I have lived in Huddersfield all my life and have always been fairly fond of the place (a rare opinion, I know) but as far as events go it is has always been hugely disappointing. There was a brief period of time when I was in my early teens and things occasionally happened; Tokyo (an overpriced, sweaty but sometimes fun club) was part of Club NME which meant cool bands played there pretty often, Bar: 122 managed to get almost famous bands like The Feeling to play and Patrick Stewart could be spotted shopping in Peters or picking up his prescription in Boots.
Then I got a little older (discovered trains too, perhaps) and realised that, compared to the neighbouring cities such as Leeds and Manchester, there isn’t a ruddy lot going on in Huddersfield. Fair to say that it is a town as opposed to a city and so perhaps it is unlikely to ever hold so many events but it is one of the largest towns in the country and it has a university full of students wanting to do more than just sit in pubs (no?) Even the SU has a lousy recent history of anything to get excited about.
Anyway, today Huddersfield did vintage – a vintage fair event which promised tea and cake, live music and workshops…
From the outside the town hall you wouldn’t have known anything was going on inside without looking closely at the notice board (I had been told about it from a friend and had subsequently looked it up on Facebook). Apparently people had heard about it though because inside there was already a sizeable queue of people eagerly paying the £1 entry free and climbing the stairs to the stalls (950 people came in total, I heard!)
The hall looked magnificent on first entering. Aside from all the stalls, it struck me how wide the age range of people there was. From young children with their parents, to those in their 60s and 70s and every age in between. Everyone was exploring excitedly – some reminiscing “I had one just like that in 1962!”
From experience, most vintage stalls look impressive from the distance – it is only when you start rummaging and checking prices you can really decide on the quality and value of the stock. The majority of these stalls were all fantastic though and there was an endless choice of denim, leather, fur, faux fur, dresses, shoes, shirts, skirts, shorts, band tees, hats, scarves, jackets…While Nicola and I lost ourselves sifting between the clothes, a female singer appeared on the raised stage and begun singing. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting but probably only because ‘live music’ seems to scream bands to me and admittedly I hadn’t bothered to do my research. Better than my presumptions though was the choice of 50s style music but it was hard to fully appreciate it due to the distance the singer was from the stalls (as Nicola noted she thought it was a recording until realising about three songs in) – especially when everyone is frantically rummaging!
Like I wasn’t giddy enough as it was with the clothing, downstairs took us into a world of jewellery which awkwardly placed around tables in the tearoom (the thought was cute but didn’t work quite so well?). I managed to restrain myself from spending anymore money (or adding to my already stupid amount of necklaces) though and came away with a playsuit (£12.50) some Doc Martens (£30) and a Levi denim jacket (£22).
The workshops never really came to light but I don’t actually think that mattered. Huddersfield did vintage and it did it well (though I would have liked more live music). Here’s to hoping this is just the first of many more in the town and therefore a starting point to be improved upon.