Back to the 1940’s at Bletchley

As the 1940’s event season draws to a close we decided to give our WVS Summer dresses one last outing of the year!

 

thumbnail_IMG_3274

For the second time this year we attended Bletchley Park’s 1940’s weekend – and whereas back in May we went at the end of the Bank Holiday (read our earlier blog!), this time we were determined to see the event at its best by attending on the Saturday.
The weather forecast was good and so our WVS dresses would be suitable for the sunshine – and in the absence of handknitted WVS cardigans, we managed with fabulous Voodoo Vixen ones from their current range – the perfect colour! and we felt that as we were both wearing the same we represented the ‘uniform’ of the WVS!

For the link to our WVS dress maker, Rachel, click here…

 

We arrived just after opening which was a good thing, as not long after, queues of up to an hour had formed with visitors trying to get into the event! If you’re planning to visit next year bear that in mind!

This being our third visit in a year we wanted to focus on the event and what it had to offer rather than revisit the museum exhibits – and there was lots to see!
Outside the mansion were numerous homefront displays, a favourite being the ‘Family at War’ where the lovely Ria Jefferies gives fabulous cooking demonstrations with her mum, as well as selling her wartime home bakes (she kindly set aside two of her delicious rose cakes for us to enjoy with a gin later!). She also sells a wonderful range of vintage packaged tea, coffee and cocoa – as well as her own ‘Ration’ chocolate (the challenge is for Emma to survive on a week’s ration – she didn’t look convinced!)


The Spam hash Ria cooked up was so delicious and we took the recipe home to whip up for our families another time.

 

Another fascinating display inside the mansion was the ‘Weddings on the Ration’ – a beautiful collection of wedding gowns including CC41 and Double 11 owned by Peter and Marie Bainbridge. Their collection is truly stunning and they take it to various events so keep an eye out!

Click here for link to their webpage – Weddings of Yesteryear

 

One thing we remembered from our previous visit to this event was that the shopping was excellent and the selection of stalls offered quality 1940s pieces. Lara broke the record purchasing a suit within two minutes of entering the shopping marquee from one of our favourite sellers Debbie’s Vintage World. In addition there were beautiful corsages and hair flowers from the lovely Miss Bella’s Blooms and some superb hats from Karen Back of the Heritage Milliner.
We were also excited to see Sarah Dunn again and we both treated ourselves to new turbans – knowing that these days you have to set a timer for her Etsy restocks and often your item is sold before it even reaches your basket!

And that’s one big difference we noticed from our last visit here to this one – the number of people that we knew and that we got to say hello to!
Back in May The Vintage Tourists were fairly new but in the 4 months between events we have gotten to know so many wonderful people through Instagram and Facebook and it was a great social occasion for us as much as anything else. The vintage community is a very welcoming one and it was so lovely to meet other enthusiasts whether they be 1940’s reenactors or just vintage loving people! It was a pleasure to meet other WVS reenactors – some in dresses made by Rachel too, and see all the wonderful outfits worn by the visitors of the event who really make an effort.

thumbnail_IMG_3817
Meeting more members of the ‘made by Rachel’ WVS!

Later in the afternoon we sat by the dance tent, listening to the sounds of the 1940’s whilst enjoying a delicious beverage from the ‘Gin Nook’ and the rose cake that Ria had saved for us!

thumbnail_IMG_3304
Gin and Rose Cake… perfect!!

It’s a lovely event that we will undoubtedly return to again and again. If you are thinking about it for next year, you may need to allow at least two days if you want to take in the museum as well as the event itself – there is SO much to see. Luckily a ticket for Bletchley Park gains you entry for the entire year and so you can always return to see the bits you missed another time.

Click here for link to Bletchley Park’s website

tiurists

Until next time……

The VT’s xxxxx

 

P.s. Keep a look out for our cards… we leave them everywhere 😉

thumbnail_IMG_3271

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Tourists at Twinwood 2018

 

Ever since we began The Vintage Tourists, the one festival that we heard the most about and the one we most wanted to visit was Twinwood. But having already blown our annual ‘tourist’ budget on our earlier trip to Berlin (read about it if you haven’t already!) how were we going to manage it?

