Sadly we were unable to attend the recent Essex Blitz Party in Braintree because our shop was opening, however the lovely Lauren Nash attended and volunteered to cover it for the blog, and it sounded amazing! Images can be found on the Essex Blitz Party Gallery and Facebook page, so read on to hear more about vintage shenanigans on the night:
Saturday night saw the Blitz spirit come to Braintree as vintage enthusiasts came from far and wide to dance the night away at Rayne Village Hall.
Party goers put on their best dresses, donned their uniforms and boogied to the sounds of vintage-trio the Three Belles. Inspired by the Andrews Sisters, the Three Belles team pitch-perfect harmonies with a good dose of humour, helped in part by their on stage characters, “Betty”, “Gail” and “Dorothy.” A personal highlight was their cover of “My Baby Just Cares for Me”, which was a quirky, 1940s-style version of the Nina Simone classic.
The Three Belles have been together for around two years after meeting at university in Portsmouth, and they are now gigging between four and five times a week up and down the country at weddings, vintage fairs and corporate events.
Isabelle Moore, 23, whose on-stage character is “Dorothy”, said: “These are our favourite kind of gigs, everyone just really enjoys themselves. You really get to see people enjoying the music as they would have back then; people went out to forget the war and live in the moment.”
The atmosphere was electric, with dance groups A2 Jive and Swing Dance twirling and jiving around the floor in a sea of polka dots, floral prints, military uniforms and trilby hats. The food on offer was wartime grub, with meat stew and pork pies seeming to be a firm favourite with the ‘soldiers’ and ‘civilians’!
Esther Shawe, 41, from Chelmsford, said: “It’s fantastic just to see everyone make the effort to dress up; they put their heart and soul in to it.”
In between the Three Belles’ sets, vintage DJ Mr Tunes filled the hall with the sounds of the 1940s, with everyone taking to the floor for group dances and the classic “In the Mood” by Glenn Miller. At the end of the night, a competition was held for the best dressed guest, which was won by Charlotte White, 30, from London.
She said about the party: “The level of accuracy in people’s clothes has been fantastic; they have really taken the time. It’s definitely been worth coming.” There was a real community feel to the evening, with people of all ages coming together to enjoy all the fun of the forties.
Event organiser Carly Sayward-Jones, 32, from Braintree, said: “My favourite bit has been seeing all the dancers and the guys in uniform. Everyone becomes the part.” After having the idea last summer and planning it since October, the team behind the Essex Blitz Party plan to hold another event in Chelmsford in October or November.
Thanks again to Lauren for covering this event for us! If anyone out there would like to contribute a guest post to the blog (we always credit back to your own website/blog) please get in touch here and we can discuss what you are interested in covering.