Thursday, 20 June 2013

Fast Cars and Barbara Cartland

As I wrote about Brooklands 1940s Relived last year, I'll let you have a look here for an overview of the main event. 

However, this year brought with it a few additions that are worth mentioning, such as the 1940s cinema (showing a few Vintage News newsreels no less!), entertainment running well into the evening and lots more stalls selling lovely vintage bits and bobs.  Much of the action took place under a marquee, and considering the way the clouds were looming it was just as well.  There was much dancing to be had but I chose not to partake as my hat was held on by pure will power!

  I wore my 1940s The Hager Store suit which I just adore.  A tailor on Savile Row once asked who had made it for me and was astounded when I told him I'd bought it as it was - without any alterations - high praise indeed I think.  Both pairs of my suitable black shoes were at the cobblers so I had to make do with my ox-blood oxfords, well at least they matched the suit.  All my other accessories were black though, my 'scroll' Janyne hat, kid leather gauntlet gloves and my trusty Charles of the Ritz vanity case.

On the 1907 track, taken by my vintage accomplice, Hayley
©Hanson Leatherby
While we were at the museum, I decided to have a bit more of a look around and I ended up in the Barbara Cartland room.  It was designed as a place for the lady racing drivers to relax and socialise and was set up around the same time that Barbara Cartland organised the first all female race.  There are lots of fantastic photos of said women and of course the room is bright pink!  I also went to look at the Sultan of Oman's private jet (which had been built at Brooklands in the '60s).  The interior was a picture of 1970s opulence, everything carpeted (including the tv!), two double beds and spinning chairs.
The ladies reading room or The Barbara Cartland room
As I was there with The Vintage News, I had a few interviews to do.  I spoke to a chap from 'The Law at War' (police reenactors) and also the best dressed couple, John and Julie.  However, my favourite interview by far has to be the chat I had with Hanson and Jeni.  Jeni and I were convulsed with hysetrics for much of the interview - mainly due to some dramatic breathing (yes dramatic breathing) from Hanson.  All semblance of professionalism thrown aside, I managed to gasp out a couple of questions which gave Hanson opportunity to talk of the 'nice spread' and his love of trinkets.

Professionalism personified
Hanson was also on hand taking photos
for the Chap, I just love this one
Again, we had a lovely day - especially with the added extra of sitting around on the balcony for a couple of hours drinking Cava.  The event was much improved from last year and I imagine next year will again be even better.
If you can't wait until next May to take a trip to Brooklands Museum, they have lots of events going on including a 1960s event at the end of June and a Hot Rod & Kustom day in August.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

In Honour of World Gin Day

As you may or may not know, today is World Gin Day and as such, I thought I'd share with you a few little things I won from the lovely folk at Harrods and Hendrick's.  The competition was in aid of the launch of The Great Gatsby - Harrods also had a 1920s themed pop-up bar around the time the film was released.  After answering a quick question on Al Capone, the prizes were mine - all mine!  Ahem.  I didn't really know what I'd won as I was enticed by the words 'Hendrick's Cocktail Kit' and looked no further - I then subsequently forgot I'd won.  So when two boxes blazoned with "Harrods" turned up, I was quickly reminded.
Ripping open the boxes (well not really ripping, I'd just done my nails) I was amazed to see how much stuff they'd sent...

A teapot and four cups and saucers
A bottle of Hendrick's (of course), a Nuance cocktail shaker with a beautiful Streamline Moderne shape and a bar spoon (which I have needed for a long time)

Cocktail bitters traveller's set from The Bitter Truth
The Classic Cocktail Bible by Allan Gage, The Hendrick's Cucumber Companion (a book on how to prepare various cucumber garnishes) and a pack of playing cards
Field Guide to Hendrick's, two copies of the book Etiquette for Gentlemen and the Radio 4 dramatisation of The Great Gatsby

Thank you very much to Hendrick's and Harrods, I shall have a most pleasant World Gin Day with all of these goodies.  Cheers!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Row, row, row your boat...

 For a fair few years, I have attended the Chap Olympiad (the last couple have been with work but just as much fun).  We'd always intended to do a pre-Olympiad "training" (if I can use the term in its loosest sense) video, in the style of the numerous programmes released in the lead-up to the London 2012 Olympics last year.  We finally managed to organise a get-together this year which coincided nicely with a photoshoot Time Out were doing for their 'Parks and Recreation' issue.
Vintage Tea Party, The Chap Magazine, Time Out, Sadie Doherty
We met up in Victoria Park in East London - a beautiful park that I'd not been to before.  Our first scenario for the photographer (and one of the highlights)was a spot rowing.  After going backwards for a bit and getting one of my oars stuck in a bank, I discovered I had quite a hidden talent for it!

Vintage, Rowing, The Chap Magazine, Time Out, Sadie Doherty
Vintage, Rowing, The Chap Magazine, Time Out, Sadie Doherty
 The lovely Zack, who was subject to my sometimes maverick rowing style, looked like one of Waugh's dashing gentlemen, lounging in the boat with my umbrella.  After the lake based fun and a few rounds of croquet, it was on to the serious business of devouring a Fortnum and Mason picnic - champagne and all!
Vintage, Croquet, The Chap Magazine, Time Out, Jodphurs

Fortnum and Mason Hamper, Johnny Vercoutre, Vintage Picnic
Kieren and Johnny Vercoutre
and our Fortnum and Mason hamper

After Time Out had got all the shots they needed, we set about getting the vox pops for our piece, with the lovely canal boats and pagoda playing backdrop - it even involved me interviewing myself...   
Zack Pinsent, The Chap Magazine, Vintage, Boater
Zack, with the beautiful pagoda in the background

Jenny Mearns, Frantic About Frances, The Chap Magazine, Vintage, Pin Up
The lovely Jenny, founder of Frantic About Frances

It was a brilliant day and I just hope I remember to pick up a copy!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Where I muse upon John Crawford on Chinese television...

Very short post today - I know I have so many to catch up on (like Brooklands, a tea party at ByfleetManor and an outfit post I did with the help of Hayley) but I stumbled across this video today.

It's a news report from CNC World about the Hollywood Costume exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum in London.  I hope all of you managed to go and see the exhibition as it was amazing (if you didn't, have a look at my post on it as I took rather a few photos).

I thought they were intrviewing loads of people, but in the end it was just me and Deborah Scott - who designed the costumes for Titanic (which won her an Oscar), Avatar and ET!
Turns out it was broadcast on a Chinese Tv channel and on a Sky channel over here.  And I should point out that is definitely worth reading their transcript of what I said in the 'about' section, where I go on about John Crawford...
Click here if you'd like to see The Vintage News' coverage of the day as well.