Wednesday, 23 October 2013

A Fantastic Day In Leamington & Four Fairs In November

Betty Lou

On Sunday we gathered in the Royal Pump Rooms for the Leamington Spa Vintage Fair. I arrived just a couple minutes after the designated time of 8am and found an 'army' of stall holders waiting for me. The following two hours passed very quickly and before long it was ten o'clock and time for the fair to begin. Just before the start I had a quick walk around the stalls and found a lovely print of "Betty Lou" from the 1930s, many thanks to Debbie for bringing her back from America.

30s Cover Girl

I like the the covers and illustrations in annuals from the 20s and 30s, it is wonderful that they have lasted so long, there are lots in circulation and they are perhaps even more eye-catching now than when they were first printed eighty years ago.

The Main Hall

There is a narrow staircase which leads up to a gallery which allows a great view of the main reception room.

Vintage From Faded White Interiors

The ladies from Faded White Interiors joined us for the first time and their stall in the conservatory looked lovely, I spotted two lovely old frames and was not surprised when I saw someone proudly carrying them away a short time later.

Vintage Glass From Twinset & Pearls
Natural light streams through the windows in the conservatory and sets off glassware and jewellery perfectly.


Handbags, Gladrags, Aprons & Linens
Period accessories and original handbags are always very popular at our fairs.


Steampunk & Silver

The lovely stained glass provided a fantastic back-drop for Roy and Linda's display of jewellery.

Gramophones & Ephemera
The stalls in the main hall were full of original wares and bits and pieces. I brought my gramophone along to the fair but we were so busy that I did not even get the opportunity to wind it up! Many thanks to everyone who came along and especially to those who left their details in order to join the mailing list we have for the fair.

Retro In Pink
The vibrant pinks of this old analogue phone from the 70s really stood out, we use a similar phone at home except it is a shade of mustard yellow rather than hot link. We actually bought the phone when we visited a fair at the Pump Rooms in Leamington several years ago.



Kitchenalia From Vintage Treasures

Carole from Vintage Treasures brought along some nice kitchenalia, Carole has a shop in Hinckley which I always visit when I am in the area. 

Vintage Plastics

The collection of vintage fashion accessories from the 60s and 70s was displayed by David from Paper and Plastics as were the lovely collection of vintage magazines. David regularly has stall when the fair visits Leamington and Market Harborough.

Vintage Paper
The covers of the magazines provide a fascinating insight into the prevailing interests and style of their time.

George VI
This large print of George VI maintained a dignified presence and cast his gaze over the far end of the room, I wonder if the man himself ever visited the Pump Rooms. When I was walking through Leamington I learnt that a large statue of Queen Victoria was moved one inch across its plinth by a Luftwaffe bomb in WWII.

'Plan Your Own Garden'
Brittains Ltd were well known during the early part of the Twentieth Century for their lead figures of soldiers. In the 50s and 60s they diversified and began producing 'toys' made from plastics. We spotted a box of flower beds and tools from their 'miniature garden' range on one of the stalls, the individual pieces are quite collectable so it was great to find a set together.

Saturday 2nd November

Our next two fairs are taking place on consecutive Saturdays starting with Stamford on 2nd November followed by our return to Olney on 9th October.

Saturday 9th November
The fair will then visit St Matthew's in Northampton on 23rd November before visiting Stratford upon Avon for the first time at the end of the month.


Festive Vintage At St Matthews

We hope to see you at one of the fairs, best wishes for a 'vintage November'.

Our First Visit To Stratford

Friday, 18 October 2013

The Fair On Sunday, Blighty Bazaar & A Whole Lot Of Vintage In Leamington Spa

The Royal Pump Rooms In Leamington Spa - The Fair Starts At 10am!

We are all very busy preparing for the Leamington Spa Vintage Fair which is taking place on Sunday in the fabulous Royal Pump Rooms. The setting is sumptuous and bathed in natural light, the stalls will fill the main reception room and Georgian conservatory. It will also be an early start, the doors open at 10am.

 View Of The Main Sales Room From The Gallery - April 2013

One of the most enjoyable elements of organising vintage fairs is that I am obliged to visit some lovely places, call into numerous tea-shops and generally snoop around in search of 'vintage' shops. When I visited Leamington earlier this week I happened upon Blighty Bazaar on Kenilworth Street.

The Newly Opened Blighty Bazaar In Leamington

The proprietors Les and Amy (you may know Amy from the Blighty Boutique Vintage & Handmade Fairs at Hatton Park) have done a fantastic job of gathering together some great vintage traders, the displays are fantastic and all in all it is a lovely place to shop and enjoy 'proper' homemade cake (six choices on the day I visited) and tea served in pretty old china cups.

A Display At Blighty Bazaar

I really liked the lamp-shapes that had been strung together, they look fantastic, what a way to upcycle!
Blighty Bazaar is just a couple of minutes walk from the Royal Pump Rooms and will is open every Sunday so if you are coming along to the fair allow yourself sufficient time to visit BB.

Merriman's Vintage Jamboree At Blighty Bazaar

As I walked around I was drawn to a fantastic and very colourful display of vintage toys, I recognised the 'signature' style instantly, it was by Cherry of Merriman's Vintage Jamboree, Cherry regularly has a stall at our fairs and will be with us on Sunday in The Pump Rooms.


