Brunswick In The Blitz – A Treat For Vintage Fashion Fans

Brunswick Park is a gorgeous green space in the heart of Wednesbury. It was opened in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, and it retains a wonderful air of calm, a perfect place for a picnic, to walk your dog or just to spot local wildlife. But on Saturday and Sunday last week, the park was alive with the sounds of Big Band tunes, and awash with colourful 1940s fashion as it played host to the first ‘Brunswick in the Blitz‘, transporting the park and its visitors back to the heady days of 1940s.

The beautiful bandstand, which is usually closed, was open once again, as the Ashby Big Band played the tunes of Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra and Cole Porter. The sun shone for at least part of the afternoon, as couples dressed in 1940s dress, from military uniform, land girl garb and more glamorous tea dresses, enjoyed dancing to the memorable tunes. There was also a sing along of wartime songs from another conflict, with ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ particularly enjoyed.

A red Routemaster bus provided the perfect bar for refreshments of the alcoholic kind, whilst more refined tea and coffee could be found at the Blitz tearoom, which was also stocking a range of delicious homemade cakes and cookies.

Brunswick in the Blitz had a range of stalls that offered information about the 1940s, from ‘Dig for Victory; and growing your own, to the reality of rationing. I was fascinated by the false and elaborate wedding cake that was made from cardboard, and housed a rather more modest fruit cake underneath. There were beautiful vintage cars to enjoy, and military vehicles too. And then there were stalls, selling a range of beautifully curated vintage fashion and homewares, all at very reasonable prices, and totally adding to the authentic feel of the event. From retro furs to glorious hats, and beautiful leather handbags and vintage cake stands, this was a treasure trove that would delight vintage lovers of all ages.

Brunswick in the Blitz was a fantastic event which I hope will happen again very soon. It was simply lovely.

 

What To Do During Your Staycation

Holiday season is here, and many people are already sharing snaps of white sandy beaches and azure coloured oceans on Instagram. But what if this year you are not going away on holiday, maybe through financial issues or work commitments, what can you do if you are planning a staycation? The good news is that staying at home doesn’t have to be dull or boring, there are so many diverse and interesting things you can do, maybe even learning a new skill in the process.

Here are a few ideas that may give you food for thought.

Cookery Classes

You can have great fun with some cookery lessons and can learn new skills into the bargain. There are so many different sorts of lessons out there, ranging from cookery basics (i.e for someone like me, who hosts a dinner party with a selection of takeaway menus at hand), or for people who want to refine their skills, or learn a specific type of cookery, like French Cookery, or learning how to make Asian cuisine, or even divine macaroons. These courses are suitable for anyone with a passing interest in food creation and preparation, and will certainly give you a fabulous new skill and end product to take home.

The Big Sleuth

A day in the city of Birmingham can be about so much more than shopping. Following on from the Big Hoot in 2015, this year Birmingham’s streets, squares, museums and shopping areas will be filled with more than 100 beautifully decorated bears, so that a day in the city can really mean ‘we’re going on a bear hunt.’ Grab a map, put some sensible walking shoes on, and get ready to hunt down those bears. The bears will be auctioned off at the end of the Summer to raise funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. (Visit The Big Sleuth website for more information).

Go to a Festival

A festival no longer means having to travel miles from home, most areas now have festivals of everything ranging from music to food. One food festival that I have been interested in is at RAF Cosford, and combines a range of local producers, chef demonstrations and even live music, all combining to make a really fun afternoon. Combine it with a trip around the RAF museum, which is brilliant, with entry free of charge.

A family ticket for the food festival costs just £12. Buy tickets here.

Football Friendlies

The football season may well be over, but that doesn’t mean a summer without football. Next month a whole host of friendlies and tournaments will be taking place, including the Emirates Cup which Arsenal will be taking part in this July, along with Benfica, Seville and Leipzig. Family tickets are available and reasonably priced, and could be a great way to introduce your child to European football…or just an excuse to watch Olivier Giroud in action.

What plans do you have for the Summer?

 

The top festival fashion trends for 2017

It is that time of year again, music festival time. Music festivals are all the rage these days and can be a great deal of fun for all. Whether you attend the festival to partake in fun food and drink, find your new favorite band, or listen to an old favorite, this article will help you pick the most fashionable threads to wear this year. To find additional ideas, check out more festival fashion here.

If you are attending Firefly, Coachella, or Hangout Fest, one thing is in common. You will need clothes that are suitable for warm weather climates. Festivals often offer a low-key, “anything goes” kind of vibe which means that you can wear pretty much anything or very little for that matter.

Matching Sets. Crop tops and high-waisted pants made from the same fabric and pattern are very trendy this year. While it does not take long at all to put these items on, you will look like you spent a great deal of time styling your attire. Add some cute sandals and your outfit is sure to be popular.

 

Fishnet tights. An item that most would not think about wearing in hot weather, fishnet tights are a big hit at festivals this year. People are choosing to wear them underneath a pair of cut off jean shorts along with black boots.

 

Ringer tees. Highly popular in the 70s, ringer tees are back and trendier than ever. Most popular are ringer tees with a type of popular statement such as but certainly not limited to, “make love, not war.” A comfy tee like this along with a fedora, comfy pair of shoes, and cut off jean shorts make a perfect outfit for sitting on a blanket while enjoying the music and fellowship that is taking place around you.

 

Dungarees. Every so often dungarees become a huge trend and everyone will be seen wearing them. This year, overall style jeans and shorts are quite popular among teens and young adults alike. When wearing dungarees, add some personality to them by applying an embroidered patch or rolling the pant legs to make a cuff. Dungarees are comfortable and can be styled to be more casual by wearing some Converse Allstars and a simple white tee underneath. Wear your hair in a ponytail and you will look all-American chic.

 

Tie dye. This one is not much of a surprise as tie dye is perfect for accomplishing a fun, festive look with minimal effort. You can purchase a variety of items already tie-dyed such as shirts, shoes, bandanas, and shorts at your local mall. Or if you want a more personalized look, you can easily tie dye any item that you desire on your own. All you have to do is get a large container, fill it with cold water, and add some dye. Take parts of your shirt and twist into balls and tie with rubber bands. Dip slowly into the dye/water mixture and allow it to soak to the hue you desire. Allow the shirt to dry for a period of time and then wash it by itself so that any excess dye does not stain other clothing. All that is left is to dry it and wear it!