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…
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.
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).
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!
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!
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!).
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