The Museum of Norwich at The Bridewell is somewhere I’ve been to a few times. It’s nice and central and has fascinating displays about Norwich history, including the rather amazing recreation of a Pharmacy, a wonderful display of Vintage shoes and fascinating displays on Norwich in the 50s and 60s.
On Monday I was there for a slightly different reason, they’re normally closed on Mondays, but were throwing an event that was a first for them and opening their doors for a “Vintage Day” where there would be sections on clothing, make up and hair, followed by tea and cake! Of course, being self employed I’m lucky that I can just swan off into the City for hours on a Monday, so I was interested to see who else was willing or able to spend a Monday on pampering and history! Turns out there was quite a selection of people, a Mum and her 13 year old daughter making the most of the Summer holidays, a group of slightly older ladies who get together to do something for their birthdays and a smattering of glamorous younger ladies in 50s frocks, to mention a few.
I was, obviously, incredibly organised, by which I mean that I walked 25 minutes into the City and then realised that I’d left my lovely posh camera sitting on the sofa, which means that all of the photos I took during the day are on my mobile phone. Sorry!
The day was split into 3 parts, and as part of group C that meant I got to go to the Clothing section first. This is the part that I was most excited about, but seeing as we had been asked to come with no eye or lip make up and undone hair it also meant I had to go out at lunch with no mascara, gasp!
We had about an hour in which we were talked through a selection of clothing and accessories from the 30s-50s, allowed to touch and examine a tiny sample of the Museum services 40,000 item strong clothing archive. Including trying on hats, this is a 30s hat, sadly I failed to slip it into my handbag.
We also, rather enjoyably, got to browse some source material, which saw me spend a jolly 10 minutes doing some fantasy shopping from the 1959 Freemans catalogue.
After a short lunch break we were then moved onto a hands on hair session with Flamingo Amy with a brief introduction to Victory Rolls and then after that onto see Love Moi Make Up for a splash of red lippy, before we moved onto tea and cake where we could eat it all off again.
I didn’t learn anything new during the day personally, but I know a lot of people in my group did and it was fun as ever to see people getting to grips with their hair and make up and feeling a bit glam! There were several ladies in my group who sewed as well, so I got a bit of an insight into that as they loved the pattern collections. Which reminds me, one thing I DID learn from the day is that the Norwich Museum Service has a huge pattern collection, and, although they’re not all complete, they are happy for people to copy them, so that’s a top tip for those of you with skills!
I hadn’t done Victory Rolls in a while as I had my hair cut short, so there was quite a lot of hairspray holding these in place at the sides, but it was fun to play around with hair again, it’s been a while since I had time! My finished look!
Sadly I couldn’t stick around for the tea party afterwards as despite being self employed I actually did have to go home and do some work. So I left my new buddies tucking into some divine looking cakes surrounded by all the hallmarks you would expect of a vintage day, pretty vintage china, polka dots, cup cakes and bunting!
I had a terrible feeling as I walked home with my victory rolls and red lips holding a cupcake that I might look a lot like my own drawing from my Vintage Myths post, thank goodness I switched my florals for a check pencil skirt as it was raining other wise I might have been arrested by the vintage police, which is totally a thing.
The event on Monday was a bit of an experiment for the Norfolk Museums Service and they’ve not run anything like it before. I would say the day was more like an introduction to Vintage. Those already deeply involved in a world of finger wave clips, era specific dressing and choosing the exact shade of red lipstick to go with their 40s dress might want something a little more in depth, but it was perfect to get an overview of changing fashions in the early to mid 20th Century and pick up some starter hair and make up skills to match your outfits!
Big thanks to the Museum of Norwich for having me along! Keep an eye on the Museum of Norwich website if you’re interested in any more of their upcoming events of this sort, and I would very much recommend paying the Museum a visit on a regular opening day if you haven’t already. It has shoes in it. What more can I say?