 

GETTING THERE…

Held every August Bank Holiday weekend at the historic airfield site, Twinwood is a festival packed with music, dancing and shopping. The site opens on the Thursday until Tuesday with 3 full days of entertainment (not even counting the Friday night). We knew that one day would not be enough and also that we were going to be pushed to afford tickets for the amount of time we wanted to stay for. And we didn’t want to wait for 2019!

So, as luck would have it Twinwood organise a Mr and Miss Vintage competition every year and offer free tickets to those who manage to make it into the finals – worth a shot we thought!

The competition has several rounds, the first being an online Facebook vote. The contestants who make it into the top 30 based on votes get through to the second round where the organisers of Twinwood choose the 10 that they want to put into the finals (a show on the Sunday in the Colonial Club).

Despite having reservations about putting our mugs out there on social media to be judged we did it anyway, and we were relieved to see only positive comments made… and even better, lots of votes!

In fact both of us made it through to the second round (yay!) along with a good friend of ours who we work with at the Forties Experience when we volunteer there.

thumbnail_IMG_2435
Another ‘Round 2-er’ and friend Vicky

Although we never like to compete with one another, the fact that we promised to take each other meant we only needed one of us through – the odds looked good.

Given that we are writing about Twinwood goes to show that one of us made it through and so we hurriedly rearranged Bank Holiday plans and sorted childcare and imposed a summer shopping ban on ourselves so that we could justify a big shopping spree at Twinwood! (and boy, did we!)

 

THE FESTIVAL

Arriving first thing on the Saturday morning the sun was shining and we had no idea what to expect. We had decided to dress casually for the day (there would be enough outfit stress on the Sunday for the comp) and after a quick coffee we got stuck into the stalls around the main arena. In record time we had made purchases (I snapped up a lovely blue sweater from Cherry Retro and Emma found a beautiful 70’s does ’30s dress).

These stalls were just the tip of an amazing shopping iceberg!! Some of our favourite sellers were there including The Heritage Milliner, Pin Up Curl and Deborah’s Vintage, as well as House of Foxy and What Katie Did.

A particularly exciting moment was spotting a display of the American cosmetic brand Besame on the Voodoo Vixen stand (they are now UK stockists!!), and we saw for the first time the full range of beautiful products and lipsticks, walking away as proud owners of the 1941 shade Victory Red!  Another shopping ‘coup’ was getting a full head turban by Sarah’s Doo Wop Dos! Anyone who has ever set their timer for her Etsy restock will appreciate how lucky we were to peruse a CHOICE of items on sale at her salon!

After a few hours our arms were aching with purchases and we had to do a ‘car drop’ so that we could relax in the afternoon!

Entertainment at the festival is fantastic offering something to suit all vintage tastes.  Numerous dance classes are offered around the site for all levels of ability and we enjoyed a lovely cup of tea in the Colonial Club watching a beginners class.

The main arena has some incredible acts and visitors to the event bring their own chairs to sit and enjoy the various performances – a highlight for us was enjoying a gin and tonic watching the fabulous Glenn Miller band!

Evening entertainment is equally varied and there are so many venues to choose from. We chose the Casablanca Club  – an intimate seated venue with atmospheric lighting where we enjoyed some wonderful music by the fabulous Sara Spade before heading to bed ready for the Miss Vintage finals the following day.

 

MISS VINTAGE FINALS

Sunday brought with it heavy rain, but having spent a fortune the previous day we were happy to dedicate Sunday to prepping for the Miss Vintage finals.

thumbnail_IMG_2282
Umbrellas were an essential accessory on the Sunday! 

I had booked into the hair salon run by Sarah’s Doo Wop Dos to have my hair done (too many stressful hair calamities have made me run late to events before!) and Jess did a fantastic job of a 1940’s page-boy type style that would go well with my hat. (She can be found on FB and IG as ‘Rock’n’Rolla Hairstylist’).

