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Nottingham Vintage Carnival 2018

We were promised delicious street food, vintage vehicles, classic fairground fun, live music, clothes, workshops and more. And did the Nottingham Vintage Carnival deliver? You bet it did!

Quite simply put, there was something here for everyone, from vintage veteran to someone that dabbles in the odd edgy shirt from Cow. The vintage marketplace was huge and packed with accessories, from hair flowers to extravagant shoes, and the widest variety of vintage clothing I think I have ever seen! I was torn between a number of items, but came away with a Lindy Bop reproduction 1940’s style polka dot delight that I simply cannot wait to wear again and again.

Heading inside the Centenary Stand, more stalls greeted the folk of Nottingham, where I was tempted by a wonderful piece of floral costume jewellery for a mere £15. Alongside the stalls were craft workshops, a vintage beauty parlour expertly run by Chez Titine (and absolutely heaving for the entire day), and the chance to have your very own vintage photoshoot. Marilyn Monroe, eat your heart out.

“This street food selection was a delight”

Back outside, I was somewhat inexplicably drawn to the food, all of which were in classic vehicles, from prosecco being poured from a cream converted horsebox/bar to hot dogs served from a van sporting a giant hot dog on its roof. To get in with the vintage feel of things, I decided to opt for the fish and chips, served from a vintage truck, which were delicious. Later on, we shared fries from Gourmazin, that were also doing a roaring trade in burgers. Reasonably priced, and incredibly tasty, this street food selection was a delight.

Throughout the day, bands and performers took to two stages, the Pavilion Stage and Rock and Roll Tent, where everyone grooved along to the swing and rock and roll that emitted from these areas. The performers were outstanding, and certainly helped the crowd get into the mood of the whole carnival atmosphere. Particular standouts were 50s darlings The Bluebird Belles, who serenaded us as we walked in.

“I took my dad along to the show as a classic car fanatic, and this was the highlight of the festival in my opinion”

I took my dad along to the show as a classic car fanatic, and this was the highlight of the festival in my opinion. From Morris 1000s to MGBs and Minis, there were a wide variety of makes and models on show, and the owners were incredibly friendly and always up for a chat. Sadly, I didnt get to drive away in one, but maybe next time!

“Literally every woman looked like a screen siren”

The other most enjoyable part of the Vintage Carnival was seeing the effort people had gone to. Stall holders, car owners and visitors alike were all dressed up in their finest vintage gear, and literally every woman looked like a screen siren. My favourite outfits among the crowd however, went to an elderly couple who were immaculately dressed complete with coiffed moustache (the man), and a young family, with a spotless Silver Cross pram. Damn, that baby had style.

Nottingham Vintage Carnival proved to be an out and out success, helped by the divine weather and efficient organisation. If you feel like you’ve missed out, then next year’s event is already on sale for a discounted price online. And if you can’t wait that long, the team behind Nottingham Vintage Carnival also run Lou Lou’s Vintage Fairs, which luckily enough is heading to Nottingham on Sunday 30th September at the Nottingham Albert Hall. With entry an affordable £2.50, it would be a travesty to miss such an excellent vintage event. See you there!


Amy Wilcockson

Featured image and all article images courtesy of Amy Wilcockson. 

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