Goodwood Revival! Wow, What a Day

Posted: September 19, 2011 in 40s 50s, Festivals, Goodwood, Nick Mason, Travel

I haven’t been to the Goodwood Revival for various reasons since the last Millennium but be assured I will will be back. Sunday just gone was The Best. Rain or no rain, what a brilliant day. Even she who must be obeyed (She seemed strangely drawn to the clothing and handbag stalls by the way) agreed.

Inevitably, the drive to the event became slower and slower as the traffic built up but, tuning into to Radio Goodwood and listening to the live commentary made us feel as though we were already there and even though the journey slowed, it never really stopped and just looking around at all the classic cars going to the same event again went to reinforce that feeling of having arrived (I have to admit to having concern that the MG in front wasn’t going to make it, but it held out thank goodness).

Having parked up [and noted where we had actually parked the car] we made our way towards the track but even before getting there we seemed to step back in time as we entered what I call ‘The Outer Village’ of stalls and displays and even a fairground all set back in the 40s, 50s and 60s. In addition to the stall, there seemed to be an endless range of classic cars to view. All makes (Ford, Mercedes, Jaguar, Triumph, Rolls Royce, Maserati, BMWs, Yada Yada), shapes (3-wheel, 4-wheel, saloon, droptop, estate, vans, et al) and sizes (small, medium, large and extra large (from America). Naturally, there were also motorbikes of all ages and makes including one from Harry Potter (not sure how old that one was). I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say we could have just spent our time there and not gone into the circuit but the draw of the sound of those engines hurtling round the track drew everybody in [like the pied piper]. But, wait, is that Nick Mason over there? Crikey, yes it is: How thrilled was I to not only see Nick but to be able to buy a book which he then signed for signed [To Podge] was a great start to the day.

So, clutching my ever growing bag of goodies (leaflets, pamphlets, flyers and now a proper book) we made our way into the circuit proper. Now we have truly stepped back to the 50’s & 60’s. It seems as though there were more that dressed for the period than those that didn’t (we’ll certainly be doing the same ourselves next year). Walking through the high street that had appeared in the last couple of weeks (we came here on the 28th August with the Matt & Nick for a Cycle Race event around the same circuit: it was much quieter then) was a real trip down down memory lane. Not only were the shops set back in time but the vast number of people that had dressed for the occasion, even with prams of that same era, just set the scene: there was even a Tesco Supermarket offering Green Shield Stamps (So much better than Club Card points, Nectar Points or whatever).

So much was going on it is difficult to describe. We saw for instance, Laural & Hardy driving around and arguing; we saw dancers rocking and rolling; we saw a wedding troubled by drunkenness with the groom and best man being ‘arrested’ by the local copper; we saw the Royal Marine Band; we even saw the home guard (Dad’s Army) parading through the ‘streets’. It was all just too much to take in, we needed to find something to eat and drink. Fortunately, there was an old Army Chuck Wagon serving tea, coffee and hamburgers (woohoo). So hunger and thirst sated, we made our way, finally, to the actual track to see some racing. As we clambered up the bank to look down on the course we were served up with a view of not only Race Cars from the 50’s and 60’s but also the sight of two spitfires warming up ready for takeoff (the track circles an airfield which was used during WWII and is still in use today though not normally by fighter planes). The spitfires were warming for a fly past with a Lancaster Bomber though bad weather precluded the Lanc’ actually taking part but the antics of the two spitfires above the circuit more than made up for it, and having them seemingly skim your heads as they came into land was something I’ll never forget. This had to be, for me, the highlight of the day. But oh no,no no. After this we were able enjoy numerous races of both cars and motor cycles and wonder around a part of the airfield where lo and behold, was parked numerous aircraft including a Chipmunk (I remember flying in them in the 60’s), a Gipsy Moth, A tiger Moth, a Leopard Moth, a Puss Moth (lots of Moths!) and a Flying Fortress. How I wish I’d been there to see the latter come in to land. And then of course was the rather nifty collection of spitfires. This was the clue to what would be my highlight: All Spitfires were ‘scrambled’ into action. To see ten, yes ten, Spitfires taking off and grouping to circle the circuit was, for me, awe inspiring and yes, just a bit emotional. Again, the sight and sound is something I’ll never forget, nor I count will any of those that were able to see and enjoy [I do know that many of the surrounding roads were littered with parked cars while the occupant simply stopped to get out and watch piece of history in the air].

All too soon however, the excitement of the days events got the better of me and I started to flag, so with great reluctance, we had to call it a day and head for home :-(, where we can at least start to plan for 2012. Check the Goodwood Web Site for details. Why not checkout the Facebook Pages as well.

NOTE: – I regret that my organisational skills, and old age, caused me to leave behind both my still camera and video camera so any images are taken from my iPhone with a broken screen (so I couldn’t see what I was filming very well).

Just a few random pictures 🙂 )

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Go Podge Go

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