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Salute to the 40’s is a vintage showcase held at the Chatham Dockyard in Kent, annually.  I have wanted to go for years but am always on holiday in these two weeks of September as it is my husband’s birthday on the 24th.  As everything in our lives has changed in the last year we were able to visit this year.  We visited on the Sunday and, with hindsight, arrived at prime time!  The organisation of the parking was poor and the queue to get in was hideous.  At one stage I nearly left the queue because it was just taking so long!  Eventually we got through the gates though and started mooching!  Can I suggest a couple of things for entry.  Don’t arrive between 10 and 12 on Saturday or Sunday.  If you do take cash to get in rather than expect to pay with a card.  But, if you can, purchase your tickets in advance and avoid the queues altogether!

Once inside the dockyard we purchased an events programme which provided us with a map and timings of different events in different areas.

The first area we came to was the Home Front Zone where we were able to see lots of vintage cars and do a bit of shopping.  There was a lovely shopping area with a mixture of clothing and homewares.  I was lucky enough to buy a great measuring jug and Delia Smith baking book.  So be prepared for plenty of Deliah baking recipes next month!  A new favourite vintage seller for us is Wild Plum Retro Picnics who had a super selection at reasonable prices 

 As we continued to stroll around the dockyard we found more opportunities for shopping along Tinker’s Alley and on the green where they held a village fete.  We were pleased to see lots of opportunities to find great men’s suits and shoes.  The only other place we have found a better selection was at the Festival of Vintage

 In the military zone we found a super stage area where people sat and lunched and listened to wonderful live music!  All around us were military set ups of tents and vehicles.  And all of this overlooked the River Medway.

 Though we live in Kent we have not visited the Dockyard before and we were surprised  by the extent of it and the high standard of the exhibitions.  As fans of Foyle’s War and Call the Midwife we felt very at home recognising different backdrops from episodes.

 We had a lovely few hours wandering around the stalls and exhibitions and enjoying the music.  We were delighted to hear a big band and vocal harmony group on the way out.  We lingered to listen long enough to know that we would be back next year. Just a little more focussed on what time we arrived and with tickets in hand!

Love Wish Vintage xx