Christmas on the Upton Front!

Christmas tree in front of fireplace decorated with flag and paper streamers, table in foregound

The British spirit prevailed as the wartime rations and air raids didn't cancel Christmas. Visit during November and December and you’ll see the festive preparations being made at Upton in the lead up to a Victory Christmas on the home front, from 26 November - 19 December 2016.

A Victory Christmas in red, white and blue

As we are celebrating our Victory year, you’ll notice most of the decoration will be in red, white and blue. Rooms will be hung with knitted victory bunting, trees filled with peace doves and bells as the sound of joy and celebration rang out over Upton once again. 
 

Celebrating Victory at Christmas for Upton's 1940s presentation
Three V shaped wreaths on a balcony

Look out for early preparations

“Prepare early” was the advice heard over the radio and read in magazines encouraging people to look forward to this happier time of year. Preparation began well in advance, making handmade gifts and cards, saving points coupons and storing food items. It was important for the morale of the British public to continue to celebrate Christmas through the war despite the challenges they faced.

Spot the tell-tale signs around the house, as the community of bank staff were planning for months in advance, with posters up encouraging them to buy war bonds as Christmas presents. New recipes for alternative Christmas favourites were being published by the Ministry of Food, and people were stocking up their rations.

Tree with lights in sitting room with curtains closed for nightime

Evening Blackout Tours

Experience an exclusive evening tour after dark. See the house dressed for Christmas, hear stories and warm up with mulled wine and fruitcake.

Love and care went into handmade gifts

Evenings were spent making paper streamers to decorate their office desks and dormitories. Or reading the latest magazine with new ideas and guides on how to make homemade gifts.  They’d have been secretly making Christmas cards for each other and loved ones back at home or away at war.

Keep Christmas for the Children

During wartime everyone was encouraged to keep the spirit of Christmas alive, especially for the children. To have something fun to focus on and take their minds off the daily life of a war weary country. 

This Christmas children are invited take the trail round the house and discover more about a wartime Christmas and how to make it fun. 

Christmas tree on left with mother and daughter walking by, fireplace behind

Children's Christmas Curiosity Trail

Follow our family trail to see Christmas come to life. Find out about the clever tricks and traditions involved in a 1940s Christmas as you explore the house and answer our questions. Discover the hiding place of the Christmas Elf and Father Christmas to receive your prize!

Typtic painting in gold frame by Bosch showing the birth of Christ in stable

The Three Kings in Upton’s art collection

Take a peek into the world Upton’s art collection and you’ll find a number of remarkable pieces. This work by Bosch is one of the star pieces on show at Upton.

close up of leaflet

Book your timed tickets to visit

You'll need a timed ticket to visit the house. They are available from the Land Agents office on the day on a first come first served basis or they can be pre-booked online up to 24 hours before you visit.

Frosty grass and sunlight on the trees

Take the Bankers' Garden Ramble

Barney Adler, M.Samuel and Co.’s Assistant Chief Accountant, and 21 other bank staff made Upton their home during WWII. Take a ramble around the garden in their footsteps to discover some highlights.