Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Oh Oh Oh What A Lovely Fair!

"Enjoying Ourselves"

It has been a busy start to 2015 and as February draws to an end we will see out winter with The Stratford Vintage Fair which is taking place in the Town Hall on Saturday 28th February (2015). The Jumbles warmed up deepest January and before long we were on the road for Leamington Spa followed by The Stamford Fair which took place on Valentine's Day. The image of the children on the beach is from a 1930s annual that was given to me by one of the stall holders at Stamford before the fair opened. It was a lovely way to start the day.

A Hidden 1930s Watercolour!

I found so many things at the Stamford Fair that my car was full when I went home and to be honest there were a great many more things I would like to have taken home if I had seen them first (or if I had had more time to look around - many thanks to everyone who sat at the door for me). I will start with the pretty painting which was hidden in the pages of a drab looking autograph book, which I found in a large sack full of textiles, it cost one pound! It belonged to someone who was attending bible classes back in the 1930s, it contains a number of charming illustrations and verses.

Miss Gladys Cooper

I really liked this postcard of Gladys Cooper from Edwardian times, it also cost me just a single pound.

 Vintage Sanderson - "Constantia"

In the sack (please pardon the expression) with the little autograph book was a huge curtain about twelve feet wide, some parts of it were faded but it was covered in the most beautiful sprays of peonies (I can name around four of them - and yes you can get yellow peonies). I would say from the condition of the lining that it dates from the 1950s or early 1960s. It is a Sanderson fabric although it is a heavyweight sateen rather than the more common linen.

An Original Ottoman

I also found this lovely ottoman from the 1950s/60s, it is in completely original condition and the cute red formica table at the Stamford Fair. Both were brought down from Derbyshire from some friendly people who joined us for the first time (it was their first ever fair and they had some great some great things).

A Detail Of The Ottoman Fabric

Textiles of all sorts could be found on the stalls which completely filled the three rooms available to us.

A Vintage Floral Cape
I loved this 1950s cape which would have been used in a hairdressing salon, it is made of early nylon and has a wonderful floral pattern all over (again featuring peonies and red lilacs). 

The Coronation 

This is table cloth from the Coronation in 1953, it had a few old tea stains but cost hardly anything so I decided to take it. A soak in detergent followed by a plunge into a strong bleach solution (not recommended for a number of reasons) ending with a hot wash removed the lot without harming a fibre! I also found some lovely brownish crochet cushion covers from the 1970s, a pair of pink curtains from the 1940s, some lovely pieces of fabric including a large piece from the 1930s decorated with stylised shells and this huge 1970s lamp-shade.

A Huge Lamp-Shade

I also found the some Picquot Ware pieces and some old glass pepper pots.

Picquot & Pepper Pots

I paid three pounds for this set of Coat's embroidery silk samples. I am guessing they are from the 1960s or 70s, there are about one hundred and sixty different colours and all are numbered.

A Coat's Thread Sample Set

I also found three boxes of threads, the striped box is full and contains twenty-four spools and a lovely retro sewing basket covered in orange fabric. The threads were used to crochet doilies.

Vintage Haberdashery (At A Snip!)
I liked this pile of vintage hankies, they would look great sewn together to make a cushion.

Children's Hankies

I am getting better at keeping secrets and managed to keep these kissing pixies hidden until Valentine's Day (I found them at the Leamington Fair earlier in the month!)

Valentine's Pixies 
We had some vintage Valentine's cards from America in a draw, stylistically and artistically the cards are so much better than contemporary interpretations.

Valentine's Greetings From The USA


 The fun began back in early January with the Northampton Vintage Jumble, it was great fun and a chance to find some vintage bargains when little else is going on.

The Northampton Jumble 
The Northampton Jumble was followed by the Olney Vintage Jumble, it was a freezing cold day, especially for the stall holders who braved the conditions outside, inside the Church Hall it was much warmer.

Gentlemen At The Olney Jumble

There were plenty of bargains to be found, I found a lovely old Singer from 1911 at the Northampton Jumble.

January Jumble Finds

The Olney Jumble got off to a great start when one of the stall holders gave me the Bessie Smith biography. Particularly as the very same stall holder has consistently asked for some more 'up-beat- music at the fairs but instead of taking a step into the 1950s I delved further into the past and played Scott Joplin.

