Summer of vintage fashion and retro fun
PUBLISHED: 00:16 21 January 2012 | UPDATED: 19:24 20 February 2013
Basildon Park was rescued from dereliction in 1952 by Lord and Lady Iliffe, who created a beautiful 1950s family home. This summer the park is celebrating the decade with events including an exhibition of 1950s ladies'
On June 11 and 12, Basildon Parks Fabulous Fifties Weekend rewinds the clock for two days. Models will sashay through the house in 50s outfits, and visitors can enjoy the colourful spectacle of vintage cars on the driveway, and fast-moving jive demonstrations. Volunteers in Basildon Parks authentic 1950s kitchen will rustle up delicious retro-themed food for visitors to sample. The property is offering FREE ENTRY to anyone who arrives at this event in a retro-style outfit.
The 1950s season continues at Basildon Park with a summer exhibition of vintage gowns, created by Horrockses Fashions manufacturer of one of the most respected ready-to-wear labels of the 1940s and 1950s. Best known for its full-skirted dresses that were sought after by women everywhere, including the Queen, the exhibition includes glamorous evening dresses and vibrant summer frocks in fabulous prints that capture the spirit of the post-war era.
An audience with... Pat Albeck, June 17
The relationship between the design of the fabric and the style of the dress was crucial to Horrockses Fashions success. Royal College of Art student Pat Albeck joined the company in 1953 and became a key designer. In this talk she discusses her experiences in the fashion industry and later, her design work for the National Trust. June 17, 11.30am, tickets 15 including light lunch. Book on 0844 249 1895.
Curators Lecture, July 6
Join the curator of Londons Fashion and Textile Museum, textile expert Doctor Christine Boydell, as she reveals just why Horrockses Fashions were so sought after by women everywhere. Christine will also be signing copies of her books on the subject. July 6, 11.30am, tickets 15 including light lunch. Book on 0844 249 1895.
Every Wednesday throughout the holidays, a drop-in craft workshop explores a different theme, resulting in a unique gift to take home.
July 27: Happening Hankies participants can create their own design and print it on to a handkerchief.
Aug 3: Colourful Collages uses pretty materials with which to develop an exotic collage.
Aug 10: Lovely Lavender keeps everything smelling sweet with a day of lavender bag-making.
Aug 17: Crazy Cookies sees the imagination run riot with icing equipment and lots of biscuits to decorate!
Aug 24: Funny Faces re-visits a classic 1950s childrens activity, and the opportunity to make a Mr Potato Head.
A book filled with recipes entitled 1950s Cookshop a selection of tried and tested recipes from Basildon Park is now on sale at there, priced 4.50. The recipes, all thoroughly road-tested by Basildon Parks staff and volunteers, were donated by visitors, some coming complete with the donors own childhood memories of that particular dish.
Step back in time
Fabulous Fifties Weekend: June11-12, 10am 5pm, free upon normal property admission.
Horrockses: fashion exhibition: June 11 to August 31, except Tuesdays, 11am 5pm, free upon normal property admission.
1950s Summer School: 27 July 27 to August 24, 10.30am - 4.30pm, 2 per activity upon normal admission charge to the property.
Basildon Park, Lower Basildon, Reading, Berkshire RG8 9NR, Tel: 0118 984 3040.