Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Woodhall Spa 40's Festival Pt2

Last weekend on the Sunday we went to the second day of the Woodhall Spa 1940’s weekend and even though we had spent all of Saturday there too there was still a lot to do and see. On the Saturday we hadn’t found time to make it to the Jubilee Park to look around the stalls and also on the Sunday Lola Lamour would be performing twice outside at The Mall. As we had got to Woodhall Spa a little later than planned, due to wardrobe malfunctions, we decided to have a scone and cup of tea and then head straight to see Lola’s second performance.

We loitered for a while near the performance area and got chatting to one of the organisers, and then Lola came out to see them so I quickly jumped in for a photo opportunity. She also commented on my dress and said how cute I looked. I couldn’t say much in return, I was too nervous!

Having a little walk around before she began singing we bumped into Winston Churchill who gave a brilliant speech before Lola’s performance. The only issue was I was wearing a floaty summer dress since on Saturday it had been floaty summer dress wearing weather and although it was still glorious it was quite windy and for most of the day I was grabbing my skirt.

By the time Lola’s performance began there was quite a crowd and people were dancing in the road because there was so little room. Hopefully though this will mean they can close the road next year due to health and safety, it’s such a shame they weren’t allowed to do that this year as it would have fantastic to have a proper street party. It was brilliant seeing Lola sing and she’s such a performer doing songs by Marlene Dietrich and Carmen Miranda! It made us very excited for Twinwood Festival where she will also be performing with her band The Lamours. There was also Douglas Herd up there with her who is 96 years old and was promoting his book of his experiences in the Second World War.

After Lola’s performance we quickly made out way over to meet both her and Kevin, her husband. We’re huge fans of them as a couple ever since we saw them on the television show Time Warp Wives on Channel 4. That show and the women on it are one of the main things that got me interested in vintage and the 40’s & 50’s. Previously I had been into the 1980’s in a very big way but as I was growing up I wanted something more grown up too, I wanted to be taken seriously yet also retain my style. It was a very big deal for me to meet them and they were just brilliant, everything we had hoped for. They were polite, genuine and very interesting to talk to; not that I could manage to talk much, I was so star struck!

That afternoon we made our way to Jubilee Park to see if there was anything left on the stalls or if we had missed it all. If I’m honest I do most of my vintage shopping on line or in Vintage shops local to Lincoln and very rarely find anything I like or can afford at the events. On our way back to enjoy a cold drink at the pub and watch the final fly past of the Hurricane, Spitfire and Lancaster (which was amazing by the way) we bumped into a couple from our Lindy Hop class. It was really lovely to see them and just we were excited to tell them we had met Lola they were excited to tell us they had met the Jive Aces. We’ll be seeing them tomorrow at our second dance class together!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Woodhall Spa 40's Festival Pt1

Morning! I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend and in the UK it's finally sunny, hooray! Yesterday we went to Woodhall Spa, a quaint little place in Lincolnshire steeped in RAF and Dambuster history, for their first event 1940's festival. Considering it's their first the whole day was well organised and very well attended with many people, like ourselves, dressed up in period costume.
When we got to Woodhall Spa we headed straight for the Kinema in the woods as they were holding a WW2 theme show in their cinema. Those of you who don't know about Kinema and have never been should go!

The Kinema used to be an old sports pavilion and in 1922 was transformed into a cinema with a Charlie Chaplin film being the first ever shown in it. The main screen has a flat floor, so lets hope no one tall sits in front, and due to the low roof trusses the projector is at the back of the screen and not the auditorium. In 1994 Kinema Too was opened which has a graded floor and the comfiest cinema seats I've ever sat on. My favourite aspect of Kinema, other than the fantastic period decor, is that there's an intermission. When I was a child and there still was intermissions I thought they were the most pointless thing in the world, on with the show I thought, now I see the great value of them. Ice cream is served and also a much needed comfort break can be taken. During the intermission, usually only on Saturday nights, an old Compton organ rises up from the floor in front of the screen and plays a selection of old songs. Everyone cheers the organist, even the teenagers!

For the 1940's festival they played a selection of WW2 songs on the organ and some in duet with the piano as well as played some WW2 footage of government films and singers. There was a bit of a sing song too, it was a fantastic atmosphere and in the surroundings with everyone dressed 40's it was like a time machine and really brought home the messages of some of those films. It was all very real and in parts made me quite sad for those who lost their lives; the real reason we do things like this is to remember those people.

There was a vintage vehicle display further in town but we couldn't resist a pose with this one outside the Kinema. One thing we were so happy with was the weather. Many events lately have been cancelled due to the weather and I have been feverishly checking the forecast the week before hand to see if the same would happen this weekend. Happily not and there was a great turn out of people in the town, it must have been a great day for local businesses.

