Calling all kids (young and old) today is the day! Flip Out Doncaster is officially open and I am here to tell you all about my sneak-peek experience.
On walking in, this place is breath taking. The music is pumping, the space is MASSIVE – you can hardly make out where BHS once was, let alone still think you’re in the Frenchgate Centre. And when you find out that hundreds of BHS units across the country are still empty and Doncaster’s looks like this, you can’t help but feel proud. That’s all thanks to the lovely, Keith Wortley, who you can tell put his heart and soul into the project.
Looking down from the balcony you can see it all. Invitingly squishy foam pits, bouldering and traverse climbing walls, two 20ft cyber towers for vertical races, stunt boxes for free-running, battle beams, and of course over 50 trampolines, all different sizes, all different angles and some bouncier than others.
An adjoining room is where you’ll find the café, a soft play area for children under 5 and Ninja TAG, an assault course reminiscent of Total Wipeout. I wasn’t able to test this out as it was still being developed but it promises an epic timed race of climbing up ropes, jumping across balls, navigating through a mirror maze and running up walls. I did manage to swipe myself a well-deserved pizza and slush from the café though. It was lush. There’s such a big range of hot and cold drinks as well as freshly made food to tuck into. Perfect for a break between the action or where parents can relax while their children play.
After signing a waiver – and watching a safety video, that incorporates the superhero/gamer theme imagined in the graffiti adorning every inch of wall – I picked up my very own pair of luminous lime slip-free Flip Out socks and an interactive wristband. I was free to play.
Being a terrible trampolinist I failed at pretty much everything, apart from jumping up and down. The ‘parkour’ guys, however, were incredible. But not to worry! There are spaces allocated for all different abilities. So, if like me you need more work, there is plenty of room to practise manoeuvres. Or if you’re more advanced and want to work on honing your skills, you don’t have to worry about an innocent newbie wading into your path mid-flight.
Besides being a fun mini adventure, Flip Out can also give you a workout, without even realising. If you’re anything like me and find the gym utterly boring you’ll love this place. I wasn’t bouncing for long before I started to feel it, and it takes a lot of arm work to vertically climb those cyber towers. With all the different elements incorporated into the Ninja TAG I’m certain it’ll make for a fun yet gruelling work out as well.
Flip Out marshall’s patrol from various high pillars, to make sure everyone is safe. They are also more than happy to give tips and advice on techniques, as well as how to use the different equipment, should you need them.
Alongside the everyday sessions, Flip Out have a lot more planned, such as party rooms for hire, fitness classes for all, as well as house DJ’s and special events. So make sure you keep an eye out – there’s a lot more to come from this innovative and exciting entertainment centre.
We’ve become a society of speed. We want everything instantly and we cram as much as we can into our everyday lives. This has translated into our clothes. Trends come and go so fast and we want to keep up. The retail industry has followed suit, but not without consequences. Just think about how many people, in both developing countries and our own hometown, have suffered the effects of mass production.
This got us at Doncopolitan thinking about slow fashion ̶ about independent shops, vintage shops and clothes swaps, in particular. If you missed it, our first ever slow fashion clothes swap was a hit. I’ve never seen the quote, ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ ring so true. There is such an amazing feeling that comes with someone picking up something you once had and looking at it like you once did.
Finding something unique has always been a love of mine. I’m not a person who wants to look like everyone else. Slow fashion works for me a lot more than fast fashion. With this in mind, I have decided to use this edition of Donny Swagger to collate a list of some of Donny’s greatest independent shops for you stylish creatures.
What’s great about Keystone Vintage on Coopers Terrace is the breadth of knowledge owner, Jonathan Phillips, has about each and every piece. He can tell you the era, the style, the material, the use and occasionally even a story behind a piece. He has a website, an eBay store and a showroom where you can walk in or make an appointment, to view pieces selected on request.
Zeus Vintage, a website based in Doncaster, has an amazing collection of one-off vintage designer pieces. We’re talking Westwood, McQueen, Valentino and Moschino, to name just a few. The site gives you information on the era, the material and the inspiration. The way these clothes are photographed on white mannequins and a white background, accentuating each piece, is haunting yet beautiful.
