Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Sunny Streets Of Buckingham

From A Car Boot In Northampton On Saturday

I called into a local car boot in Kingsley, Northampton on Saturday. I found a few things including a book from the 20s, I liked this image of St Pauls.

The Canopy Above The Door Of The Old Town Hall

Today I had a nice afternoon driving down to Buckingham to complete some preparation for Sundays fair in The Old Town Hall. The Building stands on the corner of Castle Street and Market Square.

The Venue For Sunday's Fair

I met with staff at the venue and checked the room plan and realised I have to borrow some tables for the fair, which will provide me with an excuse to make an additional trip down to this interesting market town. There is a twice weekly traditional market in Buckingham, it was full of people when I arrived.

Still There 

As I left Buckingham I was pleased to see posters still in the positions I left them when I visited last week. I headed off to Old Wolverton as I wanted to call into G'dads collectibles, it is beside the canal in Galleon Wharf, only to be disappointed - they are closed on Tuesdays! I took a few snaps of the old enamel advertising signs which decorated the walls outside.

I Like Old Signs

By this time the sun was as high in the sky as it can get in March so I headed back to Buckingham via Stoney Stratford.

I Would Like Some Enamel Signs
To Advertise Our Fairs

I had a wander around the charity shops in Stoney but did not find anything but I did spot some interesting graffiti/art on a number of walls and a phone-box.

Humphrey Bogart?

I think this is Humphrey Bogart. Even more striking is this mural painted on a concrete pillar on a roundabout on the road from Stoney Stratford to Buckingham.

Edie Sedgwick Or Twiggy

At first glance I was sure that it was Twiggy (the Sassoon hair and turtle neck) but then wondered if it might be Edie Sedgwick, associate of Andy Warhol's Factory. Either way it is an  image of iconic 60s glitterati. A few minutes later I was back in Buckingham, everywhere was bathed in sunshine. I called into Port Vintage who will be selling at the fair on Sunday.

Port Vintage For Fab Vintage Clothes For Ladies
Upstairs Is Fox Vintage For Men

After a cream tea in a lovely little tea shop near the Old Gaol Museum I returned to the car and drove into the late afternoon sun back to Northampton.

Sunday 1st April 11-4

I will be back in Buckingham on Saturday to set the tables for Sundays fair. Hope to see you on Sunday. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Plans For A July Jumble

Saturday 21st July In Northampton

Just wanted to let you know that we have set a date for the 2nd Vintage Jumble at St Matthews. We had a great time back in January, there was a great atmosphere although I think we did make a significant contribution to traffic congestion in the Kingsley Park Terrace area of Northampton. 

An Interesting Insight

I am currently reading a book about the Festival of Britain, it focusses on the 'politics', personalities and legacy of this amazing event. Sadly much of the festival was dismantled and scrapped by an incoming government, some exhibits found their way into schools and museums and the Poplar Estate and Royal Festival Hall in London are still very much with us. I was quite taken with the descriptions of people dancing in the summer night, something which took place every night during the Festival period. 

Buckingham 1st April

Very much on the horizon is our first fair in Buckingham which is taking place on Sunday (another first) 1st April. I will be going down to Buckingham tomorrow to complete some final preparations.

Yesterday I spent a few hours tidying the front garden, the weather was ideal, very warm and sunny and it is going to be even warmer tomorrow, so I will not have the freezing cold to use as an excuse when I find myself in a coffee shop.

Spring Cleaning Al Fresco

Many houses in the 30s were sold with a birdbath installed in the front garden, a concession to nature during a time of massive suburban sprawl.

Blackbirds Love It

A blackbird regularly splashes around in the morning. Being in the garden left me little time to go out looking for some vintage finds but I did have a play around with some old classroom prints. I like to frame these, they are so colourful and evocative of bygone years.

   'Growing Bulbs In School'  No 45

I like this one because Hyacinths are in flower at the moment, adding real colour and scent to early spring.

A Pile Of Shabby Prints

School prints tend to sell really well at our vintage fairs (probably because if I see them I will probably buy them!).

