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When Chaps Attack…

Happy Monday to all my blog followers and droppers-by. I hope you all had splendid weekends? Mine was the very best in recent memory. Or, at least, the Saturday was, because it was the long awaited, 6th Annual Chap Olympiad 2010! Held in Bedford Square Gardens, it’s in Central London, but tucked away from the unwashed masses and the hoi polloi. As I told all and sundry, I was supposed to be recording the scores this year, reprising my role from 2009, and since I actually wanted to participate in some events this year, I had devised a cunning plan. Basically, in true Chap fashion, I would name myself the winner of any event in which I took part! Clever, non?

But it was not to be, since Mr Temple, editor of that fine periodical, The Chap Magazine (the organisers, of course), forgot to bring my chalkboard. So I was merely a punter this year, although I did make use of some distinctly underhand tactics. More on this later.

After a week of changeable weather and rain, it was actually the perfect day for the Olympiad. Not too hot, not too sunny, but not too cold or windy. No rain either, thank goodness. Nonetheless, I had to keep my cardigan on all day, and I’d taken the precaution of an updo to save my coiffure from disaster. I was wearing a vintage 50s cotton frock (with victory rolls, oh well!), my white Dixabilly bolero and white Remix sandals. And fully fashioned seamed stockings from What Katie Did, as it was not too warm. Hurrah! On to the photos!

After the lighting of the Olympic pipe and the opening ceremony, the first event I entered was the Martini Relay. The aim is for a team of four to use their cumulative skills to mix the perfect dry martini, compered (as was every event) to perfection by Antony Elvin. My task was to do the shaking, pouring and garnishing the finished drink with an olive. My ‘rival’ was Miss Minna aka Red Legs, and we employed our womanly wiles, showing the Mr Temple our stocking tops to try and persuade him ours were the best. I have no idea who actually won!

I snapped a quick picture of Naomi Vintage Secret and the lovely Lisa, but here you’ll see me showing off with my martini, and our team, which comprised New Sheridan Members The Chairman, The Colonel (who’d flown all the way from Last Vegas to attend), myself and the Whistling Tailor.

I then took part in the Cucumber Sandwich Discus. I didn’t win. Neither did The Chairman or W. Tailor. Close came last year’s Bronze Cravat winner, then Louise Quatorze, this time rechristened as ‘Heidi Heil’ the evil Chappist Fuhrerin. It’s very utterly British to have a pantomime Nazi villain, so I hope no one will be offended (I have experienced this before, but chalk it up to cultural differences). Heidi threw her sandwich then ran ahead and snatched it up on the first bounce, ate it and then goose-stepped back to the starting line.

During the Umbrella Jousting, Heidi Heil got her comeuppance as her opponent knocked her to the floor and snatched the British flag from her evil grasp. W. Tailor disarmed the dastardly Atters – you can see the remains of his weapon to the right…

Shown here is the Tug Of Hair, sponsored by the splendid Bounder Wax. Not-so-sharp-eyed readers will see Mr Wax himself in the top right there. Bottom left is the eventual victor and Gold Cravat winner 2010, The Great Colonesse, who cheated outrageously by using his ridiculously cute daughter to distract his opponent in the Pipeathlon. I gave W. Tailor a piggy back during the same event, which consists of a 10-yard saunter, 10 yards on a bicycle, and 10 yards without one’s feet touching the ground, all the while maintaining a fully lit pipe. We took a tumble but came back fighting. Sadly, we were opposite Heidi Heil, who used a carpet of living men to walk back to the finish line. No contest, really.

Here’s one final collage featuring yours truly and a selection of spiffing sorts. You’ll see me here with the Whistling Tailor, with that cad Atters, with the Butler, and with the gorgeous Retro Chick! I loved meeting you lady, if you’re reading! I’ll stop boring you all now, but instead say that if you’d like to see more photographs, including Mr Ridley’s extreme bicycle stunts, plenty of action shots and chaps in tweed; head over and view my Flickr set here.

I leave you with some video links… watch me in the Cucumber Sandwich Discus (and hear the cheer when I am announced :D). Brits can watch this totally inaccurate review from London Tonight (chaps only events? What rot!). Lots of videos cropping up on One’s Tube as well.

Can’t wait for next year now.

Chin chin!

Fleur xx

Edit: RegLegsinSoho has explained the whole Heidi Heil thing, which has caused some small controversy, far more succinctly than I.

“It was intended in the same way as Chaplin’s film The Great Dictator. To ridicule fascism is the most effective way to demean and reduce it. The very opposite of hero-worship.”

There’s nothing much more to add.


Helen Highwater

He spent 10 years on a bicycle? By Christ, he must be saddle-sore! ;D

Glad the weather help up or off or whichever preposition is usually used in these circumstances.


This looks jokes! How come I've never heard of it?

