[This story was first published online in the Chichester Observer on August 23, 2018. The original story can be read here: chichester.co.uk/news/it-s-full-steam-ahead-as-thousands-visit-weald-and-downland-museum-for-vintage-fair-1-8607528]
[This is an example of the type of writing I do in my role as a reporter for Johnston Press – local, weekly news. I don’t usually post this kind of work, despite it being the vast majority of the writing that I do. However, I thought I’d include this article – partly because the vintage theme of the event is very….on-brand? Plus the event was fun, and I took out Gerda, my new camera, for her first spin. The pictures on the newspaper link are photographer Liz Pearce’s – the ones on here are mine.]
The smell of steam engines at work mingled with the light rain in the air at the Weald and Downland as the Vintage and Steam Show came to the Living Museum over the weekend.
Around 6,000 people visited the Vintage and Steam Show as it was open in the Singleton museum from August 18 to 19.
Full size and model steam engines were working throughout the weekend, while commercial vehicles, military vehicles, miniature steam engines, model boats, and classic cars were also on display. There was even a Gauge One Group display in the Downland Gridshell building.
Victoria the traction engine, the star of the hit series of children’s story books “Victoria’s Torton Tales”, was in steam and on display so youngsters could say hello and have their picture taken with her.
Some dressed in vintage attire to listen to the music provided by performers such as Miss Em, a vintage vocalist who sung a range of 30s and 40s numbers, while the fair offered coffee, crafts, and delicious food for visitors to enjoy. The vintage music – which included performances by Alexandra Jones singing 30s-60s classics, and Lady and the Dukes playing live music with a quirky vintage twist – provided a backdrop to the show’s themed tea tent and visitor stalls. These included crafts and demonstrations, including the work of printmaker Will Dyke.
Model makers also bought along their minute replicas of buildings, while several keyless organs played throughout the day. The showman’s living wagons opened its door to visitors who could explore the tiny living quarters. The ever popular gallopers ride took centre stage in the small traditional vintage fairground and families enjoyed rides on the narrow gauge steam railway. On Saturday, members of The Morgan’s Sports Car Club and the Solent Group of the MG Car Club displayed their vehicles, while The Jaguar Enthusiasts Club, Portsmouth Region, held its annual club event at the show on Sunday.
The team at the museum said that they were very pleased at how successful the show has been this year.