Man pretending to be a waiter surprises his mother after spending seven years apart
Meet the woman who looks like she's walked straight out the 1940s - with a vintage home where she only cooks wartime food and has a strictly vinyl music collection. Hannah Hall, who prefers not to share her age, developed an affinity with the 1940s after watching wartime films with her late grandfather, Henry, 78, as a little girl. She became obsessed with Hollywood starlets such as Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Bette Davis and wanted to dress like them. Hannah was raised by her single mum, she says they didn’t have a lot of money so bought everything from charity shops. She continues to only buy second-hand today. After renting their whole lives, Hannah had enough of the uncertainty of the rental market and put a deposit down on a 1920s house with her mum in 2016. They now live in a "vintage kingdom" - kitted out with a 1940s cooker and an eclectic mix of old world furnishings from the Victorian era up to the 1960s. Despite owning items from throughout the decades, Hannah’s favourite era is the forties. She became inspired by the ‘make do and mend’ camaraderie of wartime Britain and she has since met her "Mr Vintage", Jack, an freight train inspector, who loves the 1980s. Hannah, a medical examiners officer, from Nottingham, East Midlands, said: “My favourite era is the 1940s. "The tenacity of the British people was really inspiring. I love the ‘make do and mend attitude'. “I loved the community feel and street parties for morale - we have just been through a massive pandemic where people have had to make their own fun at home. “I feel nostalgic for an era I have never even lived in. "My grandpa, Henry, who passed when he was 78, was born in 1936 and told me all his stories from his time in the RAF. “We spent hours watching old World War Two films and that was my first taste of vintage clothes and outfits worn by starlets such as Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Garland.” Hannah’s mum, Stephanie, raised her on her own so they didn’t have a lot of money to spare so bought everything second-hand and her grandad passed down his furniture. She said: “My mum developed a vintage taste by chance. "I was picked on at school for being poor and having second-hand shoes, but my mum always taught me to go against the grain. “Mum and I bought a house together six years ago because it was getting really difficult to rent - we kept getting kicked out of places. “My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2014 and deserves the world - I didn’t want her to keep moving from house-to-house. “We managed to save up for a deposit and bought a 1920s house. “We started uncovering all the original features and started the vintage renovation from there.” The mum and daughter started with the kitchen - finding a vintage Rainhill cooker on eBay for just £16 which lights with a match. “We filled it with 1940s bread bins, Oxo tins, ration boxes and old cereal tins and put down black and white tiles," Hannah said. “We hide all the modern day appliances, such as the washing machine and microwave. “Most people would’ve gotten rid of the pantry, but we wanted to keep it for authenticity.” They spruced up the bathroom with mallard duck decorations, a 1950s dainty made cabinet, and a bright yellow interior. They ripped out the laminate flooring in the living room to reveal the original floorboards and installed a traditional log burner. “We filled the room with old sewing machines and put 1940s books on the bookshelves," Hannah said. “The only modern thing in there is the telly." The 1940s connoisseurs even built their own allotment and log store outside for their log fires. She said: “I have been inspired by the 'grow your own' mantra so built we our own allotment. "We have little garden beds - growing lettuce, carrots, peppers, onions, peas, potatoes, cucumbers, parsley and basil. “I am also learning to sew, as I can only do the basics.” The pre-loved advocate wouldn’t dream of stepping foot in a fast-fashion high street store and has only ever shopped second-hand. Hannah added: “I love the simplicity of the 1940s and throughout my life I’ve boiled the kettle and had a hot water bottle instead of putting the heating on. “I was raised to live within my means and I’m very content doing so - I’m not lavish. “I will always fix things instead of throwing it away.” Hannah’s wardrobe echoes her 1940s lifestyle, and she loves walking into a shop and not knowing what she might find. She added: “I like the hunt, I don’t like walking into a shop knowing what I want. “My vintage taste in fashion has always been inspired by old Hollywood starlets, I have a classic taste in beauty and fashion. “I love a faux fur coat, and my staples are a red lip, pearl earrings, faux fur and patterns. “I curl my hair and put it in a side parting.” In the kitchen, Hannah cooks classic British recipes from a 1940s cookbook gifted to her by one of her social media followers. “I’ve worked myself through the recipes which include a Victoria Sponge, soups, broths, stews and home-made sausage rolls," she said. “I’ve even bought vintage weighing scales, a vintage meat mincer, vintage mason bowls and a 1950s tin opener my friend gave to me. “I’ve always loved fish and chips as a treat - that was the only food not rationed throughout the war to boost morale.” Hannah doesn’t have a Spotify account and prefers to listen to her vinyl records - her collection includes the likes of Glen Miller, Bing Crosby, and the Ink Spots. She said: “I love 1940s music - I’m such a grandma I don’t even have a Spotify account. “I like putting the needle on the record, I like boiling a kettle from scratch and I like putting logs on the fire.” In May 2022, she met her match on a birthday night out in Jack Weightman, in his twenties, the pair bonded over their love for a world-gone-by. "It's been lovely to find someone to share my love of vintage with," Hannah said. "He loves the 1980s and we started connecting over his love of steel railways."