Tag Archives: Fashion On The Ration

A Lovely Bit Of This And That In Bath.

Food For Thought, Rocking Dog

Food For Thought

Saturday, youngest fashionista daughter (Liv) and I headed to Bath for a day of mini adventures. Liv headed to the Guildhall for a talk by Mary Portas, based on her newly published memoir “Shop Girl”. Apparently it was really entertaining and a question at the end of the talk was so well answered by the retail guru. She was asked which British brand she’d like to rejuvenate and rebrand. The answer? M & S, she also qualified that she wouldn’t like the job. Imagine alienating all those devoted Per Una customers!

I meanwhile trotted to the flea market down by the Old Tram Shed on Walcot Street. Not vast, but with interesting eclectic stalls it is worth a look. I loved some really enormous bottle driers, but know I need to declutter rather than add more stuff! Unlike many cities, Bath has managed to hang on to a wide range of independent shops and so browsing is enjoyable. I also went into the Guildhall Market for ribbon supplies. The stall has the largest and most diverse range of ribbons, lace, braids and haberdashery, a sewers paradise. Best window in Bath goes to Maze in Green Street. It was so simple but so effective, with tin bucket filled with planted daffodils and another window displaying a tin wash tub filled with bulbs yet to bloom. I have my Grandmother’s wash tub and glass wash board. At the moment the crenellated tub is filled with logs for the stove, whilst at Christmas I use it for the Christmas tree.

Liv and I regrouped, and headed for lunch at a perennial favourite The Fine Cheese Company on Walcot Street. Originally solely a cheese shop, it now sells gorgeous breads and deli items, together with offering customers a sit down watering hole. We loved our charcuterie platter and cheese plate (a months oozy cheese ration)! We even sat out in the sun…delicious!

Liv had to head back to Bristol, but I went to a talk by the author Julie Summers, “Fashion On The Ration”. The book accompanies a major new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, London. In these days of throw away fashion it’s so easy to forget about just how difficult it was to stay clothed during the war. There was the additional pressure that women were encouraged to look wonderful, and to wear bright colours to spite the enemy and keep the spirits of the nation up. Julie talked about coupons, siren suits, Make Do and Mend, parachute silk and the scarcity of stockings. Many of the predominantly female audience were of mature years and had some brilliant anecdotes regarding wartime fashion. One lady talked about how her school domestic science lessons were spent remodelling work overalls into daytime clothing. Another lady recounted that her father had sold stockings and other luxuries out of a suitcase. One customer ended up being his wife, and this lady’s Mum.

The Fashion on The Ration exhibition runs from 5th March until 31st August and tickets can be booked now. The exhibition features underwear made from silk escape maps, “onesies” worn in the air raid shelters, jewellery made from aeroplane parts, propaganda posters, military uniforms and patriotic scarves. If my children are reading this by any chance a ticket for this would be a wonderful birthday present, hint, hint!

Such a lovely day, and no, I really didn’t need to add anything to my wardrobe!

Market Trawling, Rocking Dog

Market Trawling

Retail Guru, Rocking Dog

Retail Guru

Best Window Goes To..,Rocking Dog

Best Window Goes To..