As the British summer months drift by with many people barely noticing their existence, the arrival of an August Bank Holiday promised to be a much welcome, if not slightly soggy affair once again.
Thankfully for me, rain, shine (or a forecast somewhere in between), this particular weekend was destined to be my first, true vintage festival experience as a Back In’t Day blogger.
I am talking, of course, about Twinwood Festival.
Having taken place in Clapham, Bedford, for many a year, and fronted by John Miller, nephew to the one-and-only Glenn, Twinwood festival is revered by many as the ultimate and absolute vintage event. Picture this: tents, take aways and the obligatory port-a-loo…standard festival, right? Wrong! For Twinwood is as miraculous and inspiring event as any, and I for one, was well and truly blown away.
The location, Twinwood airfield, is best known as the base for many of Glenn Miller’s wartime flights and it was from one particular flight from this location across the English Channel, where Mr Miller sadly met his fate (see previous blog post for more info). However, instead of being a place of mourning and loss, Twinwood is a place of celebration of the magic that was and is his famous swing time sound.
Once inside, one of the first and notable points worth mentioning was the sheer scale of this event: vintage stalls, tents, stages, arenas and dance floors stretched far and wide across the airfield, with each and every man, woman and child appreciating the lively vintage atmosphere. (Honestly, EVERYONE – and I mean EVERYONE – was friendly, approachable and personable. Living in London and being a stickler for manners – this was duly noted and appreciated by myself at least…) Also tea at £1 per mug…BARGAIN!!
Aside from the stalls – an eclectic mix to say the least, visitors also had the chance to visit the Glenn Miller museum, which in my opinion, really brought the whole experience to life. As much as I could waffle on about it all day – have a look at my gallery below instead – it’s much more coherent than I could ever be!
Of course, the True wonder of Twinwood is without a doubt, the music and dancing. Acts such as The Metrotones, The Jive Aces, The Bomb Shellettes and of course, John Miller and his orchestra, provided much entertainment and really opened my eyes to the variety of genres and styles which were on offer to audiences in the 1940s and 50s. I also had a cheeky go at the Balboa – a dance really quite mesmerising when performed correctly (obviously not by myself…) Great to see so many children and elderly people joining in too!
Sadly due to budget cuts and that damned beautiful trunk, as seen in my previous post, my budget was a bit limited in terms of purchasing. However, I have my beady eyes on a 1950s record player and a subscription to Vintage Life Magazine, so all in all, a very worthwhile window browse, i’m sure you’ll agree!
Honestly, I really did have a wonderful day…the costumes, music and dancing really made for an unforgettable experience. I’m not quite sure how chuffed my boyfriend was at my pointing out every single man who looked dashing in an allied uniform, however we’re still very much together – so maybe he agreed with me after all!
…See gallery below for further details!
In a bit🙂