I had chosen my outfit to represent the aspect of history that I find most interesting – fashion for the ordinary 1940’s women. This era was all about utility and austerity, and although a risky choice for a competition like this I could only be comfortable in an outfit that meant something to me.

thumbnail_IMG_0124

 

The dress was an original 1940’s piece (sourced on ebay) and had all the features of the ‘make do and mend’ era. The collar had been re-stitched numerous times and the skirt section was decorated with embroidered flowers which in fact hid moth holes and damage. I loved that the original owner had worked hard to keep the dress going – and had done such a good job that I was able to wear it in 2018, still in good condition.

I needed a hat and decided (since hats were never on ration anyway) to have one made. I have long admired the Heritage Milliner’s pieces and Karen, the owner, made me a fabulous black felt hat with orange stitching to match the dress.

Bag and gloves were original pieces from Etsy sellers The 1940s Shop and Glitx and Pieces.

thumbnail_1BE023E8-8131-425C-9021-5F20C37F4BA4
The full outfit!

Being in the finals involves a rehearsal early on in the day to mark places on stage and go through the order of the show.  Due to the rain and the number of people sheltering in the marquee we had quite an audience for this and it was good preparation for what was to come!

The other finalists were all lovely ladies and as we got ready in the dressing room (not as glamorous as it sounds!) it was great to see so many lovely vintage outfits and eras represented. Emma was there keeping me calm and stopping me from having a third gin and tonic (I’d already sunk two rather quickly in the hour before the show for some ‘Dutch courage’!) as well as reassure me that my outfit was good enough.

Then on to the show…

Lining up backstage were a lot of very nervous ladies ready to strut their stuff.  I kept thinking ‘whose idea was this again?’ but show organiser Sarah Dunn (yes, of DooWopDo’s!) was so lovely and supportive I managed to make it up the stairs and on stage!

 

thumbnail_IMG_2253
The beautiful contestants 1 to 5!

I can’t quite remember what I said as I was dazzled by the lights and the huge crowd but hosts Lola Lamour and Dusty Limits were very supportive and I got through it somehow! It was comforting to look out into the crowd and see my fellow vintage tourist waving (and stressing even more than I was!!)

When the results came I was honoured to be placed third and took home some fantastic prizes from the show and its sponsors.

thumbnail_IMG_2365
Fantastic prizes! Thank you Twinwood Festival!

Can I recommend entering Miss Vintage? Yes, if you have nerves of steel! Despite the backstage terror I’m so glad I entered and that we were able to attend this fantastic festival.  We met so many amazing people, in particular some Instagram friends that we were delighted to catch up with for the first time.

 

This is an amazing event full of great entertainment and truly wonderful, friendly people. We’ll definitely be back!

thumbnail_IMG_2280

The VT’s

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

Styling it out….The vintage way

rockets

We just want to take a moment to talk about vintage styling and what it means for us. The vintage world is like a sweet shop. There are so many eras to choose from and within those eras there are many many styles.  The 1950’s wasn’t all about circle skirts and petticoats, just as the 1940’s wasn’t all victory rolls.

We’re always very touched when people comment on our style/ outfits or hair. But it isn’t always something that comes easily and for one of us in particular it can feel like a battle at times   (not with each other, we never do that)!

file3

We both have a love for the 1930’s and 1940’s but we really enjoy experimenting with other era’s too, and I confess to having a little place in my heart for some 60’s and 70’s polyester at times.

But wearing true vintage, particularly from earlier eras can be tricky. It’s hard to find, and the choice of sizes can be very limited.

I often find that it’s much harder for me to find true vintage pieces to fit my shape and so I rely more heavily on reproduction. Although we are not polar opposites in size, we are a good 2 dress sizes apart and that definitely helps Lara to have a more authentic 40’s look.  However… don’t fall into the vintage snobbery trap, where only true vintage head to toe is acceptable. Vintage is inclusive to all, and if you love the cut or shape of an era but you can’t find an original piece to fit, we can give you a whole list of amazing retailers who produce beautiful garments, tailored right down to the smallest historical detail. Or others that produce gorgeous outfits ‘in the style of’ – anything goes in the vintage world.  We’ve listed some links to some of the websites at the bottom.

