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Vintage By The Sea, Morecombe 2018

September 10, 2018

I came across a Vintage Festival in Morecombe last weekend. It’s the brainchild of fashion guru Wayne and Geraldine Hemmingway and they’ve been popping up for the last eight years in different locations and at different times of the year. It encourages a lovely crowd of people who have a love of clothing, music and cars from a bygone era. Talk about style !

There was quite a mix of eras but whether it was the 1930’s or the 1970’s they were still amazing to see and in great condition too. I wondered how many of them would still be around in another 80 years time.

This old NY Taxicab was huge.

Using the Art Deco Midland Hotel as a central point for the whole festival. It first opened it’s doors in 1933. Throughout its history The Midland has been a favourite haunt of celebrities such as Coco Chanel, Sir Laurence Olivier and Noel Coward, along with many of the actors and musicians performing at The Winter Gardens. Today it stands restored as the jewel in the crown of the British coast.

Oliver Hill commissioned the renowned sculptor and engraver Eric Gill to carve two seahorses for the outside of the building. Inside the building he carved a circular medallion in the ceiling overlooking the staircase. It shows a sea god being attended by mermaids and is edged with the words “And hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn”. Gill also designed an incised relief map of the Lake District and the Lancashire coast for a wall of the South Room, which is today the Eric Gill Suite.

Eric Ravilious first visited the hotel in 1933 and was commissioned to paint a mural for their Rotunda Cafe. Sadly the plaster on the newly decorated room wasn’t quite ready when Ravilious was instructed to paint the room and within a few years it had peeled off. More info here.

In 2013 artist Jonquil Cook paid homage to the original piece with her own interpretation.

Arguably Eric Gill’s greatest work for the hotel, and perhaps even his career, was the huge bas-relief for the hotel’s entrance lounge entitled “Odysseus welcomed from the sea by Nausicaa”, (below) which today stands grandly behind the main Reception desk in the main lobby of the hotel. Carved into six tonnes of Portland stone and measuring approximately 5m by 3m, it depicts a naked Odysseus stepping from the waves being greeted by Nausicaa and three handmaidens bearing food, drink and clothing – a scene meant to symbolise the hospitality being offered to guests by the hotelier.

Gill’s original design for the relief was called “High Jinks in Paradise” but its cavorting naked youths and maidens proved a bit too risque for the LMS who asked him to submit a less explicit composition!

Even though the hotel opened to mix reviews in 1933 (people thought it was garish and ugly), I thought it was stylish and beautiful.

There was a designer craft fair in one room.

I applauded anyone who made such amazing efforts to dress up, they all looked fantastic.

Mid afternoon there was a flyover by a Lancaster Bomber, which stopped everyone in their tracks.

Such a mix of costumes and eras. A fab old bookshop you could get lost in along the seafront too. Not sure who everyone has come as !

Also spotted a welcome tribute to British Comedian Eric Morecombe, with the words to the well known song “Bring me Sunshine” etched into the steps below. Great seagull statues and even a traveling vintage cinema!

More birds on lookout duty.

I love to be beside the seaside.

Even though it wasn’t a sunny day, it still looked great.

As did the crowds. Thanks once again everyone for a making such great efforts.




2 Comments leave one →
  1. Shirani permalink
    September 12, 2018 11:53 am

    Wow! This looks right up my street!

    • September 14, 2018 11:18 am

      If you check out the weblink you can discover when and where the future festivals will be held. Hope you get to one, it was great fun.

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