Despite unfathomable weather conditions, malfunctioning trouser presses and a nation in political and emotional turmoil, the 12th Chap Olympiad made its mark on the fields of Bloomsbury on Saturday 16th July.
An unexpected heatwave seared through the capital, bringing with it, in equal measure, a burst of enthusiasm to test one’s mettle in Umbrella Jousting, Tea Pursuit and Bounder Hunt, as well as sartorial indecision. Would tweed invoke unnecessary perspiration, disquieting judges who are alert for any signs of athletic effort, or indeed any effort at all? Would linen clash with other linens? Would the dreaded short trousers have to be considered?
Luckily, all the participants took wise sartorial choices, and Bedford Square Gardens was awash with yet another display of period elegance, with outfits ranging from 18th century dandies to 1950s rockabilly ladies, and all points in between fully covered by an explosion of bright colour and quality fabrics, all illuminated by a fierce and unforgiving sun.
The highlight of the day was a real wedding between Mark and Lisa Glass, who tied the knot in the interval among strewn rubber masks of stags, chickens and Donald Trump, whose wig had been unceremoniously lifted by tossed luxury chocolates during Toupee Trumps. Entertainment was provided by Natty Bo and his Flames of Rhythm, who livened up a slightly wilting crowd with their syncopated 1930s Harlem swing.
Photo shows Stephen Myhill and Artemis Scarheart battling it out in Umbrella Jousting, photographed by Paul Starr.