Last year I was educated into the ways of Twinwood by a lovely friend Penny. We went for the day on Bank Holiday Monday and as tends to be the case, it teemed it down all day! However, as with the Blitz spirit we got on with it and had an amazing time. We shopped, we danced, we mooched about and we got a bit wet and muddy. But I loved it!
Now, I have mentioned the Most Marvellous Meet Up Group several times on my blog, and this year quite a few started talking about going. One of these is the wonderful Beverley who luckily owns a 10 man tent.
We decided to book a camping pitch and spend the weekend in fabulous vintage style. Four of us will be sharing the tent, with the further 6 spaces being taken up by clothes, shoes, hats and accessories. If we have too many of these, some of us will be sleeping in my car!
Tickets were bought for the event and we started getting organised.
So finally the event date arrived and August bank holiday saw me spending 4 days in a tent. I know, you are shocked, right?
I had spend the previous week itemising my clothes, accessories, bags and belongings. I debated on the fur coat – well, you know what Bank Holidays can be like? I packed the umbrella/parasol but decided against the wellies.
Friday rolled around and I finished work and drove over to Clapham, Bedford to meet with the other “Marvelettes” to pitch the tent. Due to my work I arrived much later than planned and the tent was already up! Bonus!
We spent the first evening on the campsite at Outfields Farm. It was fantastic. We had a whole field to ourselves – just 3 tents full of Marvelettes! There was a second field next to ours which housed the RV’s and caravans.
We had our own washing block which was so posh and unexpected! Chaise lounge, glass bowl sinks, wet rooms and sparkling chandelier wallpaper. All in a field.
Even better was the arrival of the fish and chip van every evening. For a whole hour it served everything from fish, pies, burgers and more. In the morning it became the Breakfast van with egg, bacon and sausage baps being a winning combination. What more could we ask for?
Settling in with fish and chips and a glass of wine, it really was the most relaxing evening, getting to meet and chat with ladies I have met repeatedly on the internet, but not in person before. We retired relatively early to get up bright the next morning for the first day of the event.
Of course, one of the biggest things about Twinwood is the “look”. People spend the whole year getting ready. Items are sourced from vintage sellers, accessories made bespoke to match clothing already owned, shoes are shined, hair appointments are booked, moustaches are waxed (and that’s just the women!)
I had put a lot of thought into the outfits that I wanted to wear. Most of them were old favourites, but there were a couple of new ones that I had not had as chance to wear much at all, including the new red Pin Up Girl Tiki dress.
When you camp at Twinwood, not only are there events throughout the whole day, but there are also several nightclubs and dancehalls that go on until the early hours. So of course you need clothes for the day, and also the night!
Four days with changes each day. That is an awful lot of clothing. Hence the 4 people in 10 man tent.
I had tried to mix and match my accessories so that they would work with 3 or 4 items, and then I wouldn’t need to take the whole wardrobe. I still had quite a lot of stuff and hoped that I had remembered everything. My car was absolutely stuffed to the gills with things, including the single mattress that I was intending to sleep on in the tent, along with a 15 tog king size duvet. After all I wanted to be warm!
We got up early Saturday morning as we had a hair appointment at Sarah’s Do Wop Do’s booked for 10am. I had decided to wear my turquoise and pink Pin up Girl sea siren dress, with turquoise ballet pumps and a pink parasol. I had some pink hair flowers to take to the hairdressers with me.
Sam was our designated driver and we set off to get to the arena. We could see if from our field, and after about 18 wrong turns we admitted defeat and realised we couldn’t seem to find the road to get to it!
Thankfully we were able to accost a farm worker who told us where to go and we managed to get there with 10 mins to spare. Whilst some of the others were having their hair done Sam and I disappeared to go and look at a hat stall. I had been looking for a hat for around 9 or 10 months. I knew what I wanted but I had not been able to find it.
Walking into the stall, there it was. The hat of my dreams! Well, in fact there were two of them. Both of them perfect for what I was looking for, it was just a case of deciding with which option to go for. The festival hadn’t even been open 10 mins and I had already spent £60. But I did have the hat I had been searching for.