'An Orange Grove'  No 35

On reflection I am sure that this image of an orange grove lead me to pick orange as the main colour of the poster for the 2nd Vintage Jumble.

Will be posting again soon after my visit to Buckingham.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A Trip To Stamford And A Useful Vintage Find

Vintage Festival

This image comes from some advertising sheets from the 50s, they are really bright and cheerful. We found them in an antiques centre in Uppingham in Rutland where we stopped for tea and cakes en route to Oakham and Stamford on Monday this week.

Put Your Message Here
Read All About It - Vintage Fair Comes To Town

The idea being to write your own message in the large blank area, I like them so much that I am trying to find a way of making the message useable for more than a single event, then have them laminated. I have eight in total so not much room for error in the 'creative phase'.

We Have One Of These At Home In The Hall

We both love these old WI cabinets that can be found up and down the country, they make me think of Miss Marple (definitively Joan Hickson), probably through the joint association with tweed.

Unfortunately Closed

We found this lovely little bookshop and wondered what treasures lay inside, although closed we did say hello to the charming proprietor, the Rutland Bookshop is close to the famous school. The window display was full of vintage childrens' titles.

Castle Cottage Cafe In Oakham

We moved on to Oakham and found the lovely Castle Cottage Cafe for a large pot of Earl Grey. All of the tables were decorated beautifully and there is pretty garden for warmer days, a perfect spot for afternoon tea.

Vintage Flowers In The Garden

Suitably sustained we drove on to Stamford and headed for the Arts Centre which is situated in the centre of this wonderful town. Our vintage fair will be visiting Stamford for the first time on 2nd June.

The Corner Of St Mary's Street And St George's Street In Stamford

The fair will be taking place in the ballroom of Stamford Arts Centre, its is an ornate room with lovely views of the southern approaches to the town. You can find Stamford Arts Centre at the junction of St Mary's Street and St George's Street.

The Ballroom - Where You Will Find The Fair In June

It had been a very enjoyable day as we drove into the late afternoon sun on our way back to Northampton.  On the way we passed by Boughton House which will be home to The Vintage Festival organised by Hemingway Design in July this year. I have created a link at the top of this blog that will take you to the Festival website.

I Intend To Update This Poster 
To Reflect The Jubilee Celebrations

I will be busy in the next few days dealing with the arrangements for our fair in Buckingham on 
Sunday 1st April. I will let you know about any vintage finds I may happen upon.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Some Pictures From Yesterday's Fair In Northampton

A Beautiful Tin From Sprig and Cecil

This was my favourite find from Saturday, the image of the lady in finery is from the lid of a tin I found displyed by Nic from Sprig and Cecil (twitter@sprigandcecil). We had a lovely day at yesterday's fair in Northampton. The early spring sun shone down and a queue of people started to form at the door at 11.30! Earlier in the morning I had chatted to the presenter of the breakfast show on Radio Northampton, hoping that I did not deter too many people from visiting. 

The Way To Go

The way to the sales rooms were clearly marked out and bunting was hung around the church garden wall and in the 'old style' tea room. When the doors opened there was a rush of people eager to get inside and the rooms remained packed for quite a while. 

USA Style - What A Magnificent Plymouth

This wonderful Plymouth graced the car-park outside the fair and captured many admiring hearts, I am not sure but think this beauty is from the 40s, it makes me think of Humphrey Bogart. 

I Love This Coat

As the stalls were being set up I spotted this tweed coat, I intended to buy it but unfortunately it had been snapped up by some lucky gentleman by the time I went to get it.

I Like This Display, Part Of One Of The Stalls

I think it was great to see stalls focussing on vintage items to appeal to men who like vintage. The rooms were a riot of colour and a mass of people, the tea shop tables were all taken and there was a terrific atmosphere which was very friendly.


Vicky of 'The Nostalgic Kitchen' had a great display of original kitchenalia. These things look great when displayed and are completely usable in both the period and modern kitchen.

Blue Utility Ware

The blue utility ware and Singer sewing machine caught my eye. Utility ware was born out an an age of necessary austerity during WW2, much of it has survived and will be 'de rigueur' at this years jubilee celebrations.

