Morecambe Variety Festival

Bringing the Fun Back to the Seaside!!!

Archive for the month “April, 2012”

Ongoing Throughout the Weekend- Open During the Day


Ongoing throughout the weekend at the amazing Winter Gardens Theatre – Morecambe Winter Gardens, 209 Marine Road Central, Morecambe, Lancashire LA4 4BU (The Winter Gardens Car Park is to the rear of the theatre. Morecambe train station is a two minute walk.) On bus routes 3 & 4, also easily accessed the 2, 2a, 5, 6a, 41, and 755.


Vintage Powder Room
Have a makeover in the Victorian powder room with vintage stylists from Shelly Alexander Makeup and from the lovely team from Morecambe’s own Dotty’s Vintage
and then have photos on the beach afterwards. Or you could ask the girls to give you a speactacular look for King Neptune’s Ball?

There will also be stalls selling vintage items…


Everything is OK in Morecambe

Vintage postcards, playbills and ephemera from Morecambe’s heyday. Souvenirs, bizarre artefacts from Morecambe’s past. People have sent in their memeories of Morecambe in the past, and this hopes to share these with you.


The Sea of Memories

Visitors are encouraged to add and contribute anecdotes, memories or experiences of Morecambe throughout the weekend. A sea of written words from townspeople. Bring in yourselves, your memories, your families’ relationships with Morecambe….


Dr Sketchy’s Anti Art School
(Times vary)
Sketch Serpentina the Snake Girl , The Morecambe Mermaid and others in a live art class in the stalls.


Waterstones Story Telling
On the Stalls (Times vary) Join local authors for young peoples story telling in the historic stalls of the Winter Gardens…..


Morecambe Winter Garden Tour
See the incredible renovated Winter Gardens which closed in 1977. Brought to you by the fabulous Winter Gardens Trust times shall vary. A donation to the Winters Gardens Trust is required to preserve this wonderful building, which the Friends of the Winter Gardens have worked so hard to restore.


Open throughout the day
Egyptian Tea Room, Carnival Banner exhibition, Cassie Rendall
exhibition,Vintage Circus Props, Russell Kirk’s Carnival Monsters

Bar and refreshments.

King Neptune’s Burlesque Ball – Saturday 5 May 2012, 8.00pm

Have you got your tickets, ladies and gentlemen? Tickets are going fast, so you need to get your skates on if you would like to be a part of this!


King Neptune’s Ball will be taking place at the speactacular Winter Gardens Theatre at 8.00pm on Saturday 5 May 2012.Morecambe Winter Gardens, 209 Marine Road Central, Morecambe, Lancashire LA4 4BU (The Winter Gardens Car Park is to the rear of the theatre. Morecambe train station is a two minute walk.) The theatre is on bus routes 3 & 4 and in easy access of the 2, 2a, 5, 6a, 41, and 755.


Tickets are £15.00, available from Skiddle here. Some are still available from Dotty’s Vintage at 99, Marine Road, Morecambe.


King Neptune’s Burlesque Ball


Opening with a carnival parade of sea beasts and aquatic monsters, this spectacular fall features stunning burlesque from Britain’s Got Talent Star Carrie Ann O’Dell. See the birth of venus, marvel at the girl bathing in the champagne glass, sensational song bird CoCo Malone sings live, international circus cabaret, death defying, stunts, contorionists, sword swallowing, stunning burlesque beauties and
more full royal boxes and champagne bar service. It’s the most spectacular show the Winter Gardens has seen in fifty years.


Early booking advised.

The Family Variety Show!!!


Later on in the day, boys and girls, it will be the turn of our matchless and superb Family Variety Show. Again taking place on the speactacular stage of the wonderul Winter Gardens Theatre, 209 Marine Road Central, Morecambe, Lancashire LA4 4BU (The Winter Gardens Car Park is to the rear of the theatre. Morecambe train station is a two minute walk.) The theatre is on the 3/4 bus routes, and within easy access of the 2, 2a, 5, 6a, 755, and 41.


