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Vintage Fair

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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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Step back in time to the fabulous forties and beyond
The sights and sounds of a bygone era came fully to life when the country's year round centre of remembrance staged a Vintage Fair over the May Bank Holiday weekend. The fair, which took place on both Sunday 5 May and Monday 6 May, was held at the National Memorial Arboretum, at Alrewas, near Lichfield. From classic tunes, which provided a soundtrack to both days of the weekend, and toe-tapping dance workshops, to vintage hair styling and the ever-popular Curly Magpie Vintage and Handmade Market; there was no shortage of attractions to entertain visitors of all ages.

National Memorial Arboretum Vintage Fair, Sincerely Yours
Sincerely Yours entertain visitors to the National Memorial Arboretum


The Vintage Fair, which was free to attend with just a 3 charge for parking, was held between 9am and 5pm on both May 5 and 6. The recently created Heroes' Square, lying just outside the main reception building, was deliberately left clear for the dance workshops and audience participation dancing to come. As a result, the popular Curly Magpie Vintage Handmade Pop-Up Market was set up in the Aspects conference facility. It certainly proved a popular draw for the many visitors to the Arboretum, with everything from retro items such as vintage clothing and handmade toys to antiques, crafts and giftware. And, no doubt, the offer of hot drinks and a piece of cake on a cloudy, fairly chilly Sunday, which is when I visited, proved an added attraction.

National Memorial Arboretum Vintage Fair
The pop-up market proved quite a draw


Other things of interest taking place on each day included Pin Up Curl Vintage Hairstyling where members of the public could have their own hair styled for free or watch a demonstration of a vintage style being created before their eyes. Appointments were available on each day on a first-come, first served basis. Accompanying the vintage hairdos was the Ms Moo Make Up which was at the Arboretum throughout the weekend providing red lips and eye flicks to help get people into the spirit of the day. Meanwhile, alongside the hairstylist, was a Vintage Badge Making hut aimed at children who were given the opportunity to create their own mementoes of their visit. Also taking place during both days of the Vintage Fair was the comic antics of Dr Pandemonius Fish, complete with Penny Farthing bike.

National Memorial Arboretum Vintage Fair
Why not try a vintage hairstyle


On the entertainment side of things, dance instructors Red and Ginger made a popular and welcome return to the Vintage Fair by hosting a series of fun interactive toe tapping dance workshops in Heroes' Square throughout both days. But there were different live musical treats depending on which day people attended. On Sunday it was the turn of Sincerely Yours, a mother and daughter duo, who performed a range of songs from yesteryear such as Let's Jump The Broomstick, Rockin' Robin, and Bring Me Sunshine. And on Bank Holiday Monday it was the turn of Andy 'B' Goode and The Jays Vintage, a three piece tribute group who were due to entertain the crowds with classics hits from the 1940s by artists including the Andrews Sisters and Glen Miller.
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Why? Enjoy A Taste Of Nostalgia Over Bank Holiday Weekend
When: May 5 and 6
Phone: 01283 245100
Where: National Memorial Arboretum, Croxall Road, Alrewas, Burton-on-Trent DE13 7AR
Cost: Free but 3 parking
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