A 1970s Biography Of Bessie

 I also found four lovely yellow cushion covers decorated with sprigs of anemones.

A Set Of Cushion Covers
The lovely fabric was found in one of our stall holders Etsy Shop, it is decorated with boats asnd lighthouses and is very similar to the design created by Cath Kidston about ten years ago.

1950s Fabric
The fruit crates were in good condition and will be good for storage once I have cleaned them.


Here is the poster for Saturday's Fair, hope to see you in Stratford.

See You In Stratford Town Hall

Friday, 9 January 2015

2015 - The 'Vintage Year' Starts Tomorrow

The Doors Open At 11am

Our first event of 2015 is the ever popular Northampton Vintage Jumble. It will be great fun, there will be lots of bargains and the old style tea-room will keep everyone composed with tea and homemade cakes. There will also be stalls outside if the weather allows (although a storm is on the way apparently).

Same Again - The Doors Open At 11am

The 'vintage bargain's trail moves over to Buckinghamshire for the Olney Vintage Jumble on Saturday 17th January. So,e new stall holders will be joining us in Olney and if the weather holds there will also be stalls outside.

The Fairs In Leamington Start At 10am!

Our first fair of the year will be the Leamington Fair on Sunday 1st February. It is one of our larger fairs and takes place in the lovely Royal Pump Rooms. 

Vintage Valentine's

The first of three dates in Stamford will take place on Saturday 14th February. Stamford is just perfect for a romantic stroll on valentine's Day, the streets are lined with beautiful Georgian buildings and there are some lovely independent shops. The fair takes place in the Ballroom and Blue Room at Stamford Arts Centre.

The Last fair Of Winter

We will see February out and hopefully wave goodbye to winter when the fair returns to Stratford.

Hope to see you soon and best wishes for 2015.







Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Last Of The Summer Flowers & The Colours Of Autumn

"A Tense Moment" From The 1930s

I have mentioned my love of the illustrations found in children's books before, especially those from the 1930s such as these two fantastic plates which I found in an edition of School Girls Story Book. Sometimes you find a copy only to realise when you open it that the pictures have long since gone but it is great when they are all there (there are only ever three or four).

A Very 'Deco' Image

The lady fishing for salmon (the colour of her sweater and the flow of the water gives the game away) and the group of women bathing were both found in a copy from around 1934. The warmth of summer which has lasted so long is finally giving way and the flowers in my garden will be no more for another year.

The Last Flowers Of Summer

I walked down the slippery brick path to pick the last of the Chrysanthemums at the end of the garden, I am hoping that they will last until the Northampton Fair on Saturday.

The Northampton Fair - Saturday 8th November

The Northampton Fair will be taking place at St Matthew's on Saturday.There will be an 'old style' tea room serving homemade cakes, two rooms of stalls inside and hopefully more stalls outside if the weather is good. The address, if you have not visited before is St Matthew's Parish Centre, 27A The Drive, Northampton, NN1 4RY.

Saturday 8th November 11-3

October proved to be as busy as September and there were lovely stalls at the Leamington, Olney and Stamford Fairs.

Random Makes At The Stamford Fair

Wendy from Random Makes joined us in the Blue Room at Stamford last Saturday and brought along some lovely handmade pieces for the home and to wear. Wendy will be at the Northampton Fair on Saturday.

Half of Antoinette & Fred's Stall!

It was lovely to see Fred and Antoinette who joined the fair for the first time at Market Harborough back in 2012.

One Of The Stalls At Olney

There were some very pretty stalls when the fair visited the Church Hall for the Olney Fair, I do not think we have ever managed to squeeze so much into such a small room, it looked fantastic.

Suzanne - H&A Ambassador At The Olney Fair

Suzanne will be at the Northampton Fair on Saturday if you want to subscribe to Homes & Antiques, along with her range of lovely handmade wares.


'Handmade By Astrid'

Astrid uses shrunken wool, old embroidery and fabrics to make lovely bags, cushions and purses and made a pretty picture along with old china, linens and vintage toys at Olney.


Our Things In The Foyer At Olney!

