- My e-photo album of Goodwood Revival 2015 which will give you a taste of what to expect at this world-class nostalgia event. Uploaded to You Tube 23.9.15.
Exciting news, tickets for Goodwood Revival 2016 are now on sale! Keep an eye on Twitter (@goodwoodrevival) for further announcements. Tickets sell-out VERY quickly, so get in early to avoid disappointment.
If you have never been to or heard of Goodwood Revival, let me explain. It is a retro-themed annual event that takes place over three days during mid-September (Friday to Sunday) at the Goodwood Estate in Chichester, West Sussex. In 2016, Goodwood Revival will happen from Friday 9th until Sunday 11th September, inclusive (these dates to be confirmed by 31st December, 2015).
What can you expect to see at Goodwood Revival? The event is a heady mix of historic planes, classic cars and motorbikes, heritage motor racing, retro fashions, food, music, period theatre and much, much more besides. A majority of exhibits and vehicles are time-located between World War Two and late 1960s with a few nods to modernity here and there. Goodwood Revival is one of the best annual celebrations of British nostalgia and vintage lifestyle in the world. Over 150,000 visitors attended this year, a figure which I think speaks for itself!
Nearly every attendee (even trackside car mechanics) dress in period appropriate clothing. A lot of thought and effort goes into outfit selection, ensembles are not just pulled together from a last-minute rummage in grandma’s attic (although don’t dismiss this idea, you may come across a fantastic vintage find!). Oh no, Goodwood Revival devotees spend months and months putting together the perfect look. Even the gentlemen ensure that they are not outshone by their female counterparts.
Wearing retro togs is not a pre-requisite dress-code but you will feel rather out of place if you don’t make some effort in this regard (for the ladies – scarf, hat, shoes, jacket, handbag etc.). If full retro attire is not your thing then modern styling is absolutely fine too as long as it is smart. Gentlemen should really wear trousers, shirt, tie and ladies a dress/suit. If you want to gain access to The Paddock, then smart dress is essential.
I confess, my soft-spot for Goodwood Revival began in 1998 when I attended the very first meeting as a guest of Goodwood Estate. I was a post-graduate student at the time with a friend working in the Estate’s motor racing department. I gave hair and make-up demonstrations to Goodwood staff in readiness for the inaugural Revival. I have always had a keen interest in 20th Century fashion and make-up, so was delighted to share my knowledge with the Goodwood team.
- In this short film by That’s Solent TV, I talk about my involvement in the 1998 Goodwood Revival meeting. Uploaded to You Tube 11.9.2015.
The 1998 Revival commemorated the first motor racing event held at Goodwood’s Racing Circuit on 18th September, 1948. The Earl of March and Kinrara, who is the current owner of Goodwood Estate and heir-apparent of the 10th Duke of Richmond (1929- ), wanted to commemorate this first meeting. Motor race meetings continued at Goodwood until the circuit closed in 1966.
In 2015, the 12,000 acre Goodwood Estate now comprises of a Racecourse, Motor Racing Circuit, a 4,000 acre organic farm, two 18 hole golf courses, an Aerodrome and Flying School and a 91 bedroom hotel.
The original 1948 Motor Racing Circuit was formed from the perimeter of wartime fighter station RAF Westhampnett, which was built on land donated from the Goodwood Estate towards the war effort. Westhampnett shouldered the burden of air operations in the area when the Luftwaffe heavily bombed its sector station, RAF Tangmere, during the Battle of Britain (10 July – 31 October 1940) in World War Two.
In the summer of 1940, Shell (Goodwood Revival 2015’s Official Fuel and Lubricants sponsor) supported the heroic pilots of RAF Fighter Command with supplies of its new 100-octane aviation fuel, which offered a significant leap in performance and reached the front-line units, such as those based at Goodwood (RAF Westhampnett) between the fall of mainland Europe and the defence of Britain.
Post-war, the airfield was restored to the Estate and its perimeter road repurposed as a new home for the British Automobile Racing Club, after the permanent closure of the world’s first motor racing circuit at Brooklands in Surrey.
Goodwood Revival 2015 paid tribute to those who fought in the Battle of Britain 75 years ago. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight that took place at this year’s event, consisted of a Lancaster, flanked by a Supermarine Spitfire and a Hawker Hurricane, such a spectacular and rare sight. The Goodwood Aerodrome is always a focal point of the Revival, some of the most celebrated historic aircraft in the world gather for the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation. This year, there were 40 aircraft from the period of the Battle of Britain including the world’s only flying Bristol Blenheim.
