GOODWOOD REVIVAL: AN OASIS OF CHARM

BATD ON Sep 17, 2014 AT 10:59 am

by Liz Turner

Goodwood Revival -

Goodwood Revival: An Oasis Of Charm.

Elegance and style aren’t words usually associated with motor racing, but then the Goodwood Revival is to motor racing as tea at the Ritz is to a scone and jam with your gran.

This year’s event on 12 to 14 September included an enormous market selling vintage clothes, a fairground and a roller-disco, as well as thrilling battles between near-priceless historic Jags, Ferraris and Maseratis. Drivers were a mix of professional racers and owners including Rowan Atkinson.

The circuit began life as a wartime airfield, with Spitfires roaring overhead. Throughout the 1950s and early ‘60s crowds enjoyed watching iconic drivers such as Stirling Moss hurtling around its challenging corners, but it closed in 1966. When the Earl of March, creator of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, opened the gates in 1998, he could have modernised it. Instead he decided to take visitors back in time.

No post-1966 vehicles are allowed on site, officials wear period costume, and visitors are encouraged to do the same. The care that goes into vintage outfits from the 1940s to ‘60s, is astonishing. Many heels are ruined on grass and gravel around the track in the name of beauty.

Goodwood Revival - An Oasis Of Charm.

Goodwood Revival: An Oasis Of Charm.

 Getting the look…

It can be like walking around a film set on some parts of the Revival, with a London pub on one side and a 1960s’ espresso bar on the other. This year Brighton Pier popped up, with a beach, ranks of mod scooters and Phil Daniels at the opening. The rockers on their vintage bikes lined up by the Butlins chalets opposite, ready for the occasional ‘ruck’.

Two of the much-photographed rockers, Sarah Bradley and her partner Jake Turner, also have their eye on the passing outfits as regular judges for the Best Dressed competition. Being picked out for this daily contest, in conjunction with Men’s File magazine, is the ultimate accolade for those with an eye and patience to seek out exactly the right clothes and accessories.

Goodwood Revival: An Oasis Of Charm.

Goodwood Revival: An Oasis Of Charm.

Sarah is proprietor of Planet Sputnik an agency that has provided authentic locations, vintage props and people for shots with David Beckham, Kate Moss, Rita Ora and Lana Del Rey. She says: “People put such creativity and effort into their vintage outfits. Narrowing down a massive daily selection of incredibly stylish candidates to three female and three male finalists is hard enough: picking an overall winner from each category is near-impossible. I look for authenticity, creativity, effort and attention to detail.”

Goodwood Revival - An Oasis Of Charm.

Goodwood Revival: An Oasis Of Charm.

One of the winners, Elise Maillet from Rouen in France said “I spent a year putting together my outfit sourcing items from a range of vintage shops in France, and I actually found my hat in Spain.”

Looking up…

As well as watching crowds and cars, visitors to the Revival need to keep an eye on the skies. Remembering the circuit’s wartime heritage, Spitfires regularly roar overhead again, with Mustangs and Hurricanes. This year, two enormous Lancaster bombers rumbled across the sky, one visiting from Canada. It was an immensely moving sight, probably never to be repeated, and that’s typical of the emotional pull that makes the Revival special.

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