H&A at Festival of Vintage, York Racecourse

By Alice Roberton,
2nd May 2012 - 13:55
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Alice Roberton reports on a weekend of vintage indulgence

Festival of Vintage organiser Keeley Harris says ‘there’s no time like the past’ and I couldn't agree more. Despite the torrential rain thousands of people flocked to York to indulge in a weekend of fashion, music, dance, talks, workshops and all the thrills and spills of a festival.


Someone who is very much on the vintage scene is personal shopper, author of Style Me Vintage, Clothes, and H&A writer Naomi Thompson. She gave me a few style tips as we compared hairdos and chatted about how lovely it is to get the opportunity to dress up!

We both had our tresses styled courtesy of The Vintage Beauty Parlour, run by Bethany Jane Davies, who was doing a sterling job of adding authenticity and glamour to everyone's outfits.

Becca Mountfield shone out in the crowd with her Jane Mansfield blonde curls and film star smile. Becca, an avid vintage dress collector, had just picked up this fabulous 1950s apricot sundress to add to her growing collection.

On a little jaunt upstairs I found the delightful Golding’s Old Things (01931 715446), a hobby-business for primary school teacher Juliet Golding. Juliet, a devoted Homes & Antiques subscriber, was flying the flag for the Diamond Jubilee in glorious style!

Just a short dash across the cobbled yard from the Vintage Arcade (H&A's weekend home) was the Nostalgia Hall, showcasing make-do-and-mend workshops, fashion shows, dance lessons, vintage-inspired wares and a collectors corner filled with old gramophones, Wurlitzer jukeboxes and military paraphernalia. I enjoyed the laundry and sewing demonstrations by UK Homefront and I just loved their display of old laundry soaps.

I also came across Retro Pattern, which exhibits and sells superb quality screen-printed fabrics from an assortment of mid-century designers. There was an impressive collection of 1950s Lucienne Day designs for Heal's.

I also caught up with vintage-inspired trader Ruth Milliam (0773 904 9895). ‘I’m a fashion designer who fuses vintage and new.,' she said. 'I embellish furs, silks, wools and cottons with vintage ostrich feathers, 1920s sequins and beads, and 18th-century lace.'

It really was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend - here’s to vintage festivals and fabulous hair!

Fairs and events Home & Antiques will be attending throughout May

Sunday 6th May (10am-4pm), Vintage at Farnham Maltings, Farnham, Surrey. 01252 745444 

Thursday 10th May (9.30am-4pm), The Decorative Living Fair, Eridge Park Country Estate, Nr Tunbridge Wells, Kent. 07932 714572 (booking advised) 

Saturday 12th May (10am-4pm), The Bath Brocante, Alice Park, Lower Swainswick, Bath. 07951 889056 

Saturday & Sunday 26th-27th May, MK Handmade & Vintage Weekend Extravaganza, Middleton Hall, Central Milton Keynes.