I was at a very different old fashioned event this weekend in south London, the Lambeth Country Show, featuring jousting reenactments, funny shaped vegetables tent, owl petting, and a "sheep shearing through the ages" demonstration. Rock n roll!


Yesterday I was looking in MX, the free newspaper you get on the train here in Melbourne, and there was a photo of Heidi Heil and a little article about the Chap Olympics!

Andi B. Goode

This looks like SO much fun. Glad the weather was nice for you. Also, I think I'd be a bit rubbish as am not very good at being underhanded – was always terrible at that cardgame Cheat. Hehe. ;]
-Andi x

Retro Chick

Of course I'm reading, I loved meeting you too!

What a fabulous day it was. I'm glad you've noted who won the events as I haven't the foggiest clue. Though I thought you and your stocking tops had clinched the Martini relay and now it seems not!

I shall definitely be back next year!

Miss Emmi

You know, a picture of Heidi Heil made it all the way to a little newspaper in Australia! This event is of worldwide fame now!


Ah, so this is what was going on! I was on Tottenham Court Road on Sunday morning (visiting the lovely Paperchase flagship store) and I saw a couple of very nicely dressed people outside a pub, and another two looking lost on a street corner.


This event was obviously fantastic and you looked lovely.
Heidi Heil though – not so funny.

Retro Chick

I have also just realised that my bright red hair is just behind Atters shoulder in that ITV london video.

I'm (nearly) famous!

As for your addition about Heidi Heil, I remember discussing on the day the appropriateness of the Nazi costume, or more accurately what a field day the Daily Mail could have had with it. I really think it's all about context and in context it wasn't the slightest issue.


I think I was taken aback by the photos of Heidi – my grandfather helped in the liberation of Belsen and it was one thing he never could forget. However, I then thought that laughing at pantomime Nazis (NOT at the suffering millions of people went through in reality) is another way of showing disapproval for fascist attitudes. Heidi, in a way, embodied the pricking of pomposity and the distrust of the unthinking follower that’s been in our culture at least as far back as Chaucer, and shown graphically in Hogarth. I’m still not personally comfortable with people dressing up as Nazis for fun, but I’d rather see a photo of Heidi than have those photos censored.

Fleur de Guerre

Mim – good points. My grandfather was an RAF bomber pilot who was in Stalagluft 3 for almost 3 years, so I (as most British people) have enough family history there to not just be poking fun at something I know nothing about. It's something my grandad did himself (poking fun, I mean). It's a light hearted way of showing that we have nothing to fear, and indeed disapprove, as you say.

On a different note, did you know that German schoolchildren today are not even taught who Hitler was? A friend of mine has a 10 year old child in German school and she had to explain herself. I think that's very worrying. Far worse than making fun of Nazis.


It was intended in the same way as Chaplin's film The Great Dictator. To ridicule fascism is the most effective way to demean and reduce it. The very opposite of hero-worship.


Oh my stars and garters: you all look fantastic! I wish more gents would sport such dashing 'staches and suits. In fact, I'd like more occasions to hurl tea time snacks as well.

Thanks for sharing the gorgeous photo montages! Amazing vintage inspo and I love the way you laid them out, too 🙂

Frl. Irene Palfy

Dear Fleur de Guere,

I just adore your blog – and think you should get an outstandig price for best technique in Cucumber Sandwich Discus!

For beeing German there is one quote of yours that really troubles me:

"On a different note, did you know that German schoolchildren today are not even taught who Hitler was? A friend of mine has a 10 year old child in German school and she had to explain herself. I think that's very worrying. Far worse than making fun of Nazis."

That is not generally true.

In the German curriculum the 3.Reich and Hitler etc. are scheduled in class 5 and later on. The schoolchildren are then mostly 11 years resp. older. I won't denie that it is possible that there are children in this country, who have to be taught by their parents and in this case I fully agree with you: that is indeed very worrying!

The problem is that some of my friends (resp. their children)/siblings are lectured that much in this part of german history that they're almost overfed with it.

I fear that one easely could get indifferent.

Well.. I guess I should now again vanish from the scene..

– and again: I ADORE your blog and think these games look like fun!


On Heidi Heil:

This comes up time and again. Note that there was not one single comment on the dress of the PRC CCP Party Commissar. It seems like what ever you do in the field of mass murder just don't come in in third place because being vilified for even the most remote reference will be your fate for generations.

Those who committed mass murder in pursuit of their political value set in order of quantity


Various religions

I have noticed that you can get away with dressing up in CCP regalia, or as a Bolshevik, both of which count as 'cool and retro' but pick third place Allgemeine SS and wammo you're a Nazi.

Wonder why that could be. Actually I don't wonder why that would be. The first two are left wing and the third place is right wing.

It works with anything, dress, art, fonts, music.

Fleur: At the Olympiad, you looked fabulous, as always. My compliments.


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