Sunday, 26 February 2012

A Very Busy Three Days & Plans For A Vintage Fair Jubilee Garden Party

Colours From A Bygone Age

I will start this post with these pretty maps which I guess are from the 50s/60s when roads were much quieter than they are today. I found them when I was in Buckingham on Friday, it was a lovely sunny afternoon and I was visiting the venue for the forthcoming 1st Buckingham Vintage Fair. In between Market Hill and the High Street is a very nice little vintage clothes shop run by Fenella. I found the maps upstairs in 'Fox Vintage'.


I really liked the colourful images and the prominent ESSO emblem. I also found this wool turtle neck sweater in Fox Vintage, I resisted buying it but will not if it is still there where I go back next week.
I also found a great butchers (strange as I am vegetarian) which sold really good homemade cakes, I took two huge madeira buns filled with cream and jam home.

St Michael Turtle Neck

I handed out a few posters for the fair which is taking place at The Old Town Hall on 1st April and then met with Louise from the Villiers Hotel to view the venue. The very positive way in which the Villiers Hotel (it is they who own and manage the Old Town Hall)  have received the fair has been very encouraging. The name Villiers is synonymous with the favourite of King Charles 1 who was made first Duke of Buckingham (an elevation so despised by parts of the country that Civil War and regicide were to follow).

The Old Town Hall In Buckingham

The fair will be taking place upstairs in the grand ballroom. The stalls will be selling original vintage home wares and ephemera, handmade items and vintage clothing and accessories. There will be an old style tea shop for tea and cakes. The Old Town Hall is right in the middle of town.

The Blue Lamp

This lovely old police light hangs outside The Old Gaol Museum in Buckingham which has a wonderful exhibition of work of Flora Thompson of Lark Rise To Candleford fame.

The Old Gaol Museum In Buckingham

The Old Gaol Museum is a stones throw away from the Old Town Hall. Before leaving for Buckingham I made a call to put into action an idea I had been developing for a little while. I arranged a meeting with the manager of the Spinney Hill in Northampton, to take place the following morning.

The Spinney Hill In Northampton

I met with the really friendly, helpful and resourceful Grace. I had a look around and could imagine what the garden of this lovely pub will look like in May. Construction of the Spinney Hill began in 1929 and the building retains most of its 1930s features, lending itself perfectly to our Vintage Fair & Jubilee Garden Party on 26th May. I will provide more details once I have completed the poster. I spent the remainder of the day trying to change the appearance of this blog, I hope you like the changes, there will soon be tabs to enable visitors to navigate around the different fairs and events.

Easter Bunnies

Finally to the third of my very busy three days mentioned in the title of this post. On Thursday I returned to Olney to view the church hall of the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul. I called into one of the towns charity shops and found this  little print of rabbits in a spring scene.

St Peter & St Paul Church Rooms In Olney

The pretty church hall of St peter and St Paul, new home to the Olney Vintage Fair, where we will be for the 3rd Olney Vintage Fair on 5th May.

Hope to see you all at one of the fairs soon.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

A Day At The Races, Three Dates For Olney & Station 109

Ready For The Off
Yesterday I arrived in Olney just in time for the start of the famous pancake race, reputedly first run in 1455. The High Street was packed with a happy crowd cheering on the ladies of the town as they ran with frying pan in hand from the Market Square to the finish near the gate of the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul.

St Peter & St Paul In Olney
I followed the race some way behind the winner who completed the historic course in less than a minute.
I was completely taken by this little character who lives in the field next to church yard.

A Shetlander In Bucks
My gloves seemed to be of great interest and I had to tuck them into my pocket. The little pony was so curious yet very gentle, I shared the thought that such ponies used to pull trucks full of coal and ore up the steepest slopes for their living.

Really Friendly & Loves Gloves
I headed back up to the Church Hall for a cup of tea and noticed this tree, I think it is a Plane Tree, a species much admired by the enigmatic artists Gilbert and George. 

Plane Trees On Church Lane
The traditional Shriving Service took place in St Peter and St Pauls, the pancakes were in the Church Hall!

