Friday, 13 September 2013

Tales of Twinwood

Hello there!  Well, I'm still playing catch up with my blogging, and I wanted to record another fabulous Bank Holiday weekend at the vintage festival known affectionately as Twinwood.

Twinwood was an RAF base during the Second World War and is now a museum which also holds this special festival dedicated to vintage every August.  It's a fabulous mix of outdoor live music on several stages, dance floors home to jiving and jitterbugging, lots of vintage and retro shopping opportunities and a chance to dress the part and admire the many classic cars.  I always love the two-tone ones, myself.

The Vintage Salon (usually based in The Custard Factory in Birmingham) had a pop-up hairdressing salon at Twinwood and as it's the area of my "look" with which I always struggle, I delightedly booked myself in for hair styling each day so that was my first port of call in the morning.  Lyndsey and her team were delightful and skilfully worked their magic on lots of ladies.

The weather was not kind that weekend, it has to be said.  This had a big effect on what I wore.  In the main, I knew I couldn't wear any of my nice vintage shoes because it was wet and muddy underfoot, in fact I spent the weekend with pumps and ankle socks on my feet!  I went for a '50's style on Saturday and more of a '40's look on Sunday (below).  Oh if only I had this service every day!  Definitely something to which I could get used.

The shopping was simply fantastic.  There is a smattering of tacky repro stuff but there's an awful lot of really good vintage and quality retro, too.  It's an event where you really do feel spoilt for choice and I defy anyone to leave with any pennies in their purse!  I fell in love with this patchwork jacket but it was a teeny size and too expensive to justify buying just for the "collection".

Loved the fabric of this swimsuit, too and the stunning burgundy coat behind.

Some stalls also have some homeware and haberdashery items.

Oh, I wish I'd bought that unfinished honeycomb patchwork you see below.  The one that got away.  I have exactly the same hosiery pouch in which I keep my best silk CC41 stockings.

There are many top photo opportunities throughout the site.  The Munchkin is always interested in the cars.

Mr HenHouse took opportunity of the poor weather and wore his RAF flying suit which, with its heavy woollen fabric, is not suited to warmer, sunnier days.

Back in the main arena, we had set up camp with our folding chairs and picnic table.  There is a different  musical act on every hour from about midday through to about 10pm.  Here, members of the John Miller Orchestra are playing whilst strolling through the crowd.

The one bad thing about Twinwood is the food available which we have learned is pretty dire, so now we always go well prepared with our own picnic.  It was a tad novel to have the umbrellas up at the same time!

The CC41 (utility) exhibition was on once again, I always love looking at this and stepping back into the past.

A spot of make do and mend was going on.  So many covetable items!


There were beautiful CC41 clothes on display.

There were also glass cabinets housing all sorts of wartime goodies.  Here you can see plastic bell wire and the jewellery skilfully made from it as there was no metal available to make frivolous jewellery, just for important items like wedding rings and interestingly, cufflinks.

Mr HenHouse popped to the authentically styled NAAFI for a cup of tea.

Meanwhile, the Munchkin and I enjoyed some rare sunshine and lusted after the little caravan.

Despite the truly British weather (pretty dire on Saturday, not too bad on Sunday), we saw and listened to some fabulous music, found some special vintage bits 'n' bobs for the collection and generally had a thoroughly marvellous time.

Always nice to have a reminder.  Especially of the felty kind.

Enjoy the weekend. Xxx

(Please respect my copyright and do not copy photographs of individuals.  Thank you.)


  1. It looks a fabulous event. Love the wistful photo of Mr HenHouse, a great shot and he looks so authentic. It would look great in sepia tones.

  2. So much fun!!!!!! I wish I could just beam right in!!!

  3. Wow this looks amazing - love the hair!Thank you for sharing your that unfinished hexie too.....there's always at least 1 that gets away!Have a great weekend X

  4. Looks like you had a fabby time
    Julie xxxxxxx

  5. I would fight you for that coat! Gorgeous.Looks a great weekend.That caravan is fabbo- and as for the hair...

  6. Gorgeous things! They beat the weather anytime, I'm sure :)

  7. So many great things to see there. I love your hairstyle, it looks so pretty. I tried to have 40's-inspired hair for my wedding but it didn't stay in very well. I just really love that look.

  8. What an exceedingly wonderful time you had and so lovely to do it as a family....bestest Daisy j

  9. Dear Hen
    I do so look forward to your blog posts. I grew up a few short years after the war and, because of rationing etc. many of the 30s and 40s items were still very much in every day use. My parent's bedroom resembled the room set though mum, now 91, would have died of shame if the bottom of her furniture was so scuffed!
    Making do and mending was still the order of the day. In fact my Grandmas had been doing that for the whole of their lives - both born in the 1880s, they would be horrified by the huge amount of throwing away that goes on today. I remember thumbing through their Needlewoman magazines and seeing patterns and designs some of the things you show,including that hosiery sachet design above.
    Thank you so much for these wonderful trips down memory lane.
    Jenni xx

  10. Hi Hen
    We went to Twinwood on Monday and booked ourselves a box around the Arena....we had great fun again! I do love going and seeing all the cars, clothes and dancing etc.
    i fell in love with the same caravan as you and i need to check my photos as I think i may have photographed you at the same time as taking my pics! That would be funny if it was so...

