12 Sep 2010

Spotlight: Twinwood 2010

... otherwise known as the Twinwood Experience.

Oh my, I can't believe it's taken me so long to babble and gush enthusiastically over Twinwood, the vintage festival held over August Bank Holiday weekend. Shame on me, I am such a slack tart!

This is going to be a picture heavy post, peeps, because frankly everyone there looked amazing ... apart from Best Gal Pal Jemma and I who felt decidedly out of place in modern clothing. I'm happy to report, however, that next year we will be dressing up!

Anyway, on to the good stuff!

A little over excited I made Jemma drive us to RAF Twinwood for 11am, in hindsight this was waaaaay too early as we then peaked too soon and ended up leaving at around 4pm. Ideally next year we'll get there just after lunch. Twinwood's all about the dancing, the bands don't kick off until 1pm and head on into the night so as you can plainly tell we missed out on quite a bit.

We found the air field with no trouble, it was quite a pleasant journey through Bedfordshire's rather flat countryside (a marked difference to Wales and felt very strange). We parked up in a big field, already squealing a little excitedly over the vintage bus we'd seen. Tickets in hand we wandered over to the tent at the entrance, following a rather dashing foursome in RAF uniforms and beautiful tea dresses.

We'd just missed the bus to the actual event but it was a short walk away and we decided to just wander over on foot instead. As you can see the bus driver, like all the staff, was very friendly (and a little loopy) and waved madly at us as he drove past.

The main arena was actually a natural arena, part of a hangar made up the stage and a small bowl in the hill formed the base where people were setting up camp chairs and picnic blankets. Around the edges, just before the sides started climbing rather steeply in places to the flat of the airfield, were vendor tents selling marvellous vintage and reproduction clothing, books, hats, shoes and knick knacks. And food, mucho mucho food. Randomly (and rather poetically I thought) our food tent choice turned out to be Welsh who gave us extremely delicious chocolate cake and coffee with a bright bore da and a twinkle.

We had a nose through the vendor tents, I tried on this cloche hat, what do you think?

I picked up a 1940's shirt pattern, Jemma bought a lovely brooch, and we spent an extraordinary amount of time just happily watching people wander past in the beautiful clothes (even the kids!) and pointing out the more fabulously costumed to each other.

I'd been gutted that I hadn't had a chance to make my dress or overalls in time for the festival, but Jemma had been very relieved to hear I wouldn't be dressing up. Thankfully that opinion changed within about two minutes of arriving and we were soon discussing potential costume ideas for next year within about 5 minutes of getting our coffee.

I'm not sure we could ever rival any of the below, but I hope we'll give it a damn good try!

Don't they look dashing?

We then wandered off to the vendor area, above the main arena and to the left of the woodland walk with its vintage armed forces vehicles and fire engine. There were a couple of hangars and sheds, one set up as the women's dorms (I was in love with the whole place).

Jemma and I both fell in love with this lady's dress, almost hidden in the corner of the fire engine hangar. What a fabulous blue! She looked stunning and we were both very envious.

Not finding anything of interest in the vendors tents we toddled off to the dance lessons tent to have a nose. Unfortunately we never managed to remember to get back to the dance lesson tent on time but whenever we did pop our head in it always looked like such amazing fun. And there were some brilliant couples giving it their all on the floor:

Convinced we'd seen everything we headed back to the main arena for another aimless wander and to check out the band that was about to start on the main stage (and get some more yummy food). The dance floors started filling almost as soon as the bands started playing.

It was about this time we realised we'd missed an entire section! Where was the other stage? Where was the Glenn Miller Museum? Where was the Tin Hat and the Officers Mess? Understandably we went wandering to find them.

And find them we did, a little further past the end of the vendors tent. Along with:

The prettiest of the lot! Well, almost. Because whilst rummaging around in one of the hangars displaying general stuff from the 40's a deep thruuum started vibrating through us, so deep you could feel it in your bones. This was what I'd been waiting for and I admit I squealed like a little girl and physically dragged Jemma and her camera outside.

With perfect timing the Lancaster bomber flew over the top of the hangar we'd just been in and circled back, directly overhead and repeated twice more. I love these planes. And when I say love, I mean I cried in happiness to see it. The Lanc is a four engined plane and was the plane that became known as the Dam Buster. It was primarily used in night bombing missions and was the most successful and famous of the WWII night bombers, but was it also a precision day bomber. It's engines are the same as those of the Spitfire (and are probably as big as my car) and the noise is something I'll never forget. This is the only Lancaster in the UK still flying, indeed there are apparently only two left in the world (the other is in Canada). Did I mention how much I love these planes?

The plane flew out of sight and still bouncing, we rounded the corner, following the music and found ourselves the 50's stage.

So that's where all the younger peeps had disappeared to! There were more people our age on this side of the festival than where we'd been hanging out earlier, and we'd been a little stumped over where everyone could possibly have gone. The dance floor here looked amazing, with everyone strolling in time, heads bobbing in perfect synchronicity. I'm going to get lessons so next year I can join in!

We had a wander around the Glenn Miller museum and a final nose through the stalls and then decided to call it a day. A little tired, a lot happy, we headed home. And yes, I dreamed of planes that night.

Please note all photographs are © Jemma Creaser and should not be used or linked to anywhere else. If you see yourself in a photo please let me know and if you'd like it removed drop me an email using the contact page.

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. What a wonderful post! You made me feel like I was there, and I surely wish I could be.
    Since I live far, far away it's unlikely I'll ever make it, it's even nicer that you shared. Thanks so much.

  2. Wow! I never heard of this festival and I am definitely going next year! Sounds like it was amazing!

  3. Thank you Tina, that's high praise indeed! :)

    Debi, you'd have a great time, it's awesome. I couldn't afford, nor find the pet care, to spend the entire weekend there, hence only the day trip and it was totally worth it and I'm already looking forward to next year. We'll have to have a blogger meet up if you do manage to make it!


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