Wonderland Awaits has recently moved to just outside the Frenchgate Centre. The window is packed with an Alice in Wonderland-themed display that continues into the store. It’s crammed with all sorts of amazing garms. Irregular Choice shoes, tutu skirts, 50’s inspired tops and diner skirts, steam punk accessories, gothic outfits for both men and women ̶ the list goes on.
Jade Clark is a swimwear designer based in Carcroft. She has a website and a Depop shop, both filled with her crazily colourful, super cool, often flamboyant pieces. Her prints are to die for and the designs range from classic and simple to little extra details, like a high-cut leg, ruffles, pom poms or built-in chokers.
Venezia Designs is situated on East Laith Gate, but transports you into a Venice-inspired couture showroom. With an abundance of champagne, chandeliers and the most spectacular jewellery and designer pieces, this place will make you feel like you’re worth a million Donny dollars.
Sania’s on Highfield Road is where you can find the most beautiful saris and ethnic-style jewelry, straight off the catwalks of Pakistan and India. If you want to stand out from the crowd at any Christmas do, these stunning saris are the way to do it.
Tiffany on Cleveland Street is the perfect place for occasion wear. Think of all those Christmas parties, weddings and race days: beautiful dresses, jackets, skirts and tops in a range of colours, as well as hats and fascinators.
Queenies Shoes on Askern Road in Bentley is one of the friendliest shops, with the most stunning pairs of boots, sandals, flats and heels, all at amazingly affordable prices.
The atmosphere of the Shoe Room on Priory Walk is that of a hunter’s cabin. Bare brick wallpaper, cushy leather seating, wooden shelves and a stag skull make this leather shoe shop every bit the warm, welcoming luxury it feels to slip your feet into one of their boots. Newly opened by Richard and Michelle Smith of Shoe Healer fame, you’re sure to get a perfect fit and the best advice.
If you’ve passed South Parade in Bawtry, you couldn’t possibly have missed Robinsons of Bawtry. A floor for men and a floor for women, this store is packed with top designer brands. Armani, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Mulberry, Moschino, Michael Kors, Versace and more. This is definitely a place to have a nosey in at this time of year.
N & A Jewellery on Great North Road is the ultimate shop when it comes to all things gold. Owner Adam Croft knows everything there is to know, whether that’s buying or selling. All the pieces are handmade so can be customised for anyone. Simply tell them what you want and they’ll do their best to make it.
Punch Menswear on Wood Street specialises in quality, stylish menswear, including incredible fit jeans, shirts and belts by Replay and Edwin, as well as some cool classic shirts and tees by Scotch & Soda, and suiting by Remus Uomo and Caliban.
Bradley Knipe Menswear on High Street houses the very best in designer streetwear. Leading brands like Stone Island, Hugo Boss, Ted Baker, Lyle & Scott and Olymp provide you with cool jeans, tees, knitwear and jackets.
So for 2018’s January sales, don’t automatically head for high street shops. Try a few independents instead. You’ll not only be helping the people of your town, but you’ll also get some amazing garms that you won’t see on every other local.
Never have I felt this statement to be more true than after organising Doncopolitan’s first ever clothes swap. The idea was, people brought in things they no longer wore or have never worn, and walked away with something that they loved and definitely would wear. It’s possibly THE cheapest way of getting new clothes. Not only that, but if you look around, there is such an amazing feeling that comes with someone picking up something you once had, and looking at it like you once did.
Hosted in Donco’s own HQ on Copley Road there was a washing line packed with clothes, a shoe tower made from Bentley Urban farm crates, two full rails, three tables of folded clothes and key pieces displayed on the walls. Basically, we had tonnes. Some even designer.
On arrival, each guest would be greeted by the stunning bio-queen, Bipolar Abdul. They gave their donation for Doncaster Women’s Aid, and headed into the madness. They could get five garments of any kind for £5, anymore was simply an add on donation.
