Words by Lianna Haynes

Lianna is a singer (sometimes model) specialising in singing the hits of the 50’s and 60’s. She has a string passion for the music and fashion of these eras.

When I arrive at the Jukebox and Retro Fair at Chessington Community Centre I am surrounded by a large array of the most beautiful classic American cars. As I stroll through the impressive selection ‘In The Still Of The Night’ plays on a loud speaker and if it weren’t for the chilly weather I could feel as though I were literally on the set of ‘Grease’! I haven’t even stepped in the building yet and I am already immersed in a fabulous fifties vibe. The Jukebox and Retro fair is the longest running show of it’s kind in the UK and from the outset it isn’t hard to see why the show has kept a loyal audience whilst continually gaining more visitors.

The Jukebox and Retro Fair merges together all the elements of the vintage, rock and roll and Americana scene to create a haven for any fan whether you’re looking for a jukebox, vintage treasure or a repro dress. There is also plenty to see and do if you’re not a shopper whilst you’re soaking up a 1950’s atmosphere including a theatre with brilliant live bands and a DJ playing throughout both days. A smaller tearoom was also open with a side room where ‘Lipstick and Curls’ were providing a wonderful vintage hair styling and make-up service and I was serenading the tea-drinkers and cake-eaters with some 1950s and 60s classics.

There was also plenty to satisfy any shopper as there were two ginormous halls full of various items for sale from (of course) jukeboxes to diner furniture to music memorabilia, records, clothing and much, much more. The huge variety of vintage style items on offer alongside the classic cars and the heavy focus on live music really make you feel as though you are fully absorbed in the feel of the 1950s rock and roll era.

The atmosphere in the theatre was very lively and such fun with many people dancing along to the live bands and DJ. “Surrey Jive’ were also in attendance so the dance displays were particularly impressive. The bands who were keeping everyone on their feet throughout the weekend were ‘The Hicksville Bombers’, ‘Memphis Flyers’, ‘The Vee 8’s’ and ‘Greggi G and his Crazy Gang’ as well as the ‘Rocking Rebel Music Machine’ playing throughout the day. This ensured that from 10am until 5pm you were sure to be kept rockin’!

The next Jukebox and Retro fair is due to take place on the 22nd and 23rd of April at Brighton Racecourse. It’s a great day for any vintage, rock and roll, 1950’s enthusiast with every aspect to be enjoyed.


Photographs by Simon Callaghan Photography – www.simoncallaghanphotography.com

Lisa Harrison
Written by Lisa Harrison
Lisa is the Deputy Editor of Vintage Life Magazine and Publisher at Dragoon Publishing. She is avid bookworm, collector of vintage homeware, loves travel, lazy weekends away and eats way too much cake!