    Not sure if you've ever visited this one but we live in Peterborough and near us there is Ramsey 1940's weekend which isn't far from us at all. It is held again on an old RAF base and is a fantastic event. There is much more Living History re-enactments to see and it felt a little more friendlier because of the size of it. there is a marquee for dancing and acts but not as big as Twinwood.....just thought you may be interested as I know you've visited others before now.

    Thanks for the pics..I'm way behind in posting mine but will be on my blog soon.
    Enjoy your weekend hun
    Tilly x

  11. Dear Mrs Henhouse how I lust after the patchwork jacket. I have just started (2 sessions) to learn patchwork. How long will it be before I can dream of achieving something like this!!!!
    It is fabby that Munchkin shares your love and will join in. What a lovely lad. The dressing table is reminiscent of the one I had until I married and left home in 1972. We were great fans of make do and mend.

  12. What a wonderful weekend. I really love that little caravan. :)

  13. This looks such a fabulous event - I must try to get there next year.

  14. Hi Hen what a wonderful weekend you had. I must say that I think the burgundy coat was a definite you and I also loved the patchwork jacket, just stunning. You and Munchkins make such a beautiful photograph, he looks just like his lovely Mum and is going to break some hearts one day soon. Thanks for a wonderful post as always Hen, always love reading about your adventures.
    Lots of love as always

  15. It looks like a great day out and I think I would have been completely penniless if twas me. It looks like it was a fun day for the family. Enjoy your weekend xo

  16. I just love, love, LOVE your posts of the vintage festivals/fairs that you attend. It makes me incredibly jealous. That Munchkin of yours is certainly growing up fast. How lucky you are that the men in your family will participate in these activities.

  17. I love, love, LOVE your posts about the vintage festivals and fairs that you and your family attend. I just get so jealous about the whole thing. That Munchkin of yours is certainly growing up quickly. You are so lucky that the men in your family will participate in these adventures.

  18. What a wonderful time and love your hair!! Oh, how fun would that be to have done everyday!! Sweet photos!! Happy weekend Hen! xo Heather

  19. What an amazing picnic !!! Beats my crisps and sausage rolls hands down, I must say. Nice to see you and your lovely boys dressed so nicely. I have been knitting tank tops recently and I do like the fairisle one in your pictures.

  20. I am always so envious of your wonderful vintage days out, complete with vintage outfits. The picnic looks wonderful and makes me think I must make more of an effort to do some dining in the great outdoors. Have a lovely week and I adore your posts! XXX

  21. I want that thread cabinet with the 2 drawers it is fantastic!!

  22. I had no idea there were so many 40's and 50's festivals until I met you through your blog. It looks like great fun. Love your hair, did they give you tips how to do it yourself now? x

  23. Oh Hen,I love it all, but most of all, I love, love LOVE the little round caravan ... I have just the place for it!

    Love your posts, so interesting, colourful and newsy

    Love Claire xxx

  24. I was intrigued to see items on the last picture that I still have - inherited from my Great Aunt and Grandma who died in the 1980s. Namely the felt needlecase (mine is purple and the same shape) the lovely leather sewing roll, the stocking repair thread and the card of hooks and eyes. Where can I find out about these events? I'd love to go to one.

  25. That's is such a great (and honest) review of Twinwood. I've yet to visit it, so here's hoping for next year!

    I always like a CC41 exhibition too and whenever I come across one I look out for objects that I've got in my own collections.

    I'm with you on vintage hair-styling too - your 'do looks fabulous :-)

  26. Oh, wow! This looks like such a great event!

  27. Once again thank you for sharing a wonderful weekend with us, I've been cooped up all weekend so following your jollies has made my day. How you resisted buying the hexi's quilt is beyond me, I admire your resolve but I see that like me you're now regretting the one that got away.
    Again thank you for your enthusiastic sharing its always a pleasure to visit and I never go away disappointed.

    Peg xx

  28. Always neat to see your photos of the '40s festivals/events as I'm always reading books about various people's lives during WWII in Europe.

  29. Oooh, that caravan... I adore anything tiny and that is simply gorgeous!!

  30. Love those pictures and the atmosphere!!!!!!!!!! The dresses are very nice but let me tell you that I do like the green chair with hexies you refashioned and showed in the last post! Gorgeous!!!!!

  31. Looks fab, despite the weather hen! Lovely looking event. Lizzie x PS that green bag & matching belt looks familiar in the last photo...did that come from me???

  32. I just loved finding your blog through Laughing with Angels. I LOVE the 40s and 50s and you are one lucky Vintage Gal to get to Twinwood. I would go crazy buying things there. Such a wonderful time and thank you for the tour. Latest follower and just added you to my blog roll.

    Have a happy day, Lynnie

  33. ooo too much beauty and stuff to lust after! That jacket!!! ooooo and the quilt and you guys.....just adorable! x

  34. Love your hair, love your blue dress, and could you indulge an American "foodie" and tell me what was in your picnic? It all looked delicious.


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