The Family Variety Show!


Adults £12.50 children £5.00.

Tickets availbale via Skiddle here or from Dotty’s Vintage at 99 Marine Road, Morecambe.


Step right up and see ten amazing vintage circus acts. Including world famous jugglers, magic,circus stars and much more there really is something for all the family to enjoy in this spectacular Seaside Variety Show!


Early Booking Advised!

Our Fabulous Line-Up!!!

Roll up, roll up, Ladies, Gentlemen, Children, and those that have not yet decided…….!


Our Grand Opening will be at 12.00 noon precise at the wonderful Winter Gardens, 209 Marine Road Central, Morecambe, Lancashire LA4 4BU (The Winter Gardens Car Park is to the rear of the theatre. Morecambe train station is a two minute walk.) This event is free! Bring friends, families, grannies, yourselves!

The first act in the stunning line-up will be:


The Fabulous Kapow Sisters!

Thrill to the daredevil all-juggling stunts from The Fabulous Kapow Sisters! Expect Giant Beachballs, Circus Stunts, Crazy Balancing Acts, and lots of Family Fun! A right old-fashion Circus Spectacle!!


Strange But True
Mysterious curator, Doctor Diabalo invites you to step inside an old Victorian side show and see the macabre exhibits that enthralled visitors in the golden age of the seaside side show.


Chamber of Horrors 1pm
Traditional Victorian side show. Short performances to amaze and enthral. Gasp at the girl in the bottle. Be mesmerised at the great Bendini as he passes through the head of a tennis racket and thrill to
Serpentina the Lizard Girl.


Temple Of Wonder Show 2pm
If variety acts are your thing you are in the right place. Amazing gymnastics, hula hoopists, juggling, a little magic and more fun for all the family.


The Fabulous Kapow Sisters 3pm

Juggling and variety from the famous Kapows.


Chamber of Horrors 4pm

Traditional Victorian side show. Short performances to amaze and enthral. Gasp at the girl in the bottle. Be mesmerised at the great Bendini as he passes through the head of a tennis racket and thrill to
Serpentina the Lizard Girl.


The Winter Gardens will close at
5.30 to reset for the evening shows

Women’s Pictorial, 1930

I came across this lovely blog post by Louise Sleigh from Catwalk Threads Vintage the other day

You can find her original post here

I spent some time reading through this copy of Woman’s Pictorial. Dated 26th April 1930, the cover shows a beautiful painting by Albert Guillaume (Paris Salon, 1929). The pages within provide a wonderful insight into life as it was 82 years ago.

This issue includes a special nursery supplement which provides readers with advice on everything from what to feed baby to the correct way to deal with a year old ‘tot’ that has eaten a square inch of the forehead of her doll! Mind you, I can’t imagine that any advice would be much use to the mother. By the time her letter had been written and posted, received at magazine headquarters and published, anything could have happened to that poor child! And just in case you’re interested to know, following said incident, the mother immediately gave her child a small teaspoon of castor oil. Can you imagine?! Yuk! She writes to Nurse McKay (an advocate of Truby King methods), asking “Was that right, and was there anything else I could do?” Nurse McKay replies:

“With such catastrophes it is always as well to have immediate medical advice, and, in any case, castor oil should not be given, as this would hurry the contents on in a fluid form, whereas it is safer to let the foreign object get covered, and pass on slowly. The best plan is to give thick starchy food, such as bread and potatoes, to eat.”


The magazine also includes a section entitled ‘FASHION THIS WEEK‘. Enjoy!


From left to right: The new berthé collar, the bolero suit of crêpe-de-Chine with a satin or linen sleeveless blouse, and a tennis dress of piqué which is very neat and serviceable.


Simple beige blouse trimmed very smartly on collar and cuffs with blue stitching to match the blue skirt. Both blouse and skirt have similar yoke effect.