Make Do And Mend With A Vintage Singer

I think these old sewing machines represent great value, they can be found for relatively little cost and look great in a display. They were built and looked after so well that many work as well now as when they were made. It was great catching up with old friends and meeting new people who visited the fair for the first time.

Baby Pictures Are Very Popular

Tomorrow I am driving over to Stamford to take some photographs to help promote the fair in June. Later in the week I will be driving down to Buckingham in preparation for the fair in April. We will be back in Northampton for the Vintage Fair & Jubilee Garden Party at the Spinney Hill on 26th May.

Our First Fair In Buckingham & Our First Fair On A Sunday!

Thank you all for making Saturday such a pleasant day. Best wishes and see you soon.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Tomorrow's Fair In Northampton & A Haircut

Not Vintage But Very Eye-Catching

Yesterday I made a last minute appointment to have my hair cut, this very stylish Vespa was resting inside the salon. The seat is bespoke and made of hide, all in all quite stunning. 40 minutes later and with much shortened hair I headed home to complete the last bits of preparation for Saturdays fair in Northampton.

Ciao To Vintage Lovers In Italy

The fair is starting at 12 noon and we are really pleased because the weather is looking good for tomorrow. The fair is taking place in the parish centre, there will be 25 stalls selling original vintage wares and handmade items made from vintage fabrics or inspired by vintage designs. 

Saturday 10th March 12pm-4pm

Linens, china, kitchenalia, costume jewellery, prints, fabrics, old toys, books and ephemera from the 30s-50s always feature strongly on the stands. As usual tea and homemade cakes will be served throughout the fair, and the period music helps to create a very nostalgic ambience. 

The Fair Is In The Parish Centre Behind St Matthew's

If you are travelling to the fair from the town centre you will pass the landmark White Elephant pub which sits at a corner of the Old Racecourse Park.

The White Elephant
Our stall holders will be arriving several hours before the fair starts to set up their lovely displays which are always so colourful. The rooms will look fabulous once done but the hour before is hectic with people criss-crossing as the fair takes shape, the Green & Blacks chocolates are for our stall holders to help revive energy!

Green & Blacks, Like Kendal Mint-Cake But Nicer!

We hope you all have a safe journey to the fair and that you return home happy with your vintage finds.
I wil be bringing along the floral print by Byatt, I picked it up in a small shop in Kettering earlier this week and spent several hours tidying it up. I will bring it along tomorrow but will happy if it stays with me and does not find its way to a new home.

Late Summer Flowers By Byatt

Best wishes and see you at the fair.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Late Summer Blooms In Early March

These vintage French flower seed labels have been hiding away in a sewing tin which lives on our landing. I found them when I was looking for some black thread as I wanted to 'make do and mend' my favourite black sweater.

Vintage French Seed Labels

They are very colourful, well drawn and have a gummed back for application, they are perfect for a project as they are so distinctive. I think I am trying to hasten the onset of summer by showing the flowers of June, July and August.

A Ranunculus

I kept these packets, the seeds were set a few years ago and the Sunflowers did really well but I think that Parsley and Radish would be of great interest to our hens.

Cath Kidston Seed Packets

I hope to get out into the garden soon and try to make sense of the wasteland created by our free-ranging hens. However before then I need to mention the 8th Northampton Vintage Fair which is taking place on Saturday. There will be twenty four stalls in total and the doors will open at 12 noon.

Find Your Way To The Fair

The fair is taking place in the parish centre which is situated behind St Matthews Church in the Kingsley area of town. Tea and cakes will be waiting for you when you arrive.


Hopefully you will return home from the fair  with your 'to be cherished' vintage finds. These cards are from a game called Gulliver's Travels, from the 30s/40s. I wish I knew the rules but the instructions have been lost.

How Long Is Your Journey To The Fair

I think I will use some of the cards to make gift tags.

Moonlight Serenade

This is the only card in the pack which has two little birds in the corner, if anyone does know the rules please let me know.

Best wishes and see you on Saturday.