Going back to the hairdressers, I decided to have my hair done in a poodle. This is a curly style that is pinned on top of the head. It was already very warm and the forecast said it was going to be a bit of a scorcher, so I wanted to stay cool. Sarah put my hair up, and added my flowers and I was good to go. We met up with some other Marvelettes and went off to explore.
Wandering across the site was fantastic. There were stalls of all shapes and sizes, vintage cars, museums and of course, the bands were playing all day, every day.
One of the best things about Twinwood is that if you don’t know anyone before you start, you do by the time you leave! Everyone is so friendly and chatty. You get into conversations just about anywhere. Discussing a bag on one of the stalls, someone will chip in with a compliment or a comment. Standing in the line at a bar, conversations are struck up. Strangers come up and ask you to do. It really is the most social of occasions.
I particularly enjoyed chatting with the stallholders on site. Browsing through the most amazing products, I was in my element. I think I could have honestly spent a few thousand pounds on all the things that I wanted. I have already started saving up for next years purchases!
We sat down in the amazing Colonial Club where you could have Afternoon Tea, whilst couples did the Social foxtrot amongst other dances. Sitting with a cold drink it was wonderful just watching everyone so wonderfully dressed and dancing to 30’s and 40’s music. I literally was in my element.
The most elegantly dressed lady I think I saw at Twinwood came in whilst we were having refreshements. I sadly didn’t get her name, but she gladly consented to a photograph. I was lusting over her whole outfit, especially those gloves!
Leaving the Colonial Club we headed for The Liberty Stage where a fellow Marvelette was due to be performing. Miss Em was a vision in floral, with her striking red hair as she belted out classic songs and really put on a wonderful performance. I can’t sing for toffee but I joined in with her, and the Marvelettes even had a bit of a stroll to a couple of the numbers. Miss Em joined us afterwards and spent a couple of hours chatting and enjoying the day. Another friend made!
I can’t sing for toffee but I joined in with her, and the Marvelettes even had a bit of a stroll to a couple of the numbers. Miss Em joined us afterwards and spent a couple of hours chatting and enjoying the day. Another friend made!
Before too long it was time to return to our tent to get changed for the evening ahead. Showers were taken, drinks quaffed and make up done. I decided to keep my hair in the poodle and swapped my pink hair flowers for some red ones.
I had decided to wear my Pin Up Girl Ava dress in black and red, with some red gloves and my Lindybop red shoes. All the necessities went into my glamour bunny red bag and I was set for the night.
We started off at the Tiki Bar where Passion fruit Martinis were the drink of the evening. They really did go down very well indeed. We then had a wander around the site, popping into various places (and stalls) before hitting the Colonial Club.
Cabaret was the entertainment of choice, compered by the amazing Dusty Limits. A handsome man with razor sharp wit and a voice sent from the angels. He had the assembled crowds enraptured and his modern take on some classic songs was fantastic. The first band he announced was Champagne Charlie and the Bubbly Boys, and boy we were not disappointed!
Champagne Charlie was beautifully attired in top hat and tails, but changed throughout the set into a Carmen Miranda Style hat and frilled blouse to sing “Brazil” a turban for “The Sheik of Araby” and ended the set in White tie and white tails. The band were absolutely amazing and I was really sad when their performance ended. I could have watched them all night. In fact, I would have watched them all weekend!
We moved on from The Colonial Club popping into the Casablanca Club, having a quick look in the Electroswing forest before heading to the Control Tower stage where the 50’s style bands normally play. We spent the rest of the night dancing to the 50s music and having a few crafty sherberts.
We eventually got our tired behinds on the minibus back to the farm at midnight. Of course we were good little campers who retired to our beds with a cup of horlicks and a copy of Womans Weekly…..didn’t we??
Of course we didn’t! More alcohol and merriment was the way it went, and we eventually retired in the early hours to get a little bit of sleep before day two.
To be continued………