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16 Sep 2016
Grenfell’s cultural archaeology at Goodwood Revival: Sep 2016
by Gary Burnand

A big part of everybody’s attendance is about the re-connection with our collective past achievements, and all serenaded by the Hurricanes, Spitfires and Mustangs. It is about the ‘uniques’, such as the only …flying Bristol Blenheim bomber, and so on. Surely it is the biggest sartorial fest of substance…the real. It is all about the detail, and a curation of the enduring best of the best - all started in the creative mind of Lord March. As such it encourages people to don their finery to enter this rarified world


Whilst we also showcased our current contemporary collection alongside our classic icons, this is largely about stepping into yesteryear. Our stand in the market area allows for great interactions. These included meeting another pioneer from back in the day, gents from Syston Park, a former pre-WWII racing venue in Lincolnshire, UK. Their current efforts are re-establishing this fantastic racing heritage which includes the testing of ERA cars, as well as use by Oxford & Cambridge’s Varsity Motor Racing enthusiasts. These gents were, of course, suitably attired, most notably with a ‘Watchlet’, which I had not seen before. Developed in WWI, it was a leather wrist case to affix one’s fob watch (see picture).

Our conversation then turned to one of the gentlemen’s long duster style, car heirloom inherited from his grandfather. This unbeknowingly turned out to be ‘Made exclusively for Austin Reed of Regent Street from Grenfell Cloth Reg.d’. It had been rendered sodden (again see pics) under Saturday’s downpours, but nonetheless it was still working hard to keep the underjacket dry!


Many other vintage pieces emerged including a Golfer jacket that had been resurrected, having been serving as an oil trap under a garaged classic car. Now lovingly brought back to life and featuring on the back of one of Octane magazine’s contributors. A possible future article in this very story!


Other notable meetings were with Brough Superior Motorcycles and the family-owned Aero Leather Jacket company from Scotland.

All in all another glorious weekend and a befitting final hurrah of summer. Everyone leaves wondering “were things better then?”, and “what can I bring from the past into my present”.