All of the shops had made a great effort and there were some great displays. I like cake so obviously this was my favourite one.

We then hopped on this old London double decker which was doing return journeys to Thorpe Camp visitors centre. Since it was so late in the day we only got about 15minutes at the Camp but it was worth it for the ride though the countryside alone.

When we got back to Woodhall Spa it was nearly 5pm and the festival was supposed to finish at 4pm, also I was feeling ill because happily I have a throat infection and a cold, so we decided to head home without seeing the stalls and things going on at the Jubilee Park. We're saving those delights for today as the festival is on all weekend. Today we will also be seeing Lola Lamour perform, she's my idol and I just can't wait!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Vintage Feminism

Something which I have been thinking more of lately, in the past year or so, is feminism and that’s down mainly to Caitlin Moran and her wonderful book How to Be a Woman. I’ve read many girly guides to life in the past and many contain a wealth of knowledge of how to apply nail varnish, what your handbag essentials should be and how to choose a hat for Ascot. I have to say none of the information has stuck. I still apply nail varnish like I did when I was 13, the essential items in my handbag appear to be used tissues and old receipts, and I don’t wear that many hats let alone feel the need to wear one to gamble in (I don’t gamble either). When I read How to Be a Woman I chose it because I liked the cover, because yes I really do judge a book in that way. Caitlin Moran looked cool and my 13 year old self informed me to idolise this woman on the basis that she has a silver streak in her hair (I wanted one when I was 13) and no more information than that.

Strident Feminist or 50's Housewife.
Is it possible for a woman to be both?

I read the book while on holiday in Italy and then passed the book on to my mum to read. When I got home I gave it my boyfriend, because I knew he would enjoy things such as “bum-gina”, he then lent it to his mum, she also appreciated the “bum-gina” joke. After that I got on a chair, or my bed, and declared myself to be a strident feminist. I then got off the bed and watched my other idol, Lola Lamour, on Time Warp Wives which if you haven’t seen it is about modern women living vintage lifestyles 24/7 including being housewives.
The juxtaposition is still something that jibes me and I haven’t made peace with the fact that I have these two very opposed influences in my life. Looking around the internet at the blogs and tweets of other vintage ladies I feel they too live with these opposing forces. Many of the women on there are also very feminist and yet also dress in full vintage outfits; it seems the two even go hand in hand.

For me personally vintage is about standing out from the crowd and seriously refusing to go with the mainstream flow. I take pride in walking down our high street and looking not a jot like anyone else; I imagine it’s the same for many other people who wear vintage. It’s that stubborn quality which I feel links so well to feminism and could possibly be why it works so well with vintage. I’m refusing to conform to many things when I wear vintage and that doesn’t just extend to shopping in Topshop, etc.

I could be wrong, who knows! This is just how I feel about it; let me know what you think.

What's On The Cards - July

Here are a couple of events I have seen advertised going on in and around Lincoln in the month of June. These posts are published on the 1st (or as close as I can manage) of every month and feature a few events which are on in and around Lincoln as well as a couple from further afield which have caught my fancy. I find out about these events through word of mouth and by searching on the Internet.

I like to look up 1940's events here at
Friends of the 40s as they have a really great calendar of listings.

Rockabilly gigs are easy to search here at
The Complete Rock N Roll UK Gig Guide.

I also regularly check out "East Midlands Vintage World" on facebook to find out about events and what's happening.

But anyway, on with the show!

7th & 8th July 2012 - Over at Thorpe Camp in Tattershall Thorpe they are having a 1940's weekend from 10am till 5pm Saturday and Sunday.
Photography found here.

6th, 7th & 8th July 2012 - Americana Event, Newark. I've seen this advertised a lot now and looks like a really great event celebrating everything 50's, 60's and American. Also the Hicksville Bombers, a great local Rockabilly band, will be playing at the show.

21st & 22nd July 2012 - Woodhall Spa 1940's weekend with Lola Lamour! The weekend will include a 1940s Dance Night - Lola Lamour, 1940s Childrens themed party, 1940s Senior Citizens Tea Dance, Collectibles Market, Military/Restored/Classic Vehicle static display, Classic wartime films at the Kinema In The Woods, BBMF flypast plus a Vintage coach trips to Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre. This is one I will definitely be making a trip to go and visit!

21st July 2012 - Bizarre Bazaar Vintage Market. This is a vintage and retro modern open air market which is held monthly at different sites around the city.

These posts are by no means exhaustive and will obviously only be accurate at the time of posting. While I have gone to every effort to make sure the information is accurate I cannot account for changes of location, date or even cancellations. If you are travelling long distances to attend any of the events I recommend please be sure to check with the venue or organisation before travelling to avoid disappointment.