Upstairs was a small exhibition where Doncaster College students were able to present their work on mannequins. They were given a bag full of garms from Keystone Vintage, all with a little something wrong with them, and just one week to upcycle and make them wearable again. Lets just say, they achieved a lot in one week. Myself, Jonathan Phillips from Keystone, Bipolar Abdul and Lindsay McGlone (@missbuckdich_) all judged the pieces, picking our top three. This was so hard, they were all so good. The winner ended up being a design by Annabelle Thornton. A beautiful white blouse with a ditsy floral print and a lace peplum accentuating the waist. She won a free pick from the Keystone Vintage store, and you can look forward to us doing a Donny Swagger article all about her in the near future. Second place went to a stunning leather corset made by Holly Fisher from an old cowboy boot. Joint third went to Khristie Lawton with a pirate-esque dress made out of scarves, and Emma White reworked Donco girl-boss Rachel Horne’s very own vintage Burberry jacket, transforming it into a truly one of a kind piece.
Blouse by: Annabelle Thornton
Jacket by: Emma White
The fun didn’t stop there, a mini photoshoot occurred when myself and Donco’s own Warren Draper whipped out our cameras – and Spiderboy whipped on some heels. Let’s just say, a model was born. He, Bipolar, Rachel and Lindsay showed everyone just how to work the college guys pieces, just check out the pics.
Jumper by: Anna Baeuerle
Dress by: Natalie Wood
Gilet by: Rosanna Boyes
Corset by: Holly Fisher
Dress by: Khristie Lawton
Top by: Rosanna Boyes
Not only making vegan brownies, almond cookies and bringing lots of tea and cake, Rachel Horne and Joe Powell managed to transform a meeting room into a make shift changing room. Using only off cuts of material, posters, bulldog clips and string. Mirrors, chairs and the occasional visual aid gave the overall look and feel of what we were going for: slow fashion.
But what is slow fashion? I hear you ask. It is the practise of consuming slowly and mindfully. Keeping good quality garments for a long time, recycling or repairing rather than throwing into landfill. This is a good thing to commit to in this day and age, what with vintage being a trend. What better way to dress like someone back in the day, than wearing something that is actually from said era. Also, because people used to make things with the intention to last, you won’t have to throw them away in a week. High street favourites are most definitely pursuers of fast fashion. Trends for them change every week, new styles are in, and things are sold and produced cheaply and quickly to meet that demand.
Another way to be a slow fashion follower is to shop locally and shop home-made. Get creative about how you use things. I’ve explored this in the next issue of Donny Swagger, citing all the best independent fashion shops of Doncaster. Get your hands on something unique this Christmas. Happy shopping, and be sure to take it slow.
On Sunday, the 1st October, saw Robinsons of Bawtry hold their 25th Annual Charity Fashion Show, raising money for Yorkshire Cancer Research. The show this year raised over £15,000 making the total raised for the charity since their first event in 1992, nearly £350,000.
The Silver Anniversary of the event was hosted at China Rose in Bawtry, displaying Autumn/Winter collections, brought to life by models from Doncaster based company Strutz Models & Dance Academy.
The fashion show was created by the boutiques original owner, Tony Robinson, in memory of his first wife who he lost to cancer. New owner Russell Jones is more than happy in carrying on the tradition of the sell out fashion show saying, “We have been delighted to continue with the event since we obtained ownership of the boutique 8 years ago.”
Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “It’s wonderful to be chosen once again as the charity partner for Robinsons of Bawtry’s brilliant fashion show. The fact that the event is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year is testament to all the hard work and commitment that has gone into making it such a huge success. We’d like to thank everyone who has supported the show since it first began back in 1992. Over the years, this event has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for Yorkshire Cancer Research. This money has played a vital role in helping us ensure that people in Yorkshire have access to the very best treatment and care. Thanks to businesses like Robinsons, we have been able to invest in life-saving projects, from community health initiatives to clinical trials.”
The show featured clothes from some iconic contemporary fashion brands like Armani, Hugo Boss, Mulberry, Escada, Jacob Cohen, Belstaff, Michael Kors, Versace, Jeffery West and Eton. A Champagne draw, auction and raffle added to the fun with a Mulberry bag being up for grabs in the annual game of ‘Heads and Tails’.
Russell Jones gave thanks to sponsors Alexander Calder Financial Challenge and Howard & Elaine Huntridge, “Without them this would not be possible and for that we are grateful. The longevity of this event is testament to the support they gave Tony and now us as we continue to generate funds for vital research into cancer in the Yorkshire region.”