Proper Vintage - Exploring the past at Stotfold Steam Fair

in Pinmapplelast year

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Sometimes you need to pause your 21st Century life, stop for a moment and consider what once was. Life used to be very different before we had the Internet, before computers, before colour TV's.

Stotfold Mill is a working water mill in Stotfold, Bedfordshire. It's surrounded by farmland, and a lovely part of England. Every year they have a Steam Weekend, in which engineering enthusiasts come together to show there prized collections.

I have to confess, I quite like visiting heritage steam railways, it's been something I've liked since I was a child. This is like a farming version. It's a celebration of what used to be, how we used to farm, how we used to live. There's demonstrations of hay cutting techniques using vintage machinery. There's wood cutting demonstrations using steam engines to power saws.

If you like sheep, there's a sheep shearing demonstration. It was surprisingly entertaining I have to admit! There's also a bar where you can enjoy a pint or two of local cider. Very refreshing...

In the UK, people are very much into looking backwards at the moment, with vintage style at the fore. It's all very much fashion focussed, all about the image. The people that come to an event like this though are still interested in vitage, but in a different way. It's not about looking like you've walked out of a 1950's hair salon, it's about touching, feeling, and smelling something that used to be real life. It's something very raw, very oily and dirty. It feels real.

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I've only just seen this. Stotfold Mill is just a couple of miles from me. The steam fair is a big local event. We also get a load of steam engines descending on a local pub around Xmas.