Two simple silk frocks, which is a sign that the bluebells are coming out, because you want to wear silk frocks about that time! The one on the left is of black satin marocain with a white collar – very smart. The one on the right is a little dress with a very feminine collar and cuffs of pleated georgette frilling.

And here’s a rather ingenious idea from resident fashion expert, Ann. Here she shows how to make a bed jacket made from four handkerchiefs. I’d imagine you’d have to use quite large handkerchiefs, but unfortunately, Ann doesn’t offer any advice on size dimensions!


When Ann thought out this idea for a dainty dressing-jacket she was at her very brightest, I’d have you know! It’s made from four handkerchiefs, or squares of chiffon, the same or varied colours, as you wish. Place one handkerchief at the back, join one at either side to form shoulder seams (see diagram), and cut the third handkerchief in half diagonally, and use to make fronts to the jacket (see diagram). The top point of the back handkerchief turns over to make a little collar. isn’t it ingenious, and pretty!

Finally, I just wanted to include this very nondescript advertisement for Tobralco fabric. I’d never come across the name before, but the fabric appears to have been used widely during the 1930s. Also, being a resident of Manchester, I was interested to see that it was produced by the famous TOOTAL company, who were based at 56 Oxford Street, Manchester. More information below.


Tobralco was a trademark name (registered 1910), given to a fabric produced by Manchester textile manufacturer, Tootal Broadhurst Lee Company Ltd. This company produced largely cotton and silk fabrics of very high quality with yarns imported from countries such as India. I’ve been unable to determine exactly what fibres were used in the manufacture of Tobralco. However, I would imagine they used something synthetic since it’s advertised as being a very practical fabric with ‘wash and wear’ qualities. In my online search, I found several magazine articles which mentioned Tobralco. One article in particular caught my attention ( The advertisement is for men’s business shirts, sports shirts and pyjamas made of Tobralco, and was also published April 1930. The wording goes as follows:

“All Tootal Products are as reliable as Tobralco. Every fabric and every dye produced by the company, has to pass the most rigorous tests in the Tootal Mills and Laboratories.

Every piece of cloth – every handkerchief – must measure up to the Tootal standard – a standard that enables Tootals to guarantee complete satisfaction in wash and wear. Any man who has used a Pyramid Handkerchief – any woman who has worn a Tobralco frock – will know what Tootals mean by “satisfaction.”

Tootal sheetings, casements, bedspreads, shirtings and table cloths, are all of the same guaranteed quality as ‘Pyramids’ and Tobralco, and all are plainly marked ‘Tootal’ or ‘A Tootal Product’ on selvedge or label. Look for this mark when buying.”

ADDITIONAL NOTE: the above images have been scanned from my own copy of Woman’s Pictorial. If you wish to use any images contained within my blog, please contact me and include links back to my website and blog. Thank you.

Visit my website today! FREE UK delivery!

Men’s Fashions of this Century

So, boys, what were you thinking of wearing on the glorious Festival weekend? Whilst the ladies have been seeking inspiration from a plethora of vintage eras, and glamorous divas…what were you going to choose?

Did you think of the Edwardian Dandy look from the turn of the century?


In the 1920s of course, there was the Jazz Suit, slicked-back hair and trilby look…


What about the Hollywood slick look of the 1930s? The Oxford suit or the Zoot suit…


The 40s brought various styles…from city-slicker…


To Zoot suits and wartime chic….


Or maybe into the 1950s? From wholesome Hollywoodiana


To the teddy boys


Or the 60s new look from the Beatles?


Up to you!!!

Vintage Tea-Dance, 5-7pm, Sunday 6th May, The Winter Gardens

Do you fancy a foxtrot? Cherish your cha-cha-cha? Tempted by a tango or two? Then look no further! Our Vintage Tea Dance is taking place from 5-7pm on Sunday 6th May at the Wonderful Winter Gardens!

