Vintage va-va-voom

Closing roads, moving taxis and redirecting lorries sounds like a job for Wonder Woman. She wasn’t around, so I had to do it.

The project seemed huge. And it was a bit of a learning curve. But my logistics background certainly came into use, as I helped organise the recent Rustington Street Fayre.


I’ve never been very good at saying ‘no. And I always like to be involved and, dare I say, take control of things. Since having the shop Mia Bella Casa – first in Ferring and now Rustington – I’ve helped organise a couple of events to create a community feel and to increase awareness of the villages and their local businesses.

Since locating my store in Rustington, I joined the local Chamber of Trade and Commerce and became their membership secretary. Earlier this year we were approached by the Littlehampton District Lions Club to help with an event.

Usually there’s been a carnival in the village. But as health and safety becomes more complicated and insurance goes crazy, the carnival has become smaller. There were five of us who decided to do the street fayre. We needed sponsorship, entertainment, stalls, business involvement – and, of course, people – to be there.

The big day (20th June) arrived. The village was teeming with stalls, musicians, fairground, arts and crafts, and oozed with community atmosphere.


There was some amazing talent. We were fortunate to have vintage vocal trio The Silhouette Show performing outside the shop. Chloe, Sarah and Karen sing the songs of the 1940s, 50s and 60s – and dress for the era. It was like seeing the Andrews Sisters in Rustington, and their presence fitted the retro feel of many of our products perfectly.

As you can imagine, the whole day was buzzing. It exceeded our expectations. The event was in aid of the Chestnut Tree House. It’s so heart warming when people give their time and talents to such an event. We have yet to receive confirmation on the final total, but it’s looking to be more than £2,000.

I’d love to see more local businesses helping with the fayre. We’ve learned a few lessons along the way. And that will make sure next year’s event will be even bigger and better. (Photos of Justine and The Silhouette Show: Matt Gover)

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