As I began taming my unruly mane on the morning of Saturday 17th September, I couldn’t quite believe that I would finally be attending the Goodwood Revival with Rock ‘n’ Romance Vintage, an event I’ve wanted to go to ever since I first started wearing vintage-inspired fashion and with one of my absolute favourite vintage reproduction brands. A celebration of historic motor racing that has been held at the Goodwood Racing Circuit in Sussex since 1998, in which almost every attendee wears period dress, the Revival is truly the jewel in the crown of vintage events. But of course it’s not just about racing - there are hundreds of beautiful vehicles on display, vintage entertainment of every variety on every corner and aisle upon aisle of stalls advertising their wares.Of course, such an occasion requires the perfect outfit - I chose the gorgeous “Lana” jumpsuit in Natural Honolulu print, which not only made for a gorgeous, stand-out 1950s look but was exceptionally comfortable for a day with a lot of walking, a slightly uncertain weather outlook (well, this is England in September!) and a bit of running on and off trains too. My dear friend Belle, creator of the fashion history podcast Silhouettes, opted for the “Evelyn” wiggle dress in Wine Ditzy print for a 40s inspired look, and together we set off on our train towards the Sussex coast. We had a lot of fun outfit-spotting, seeing who else would be joining us - I’d say it was the best-dressed commuter service I’ve certainly ever seen! When we reached Chichester station, there was another surprise ahead of us in the form of an array of beautiful vintage Routemaster buses, all there to take us direct to Goodwood - so naturally we had to travel in style! I would definitely recommend sitting upstairs for an impressive view both of the very pretty town during the trip and of the event itself as you pull up - it really is quite something to see just so many beautiful vintage vehicles all in one place, with almost no trace of modern transportation to be seen!
Sustenance achieved, we took a leisurely stroll around the event, admiring some truly beautiful vintage vehicles (and outfits!) as we did so. I’m still not sure if I’d prefer a pink Cadillac or a Jaguar XK - I’m hoping I win the lottery one day so I won’t have to choose. On our wander we stopped in to visit my friend Paula of Paula’s Vintage Parlour at Betty’s Vintage Salon - next year I will have to book myself an appointment, as understandably they were fully booked! The salon itself was absolutely stunning, with an array of vintage beauty products and hair tools on display, and it was so impressive to see everything from victory rolls to beehives whipped into shape by the skill of the excellent stylists.
It would be impossible to give every detail of every brilliant sight we saw - everything is painstakingly recreated in vintage style or is genuinely historic, from an exhibition of fascinating historic gaming machinery and jukeboxes to a very impressive UFO, replete with bewildered suburban onlookers, created to celebrate 75 years since the Roswell incident. Nor could I really distill just how friendly an environment the Revival was - people were eager to give and receive a kind compliment on their outfit and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so welcome before at any event. After a potter around all the fantastic stalls and a sojourn at the open air cinema, where there was a choice of classic cars or cheery deck chairs to sit and watch an roster of fitting classics (we were delighted to visit while Grease was playing!), we made our way back to the grandstand to settle in for some classic racing in style (gin in hand of course).
I’ve never experienced motor racing of any kind before, and I can’t really think of what to compare it to - the sound is absolutely incredible, you feel it through your entire body as the vehicles rocket past. It’s easy to forget that these vehicles are all vintage pieces, they are all exquisitely cared for and really are impressively and incredibly fast - it’s impossible not to be swept up by the sheer thrill of it all and find a favourite to cheer on. We were so lucky to be seated right by the start line, getting a fantastic view of these beautiful vehicles and the overall racing proceedings. Every detail is just perfect - even the Safety Car on hand is in a fitting style and the Grid Girls were all decked out in the most beautiful pastel 50s frocks with exquisitely coiffured hair (talk about a dream job!) One gentleman informed me that apparently modern vehicles are even banned from the site during the Revival - I’d certainly believe it!
As the day drew to a close and our trains were calling, we genuinely didn’t want to leave. What a truly wonderful day that I will never forget, filled with all my favourite things, kindred spirits and just so much joy. I will always be so grateful to Rock ‘n’ Romance for sharing this incredible experience with me and will always have the biggest grin on my face whenever I wear my Lana jumpsuit, reminiscing about such a special and unforgettable day.