The quiet and peaceful grounds of Killerton House were transformed into a rocking retro feast on 22 and 23 June. Despite the less than cheerful weather over the weekend there were lots of reasons to smile at the festival, with over 90 stalls of vintage and retro fashion, crafts, homeware, antiques and similar paraphernalia, there was certainly something to cater for everybody’s vintage tastes.
As soon as you had parked your car, you were greeted with a view of gleaming and pristine classic cars, which immediately wanted you to trade in your average four-wheel drive and pick up the keys to either a nifty little Mini from the 60s or to head off for an adventure in a 70s caravan decorated with bright and vivid flowers.
On the topic of caravans, Norm, the trusty Cocktail Caravan ensured that visitors' throats were quenched with fruity alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, which were presented rather interestingly in jam jars, which sparked a mixed reaction of glee and confusion, but generally everybody was pleased with the container given to them.
The classic fashions of time gone by were not just limited to the catwalk shows which displayed some of the clothes available to buy in the marquee, there were also several fashionable shoppers adorned with turbans and headscarves, weaving in and out of the crowds with their vintage treasures they had scouted from the stalls. However, this was not just a place for those to come down and display their classic costumes. The festival catered for all and was very family-friendly with face-painting for children and several fairground rides to keep them amused.
At the centre of the festival was a large marquee which was not just filled with a myriad of vintage fabrics, sparkling beaded jewellery and one-off pieces of furniture, it was also filled to the brim with people, trying to make their way round and find that special vintage piece.
It was also good to see some of Exeter Fore Street’s independent shops selling their wares, with the likes of Relevant and Otto Retro dealing with the hoards of people who had packed into the marquee. They offered pleasant and upbeat service to each individual despite being rushed off their feet.
Although the event was primarily based during the day, for those who stayed for the evening they were treated to a stellar performance by Lola Lamour and her blue light boys, as well as a Cabaret show. There was a lot of expectation as to this show, due to the national press interest it had attracted. A few eyebrows were raised, as to the notion that a National Trust house would be allowing burlesque dancers to parade around its grounds! However, everybody’s blushes were spared as the acts proved to be sophisticated and entertaining with Lola Lamour filling Killerton with the sweet sounds of her songs while dressed in an elegant green belted dress and matching satin gloves.
The organiser, Shelley Barns, stated: “Despite the poor weather conditions, our event at Killerton was a brilliant success with well over 6,000 vintage enthusiasts bracing the elements - we had something for all the family. The atmosphere was brilliant, a real sense of nostalgia. We are really pleased with how it all went and are already making plans for next summer’s vintage festival, putting Devon firmly on the map for vintage and independent sellers and a fun day out.”
Not only was the day a success for Crikey! but also for the National Trust. The next event from Crikey! will take place on the 16th November at their more familiar setting at the Thistle Hotel for Crikey Christmas is Coming a day and night event boasting a vibrant mix of vintage, retro, antique and handmade sellers, two fashion shows, pop up hair and beauty parlour and live music with more details to be confirmed.