On Saturday 23 May, Bedford’s Arcade and Seventh Heaven Champagne Bar stepped back in time to host Pennies from Heaven, a 1940s themed evening of entertainment celebrating the 70th anniversary of V.E. Day.
The street party theme was the brainchild of Bedford’s vintage hair stylist and make-up artist par excellence, Sarah Dunn of ‘Sarah’s Doo-Wop Dos’.
“The 1940s are a big passion of mine as I’m always inspired by the resilience of the people at the time in the face of such austerity,” said Sarah. “With this year commemorating the 70th anniversary of V.E Day, it felt important to mark the occasion, and what better place to hold it than in the stunning Seventh Heaven!”
Fellow organiser and band promoter Chris White came up with the name, Pennies from Heaven, feeling that it perfectly incorporated both the era and the venue. During the day the Sarah’s Doo-Wop Dos vintage beauty parlour created many victory rolls (an iconic hairstyle from the era) in the beautiful upstairs café area of Seventh Heaven. Then, in the evening, guests entered a transformed Arcade where they were treated to tip-top 1940s tunes by DJ Harry Dickinson from Harry and Edna on the Wireless, singing and dancing from My Favourite Things, a close harmony singing sister duo, and a cheeky burlesque routine in the window of the shop from up and coming burlesque act Finesse Temptress. Clairebella’s Closet was also in attendance providing the guests with a chance to stock up on in demand items like stockings and snoods, and local, dapper gent Tom B Wild compered the evening. All the acts featured on the night are regular fixtures on the local vintage scene, who along with the enthusiastic crowd, came together to offer a night full of fun and celebration and bring something a little different to Bedford High Street.
With a pop-up bar donated by Charles Wells stocked with rum cocktails, cake and Champagne by the girls at Seventh Heaven, everyone got into the spirit of the party and danced and sang the night away in true 1945 style. After the success of this night Sarah Dunn & Chris White are now planning on bringing more 1940s themed events to Bedford and already have a G.I Jive planned for later on in the year.
A donation from the Pennies from Heaven event will be made to both The British Leagion and Help for Heros.
Photo credits Jez Brown Photography