On to hair…Although we share a very similar colour, Lara’s hair is thicker, more malleable and easier to style. Mine is fine and straight. It can’t hold a curl for more than a day and is in danger of looking greasy and lank if I use too much product. It’s hard work styling it and it can be frustrating and disheartening at times. But I’m learning that it’s ok not to wear it in victory rolls or waves all the time. Women back in the 40’s had different hair types then too! So just go with what suits your face shape and your hairs styling ability. I’m currently sporting a very short bob! We love that together we create a great look and can show others that are interested in vintage that there are many ways to embrace it.

Some people will always seem more authentic than others. Some have more time and money to spend on their passion and others just love the look and feel of it. It’s NOT a competition. It’s about enjoying dressing in the eras we love, whether it’s all out head to toe, or those little touches that can turn a modern day outfit into a vintage styled look.

We admire many women (and men) for their vintage looks, and they all come in different shapes and sizes, wear different interpretations of the styles they love and just enjoy playing their part in the vintage world in their own ways…Just like us!

So…. Our top tips for vintage styling?

Wear what you love , enjoy it, experiment, never compare, and just be you!

Some of the online shops we love:

(Click on the links to view their ranges)

The House of Foxy has beautiful pieces – you can even view their range by decade on their website: House of Foxy

Seamstress of Bloomsbury has a beautiful range of authentic looking dresses and separates: The Seamstress of Bloomsbury

Rock n Romance stock other brands as well as their own fabulous items. Our favourite Hawaiian vintage style dresses are from here: Rock ‘n’ Romance

Vivien of Holloway – A beautiful range of 1940’s and ’50’s style dresses – we love her tea dresses in particular : Vivien of Holloway

Pretty Retro are linked to House of Foxy but have a more ‘affordable’ range – we both shop here often!: Pretty Retro

Heyday are another brand that produce very authentic reproductions: Heyday

And for shoes….. the ultimate reproduction footwear comes from Rocket Originals – their styles and ranges vary each season. If you have your eye on a pair don’t hesitate! (They also have a Etsy page that is worth keeping an eye on) Rocket Originals

 

The VT’s

Xx

Black Country Living Museum’s 1940s Weekend

walking

Stepping into the Museums 1940s weekend really was like stepping back in time. If you’re a vintage enthusiast, a fan of the 40’s, a social historian, or just curious to know what life was like on the home front, then this event will not disappoint.

We were both first timers to the museum and the event, and we had a bit of a journey ahead of us.  So we set off early in our newly acquired, and beautifully made WVS uniforms from Rachel at Danetree & Bygone Days, and our sandwiches neatly wrapped and tucked into our picnic baskets (along with a cheeky gin). We were very excited and ready to debut the dresses and immerse ourselves into 1940’s life for the day.

collage
WVS dresses handmade by Rachel at Danetree & Bygone days – Photos by Anthony Cartwright

The event is hugely popular with re enactors, vintage enthusiasts and the general public, and once we’d queued (for some time – its very busy), we were greeted with a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere. There’s so much to see and the grounds are easy to navigate. You feel like you’ve entered into a real village from the past…

 

 

Visit a 1940’s shop and learn about rationing, or enjoy a silent movie in the original 1920’s cinema. Take a ride on a vintage bus or a stroll along the canal (where incidentally, scenes from Peaky Blinders were filmed).

 

There’s live music, vintage stalls, the hugely popular fish & chip shop, (queues all the way along the road),  displays by the WVS, WI, The Land Army,  Home Guard and many more. Step inside a wartime home and chat to the inhabitants about life on the home front or have a beer at the local pub.  You can watch bomb disposal displays, the fire brigade extinguish a burning building and even take in a fairground ride or too ….. Phew!