The Church Rooms Of St Peter & St Paul
I liked the way the tables had been dressed with pretty yellow Primulas. Years ago I found myself in the  yard of an ancient church in Holdenby in Northants. It must have been early March, the tended grass was a mass of Primula Vulgaris in shades of pink, yellow, white and blue. It was as if someone had conspired to compose a perfect alpine meadow in the heart of England.

Spring Will Soon Be With Us
On my way back to the car parked at the head of the High Street I called in to Chic Boutique at 100a The High Street. The lovely little shop was full of vintage fashion and homewares, I found a pretty Coronation cup and saucer.

Chic Boutique In Olney
I left the bustling High Street of Olney but not before picking up this vintage French plate rack which I found in a charity shop. 

A Charity Shop Find
I headed for Rushden and my long overdue visit to Station 109 at the Rushden Antiques Centre.
I spent two and a half hours browsing and chatting to Mike, the infinitely helpful and interesting owner. 

A Fine Telephone From Station 109
I particularly liked this old telephone and an old Aquascutum 'dogs-tooth' brown suit, which sadly did not quite fit, as much as I tried to convince myself that it did. A pile of hats caught my eye. Conversation about the Twinwood Festival in August reminded me that I should pursue my interest in learning to dance. I did not return home with my perfect pair of polished tan leather boots but was cheered by an enjoyable day.

Hats Galore Again From Station 109
Lastly but by no means least I have found a new venue for the popular Olney Vintage Fair and have arranged three dates for 2012. More details in my next post! The dates have been added to the list of dates in the side-bar.

I will post again soon as the Northampton fair is less than three weeks away and it will soon be our first fair in Buckingham.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Yesterdays Fair In Harborough

Lovely Embroidery From Vicky Loves Vintage
Hello everyone, here are some photos from Saturdays Vintage Fair in Market Harborough. As we left a very cold Northampton we entered a winter wonderland. The villages of northern Northamptonshire were shrouded in freezing fog, the trees were covered white and the scene was quite unlike anything I had seen before. As we passed through Kelmarsh the temperature had dropped to minus 15.5 degrees. As we approached Harborough the sun was breaking through, and  it was great to see some of our stall holders waiting patiently in their cars.
Vintage Luggage
Once inside the Three Swans was soon a hive of activity as stall holders arrived and began to set up their stalls, it was great meeting old friends and welcoming people selling with us for the first time.
The stalls looked great as I had a quick walk around before the doors opened at 11. The blotter and luggage caught my eye and were displayed by Vicky from Vicky Loves Vintage. (
So Colourful Vintage Paper & Plastics
David from Paper and Plastics ( joined the fair for the first time and the display looked so bright and cheerful.
Love These Telephones From Paper And Plastics
I then spotted some great kitchenalia from Vicky's The Nostalgic Kitchen.
I Remember Using One Of These Irons In The 70s
However I do not recall using one of these gas irons!
Visit The Nostlagic Kitchen (
When the doors opened at 11am a cold blast of air entered the foyer, a small number of people braved the early cold and were warmly greeted. I hope the splendid sight of all the stalls was sufficient reward for braving the chill air and ice covered paths.
 Tins Look Great Stacked On Shelves
The slow start soon turned into a steady stream of visitors and by 12.30 the area around the door was crowded as people queued to get in.
I Love Peacock Feathers
Once when were staying at The Hunters Inn in the Heddon Vally on Exmoor there was a peacock perched outside our window in the morning.
Rich Patina From A Bygone Time
Some of our visitors had travelled quite a distance to the fair and it was really nice chatting, learning about vintage events in other parts of the country.

Lovely Felt Brooches From Jane SmallBeans
There were some lovely handmade items inspired by original vintage designs, I particularly liked the colourful felt designs (and Im sure I spotted a Fuzzy Felt set on one of the stalls).
Felt Bunnies For Easter (
Considering how cold it remained thoughout the day it was a wonderful turn out, all our stall holders and lots of enthusiastic visitors created a lovely warm atmosphere. 
The Five Hours Passed By And I Realised I Had Only Had A Single Cup Of Earl Grey
At 4 we closed the doors and everyone began to prepare for the journey home. We hope you all enjoyed the fair as much as we did, we are really looking forward to June when we will be back in Market Harborough.
A Present For The Hens From Blighty Boutique (
My concern for our two hens lead me to buying one of these hot water bottles from Amy's Blighty Boutique. Recently I have, rather comically, been placing a rubber hot water bottle in the straw in the henhouse in our back garden when 'the girls' retire for the evening.