- Goodwood Revival Commemorates 75th Anniversary Of The Battle Of Britain 15.9.2015 That’s Solent TV.
I am no expert on the history of motor racing but do have a penchant for vintage cars, particularly from America. One of the highlights for me this year was meeting Peter Brock (1936- ). Brock is an American car designer best known for his work on the Shelby Dayton Cobra Coupé and Corvette Sting Ray. He worked at Shelby American until the end of the 1965 season on the Shelby American brand, creating the logos, merchandise, ads, and car liveries.
After winning at Le Mans in 1959 in an Aston Martin DBR1, Carroll Shelby [1923-2012] decided that he wanted to return with his own car to take the fight to the Ferrari GTs. The open-cockpit Cobras were endowed with blistering acceleration, but were at a huge aerodynamic disadvantage on the three-mile Mulsanne Straight. Topping out at 160 mph, they were giving away around 30mph to the more slippery Ferraris.
Shelby realised dramatic changes had to be made, so tasked his head of special projects, Peter Brock, with finding a solution. The result was a coupé body featuring a rounded nose, steeply raked windscreen ad cut-off ‘Kamm tail’. The unconventional design worked well and during testing the car went 20mph faster than any Cobra had before.
(Goodwood Revival Race Programme, 2015, p.14)
At Goodwood Revival 2015, Daytona Coupes were displayed alongside 6 Cobra Roadsters, recreating the pits of Sebring in 1965. These 6 Cobras are the only examples ever produced.
This year’s Goodwood Revival had a strong emphasis on retro food (as you can imagine, this pleased me no end!). The 60th anniversary of the fish finger was marked with an authentic trawler situated near to the main entrance.
In actual fact the very first reference to a ‘fish finger’ appeared in a British magazine in 1900. An American scientist, Clarence Birdseye (1886-1956), who began his career as a taxidermist, is credited with bringing the humble fish finger to the British tea-table in 1955.
Birdseye began his journey to becoming the founder of the modern freezer industry whilst on a fishing trip to Newfoundland between 1912 and 1915. He noticed the Inuits left their freshly caught fish and caribou meat out in the open air, where the intense cold froze it solid, very quickly. He spent several years experimenting with the freezing process and in 1925, produced his first commercially frozen food. In 1930, his first distribution centre opened at Springfield, Massachusetts.
After World War Two, Britain had an abundance of herrings. Birdseye recognised the potential of this fish surplus in terms of food retail and decided to push forward with his idea for frozen fish fingers. Conducting market research in Southampton and South Wales, Birdseye gave the public a chance to try either ‘Herring Savouries’ or ‘Cod Sticks’. Much to Birdseye’s surprise, the public preferred Cod Sticks. In Britain, 1955, his company Birds Eye, finally launched their famous fish finger at a price of 1 shilling 8d. The fish finger was developed in the company’s old factory in Great Yarmouth by Mr H. A. J. Scott.
Another heritage brand represented on The Revival High Street at Goodwood this year was Bendicks. Bendicks have been manufacturing after dinner mints since 1931, their shop at the Revival was based upon the firm’s original 1930s Mayfair shop. Founders of Bendicks, Mr Oscar Benson and Colonel ‘Bertie’ Dickson, produced their first ever chocolate mint in 1930. Benson and Dickson acquired a small confectionery business at the unassuming address of 184 Church Street, in Kensington, London.
This year’s Revival took place 2 days after the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II (1926- ) becoming the longest-serving monarch, having reigned longer than her great-great Grandmother Queen Victoria (1819-1901) who reigned for 23,226 days. In recognition of this extraordinary milestone, Bendicks launched a limited edition box of Elizabethan Dark Chocolate Mints in celebration of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Bendicks were awarded a Royal Warrant by Her Majesty The Queen in 1962.
Tesco, one of the major sponsors of Goodwood Revival, recreated a mid 1960’s store stocked with authentic products on The Revival High Street. This is one of the event’s most popular exhibits, the interior of the supermarket is truly spectacular to behold. Shelves stacked high with period accurate products, packaging had been recreated with painstaking attention to detail. If Tesco return to Goodwood Revival in 2016, I urge you to visit this exhibit.
