal fruits and vegetables – wartime style. Rhubarb and carrots will be high on the agenda!

REVISEDGet your copy of The Pleasure of Preserving signed at the show!

Workshop Wednesday – Kitchen Sets!


It’s all systems go here, these pics show progress on the BRAND NEW for 2015 Kitchen Set – a lovely bit of panelling with a few windows.

The Jeep’s underside has now been fully weldified, sealed and primed.

The long suffering car trailer has had some love in the form of new tyres and wheel bearings courtesy of Pete.

Here’s a bit of a chance discovery and a link with history, courtesy of the Everything Clevedon facebook group, a tile made by Shoplands about 150 years ago returns home!




Dig for Victory Show – a Weekend Festival to Look forward to!

Happy Monday! It is now only three weeks and five days until the gates of the show open! I thought we could have a little look through what is on the agenda!

2014-show-6There are many attractions to look forward to, in the Victory Marquee there is a lot of fun happening!

2014-show-45BBC Historian and presenter James Holland will be talking about some of the common misconceptions around WWII, helping set the record straight.

2014-show-5We’ve got several re-enactors spread across the site, some of who will participate in the arena where you can see military vehicles and tanks.


2014-show-44We have got several music acts lined up across the weekend. The talented trumpeter and vocalist Ricky Hunter will performing alongside the top vintage and 1940s vocalist Jayne Darling. DJ UXB will be playing from his extensive collection of music from wartime and blitz music through to late 1940’s jump and jive, rhythm and blues.

229147_206907572674838_3652723_nThe Good Night Sweethearts; Connie and Flo will be performing a selection of songs made famous by The Andrew Sisters, Nat King Cole, Glenn Miller and more.

emily right and the royalsEmily Wright and The Royals will be performing on Sunday the 14th of June! Check out their soundcloud!

Did you know that there is camping available? You can get a weekend ticket with camping here and don’t forget to purchase your ticket for the Saturday night dance as the numbers are limited and it was very popular last year!

girl with drinks

dancingPhotos from the dance in the Victory marquee at last years show!


2014-show-48In the Homefront Marquee there are plenty of things to look at, vintage stalls and amazing food produce.


2014-show-32Are you looking forward to going back in time? Check out our main website to get more information about our fantastic 1940s festival on the 13-14h of June 2015!

Workshop Wednesday – Tanks for the Sets

It’s like a scene from ‘The Birds’ in the workshop as the stencils dry on the tanks…

IMG_9635… Tom has been tidying up these as they were getting a bit tired, should be nice and fresh and ready to be put out soon.

Mark and Rich have been working on the Jeep tub, finishing off the last few bits before it gets painted. The floor of the rear stowage box needed replacement, shown here being welded in, finished, and painted with zinc primer.

Saturday’s set building gang was working on finishing the walls and ‘lids’ of the two pillboxes, which are now ready to be clad.

The children’s trail board and picket fences for the tea room are seen drying after a coat of paint.

We’re also modifying the former hut roof sections to be the back wall of the kitchen so they stand up straight (and can be fixed to our Shopland-Spec™ interlocking wooden floor boards).

Finally, the Beach Master was up at St. James’ Park in London taking part in the VE day celebrations over the weekend, looking very smart!



Make Do Monday – 1940s fashion

Lets talk a bit about women’s fashion!

The 1940s fashion was heavily affected by the war, rations, new job opportunities for women and towards the end of the decade, hope of a brighter future!

During the First World War, the Women’s Land Army formed to replace the men that had gone off to fight. At first, there was a debate about women wearing trousers as their uniform (Trousers being seen as men’s clothes only), the government’s response to which was to feminise the roles in their propaganda.

P FW W48_9 35_17605

 Picture source

When the prospects of a Second World War became more and more likely the government started the Women’s land army again in June 1939 to bring in more help to increase food production. Just as the farms benefitted from this, everything from munitions factories to public transport and offices took on huge amounts of women to fill the much-needed roles to keep Britain running.


 Picture source

Women now needed a work uniform and dressed in two piece suit-dresses, jackets with wide collars and ruffled sleeves with pads to look more broad shoulder-ed and authoritarian. As the war went on and rationing continued many were forced to recycle and refashion old clothes to upgrade their wardrobe. Some used a lot of their own creativity making detailed and embellished hats which could carry a whole outfit!


Picture source

If you would like to go shopping for forties clothes in a vintage shop or fair there are some details that you can look out for to get to the genuine stuff! For example dresses from the forties are often made in muted colours, the skirt length should be calf length or midi-length as some shops call it today. Because of rationing there is not a lot of seam allowance and the shoulders and sleeves was a big focus point. The typical early forties silhouette is a V-shaped top half, a cinched waist and a simple skirt. From March to May in 1942 austerity measures were introduced which restricted how many buttons, pleats and pockets clothes could have. A tea dress with a small floral print could have been something a Land girl wore when she wasn’t in her overalls. 


Picture source

Your typical 1940s fashion:

  • Practical
  • V-shaped
  • Hats and gloves
  • Rayon crepe and cotton
  • Utilitarian
  • Peep toe shoes
  • Shoulder pads
  • Discreet
  • Fabric rations
  • Work clothing
  • Tea dresses
  • Chunky heel shoes

If you stumble upon a piece of clothing or maybe a blanket with a label marked CC41 (Civilian Clothing 41) you have found a product of utility clothing from the wartime which was made under the strict amounts of fabric allowed and quality standard guaranteed by the government.


Picture source


Picture source

The war ended in 1945 but clothes rationing continued until 15 March 1949 in the United Kingdom. Towards the end of the decade clothes were made in brighter colours and prints, with shorter sleeves and rounded necklines. “The New look” launched in 1947 by Christian Dior in France was the biggest influence on the post-war look with lots of fabric going into full skirts and a new era of fashion was born.


Sources and references: Rationing, WLAfor picture sources click on link under photo.

Workshop Wednesday – North Somerset Show & The Joy of Sets

Bank Holiday Monday was the 2015 North Somerset Show, which was attended by the DFVS team, Invicta Military Vehicle Preservation Society, and Shopland Collection.

We took a few vehicles down on Sunday night. The RL put up a bit of a fuss to begin with, but managed to drag the 40mm Bofors gun without any major issues.

The Matador Timber Tractor especially benefited from a good run.

A big part of the volunteers team were at The North Somerset Show to share some of our love for the 1940s and hand out our flyers for the Dig for Victory Show 2015 which is less than six weeks away!

IMG_9591We had an air shelter showing footage from last years show as well as some military vehicles.



The Workshop Wednesday team were present.

IMG_9592As well as Sam and Liz who did a fantastic job handing out flyers and spreading the word about the show!

We also had a look around the North Somerset Show to see some of their many attractions.

The Beachmaster was polished up and looking its best, and several demonstrations were done with the gun showing off the traverse and elevation, which drew a crowd.

Back at the mill, we were working hard on completing the refurbishment of the picket fences for the tea rooms, and ‘Project Pillbox’ – a new set piece for this year.

In the workshop, the big news is that the body tub for the ‘Little Lady’ jeep has returned with plenty of fresh metal! It’s in need of a coat of paint underneath and finishing off, but we couldn’t resist offering it up to the chassis!