By Jane Wilson
Deep in a pocket of West Sussex, time and people slip back a few decades for the Goodwood Revival, an annual event where vintage takes centre stage for three days in the month of September.
Three Spitfires soaring above start the action before the noise gathers pace and momentum around the circuit at full speed with engines revving and screeching throughout the weekend in a total of 15 races. There were track moments celebrating the motoring career of two-time Formula 1 World Champion Graham Hill as well as the 75th anniversary of Ferrari. And this year, the roars and revs of the engines were switched off, all silent, in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11. It was followed by a speech from the Duke of Richmond and Gordon remembering the many times she visited Goodwood.
Convivial, and fun. It was an event to temporarily forget the problems of today and instead, live in the past. There were men in tweeds, braces and caps while others were kitted out in utility wear of overalls and dungarees. Corporals, captains and cadets mingled with ladies in swing dresses with furs and frills, all looking the part. And with a nod to memory lane were the lookalike characters from Dixon of Dock Green and Dad’s Army. The flirty girls of Glam Cabs added colour, inspired by Carry on Cabbing! So much to see, so many smiles and not far away from a PG tips tea shed.
The Revive & Thrive Village made its debut this year, championing the sustainable ‘Make Do and Mend’ approach of post-war Britain. This reflected the era of its time when it was essential to breathe new life into second-hand belongings – quality over quantity. Exhibitions and live talks took place on subjects ranging from creating and sewing a vintage head band, repairing an ageing stool to how to tinker with a vintage motorcycle.
It’s not hard to keep in period style at the Goodwood Revival with Betty’s Parlour available for the professional hair-do, up or half-down, complete with pins and curlers. There was a Barbers too. With the underlying theme of sustainability, It was a retail haven. Motor enthusiasts could browse and buy everything, including parts from the past to antiques and aero art. Vintage stalls overflowed with colourful outfits and accessories to buy while offering inspirational ideas for next year’s event.
Grid girls added glamour and colour clutching matching numbered boards indicating the start row positions for the cars. For the motorcyclists, it was the traditional Le Mans-style start which sees riders run across the track to jump on their bikes when the start flag is dropped. And visiting the Revival Paddock was a must where you could mix with the racers along with a closer view of the trophy cars and bikes preparing for their race or arriving back.
Car drivers and motorcycle riders were poised and ready with their prized machines. The Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy race, a two-rider race on motorcycles of a type that raced up to 1966, roared by, full throttle. And not forgetting the aspiring junior drivers, The Settrington Cup was a contest racing Austin J40 pedal cars.
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