Vintage Tea Dance. DJing by Anthony Padgett of Original shellac78s on a 1930 HMV Gramophone player. Music from the 20’s – the 50’s. Whether you like to dance Charleston, Lindy Hop, Jive, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Waltz, Tango, Cha Cha, Rumba, Mambo or just your own individual freestyle. Vintage Attire especially welcome.

For All You Blushing Bathing Belles Out There

Well, you pouting period-inclined pin-ups, have you been agonising over your choice of suitable vintage beachwear for the weekend? Have you been debating the merits of bullet-bra-bikinis over one-piece bombshell numbers?


Worry no more! There is a lovely article over on Retro Chick Vintage entitled ‘Drinking Champagne in Fictional Hot-Tubs’ which weighs up the merits of suitably vintage seaside-wear.


You can find the original post here



The 1950s Circle Skirt

This is a wonderful post from The Vintage Traveler, brought to my attention via Catwalk Creative Vintage this morning…here’s hoping that this brings you some stylistic inspiration!

You can see the original post here


I have some events to attend in the next little while, and two of them have put me to thinking about the 1950s full skirt. A nephew is getting married, and the instructions for attire say that cocktail dresses are appropriate for the occasion. Naturally, I could not help but think of the above cocktail themed skirt from Juli Lynne Charlot. Somehow, I don’t think that is quite what they had in mind.

The other occasion is a bit easier. It’s a 1950s themed whodunit dinner party where the instructions for attire say “Poodle skirt optional.” I don’t have a poodle skirt, and I think it is such a shame that people think “1950s skirt” and automatically an image of a skirt with an appliqued poodle pops into the brain. Yes, there were poodle skirts in the 1950s, but the range of novelty skirts available was so much more interesting than one doggie motif.

The decorated circle skirt actually got its start in the late 1940s, with an actress-turned-designer named Juli Lynne Charlot. After WWII ended, skirts began to get fuller and longer. The dirndl, a lightly gathered style popular throughout the war gave way to skirts that were fully gathered or pleated. In 1947, Charlot designed some skirts for the Christmas holidays, made of a complete circle and decorated with felt appliques. A local store bought them, and they quickly sold out.

For her next project, it was suggested that Charlot do a line featuring dogs. The first design was of three dachshunds, but among the dog skirts she designed was the poodle, and the rest is fashion history. The skirt was a huge hit, and soon it was being widely copied.

Because the skirt was so easy to make, many were made by home sewers. The major pattern companies had a wide variety of designs, including the poodle, 45 rpm records, and decks of cards.


The decorated circle skirt really caught on with the teenage set, and was pretty much a young and casual fashion. You are much more likely to see one featured in a 1950s Seventeen than in a Vogue of the same era. Many of them have decorations that reflect teen interests of the times, such as Rock & Roll themes. But not all of these great skirts were for kids, as they did sometimes feature mature motifs such as alcohol and cigarettes.

There were also novelty printed skirts that were similar in feel to the appliqued skirts, but they were lighter and more suited to warm weather. Border prints of exotic locales, circus themes, dog and kitten prints and Western scenes were among the many fabrics available to make full skirts.


There was even special fabric with the skirt pieces printed on, and all the sewer had to do was cut the pieces out and sew them together – no pattern required. To see my collection of special printed travel themed skirts, visit a page on my site, Novelty Print Skirts. You might even suggest one that you think I ought to wear to the 50s dinner!


Some of the most spectacular circle skirts of the 1950s came from Mexico. These were made primarily for the tourist trade, but they were also imported into the United states and sold through catalogs and mail order. Many were hand painted or block printed, and then they were lavishly decorated with sequins. Most had scenes of sterotypical Mexican life, but others had large colorful flowers, or scenes of the desert.

Miss Great Britain, 1958

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This is from the Pathe Newsreels, thanks to Johnny Bean for pointing us towards this. If you click on the image it will play.

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