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1940s Weekend

photo of young 40s lady and soldier

14 July - 15 July 2018

Usual opening hours & general admission prices apply for this event.

The BCLM UnChained Pass is valid for daytime visits, however it is not valid for the evening event which is pre-book only.

14 July - 15 July 2018

Spend the weekend in wartime Britain at Black Country Living Museum’s highly popular 1940s Weekend.

For an entire weekend the Museum will be transformed, recreating an electric wartime atmosphere of vintage entertainment, food and fashion!

Explore 26 acres filled with vintage vehicles, 40s civilians and army personnel

We welcome all visitors to take part and dress 1940s, however please respect that this is a homefront event - Allied Forces only. 

The BCLM UnChained Annual Pass is valid for day visits on both 14 and 15 July as part of 1940s Weekend. Pay for one day, visit for 12 months!  Please click here to book.

To find out more about our evening event on 14 July and booking, please click here.



Please come back and visit this page again. More programme information will appear as we get closer to our 1940s Weekend for 2018.


How to get the 40s look


Please note: if you are planning to visit us for the whole weekend,  there will be a break between the Saturday daytime event, ending at 5pm and the evening event, beginning at 6.30pm. Visitors will be asked to leave the Museum site for this hour and a half. 

Usual opening hours & admission prices apply for this event. BCLM UnChained Annual passes are valid for the daytime visits however, it is not valid for the evening event which is pre-book only.

Please respect our neighbours and local residents by only parking on Museum car parks. A park and ride service is available from nearby Dudley College on the Broadway.

All details are correct at the time of writing; however the Museum reserves the right to change or cancel items if circumstances arise that are beyond its control. /media/events/library/unchained-banner-880x210px.jpg


  • Just for 40s Fun!
  • What to see: Amos' Anderson shelter

We are celebrating War Time Britain with this fabulous  1940s weekend  and we would like to know - How much do you know about the 40s?

We have the basics covered for you; including what did they wear and how to make do & mend, rationing & recipes and women at war.

Join in at home and  find out what it was like to live in wartime Britain by taking part in our activities and challenges below......


This Month's Challenge....

Live like they did in the 1940s.

Go a whole day without using electric or battery powered entertainment.

This includes TV, Games Consoles and Toys.

Write in to tell us how you get on to

/media/learning/library/dress-landgirls1.jpgDress 1940s

Join in and have a go at dressing up 1940s. Find a few ideas of the type of clothes that were worn  here


Facts about War time rationing  here

/media/learning/library/130621_230_potatopete.jpg1940s Recipes

Learn how to cook some of these great rationing  recipes.


/media/learning/library/130624_230_make_do_and_mend.jpgMake Do & Mend

Find out about planning your wardrobe with clothing rations and knitting comforts  here







Women at War

The women played a vital part in WW2 at war and on the home front. Find out more  here






Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of sirens, only to have to run down the garden to spend the night in one of these. Visit 1940s Weekend and you won't have to imagine - you'll get chills stepping inside Amos' Anderson shelter!

The Anderson shelter were issued almost immediately after the outbreak of WW2. They were designed to sleep six people – but at just 6ft (1.8m) high, 4.5ft (1.4m) wide and 6.5ft (2m) long they were an extremely tight squeeze. They would have been free to all households earning less than £250 annually and a charge of £7 for those with higher incomes. Families would dig a 4ft deep hole into the ground and cover with at least 15 inches of earth. They were effective against virtually everything but a direct hit – but as you can imagine, they were quite cold. Many families made the best of it and kitted them out to be as comfortable and as homely as possible.

If you visit us over 1940s Weekend (15-16 July), thanks to Amos Burke of the ‘Spirit of the Homefront’ re-enactment group, you will be able to step inside an authentic Anderson shelter for yourself!

They don’t make ‘em like this anymore (literally!) and so Amos had quite a job on his hands finding one (even travelling as far as Essex from the Black Country!) This one is made up from two separate shelters which he searched high and low for after being unable to find companies which would manufacture them especially.

“I’ve done a lot of research to try and make it is a historically accurate as possible, but also as comfortable as possible” says Amos. “I built some small bunk beds in there (even though the shelter has a capacity for six). We have original radios, 1940s photos of my family and even a parlour heater from a gentlemen who remembers it being in his own shelter! His Mum would put orange peel to stop the smell of paraffin.”

Amos and his wife will be by (or near) their shelter throughout 1940s Weekend so why not pop by to say ‘hello’? He’s got a few stories to tell and even dresses as an ARP warden to bring them to life. As a dedicated re-enactor, he actually spends the night in the shelter too! It’s ‘quite comfortable’, he says.


Did you know?

Our own Cast Iron House was issued an Anderson Shelter. Their owner at the time was told they were ‘bomb proof’ – of course we know now that the reality was precisely opposite!




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