Tesco has been a retail icon on the British high street since 1919, when Jack Cohen (1898-1979) started selling surplus groceries from a stall in the East End of London. The Tesco brand first appeared 5 years later in 1924 when he bought a ship of tea from a Mr T.E. Stockwell. The initials and letters were combined to form Tes-co and in 1929 Mr Cohen opened the flagship Tesco store in Burnt Oak, North London.
In the 1960s, self-service supermarkets gradually became a common sight on many high streets in Britain. This new style of supermarket allowed the customer to push a trolley or carry a wire basket around an open-plan food emporium and choose products for themselves. The latter task having previously been carried-out by a shop assistant who would fulfil your order, collate and package up the items for you.
Supermarkets carried a much wider range of stock than the humble village store and shoppers now enjoyed a more emancipated shopping experience. In 1968, Tesco opened its first ‘superstore’ in Crawley, West Sussex. If the Tesco exhibit returns to Goodwood Revival in 2016, do take the time to visit, it won’t disappoint. It is great fun identifying products that we can still see on our supermarket shelves in 2015!
The Kenwood Theatre at Goodwood Revival was another personal favourite and a must-see for fans of retro food and historic kitchenalia. My short film, at the start of this article, contains many images of The Kenwood Theatre including action shots of well-known cookery demonstrators, Brendan Lynch, Miranda Gore-Browne and burlesque baker, Charlotte White.
Kenneth Maynard Wood (1916-1997) first became interested in food mixers after World War Two when he brought a Sunbeam mixer, stripped it down and redesigned it. The first kitchen product Ken Wood retailed on the British market was actually the ‘Turn Over Toaster’ (model A100), manufactured in 1947 from his company based in Woking. This style of toaster had been popular since the 1920s.
Kenwood food mixers have been kitchen icons since 1950 when the company launched model A700, Kenwood Chef, at the Ideal Home Exhibition with the promise that it was ‘The world’s most versatile kitchen machine!’. The A700 was so popular that when Harrods stocked it, the mixer sold-out within a week and shot straight to the top of every bride’s wedding wish list. By 1956, Kenwood’s turnover reached £1.5 million and the company employed 400 staff.
In 1962, Kenwood moved its manufactory to Havant, Hampshire (and are still there today). In the 1960s, Kenwood ran into difficulties, in part due to a manufacturing problem with one of its refrigeration products. There followed a hostile takeover by Thorn Electrical Group in 1968 which resulted in Ken Wood being ousted out of his own company.
Ken Wood then became Managing Director of Dawson-Keith Holdings where he remained until 1981. Following the Thorn takeover, Ken Wood continued to live near Havant and created a golf course there, he also founded the Forest Mere Health Farm, Liphook, Hampshire.
- TV documentary from 1981 on the history of Kenwood Food Mixers. Includes interviews with the founder Kenneth Wood and the industrial designer Kenneth Grange. Uploaded to John Wood’s You Tube Channel 23.10.2015. (John is Kenneth Wood’s step son. You can follow John on Twitter @uptone – he often posts Kenwood related Tweets including images and archive footage of his late step father. John also blogs at http://uptone.blogspot.co.uk/ ).
Retro fashionistas are never disappointed at Goodwood Revival. The fashion focus at this year’s event was the 50th anniversary since ‘Youthquake’ and emergence of the miniskirt in 1965.
On the Richmond Lawn at Goodwood Revival, there was a special celebration of the mini skirt and a ‘live’ billboard of models in the very latest fashions. One of the outfits I wore during the weekend, was a 1960s inspired dress with ‘Mod’ detailing teamed with a beehive style updo.
- What can you expect to see at Goodwood Revival 2016? An exciting ‘teaser film’ made by Goodwood Road & Racing. Uploaded to You Tube 3.11.15.
- To book tickets for Goodwood Revival 2016, CLICK HERE.
- Keep an eye on Twitter (@goodwoodrevival) for all the latest event news.
- Check-out my Pinterest board of Goodwood Revival 2015, showcasing some of my favourite photographs taken during the weekend. You may find inspiration on there for creating your outfit for 2016’s event. CLICK HERE.
- For more tips and hints on how to ‘Get The Goodwood Look’, CLICK HERE.
- Every year at Goodwood Revival there is a ‘Best Dressed’ competition. Take a look at 2015’s runners and riders for inspiration when creating your own ‘Goodwood look’. CLICK HERE.