It was a lovely day, thanks to everyone who helped to bring such warmth to the coldest day that I can remember.
Station 109 For Everything 40s (
I will be going to one of my favourite shops during the next few days, a long overdue visit to 
Station 109 in my hunt for some 40s boots. I will let you know how I get on.

Friday, 10 February 2012

As Jones Would Say "Don't Panic, Don't Panic"
The Roads Are Clear And The Rooms Are Ready!
Blogging for the second time today, quite unprecedented. Just thought I would share my last bits of preparation for the fair with you.  I headed up to Market Harborough this afternoon to set the tables, pin up a few more tactically placed posters (and for a scone and cup of Earl Grey at Joules, unfortunately closed by the time I had finished what I had to do).
Winter Twighlight Outside The Three Swans Hotel At 5.30 This Evening
I like Dads Army and plan to be home to watch it on BBC2 tomorrow evening, hopefully with a glass of wine in hand, tired but happy after the fair. Years ago I stayed at the Bell Hotel in Thetford and discovered that the actors and production team stayed there when filming in the 60s and 70s!
Find The Fair At The Three Swans Hotel
It was bitterly cold as I walked back to the car for the drive back to Northampton, the lights of Market Harborough disappearing behind me as I crossed back into Northamptonshire.

Looking forward to a great day tomorrow, come along and visit this friendly fair and return home with your treasured vintage and handmade finds.

Fair Weather For A Vintage Valentines

Saturday 11th Feb 11-4
Hello everyone, just a quick post to let you know that the Fair is going ahead undaunted by the snow. I will be driving up to Market Harborough this afternoon to prepare the sales rooms and set up the 'old style' tea shop. 
Walk Through The Arch To Find The Fair
Have a safe journey and looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Saturday Night, Sunday Morning and Next Week's Fair in Harborough

The Three Swans in Market Harborough
This water-colour of the Three Swans hangs in the foyer of the hotel, I noticed it when I was in Market Harborough  last Friday. I had travelled up to complete some last minute 'postering' which principally involves asking various local businesses to display posters for the forthcoming 3rd Market Harborough Vintage Fair. As usual people were very positive and helpful and I would like to say thank you to Costa, Joules Yard, Emmerson & West and GorGeous Shoes.
Find The Fair Through The Arch
The Three Swans is a very historic and very old coaching inn, situated 21 High Street, this magnificent wrought iron sign hangs outside.  The fair will be taking place in the Fairfax and Cromwell Suites. The fair starts at 11am and will close at 4pm, tea and cakes will be available throughout and there will be lots of stalls selling original vintage items from the 20s - 60s and handmade items made from vintage fabrics.
GorGeous Shoes
It was a very cold clear day with a biting wind from the East and cosy tea rooms beckoned and proved to be a warm refuge.
Saturday 11th February 11 - 4
I visited the indoor market hall  which on a Sunday provides home to the well established weekly antiques market, and decided that I would take a pitch later this weekend.
St Dionysius & The Old Grammar School
As I drove home the winter sun was low on the horizon and the freezing air hung just above the rolling green fields. Content in my plans to return early on Sunday morning for the market I arrived home.
As Saturday progressed I checked the forecast and snow seemed likely and finally started in the evening and continued for hours.  Anyone who has tried to drive a rear wheel drive automatic in snow will understand why I decided not to go to the market!
Saturday Night
So instead of packing the car I decided to work on a few small pieces of furniture. I used Annie Sloan chalk paints, the chair and milking stool are painted in 'Monet Blue' and the mirrors are in 'Cream', which is a rich light yellow. I will have to wait for the snow to melt before I can distress the paint and finish with clear wax. I stopped work around midnight by which time a thick blanket of snow covered everything.
Sunday Morning
When I ventured out to buy some logs for the fire the streets were transformed, tarmac and granite turned pure white.
Our two hens have never seen snow before and tried to balance on the rims of plant pots to avoid it.They  did not want to move from their perches until  I cleared the path for them and coaxed them down with meal worms.

We are really looking forward to the fair in Market Harborough and hope to see you there.