Brave Helen given 1940s makeover at Bletchley Park

Helen Legh

Helen Legh

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A radio presenter living with terminal brain cancer indulged in some vintage glamour at Bletchley Park’s 1940s Boutique.

Helen Legh, of BBC Three Counties Radio, was given the devastating diagnosis 18 months ago.

Since then she has undergone major surgery followed by radiotherapy and radiotherapy, which caused her to lose all of her hair.

Mum-of-one Helen said: “When I was wearing a chemo hat I was channelling the 1920s and now it’s growing back, I would like to channel the 1940s. I really like the look and the era.”

Helen is no stranger to Bletchley Park.

She was one of the volunteer actors who took part in creating the atmospheric interpretation of the codebreaking Huts when they were restored in 2014.

She can be found at the far end of Hut 6, pushing decoded messages through a chute to Hut 3.

As a special treat, Helen had a makeover at the 1940s Boutique at Bletchley Park during a day-long workshop and tutorial session last week.

Vintage stylist Sarah Dunn of Sarah’s Doo Wop Dos demonstrates how to create an iconic wartime look, with hair in victory rolls, as well as the tricks of make do and mend make up.

Sarah said: “It’s inspired by the women of Bletchley Park. Things were scarce in the 1940s. Women used what make-up they had, otherwise it was good skin care and wash your hair when you can.

“We’re basing it on glamorous film stars, but it’s still a very authentic look. We try to build up people’s confidence to create and wear their own individual look.”

Tickets are on sale now for the next 1940s Boutique on Saturday, April 16, and further dates in July, October and December. Book now for a thoroughly glamorous day out.

You can hear Helen enjoying her day at the 1940s Boutique in the new episode of the Bletchley Park Podcast, Bombe Girls.

> Read more about Helen here.