I decided to take a few things along to the Olney Fair and put a small table table together in the very windy vestibule and huddled in the corner as I greeted everyone who came along on the day.

A Very Cute Chap

Many thanks to the lady who spotted the Ludo game and arrived early to ensure that it did not escape!


Worcester Ware - 'Boutique'

Back on the 'home-front' we found a lovely set of Worcester Ware canisters when we visited Brackley Antique Cellar, they were on Unit 60 (our old unit!), a lovely space dedicated to vintage kitchenalia. Research lead to no trace so they must be quite difficult to find, I would love matching spice jars, cake tin and bread-bin. Interestingly Cath Kidston have used a very similar design on a dark midnight-blue background in the latest range.


A Lovely Wool Rug

The rug was an indulgence as it was quite expensive however it is so colourful and is around four feet wide so makes quite an impact. The cottage garden scene has been inspired by 1930s crafting.

Another Vintage Rug

As if one rug were not enough another came along, found under a cupboard and hardly visible, obscured by vintage clothes downstairs at Most Marvellous in Northampton. It is quite large and dates from the 1940s (possibly 1960s - please advise) and has brightened up our landing at home.

Most Marvellous - Northampton

I popped into Most Marvellous again this week and found this lovely little child's chair in yellow formica, the yellow collection is growing!

(Some Of)...The Colours Of Autumn

I found this box of vintage 'Sylko' cottons at the Stamford Fair, I would love to find more in different shades. My last picture is of a Sadler biscuit barrel in turquoise and gilt, I found it on a stall near to till in Most Marvellous, I recognised the lovely tag straight away as the work of Jake and Linda (who had a stall at the very first fair and will be with us again for the January Jumble.

A Pretty Sadler Biscuit Barrel

Best wishes and hope to see you at the Northampton Fair on Saturday.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

An Indian Summer & A Very Vintage September

French Ephemera

The sunny days of September 2014 will linger long in the memory and it is with a little sadness that I sit down to write as flecks of rain begin to strike the dry ground, beckoning the arrival of Autumn. The month started with one part of 'Vintage in the Shires' setting sale for France en route for the Braderie in Lille.

A Pair Of Watercolours

The streets of Lille devote themselves to a celebration of street selling that continues into the night aided by the soft moonlight and glare of the traders lanterns. The French do it better than the British, can you imagine any town or city across our fair land that would dare contemplate such a thing? Wake up England!

Sweet Dreams 

This sweet bear in her pinafore dress and the rather gangly hound soon settled into life in Northampton.

A Curious Dog From France

Have British telegrams ever been as pretty as these which are from Belgium during the 1940s? Sadly plain telegrams unadorned with flowers brought news of sad loss to so many families .

A Telegram From Belgium

Although there is something reassuring that things of beauty found their place during a time of monumental upheaval across Europe.

French Enamel Ware

French enamel wares are always very popular however it appears that the French have 'cottoned on to' our liking and the bargain finds were few and far between.

My Finds During The Gallic Departure

You might have guessed by now that I was the part of 'Vintage in the Shires' who remained at home to prepare for the fairs ahead. Undaunted I made my way to the local monthly antique fair and returned with a couple of tea-pots, a Pyrex mixer, utility milk jug and gardening booklets by Mr Cuthberts.

A Very Retro Clock

I also picked up a 'starburst' Metamec clock from Germany in one of the charity shops on Kingsley Park Terrace in Northampton, they are becoming quite collectable and make a statement in a minimalistic or retro themed interior.


The Vintage Market At St Matthews

A short rest post the French trip and we were ready for the return to St Matthew's for the Northampton Vintage Fair. There were two rooms of stalls inside and a vintage market outside on the lawn and everyone seemed to have a great time in the sunshine.

Cherry's Stall At St Matthew's

Many thanks to everyone who came along and made the day feel so special, I hope you managed to get to ride on one of the vintage buses.

St Matthews In Northampton

St Matthew's is situated a mile from the centre of Northampton and sits in the area known as Phippesville, it holds a special place in our hearts as the first ever fair took place there four years ago (and I sang in the choir lead by Stephen Cleobury in the 1970s!).

Yellow Formica - Yes Please!

