HG Wells started a thing or two with his novels, The War of the Worlds, The Time
Machine and The First Men in the Moon; well two out of three ain’t bad.
When it comes to travelling through time The Brits get Doctor Who, Hollywood
gives the rest of the world the likes of the Terminator and Captain Kirk…our
fantasy villains are rooted firmly in 50 and 60’s SFX, CyberMen not Cyborgs, you
get the picture.
However, for those of us still living on these islands, the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s have
a great nostalgic appeal. Pride in the achievements and courage of the nation at
the time of “their Finest Hour” is enduring, Freed from the drab world of rationing
and shortages of every kind and regaining some of the national energy totally
drained in the struggle for survival during World War 2, the country burst forth with
creative forces and a sense of progress, both material and social. The "most of
our people have never had it so good" Fifties succeeded by the Swinging Sixties of
the Beatles and Carnaby Street, were times of optimism, a feeling that things
could only get better. Well, now we know better. As the song goes, "Meet the new
boss, same as the old boss", we will get fooled again.
The impulse to look back is a natural one, particularly as we advance along the
years. Which of us does not contemplate the past wondering what might have
been if different circumstances had prevailed? From there it is but a short step to
try and recreate the past, smoothing out some of the imperfections along the way.
Most do this as an exercise in the mind; a few are more ambitious……..which
brings us to the Goodwood Revival.
The Revival, like its sibling, the Festival of Speed, has become so established on
the calendar in the past ten or so years that it appears to have been around for
ever. It is a piece of theatre on a grand scale around which some motorsport and
other things happen. A willing suspension of disbelief as Coleridge would say.
The whole affair is a visual feast soaked in the syrup of nostalgia: cars, stars,
planes, folks dressed to the nines, it’s all there.
It was said on more than one occasion that driving into the Goodwood car park the
cares of modern day living were left behind, the make believe appeals to the child
in all of us……..long may it be so.
Dressed up as if a gentleman, I caught a few cameos from a brilliant