Saturday, 1 December 2012

Blitz, Bangers and Bombshells

Parties are fun.  And they don't get much better than a 1940's revival dance; last night we went along to Hanger 39's dance in Colchester Town Hall and it was every bit as entertaining as promised.
With authentic entertainment including Miss Kitty Collins, the Sweetheart and the 1940s band Skyliners, the atmosphere was perfect with not a hint of any staid historical re-enactment, it was fun and lively, an involving atmosphere created by the clever use of the occasional air raid siren, lights going out, crashing noises and  even an invading paratrooper thrown in to keep the proceedings going with a bang.
Hanger 39 have excelled themselves this year.  The owners changed earlier in the year and the new owner, Mark, has brought so much life and energy to this annual treat, and we loved it.  Noticeable were all the details which brought the dance to life, from the rationing cards for the fantastic catering, to the appearance by Winston Churchill on the balcony, to the wartime classics of Woolton Pie and British bangers.
There were obviously some dancers who knew what they were doing which, although this should be intimidating to a non-dancer like me, was actually really encouraging because they drew you in.  Watching them expertly jive to the brilliant live band was a treat, and you soon forgot your own lack of dancing skill and just had fun, although a few toes may have been trodden on in the process.
In my eyes one of the best bits were the outfits.  Ladies and chaps alike had made a huge effort to turn out for the night appropriately dressed.  Whether they were lifestyle vintage lovers or just after a fun night out, everyone really looked the part.  Judy, who came with us to the dance, even donned my own 1930s nurses dress and a vintage nurse cape, and she looked stunning in it.
One of the highlights of the night was the reveal of the location of the Secret Vintage Fair.  Darius, part of the Secret Vintage team, took to the stage to deliver the news that classified packages would be landing on our tables, within which was contained the location; which is St. Giles Masonic Hall, 5 St John's Green, CO2 7EZ.
Hanger 39 have confirmed that this is not a one off dance, and they want to carry on making it bigger and better; if last night was anything to go by, it will soon on a par with the notorious London blitz parties for fun and frolics, and long may it continue!
Outfits on left-side image: on the left is myself in original 1940s dress from the lovely Tea and Sympathy, plus my own vintage fur coat and a fascinator from Rosie Fox (including upcycled veil form 1940s hat pinned on) and on the right Judy wear's vintage nurses cape and American nurses dress circa 1930s- the dress will hit the Lesley's Girls shop later this year.

Almost all the pictures featured in this post were done by my dance partner, husband and resident photographer Simon Rudkins of SJR Photography.


  1. looks fabulous! I agree it always looks intimidating watching the dancer but over the years Ive got over it and just enjoy myself haha

  2. What a delightfully fun post title and array of event snaps. There are certain words I wove into my vocabulary when living in Ireland that I still use to this day, and the UK/Irish name for sausages is one of them (especially if I'm serving them with their traditional partner, mash).

    Thank you very much for your trio of recent comments, sweet dear. Hand on my heart, I was coming to visit you tonight or tomorrow at the latest. Tony's been ill lately with an infection in two parts of his body brought on by his diabetes, and I'm afraid that as a result (of taking care of him) my online time lately has been quite sporadic and I have a hefty back log of posts to enjoy in my feeds (including some more of yours). So sorry if I've been quite (here) as of late, that's the reason why such has been the case.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Ah you're too sweet! There is no worries on that score- in exactly the same way I had a backlog of reading in my feeds this week- although your reason is a lot more serious than my own (busy with work), I do hope Tony is okay and my thoughts are with you both and I hope he is on the mend soon, xxx


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