Alice Roberton reports on a fabulous vintage day out in Surrey
Farnham Maltings provided a lovely setting for the annual Vintage Festival on Sunday (6th May). With its labyrinth of exhibition spaces, concert halls and cobbled yards there was a delight around every corner.
The atmosphere was buzzing with live music, hands-on workshops, nostalgic exhibits and a wonderful marketplace selling everything from elegant 1940's dresses to kitsch 1950's cocktail bars.
Organiser Fiona Knight and the mayor of Farnham, Jill Hargreaves, judged the best-dressed competition and awarded the first prize to Ruby Thurman for the authenticity of her 1940's look.
Another fabulously dressed visitor was period costume designer Amy Nichole Banner. ‘Today I’m looking for 19th-century accessories and fabrics to make a special outfit for my 30th birthday later in the month,’ she said. She found just the thing at Jill Frost’s (tel: 0777 9036 7955) beautiful stand: a 1950's coral-coloured netting-and-silk underskirt.
On my wander around the festival I stopped to listen to the nostalgic sound of singing trio The Bombshells. Looking excellent in their polka-dot dresses and victory rolls, they really set the tone for a wonderful 1940's knees-up.
Another person who had really set the mood with her stand was Gemma King (accompanied by a studious-looking Philip Smith-Keary), who was selling off some of her personal collection of 1940's dresses and homewares.
I really loved the little corner of calm created by Claire Donovan-Held of Sleeping Babies. Claire, from Southampton, described her taste as ‘handmade with a vintage twist’ - she had a great eye for unusual floral fabrics.
Just behind me was Jacquie Robinson of Kitty’s (tel: 0794 837 3088), whose stand was beautifully arranged with bone china tea sets, teapots, cake stands, pretty glassware and knitted jubilee cupcakes! ‘The quality of stands and display is very good here, the crowd is great and I’ve almost sold everything’ she said.
Being a card maker I was very drawn to the wonderful vintage scrapbook and making packs put together by Suzie Sharp of Cranbrooke. They were very inspirational and looked lovely next to all her other pretty bits and pieces.
With a substantially larger number of visitors than last year's event, it’s safe to say that this excellent festival has found a recipe for success and I very much look forward to my next visit.
Forthcoming fairs which I hope to see you at.
Saturday & Sunday 26th & 27th May MK Handmade & Vintage Weekend Extraveganza, Milton Keynes.
Saturday 23rd June Fabulous Vintage and Handmade Fair, Shalford, Guildford.
Saturday 30th June The Giant Vintage Rag Market, Cheese & Grain, Frome.