A high old time at vintage weekend

A Diana Dors look-alike at the vintage festival

A Diana Dors look-alike at the vintage festival

First published in News

A GLIMPSE into the past was a glimpse into the future in Swindon town centre this weekend as The Brunel Vintage and Retro Festival received calls for a repeat next year.

In what was the inaugural edition of the event, The Brunel was making an attempt to bring something new to the town centre and attract more shoppers.

After an idea from retro retailer Carry on Vintage, management at the shopping centre set about bringing together vehicles, fashion, make-up, collectables and jewellery from the past for a weekend extravaganza.

“From the feedback we have had, people have said it’s refreshing, it’s what Swindon needs,” said Rochelle Knowles, marketing assistant at The Brunel.

“It’s something completely different to bring to Swindon. If this is a successful weekend its definitely looking like an event for next year.

“We wanted to bring something fresh into Swindon and bring people back into the heart of the town.

“It (the town centre) does need change. I don’t think anywhere can stay the same and be successful. You always need activities in the town centre for them to work.”

The two-day event brought displays of 21 vintage cars and motorbikes, fashion shows inside the shopping centre, as well as a vintage marquee in Wharf Green.

The marquee provided cover for more than 20 stalls selling vintage fashion, bric a brac, collectables and jewellery.

Carry on Vintage, the Brunel retailer which spawned the initial idea, was more than pleased with what was produced.

“Vintage is such a big thing now it’s gone mainstream and we have been going to vintage festivals for many years. We just felt Swindon’s scene needed a kick start,” said Alicja Stuart, co-owner at the store.

“The Brunel has been absolutely wonderful. They have put in a lot of work and money to this weekend.

“We are absolutely delighted with what the end product has become. If it could be a yearly event it would be wonderful.”

Vicky Silver, a retired artist of Overbrook, is a long-term admirer of vintage festivals and events. She said this type of event has been missing from the Swindon calendar for too long.

“It’s long overdue in Swindon to this extent, with the cars and the evening event going on too,” she said.

“I go to other cities as well for vintage fairs all over the place and this compares favourably with those “You can just see by the people coming down here. “This brings people down to the shops as a result.”

With various fashion shows and make-up stalls set up inside the shopping centre, the large vintage marquee took over Wharf Green, while vintage cars took over Havelock Square, Canal Walk and The Parade for good measure.

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