Sunderland hosts first Vintage and Retro Festival

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THOUSANDS of Wearsiders celebrated yesteryear at Sunderland’s first Vintage and Retro Festival.

The event, which brought a flavour of nostalgia to the Museum and Winter Gardens and Roker Park across the weekend, proved a bigger hit than organisers expected.

Retro and Vintage Fair: A 1959 VW Campervan had been turned into a refresments stall.

Retro and Vintage Fair: A 1959 VW Campervan had been turned into a refresments stall.

The museum saw bumper visitor numbers as people enjoyed an afternoon tea laid on by Serendipity Tea and Trinkets, a vintage market, and live music from the 40s, 50s and 60s in the park’s bandstand from bands, including The Revolutionaires.

Visitors got into the spirit of the event by dressing like Mods, kitsch ’50s ladies, and pinning their hair in victory curls.

Yesterday’s highlights included scooter and vintage car displays along the seafront with music in Roker Park.

Sunderland Live, a spin off from the council’s events team, were at the helm of the event.

Chief operating officer Chris Alexander said: “We were absolutely delighted with how well it went.

We did a survey with visitors and 100 per cent of them said they would like to see the event come back.

“The museum were also delighted with how many people came along. I don’t think I have ever seen Mowbray Park so busy as it was with the live music.

“We had 1,000 people through the door of the market alone, and several thousand people enjoying the other activities.

“This was a first for us, and when you try anything new, you wait and see what reaction you get.

“We always review things carefully, but the response was so positive that I think we pretty much know we’ll be doing it again, maybe even bi-annually.”

Cabinet member for public health, wellness and culture Councillor John Kelly said: “The Vintage and Retro Festival is another in a wide-ranging and exciting programme of events across our city. For whatever reason, people love to look back, and nostalgia is not only an appreciation and celebration of the culture of previous generations, but also a growing market for local business.”

l See what the Seen in the City girls thought of the vintage afternoon tea in Thursday’s Wow 24/7.