 

Every little alleyway has a hidden gem waiting to surprise you in the courtyard beyond…dig for victory gardens with an Anderson shelter, wash day smalls hanging on the line, and if you’re really lucky, you might even find a WVS cake stall with the biggest iced buns you’ve ever seen!

 

And talking of the WVS,  we were pleasantly surprised when  we came across lots of displays and other lovely WVS ladies who were able to tell us more about the parts these remarkable women played during the war. Including clothing collections, teaching others to knit and sew (make do and mend), organising the evacuation program and handing out food and warm clothing to the returning troops.

 

We met so many lovely people, some that we often bump into at other events, some that we follow on social media, and others that we just got chatting to on the day. Meeting others who share our passion for these events is always fun and inspirational.  So if you do ever see us, please come and say hello, we’re very friendly and love a good natter!

new friends

So that’s another superb event attended. Our one regret was that we were only there for the day. You really could spend both days at the event and still not see it all. We really wished we had booked tickets to the evening event so we could get our glad rags on and enjoy the music and dancing. But its definitely in our diaries for next year!

Incidentally, if you do go along to the event, your ticket price includes an annual free pass to the museum. And all for just £17!

If you’re interested in our wvs dresses, here’s the link to Rachel’s facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/DanetreesGreenShoppingBygoneDays/

 

Until next time….

The VT’s XXX

 

 

Going back in time on the Watercress Line!

With four stations of restored platforms and fabulous steam trains, The Watercress Line’s summer event ‘War on the Line’ has been one of our favourites so far!

 

On a fine June Saturday morning we arrived at Alton station which, from the outside, looks like any other modern South West Trains station (in fact, one could feel rather self-conscious crossing the car park in their 1940’s finest!).  However, cross the bridge and you are transported back in time to the Mid Hants Railway ‘Watercress Line’.

Constructed in 1865, this railway played an important part during World War Two due to its location between the Army centre of Aldershot and the port of Southampton.  It now operates as a heritage railway and it provides the perfect setting for a 1940’s event.

Preparing for this event was great fun!  We wanted to be much more like re-enactors for this visit and so our outfits were carefully chosen (my new-to-me CC41 jacket got its first outing) and we bought baskets with newly acquired basket covers from Bygone Days to hide any ‘modern’ things we might need to carry.  We even made gas mask boxes (ordered from amazon) as well as wrapping our sandwiches (with wartime fillings) in paper tied with string!  This really helped us feel the part and it prepared us well for the variety of wartime characters and scenarios we were to encounter…

A nice touch is that on entry to the event you are issued with a replica Identity Card to fill in, and these are regularly checked by the Military Police throughout the day!

I am afraid to admit that the both of us fell foul of the military police (for taking unauthorised photographs!) and we found ourselves handcuffed and berated on our first train journey of the day!  Threatened with hard labour at the ash pit we managed to persuade them to release us by assuring them that we had learned our lesson (we may also have offered gin!) and we were genuinely apprehensive about taking anymore photos of them for the rest of the day!

 

thumbnail_IMG_0019
Emma finds a more friendly member of the MP on mention of gin! Photo by David Clarke

There was a lovely atmosphere at this event with characters like Sam the Smart Alec spiv and the washerwoman to encounter.  Each station had different displays, and one of our favourites was the Victory Store filled with wartime packaged goods (and rather too many mice!) –  but sadly we had forgotten our ration books!

thumbnail_IMG_9995
We were offered all kinds of dodgy stuff by this ‘smart Alec’  – we would never buy from the black market!! 

 

There were a variety of singers performing, as well as a Glenn Miller Tribute band and lots of dancers.  We also met the author Mike Hollow who has written a series of detective novels set in the Blitz.  We bought  a book each which he kindly signed ‘To the Vintage Tourists’ and we look forward to reading them (and perhaps reviewing them in a later blog).

