What to do this weekend: Festival of Thrift special

by Katie Rowe

Category: Weekend ideas
September 23 2015

The Festival of Thrift – a unique celebration that’s all about scrimping with style – returns to the North East of England this weekend (26 – 27 September) and features leading and emerging artists from across the globe, along with plenty of demonstrations, performances, stalls and interactive workshops offering thrifty advice, tips and tricks and much more.

Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway MBE are involved in the Festival of Thirft for the third year running. Working with Festival Director Stella Hall, Wayne and Gerardine have helped to create an eclectic programme of events for festival-goers of all ages.

The Festival of Thrift 2015 will also form part of a weekend of celebrations for Darlington and the wider region, as the town marks the 190th anniversary of the world’s first steam passenger train, which travelled between Stockton and Darlington in 1825. 

Wayne Hemingway’s top picks for the Festival of Thrift…

Olivier Grossetête: The renowned French artist will be helping to launch this year’s Festival and celebrate the 190th anniversary of the first passenger steam train which travelled between Darlington and Stockton. Olivier will construct a replica of the Darlington railway station clock tower using only cardboard, along with the help of 120 local volunteers.

OxGlam: See fashion through the ages with thrifty outfits styled and strutting down the cat-walk featuring fashion harking back to 1825, showing you how to look a million dollars for pennies. Rosettes will also be awarded to the best dressed and thriftiest festival-goers inviting them on stage too.

The Big Talks: I will be joined by Orsola de Castro co-founder of Fashion Revolution to talk about ‘The Real Price of Fashion’, taking a look at the severe lack of morals and ethics in the making of clothes across the globe.

Workshops: There’ll be opportunities to make chocolate, bread, scotch eggs, jam and more – as well as a thrifty bake-off. Festival-goers can also get creative using recycled items to make jewellery, homewares and other crafty items. Pre-book workshops tickets here.

Thrifty Stalls and Demonstrations: The Festival will have over 100 stalls, many demonstrating skills and selling all sorts of recycled, upcycled and thrifty produce as well as handmade tasty treats.

Wayne’s favourite things to see and do in the North East…

As a keen runner and cyclist, I love exploring the great outdoors and the North East is home to some spectacular sights, including some world-class beaches. One of my favourite running and cycling route begins on the Gateshead Quayside at the Staiths South Bank Café, then go along the River Tyne to South Shields, home to a beautiful coastline. Another favourite location is Alnwick Castle and its fantastic gardens.

Wayne’s favourite places to nab the best upcycled and second-hand goods…

Vintage finds in Margate © Simon Bostock

Other than at Festival of Thrift of course, Harrogate is home to Catherine Smith Vintage, a shop that Gerardine loves, she always leaves with bags full whenever we visit. Catherine has such a keen eye for amazing vintage finds. Priestley’s Vintage Clothing in York is also fantastic. Margate is a real up-and-coming area for vintage and is becoming quite a hotspot. Our own Vintage By The Sea festivals and Classic Car Boot Sales are also great for finding really special and unique vintage pieces.

Katie Rowe

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