HHT Annual 50’s Fair – 2011

Another winter almost over, ¬†another 50’s fair passes by……..The annual Historical Houses Trust 50’s fair has been a highlight on Sydney’s Vintage Calendar for as long as I can remember. This year marked the 16th Birthday of the event and the ‘Sweet 16’ theme appropriately hallmarked the occasion.

I have worked on the event in various ways for the last 11 years. Throughout that time I have produced fashion parades, co-ordinated roving entertainment , assisted with endless marketing campaigns, radio interviews , newspaper articles , judged the best dressed awards, styled staff, sung , danced and promoted the event sharing it’s story and encouraging people to celebrate all of the things that I love about 50’s culture.


Selection of Various 50's Fair Press Clippings

Advertising Images for 50's Fair 2003

Earlier this year the rumours started to circulate that this would be the last time the HHT put on the 50’s fair in it’s current format. Devastated lovers of the day have approached me to ask questions and shared opinions over the last few months. Some agreeing that perhaps it is time to move on and others so very saddened by the thought that their favourite day might no longer exist.

Well the truth is nothing as yet has been firmly decided and we will all have to wait and see what happens with the event. I adore the Rose Seidler House and think it would be sad to not have a day to remember it’s historical significance but when the day is so crowded and intense can you really appreciate the well chosen colour scheme , the romantic atmosphere and the original features of this brilliant example of Mid- Century Design ? And wasn’t that the motivation for the event in the first place ?

The first time I really fell in love and valued the beauty of this house was during a day of shooting there for the ABC collectors program quite a few years ago. Between takes I lounged leisurely , enjoying the afternoon sunlight, absorbing all of the finer elements of the location.

I encourage everyone who has been to the fair and not had the opportunity to wander through the house, to return on a Sunday when the house is open for tours and take some time to enjoy it’s glory away from the hustle and bustle of an energetic fair.

Perhaps it is time to look beyond a one day event and see what other interesting ways the HHT can celebrate vintage culture not just at the Rose Seidler house but at it’s other properties. I for one am excited about the possibilities.Watch this space , soon as news reaches me about what the HHT has planned i will be sure to pass it on.

In the meantime here are some fabulous images captured at this years fair by my favourite photographer Louise Whelan. I spent a fun day singing and roving with the Hollywood Honeys and some of the gents from the Black and White Big Band. Despite the patches of rain and the fact that it all ended with a heavy downpour , we all had a fantastic 50’s day of fun.


The Hollywood Honeys - Photos Louise Whelan

Familiar faces at the Fair - DJ's Limpin Jimmy and the Swingin Kitten, Chrissy and Daughter Delores, Ben and Elvis from Porteno and Danny, Damo and Pat. All photos Louise Whelan.

Swingtime Dance Troupe - Photos Louise Whelan

Roving with the Honeys and Gents of the Black and White Big Band- Photos Louise Whelan

Sarah Doyle from Porteno Shopping for treasure- Photos Louise Whelan

Rove with me Honeys- Photos Louise Whelan

Sterling and Atomic Life shared a space selling pomade , shaves and styled cuts. Photos Louise Whelan

For anyone interested in visiting the Rose Seidler House is open for tours every Sunday from 10am-5pm. There are more details here………….



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2 Responses to “HHT Annual 50’s Fair – 2011”

  1. Louise says:

    Great photos Pia (and Louise). I do love the Rose Seidler House and I hope that your post encourages more people to see it on an ordinary Sunday. It’s a marvel of design and the location is gorgeous. I do wonder, however, if the 50s Fair has outgrown it as a venue. But then, if it wasn’t there, why would the HHT host it. Food for thought.

  2. SueC says:

    I wish they could extend it to the Saturday to make it a two day event. That would spread the crowd out a little. But not all – I’d go both days! Gives you a chance to wear two outfits!!

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