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Events8th September 2023

Keep Calm and Stay Cool

In the 1940s, Great Britain was in the midst of the Second World War; tackling shortages, blackouts, bombings, and general discomforts; struggling to keep morale high. Ordinary life also brought other challenges such as hot summers and cold winters, as the 29th May 1944 in Tunbridge Wells is still on record as the hottest day in May when the mercury tipped 32.8°.

This weekend’s Salute to the 40s is set to be a scorcher, but using these tips inspired by life in the Second World War, keeping cool will be a breeze.

Food & Drink

Staying hydrated goes without saying, and a nice pot of tea will definitely help.

Carrots are also a great way to stay cool. This delicious vegetable helped fuel the War but they also make delicious ice lollies.

Step 1. Dig up your carrots from the veggie patch in the garden.

Step 2. Give them a good wash and then boil. (Make sure you keep the skin on.)

Step 3. Mash together the carrots and a small amount of condensed milk (be mindful of your rationing allowance).

Step 4. Pour in to your mould and freeze until solid.



Clothes were not exempt for the War’s rationing. Following the advice “wool for winter, linen for summer” will see you right.

Ladies, this weekend is not the time to be wearing your 2-piece woollen suit no matter how fashionable it is. Hot summers are also the perfect opportunity to embrace the shortage of nylon tights and let your legs go bare.

Hats for both men and ladies are still in fashion, choose a lightweight version in white or light brown. Perfect for keeping the sun out of your eyes, whilst keeping up with the last fashions.


Anderson Shelters were dark, cold, and damp. Therefore making them the perfect shelter during a summer heatwave.

There is no need to use up your hot water ration during the hot weather, instead embrace having a cold bath to help cool you down. Just don’t fill the tub past the regulated 5 inches.

This is not the time to be stuck in a hot kitchen making jam, instead find a cool, shady spot outside for peeling potatoes and podding peas or even darning the pile of holey socks.

Keep Calm and Carry on

If all else fails and you’re still feeling the heat, roll up your trouser legs, don a knotted handkerchief hat, and relax in the nearest deck chair.

Even better if you follow the keep cool tips at Salute to the 40s, where you can enjoy music by The Glenn Miller Orchestra or the D-Day Darlings, meander around the military and civilian vehicles, or take a spin on the fairground.


Celebrated as ‘one of the Britain’s best vintage festivals’, get ready to reminisce and feel nostalgic as the Historic Dockyard is transformed into a 1940s experience. Relive the whole decade, from military wartime displays through to the glamorous years in the late 1940s.

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