Sunday, 27 November 2022

She’s Got To Be, So Retro ...

If you have taken a peek at any of my previous posts you may have noticed that I enjoy retro fashions and events. Goodwood Revival is pinnacle of these with the largest, most elaborate and exciting event of its kind. However with that comes high cost and the need for accommodation. The last time we attended the event, we could have gone on a 2 week trip across Europe for the cost of the weekend tickets alone !

So it was time to explore new venues and see what the less expensive options had on offer.

I found a retro event being held near Newbury in Berkshire over a summer weekend, which had some good reviews, with a whole weekend ticket, camping and passes to special events for less than one day ticket for Goodwood. Granted that there would be no motor racing or flying displays, or that the static displays would be smaller, but there where 4 music areas and lots of stalls to wander round. So I took a gamble !

My partner was unable to attend due to a prior commitment so it was just me on my own for the first time at such an event!

Getting all set up to took a little forethought in that I was going to be driving to work then going to travel to the show on my way home – so Cornwall to Aberdeen, offshore for 3 weeks at work, then back to Cornwall via Newbury !

At the time I had no idea what the weather was going to be like, how the campsite was going to be set up or if there were any facilities available on site. So had to prepare for everything !!

I stated to organise my packing by trying on all my various retro outfits to see what looked ok after the covid lockdown and found that my frocks had missed me so much that they all hugged me tightly…! After sorting them out, I had to choose about 3 outfits for each day of the event, morning, afternoon and night time, with matching hats, bags shoes and gloves. Added to this pile was my make up and jewellery, underwear and stockings… I popped in a rain coat … just in case, and some casual clothes as well for the journey to the rapidly growing mountain on the bed !

Next, I had to set up the landrover for the event, fitting the 270’ awning and sides in case of poor weather, some staple foods and a new gas bottle, as well as filling the water tank with nice fresh Cornish water.

As I was going to work, I needed to take my work kit and then pack all this into the back to the wagon.

That done and squared away I set off up to work and away offshore for my 3 week trip. The drive up was on the hottest day ever recorded in the UK and it was 39’c by Gloucester. I was glad I was in a long cool summer dress for the journey and that the air con was working in the landrover!

Coming off the platform was delayed due to the scorching hot weather in the south of the UK causing fog and grot in the northern north sea. (warm air + cool seas = fog !.) It's one of the facts of life offshore, however I was only delayed overnight but was on my way south late the following day.

On arrival in Newbury I had missed the first night camping, but as the event only started on the Friday it was not too much of a concern. The camp site was massive and full of caravans, campers and tents of all shapes and sizes. I was put in a nice spot not too far from the entrance and ablutions at the end of row with some lovely people who were very friendly.

Setting up Poppy (the landrover) aways creates some interest and I soon met the neighbours who popped round to see the setup. I always think that this is a good thing for security as you know who is with each pitch, and can spot people who are not supposed to be there.

After a shower and a quick change into something stylish, I made my way over into the main site to see what was going on and get my bearings for later in the weekend.

The site was well set up with grass aeras and paved footpaths. The grass was baked hard due to the extended period of hot weather, so no risk of heels sinking into the mud !
Lots of vendors were setting up their stalls and I made a mental note which ones to visit the next day.
Back to Poppy and made some dinner siting under the awning, and had an early night.

The weekend passed very nicely, with lots to see, and some retail therapy from the vintage stalls selling ‘brick-a-brack’ and clothes. I found a great vintage set of melamine plates and bowls for the camper, a hair band to match my dress for the night and a light petticoat for one of my dresses, as the weather was too hot for the ‘Hellbunny’ one I normally wear.

There where some amazing cars on display with a lot of vintage American muscle such at corvettes, Chevies and Buicks. Not to be outdone, here were some wonderful British motors there to, with MGA, Austins and Morris being well represented. On the motorbike front I found a fabulous 900SS Ducati in silver/blue which took me back to my Mike Hailwood replica that I had in the early 80’s.  

But it was the clothes that drew my attention mostly. The shopping area was very diverse within the range of outfits that fitted the ‘retro’ theme. The range of styles and colours was amazing, however I was not looking to buy, but was tempted a few times !

The evening event was a special cabaret show with a burlesque dancer that I had seen a few times before – so was looking forward to that. The event was held in a long marquee with seats and was a sell out. The show was very good and the performers were wonderful, however the heat in the marquee was such that a couple of people were feeling poorly so I intervened and asked the stewards to open some of the side walls to let some fresh air in.

Sitting next to me were a group of women who had never been to a Burlesque before, and they talked excitedly about the performance. It was lovely to see them enjoy the spectacle and I was able to explain a little about the history and technique of the performances.


There was music in several venues all over the site, with boogie-woogie and hip-hop for dancing, and some ragtime on the pathways for all to enjoy. I would have loved to have had a dance but I was on my own with out my partner, so had to enjoy the dances from the side lines.


So, what where my impressions of the event?

I think that it was great value for money with lots to see and do, good acts and good vendors, some nice motors on display and a great atmosphere.

Would I go again ?

Yes, with my partner so as I have someone to share the event with and dance with.

Any negatives ?

None really, however this particular weekend was exceptionally hot all over the UK, so the venue was very warm inside some of the hangers and marquees. It may be very different if it was wet – but that would be the same for any outdoor event in the UK !

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