I have recently returned from one of my favourite events of the year, the Goodwood Revival, which combines my passion for motor racing and wearing outfits from the 1940’s – 50’s.
The Goodwood Revival is a three-day festival that has been held each September since 1998 at the Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit in West Sussex for the types of road racing cars and motorcycles that would have competed during the circuit’s heyday of 1948-1966. It claims to be the worlds most celebrated historic motor event, which I don’t doubt, with people attending from all over the world, many of whom dress in clothes from the era.
I have attended every year since 1999 and have seen the event grow beyond recognition. Many former motor racing drivers regularly take part, which in the past have included Damon Hill, Martin Brundle & Sir Stirling Moss as well as celebrities such as Rowan Atkinson and Chris Rea, and more recently Sir Chris Hoy the multi world and Olympic champion cyclist.
In addition to motor racing there are numerous other activities that go on throughout the weekend, all relating to the era, including fashion shows, live music, dancing, flying displays by iconic aircraft such as Spitfire, Mustang, and in 2014 the Goodwood Revival was one of the few events where the last two airworthy Lancaster bombers flew together, it was spine tingling to see.
This year, having arrived at the circuit bright and breezy, togged up in one of my favourite vintage outfits, I was immediately absorbed by the buzz and excitement that always consumes me on a Goodwood Revival weekend. Having browsed around the stalls, which sell all sorts of vintage related goodies, I made my way through the walkway beneath the circuit to the paddocks where all of the beautiful cars can be found, D-Type and E-Type Jags, Ferrari GTO’s, AC Cobra’s Aston Martin DB4’s, to name just few. The car owners and drivers come from far and wide to take part in the racing, which, bearing in mind how valuable the cars are, you would think are driven around the circuit at Sunday afternoon driver pace. This is most definitely not the case, the racing is as fast and furious and every bit as competitive as any current day F1 Grand Prix.
Having strolled amongst the cars, drivers and mechanics, it was off to the Veuve Clicquot tent, where there is live music and dancing, as well as the bar where you can purchase a bottle or half bottle of my favourite champagne. With a glass of bubbles, a chair in the sun, the sound, sight and smell of the most beautiful cars, people dressed in their best vintage attire, the atmosphere was spectacular. It was here that I was handed a voucher inviting me to take part in the Best Dressed competition, quite an honour! The competition took place in a large marquee dedicated solely to vintage style and fashion. It was quite nerve wracking walking up and down the catwalk, thankfully all competitors went in line together. The compere singled a few people out including me, to ask names, where they were from and add a bit of banter, while the 3 judges made their decision and I was delighted to be awarded second place! The prize was a large bouquet of flowers and a magnum of Veuve Clicquot, both of which made it home in once piece!
I’m looking forward to next year already!