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Retro fans enjoy a vintage day out

Thousands descend on showground for festival of nostalgia

Charlotte Booth

Charlotte Booth


01635 886637

Retro fans enjoy a vintage day out

MORE than 35,000 people attended the largest Retro Festival in the UK at Newbury Showground at the weekend.

Many people dressed up in 1940s and 1950s clothing and there was plenty of opportunity to further accessorise with vintage and reproductions from 292 trade stands. 

Live music from 15 bands kept the crowds entertained at the three-day festival, which took place from Friday to Sunday.

There was something for all ages, with live music, including Geno Washington, a vintage fun fair, steam engines and a display of 1,000 classic vehicles.

For some people, like the Granger family who travelled from Leominster to be at the festival, it is a lifestyle choice. 

They explained: “Wherever we go we dress like this. Even our house is mostly 1940s in style.”

For others, like Andrew and Lynette Parson, it is more of a hobby.

“We go to vintage events, but don’t dress like this all the time,” they told the Newbury Weekly News. “The best part of these events is people stopping us for photographs.” 

Visitors were entertained throughout the weekend by rockabilly and jive dance classes, and a bike stunt show from Flyin Ryan, who wowed the crowd with daring jumps over an array of vintage vehicles.

Flyin Ryan, which is made up of Ryan Griffiths and Jumping James Chambers, were back by popular demand after performing at last year’s festival.

Mr Griffiths said: “We love doing the entertainment shows as it’s just showing off.

“It’s a fantastic event with a big crowd. Everyone is clapping and cheering in the right place.”  

Many people took advantage of the good weather and brought along their picnics to enjoy in the sunshine, whereas others queued for hot food and snacks from the various stands.

Some immersed themselves in the vintage atmosphere by taking a further step back in time at the Vintage Tea Room.

Tutts Clump Cider was doing such a roaring trade with its West Berkshire-made cider and perry that the owner, Tim Wale, had to return to his brewery to restock for the final day.

He said; “The show’s much bigger than last year. It gets bigger every year.”  

Marketing manager for the festival, Andy Forster, said: “Next year we’ve bigger and better things planned.

“We are looking to rent two more fields for camping. We are hoping to attract 50,000 people.

“Nothing will stay the same. We’ll be moving things around.”

n For Geno Washington review, see page 32

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