We spotted this cupboard outside and it is now on it's way to Scotland waiting to be installed in a 1960s caravan.

You Will Not Find This In 2014

I appreciate detail and how I would love to have a roll of the wallpaper used to line the base of the cupboard - Cath Kidston would be proud, it dates from the 1950s.

Getting Ready For Sywell

There was little time to pause before preparing for the Sywell Classic (I had a great time riding around on the 1940s Batavus although I felt a bit underpowered when placed near some of the motors on display, up to 1000 HP).

The Vintage Fair In Hangar One
The Vintage Fair gathered inside the cavernous space of Hangar One and as guests wandered around the stalls the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flew overhead. The sound of the Merlin engine as the  Spitfire banked sharply above the fields of Northamptonshire was truly wonderful. 

Suzanne & Cherry's Stall

The flying displays and hotrod sprints were great fun and there were some very stylish and iconic vehicles on display. Hangar One was very busy on Sunday as guests made a bee-line for the fair before the aerial attractions began.

The Textile Store
I was very busy on the Saturday and did not have time to look around outside (or inside the fair!) until Sunday, I found some nice embroidery on Gianna's stall.

Afternoon Tea At Betty's

It was lovely to see Martin & Lesley (along with Suzanne on leave from ambassadorial duties) enjoying afternoon tea in front of the lovely Betty. Betty has been hand-built following an original 1930s design and is the perfect partner to the beautiful 1940s Citroen named Yvette who first visited us at the Jubilee Garden Party in 2012. The leaded windows are such a nice detail, the diamond lattice pattern dates back to the 11th Century and was last used on a large scale in the mock Tudor details found in 1930s houses.

Camping Chic

As we strolled around we came across this cute caravan that has has been lovingly restored (just a little re-golding of the lattice panel to go) by owners Julie and Mick.

Lovely Accessories

Inside a lovely collection of original 'bits & pieces' along with some vintage fabrics and stylish flooring completed the cheerful look.

Vintage Practicality & Detail

Mick and Julie will hopefully be setting up camp outside Olney Church Hall for our last fair of the year on 13th December, the caravan will be decorated with vintage Christmas lights, I cannot wait!

A Very Popular Ford
 See You At The Olney Xmas Fair

There was a lovely collection of Fiat 500s in original colours, it is not difficult to understand why the modern 500 is such a popular car.


An Original 500

The Sywell Classic will be taking place over the last weekend of September 2015 and we are looking forward to returning!

Poster Potential

Although September has seen the fair take steps in new directions it has been nice to find the odd piece
in the tried and tested (and sometimes exhaustingly frustrating) ways. The vintage tin with cute doggies from the 1930s was an Ebay find and the crochet cushion cover was another find on Gianna's stall at Sywell. So I do not confuse anyone with my captions by poster potential I mean I think I will use the image on the poster for the Olney Xmas Fair.

Princess Elizabeth (c1948)

The jigsaw was a great find in one of the cabinets at Brackley Antique Cellar, the image is the Princess Elizabeth.


Happy Camping

The plastic cups date from the 60s/70s and are great for vintage picnics and camping, we found them on one of the stalls at Sywell.

On Trend Handmade
It was lovely to see Wendy from Random Makes who brought along two lovely cushions made for us from vintage tea-towels. Wendy's designs can be found at 15 Collingwood in Northampton.


A Byatt

Byatt was a favourite painter of the late Queen Mother although I wonder if she was aware of the sometimes risque reflections of strategically placed nude figurines (not apparent in this particular subject) which Byatt resorted to for presumably his own amusement.

Lovely Embroidery

Embroidery is such a difficult thing to portray with a camera, if one shows the whole thing the beautiful needle work seems tiny and insignificant, shown close up the detail is realised but the whole is lost. It is better to handle and use (and iron) to appreciate fully, either as a table cloth as originally intended or upcycled into bags, cushions, quilting or dresses.

Sunday 12th October

If you would like to come along you will find the fair in Leamington Spa on Sunday 12th October followed by the Olney Fair on Saturday 18th October.

Olney - North Buckinghamshire
Anyhow it is getting late and I have to be up early in the morning. I hope you have enjoyed the extended summer and we hope to see you soon.