This event was also attended by many lovely photographers who all seemed to appreciate the effort we had gone to.  It seems that quite a large number of visitors at this event don’t ‘dress up’ and so we found ourselves being photographed a lot throughout the day.  One rather surreal moment involved us taking a quick seat on a platform bench to have a mid-morning tea and eccles cake literally surrounded by photographers who took the opportunity to capture two 1940’s gals having a cuppa and a chat! (most disconcerting to try eating flaky pastry in a ‘photogenic’ way!)

thumbnail_IMG_0048
Photo by David Clarke

We had brought our own enamel mugs with us for our tea (or gin!) to give a more authentic look to our refreshment breaks!

Photos above taken by David Clarke

thumbnail_IMG_0012
Captured by Rob Shipway looking for the Spitfire… or was it the Military Police?!

Everyone that we met and spoke to were so lovely – we were often complimented on the effort we had made, and we had some fascinating conversations with visitors who shared their memories and stories of the war with us.

 

But perhaps what was most wonderful of all was climbing aboard these beautiful train carriages, hearing the hiss of steam and the whistle of the engine.  It was watching the country side roll by to the sound of the rhythmic chugging of these historic modes of transport. It was travelling in the way that people did 75 years ago in the era that we were recreating.

thumbnail_IMG_9992

 

At the end of the day we arrived back at Alton and reluctantly crossed back over the bridge into the 21st century – our day in the 1940’s had come to an end.

Until next time…

 

The VT’s xxx

thumbnail_IMG_0006

 

Link to the Watercress Line website

The next 1940’s event at the Watercress Line will be in December with their popular two day ‘Christmas Leave’ event.

thumbnail_IMG_0064

Bletchley Park – 1940’s Spring Weekend

file28-1 - Copy

 

Hidden away in the town of Milton Keynes lies Bletchley Park. This beautiful mansion house with its 58 acres of land was bought by MI6 in 1938 to be used as the central site for British and Allied codebreakers during World War II.

pond

Within the grounds and adjacent to the Manor are the Huts and the Blocks (24 in total), each one was used for its own unique and highly secret purpose, where German ciphers were penetrated and teams of specially recruited personnel, including Cambridge mathematician Alan Turing, worked a six-day week, rotating through three shifts to produce such ‘Ultra’ intelligence, that it has been hailed as having shortened the war by two to four years.

 

In 1993 The park became a museum and is filled with the most fascinating artefacts and information on the sites significance and the people who worked there. We cannot recommend a visit to the museum enough. It deserves its own blog post, and we’ll be sure to deliver one in the future.  But in the meantime here are a few pics to whet your appetites…

On this occasion however, we were attending the 1940’s Spring Weekend. So our focus turns to that….

This is a 3 day annual event with something to offer all the family. Now of course you’re under no obligation to attend the event dressed in 1940’s attire, but we are The Vintage Tourists, so that really was a given!

As we passed through the main lobby and ticket hall, out into the grounds of the estate, we were greeted by the sounds of the ‘40’s and a rather gruff sergeant major manning the checkpoint.

Walking by the pond (which was often frozen in the winter months during the war and a great source of ice skating revelry), we chanced upon the dance tent where Swing Dance MK were just about to start a lesson.

This was an opportunity not to be missed!  So one of the tourists took to the floor to learn a fabulous little routine, while the other watched and took the photos (unfortunately, we don’t always have a professional photographer on hand – something we may need to address in the future 😉 )

If you live in the Milton Keynes area and fancy a go at Swing dancing, these guys were great!

Well, after all that excitement, we were in the mood for a little light refreshment, so we made our way over to Hut no: 4 which is now a bar and restaurant for the museum. However, en route to the café we were lured into the fabulous vintage  ‘shopping marquee’ and made some lovely new acquaintances  including Dawn and Peter of LK Vintage and Karen Black of The Heritage Milliner.  Monday, we were told, was the quieter of the 3 days, but the advantage of that, is the shopping is a little less crowded!

