It was allegedly the end of an era. The so-called much lauded on Facebook announcement of the Chap Ball’s demise was to given at midnight on Saturday mid-Ball. But nothing happened..though throngs of vintage lovers hung around for the fate of the much loved Grand Anarcho-Dandyist Chap Ball. After five years it appears that Chap Ball’ism is dead and the powers that be have given up the ghost. I await the ‘Not The Chap Ball’ to take it’s place.* (*I’m copyrighting that one as I type).
As usual, there were crowds of familiar faces decked to the nines and tens and elevenses, the main reason, in fact, for anyone attending – to catch up with old friends and to admire each others’ outfits. Everyone makes an effort. It’s that kind of shindig. The guests’ outfits ranged from Victorian gentlemen explorers to Regency dandies, 1920s flappers to 1940s spivs, 1950s sex kittens and ‘60s column dress types to dapper 1930s chaps and even a foxy butler in full hunting pinks.
The loosely called ‘entertainment’ was provided by Mike Livesley, who performed Sir Henry at Rawlinson End in its entirety plus songs from the Vivian Stanshall canon. Personally I found it excruciating and a real damper on the evening. A soliloquy from a fat bloke with one red and one green sock does not eccentricity nor Christmas Ball entertainment make. I wasn’t alone in my thoughts. Thank goodness, then, for the terrific Auntie Maureen (a wonderful lively compere) and Mr Russell Nash who saved the day and got people back in the Chap groove again, lifting spirits with mass dance classes.
By the end of the night, various gals’ vintage dresses had dubious spillage of sickly pink cocktails and champagne as well as seam damage on others. Our poor frocks. What we put them through.
We need the Chap Ball as a celebration of all things vintage and Chap’ism and for the friends and acquaintances we meet up with at these sporadic occasions. Shame it’s been canned and went out with a groan rather than a tumultuous bang. The Chap Ball is dead. Long Live the Not The Chap Ball.