Fabulous forties: Destination Dover, UK

It was like stepping back sixty years at the White Cliffs of Dover.

Tourists were double-taking as a smartly dressed foursome made their way through what was one of Churchill’s front line command centres during the early part of World War II.

The castle, sitting high above the English Channel, was a key strategic site in the Battle of Britain; and the backdrop for the most dramatic events of the early part of the war, when Britain stood on its own. The forties are a key era in its past.

The four perfectly dressed 1940s civilians were not part of an organised event: just a glorious picnic day out to celebrate the blue birds which fly once again over the white cliffs of Dover.

The four are members of the Battle For Europe– a world war two living history group, which covers the counties of Kent and Essex. Keen to recereate the historical detail of the era, the group of around 30 men and a small band of women meet regularly to relive the past.

Louis and Vince Scopes, Tori Bottomley and Laura Sutton are sticklers for getting the historical details absolutely right.

“There are a lot who get it almost right but a lot of it is mistaken – it’s actually ’50s or ’60s. We use the reproduction sites or just go antique shopping to get the look as accurate as possible.

“We’ve all been taking part for years now. At first you go into it for the look, but you quickly get drawn into the history which is really interesting,” Tori told LetterFrom Britain.



  1. Dover has such a powerful history, the doorway to Britain, the skies full of Luftwaffe and RAF fighters, the ships going to Normandy. If I ever go to the UK, I’ll have to sneak by and see Dover.

    1. It is so atmospheric, Ralfast. What has happened here still hangs in the air, especially in the secret wartime tunnels where they worked in the darkest wartime days.

  2. Thank you so much for highlighting this group! I may be moving to the UK in the fall, and as a vintage lover, it’s nice to find out about living history groups across the pond. 😉

    1. Hi Anna! Thanks so much for coming to read and comment. You’d be welcomed with open arms, I feel sure. Hope your move goes smoothly: let us know when you arrive!

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