After shopping and a spot of lunch, we had a little wander through the house and some of the huts, then across the lawn to the original gated entrance of the estate. In its very unpretentious way it’s a quietly poignant and reflective spot.

file27-1 - Copy

The lawn was filled with historical displays, vintage lawn games, and vehicles to browse, and when we fancied finishing off the day with a little tipple in the afternoon, they had a fabulous gin bar on site  (which, we of course, had to sample). Courtesy of  The Gin Nook! (@gin_lady)

All in all we think Bletchley Parks 1940’s Spring Weekend is a fabulous event, and admission is free when you purchase your ticket to the museum (which, we should add, gives you a whole 12 months of visits)

For more information on the museum go to: https://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/

Until next time

The Vintage Tourists

XXX

 

 

Brooklands – 1940’s Relived

Every year in May, Brooklands Museum hosts its 1940’s Relived event.  It is a popular event in the south and one of our favourite events to attend.  Here’s why we love it so much…

thumbnail_IMG_8604

There’s something very special about the Brooklands site that means the second you enter the museum, you are propelled back to the past.

Originally a racing circuit constructed in 1907, the site is full of original buildings, most notably the glorious clubhouse which remains almost unchanged since it was first built.  It oozes that Jazz-Age glamour and takes you right back to the glamorous racing days of the 1920’s and 30’s.

However, in the 1940’s Brooklands took on a very different, and very important role in the war – producing military aircraft.  Some of the most notable aeroplanes built here were the Vickers Wellington, Vickers Warwick and the Hawker Hurricane (a Hurricane is on display at the event).

And so it is this part of Brooklands history that is brought to life at the 1940’s Relived event.

thumbnail_IMG_8800
The Brooklands Hawker Hurricane 

 

Everything is provided to ensure a fun day out: dancing lessons, hair salon, vehicle displays and 1940’s singers.

But it is the shopping that is always our first priority here!

Every year there are a great selection of sellers offering fabulous 1940’s clothing and accessories, as well as a wide range of 1940’s ephemera (I’ve purchased vintage hair pins, pamphlets, magazines and even a 1940’s address book over the years).

thumbnail_IMG_8874
The Vintage Tourists shopping! Photo by Simon Burgess

 

There’s also a good range of repro stock as well for those looking for clothing that can be worn without the fuss and worry that accompanies the responsibility of wearing true vintage!

thumbnail_IMG_8875
Another of Simon Burgess’ great shots

It is also a great event to dress up for  – particularly if, like us, you favour the civilian look.  There’s an annual ‘Best Dressed’ line up (which I have been very grateful to have been chosen for on two occasions), and this gives you a chance to see all the wonderful outfits that have been put together.

 

One thing not to be missed is the fabulous Barbara Cartland room on the ground floor of the Clubhouse building.  Usually between 12.30-1.30, free portrait photographs are taken within this fabulous 1930’s setting.  It is such a beautiful room that transports you instantly back to the glamour of a bygone age.

 

(The above photos are from the free portrait shoot back in 2016 – when we both attended the event but hadn’t met each other yet!)

 

An added bonus of attending this event is that the London Bus Museum can also be found here.  Although we didn’t have time this year (as I was too busy prancing around in the marquee at ‘Best Dressed’),  there is a great ‘Blitz’ section in the museum and in previous years there has been the opportunity to take a bus ride around the local area in an old Routemaster, complete with its own vintage bus conductor!

thumbnail_IMG_9092

The quality of the visitors’ outfits, combined with the authentic back-drop of the museum makes it a favourite with photographers looking for a good vintage photograph.  This year, we were honoured to have our photographs taken by the fabulous Simon Burgess, having arranged the shoot after he caught a great moment on camera at the event last year (as my hat nearly blew off my head!).

thumbnail_IMG_8825

thumbnail_IMG_8869

thumbnail_IMG_8706
Simon’s first shot at Brooklands 2017
thumbnail_IMG_8616
Vintage Tourists snapped last year!

 

1940’s Relived is a great day out with quality stalls and top entertainment. Put it in your diary for next year and, if you’re there, make sure you come and say hello as this is an event we never miss!

 

Until next time…

The Vintage Tourists

xxx

thumbnail_IMG_8873