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Vintage Fair Weekend - Review

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
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Nostalgia Is The Order Of The Day During Vintage Fair
There was a toe tapping step back in time in Staffordshire when the sun-drenched National Memorial Arboretum stage a hugely popular Vintage Fair over the course of the May Bank Holiday weekend on Sunday 6th and Monday 7th May. Visitors who flocked to the award-winning place of remembrance were treated to a large slice of fun and nostalgia, from classic 1940s and 1950s music to the popular Curly Magpie Vintage and Handmade Market. There was even an opportunity for visitors to come away from the Arboretum, at Alrewas, near Lichfield, with a new vintage hair style.

Vintage Fair, National Memorial Arboretum
Enjoy the fun of the Vintage Fair market at the National Memorial Arboretum


The Vintage Fair weekend, which also helped to commemorate this year's centenary of the Royal Air Force alongside the traditional activities, was the perfect way to celebrate the Arboretum being named as the winner of the Large Visitor Attraction category in the Visit England Awards for Excellence 2018. The Arboretum triumphed over competition from Blenheim Palace and Moors Valley Country Park and Forest in the final. At the heart of the Vintage Fair, which took place from 9am to 5pm on each of the two days, was the Curly Magpie Vintage Handmade Pop-Up Market, with stall-holders largely found within three huge connecting marquees selling a range of crafts, giftware and retro items. However, outside - for obvious reasons - was the Craftevan display centred around a vintage vehicle.

Vintage Fair, National Memorial Arboretum
Inside one of the large marquees containing various stall-holders


Elsewhere on the Arboretum site over the two days was the chance for visitors to have their hair styled for free, or watch as the vintage styles were created, courtesy of Pin Up Curl Vintage Hair. And definitely for younger visitors was the opportunity to create their own colourful kaleidoscopes, in celebration of the RAF centenary and inspired by the Tribute 100 exhibition within the Arboretum's main centre. Using a rainbow of different colours and materials, children had the chance to create a unique and beautiful kaleidoscope to take home, with a suggested donation of £1 per child. RAF costumed Interpreters were also on hand throughout both days of the Vintage Fair weekend.

Vintage Fair, National Memorial Arboretum, Sincerely Yours
Mother and daughter duo, Sincerely Yours


Music and dance was also a strong element of the weekend, with Sunday 6 May giving centre-stage to mother and daughter duo Sincerely Yours, who entertained visitors in Heroes Square with top hits from yesteryear, but predominantly from the 40s and 50s, throughout the day. Then, on Bank Holiday Monday, May 7, it was the turn of Andy 'B' Goode and The Jays Vintage band who performed classic hits from the 1940s by artists including the Andrews Sisters and Glen Miller, also in Heroes Square. At the same time, dance instructors Red and Ginger returned to the Vintage Fair on Monday to encourage visitors to participate in their fun interactive toe tapping dance workshops throughout the day.
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Why? The Sun Brought Visitors Flocking To Vintage Fair Weekend
When: May 6 - 7
Phone: 01283 245100
Where: National Memorial Arboretum, Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire DE13 7AR
Cost: Free to enter, but £3 parking charge
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