Dansette Mono Record Players

I love my 78s and Decca gramophone (which I will be bringing along to the fair) although I did pause for just a little too long near this great display of Dansettes which are perfect for 45s (and 78s and 33s).
The taste for 1960s style in the home is in the ascendent and Dansettes or the more furniture-like radiograms capture the 'low-fi' aesthetic perfectly.

The 60s Kitchen
A number of the displays featured vintage kitchenalia, original furniture and all sorts of bits and pieces are increasingly sought after.

More Kitchenalia At Blighty Bazaar

Tea lovers will be heaven with all the original china on display, I welcome the day when tea served in vintage china will be the norm rather than the exception.

The Vintage Tea Pot

This impressive display is from Vicki of The Vintage Tea Pot. I really enjoyed my time in browsing in Blighty Bazaar and will call in whenever I am in Leamington.

Yellow Fever

Back home in Northampton I have been busy preparing some things to bring along to the fair on Sunday. I picked up some frames in a garage sale in Kibworth a couple of weeks ago and I finally found the time to transform them with some chalk paint. The educational prints are one of my favourite 'vintage' things and I always look out for them wherever I happen to be.

30s Prints

I have also been working with a pile of prints we found during the summer, they are very typically 1930s and some feature very cute Scotties.

"Bath Time"

I was not certain how best to present the prints and decided to paste them on to some thin pieces of wooden board so that they can either be positioned on some shelves, hung on a string or placed in a frame.

"Fetching Youngsters"

The doggie pictures would look lovely in a child's room or nursery.


Finds At Newark Antiques Fair

We managed to find time to visit the large Antiques & Collectables fair at Newark last week. It was a bitterly cold day and the bargains were few and far between although we eventually returned home with some nice things.

Vintage Storage Jars From The USA

I liked these blue storage jars from America, most date from the 20s and 30s. I spotted them on stall in a cattle shed when everyone was packing away early as the already poor weather took a turn for the worse.

Bisque Bunnies

The bisque figures are very sweet, the gentleman selling them literally had hundreds of them.

Animal Farm - Vintage Style

My favourite find at Newark was a 'Victory' jigsaw puzzle of farm-yard animals, usually these puzzles are quite small but this is much bigger and I couldn't resist setting up the animals in the hearth at home.

This Sunday - 20th October

I hope to see you at the fair on Sunday. The Royal Pump Rooms can be found on The Parade in the centre of Leamington Spa and the postcode is CV34 4AA. 

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Last Weeks Fair In Market Harborough

 Old Fashioned Single Roses

We had a lovely time last Saturday at the Market Harborough Vintage Fair, as usual our home for the day was the Three Swans Hotel on the High Street. The print of the roses was my favourite find of the day, I would guess it dates from the 20s or 30s.

More Finds At The Fair
We returned home with a very colourful collection including two sweet little chairs chairs and an old 78  ragtime record (which will be premiered at the Leamington Fair next week!). 


Some Of Stalls In The Main Room

The day began with the arrival of the stall holders shortly before nine, the lovely displays pressed into every corner of the sales rooms leaving just enough room for the many people who came along on the day. Many thanks to everyone who helped to make it such an enjoyable and busy day with special thanks to Vicky from the Nostalgic Kitchen and Amy from Amy's Vintage for your help with 'postering'.

Merriman's Vintage Jamboree

Autumnal colours were much in evidence although outside it was an amazingly warm and sunny day which helped to bring out crowds of people looking for vintage treasure. It was lovely to see Cherry from Merriman's Vintage Jamboree and Melissa from Memory Lane Vintage

Memory Lane Vintage

Pretty vintage china is always popular, people often purchase pieces for vintage style weddings or for serving afternoon tea. A point I have made previously and one worth making again I think is that Earl Grey (or whatever your preferred leaf may be) should always be served in a cup, preferably delicate and made of china, although Wood's utility ware is a perfectly acceptable alternative in situations where  china might appear out of place.


Trays seem to be popular again especially the pretty floral ones made from lightweight fibreglass, they can be put to good use when eating your tea in front of bargain hunt!

Vintage Marvells

Rachael of Vintage Marvells stall was full of colour and cheery patterns, the lovely roses print that came home with us was found amongst her box of pictures, Rachael will be joining us again at the Stamford fair in November.

Fred's Perspective
Just before the doors open there is always a last minute flurry of activity as stall holders arrange their final pieces and make last minute tweaks to their display, Fred and Antoinette will also be with us in Stamford.

40s At The The Fair

Members of the Northamptonshire Home Guard arrived and headed for Amy's stall which had a distinctly 1940s feel.

Period Attire from Amy's Vintage

Hats and handbags add the finishing touch to a vintage outfit and are perfect for 40s enthusiasts and lovers of the style.

Many Thanks To Mary, Amy & The Gentlemen Of Northants Home Guard.
Amy and Mary were dressed in 1940s attire, showing just how wearable and wonderfully stylish vintage clothing can be. Amy's Vintage will be joining us again in December when the fair returns for the  Market Harborough Xmas Vintage Fair.

Vintage Linens

Vintage linens are always popular and amazing value for money when you consider how much work goes in to hand embroidered pieces, they look fantastic and cost hardly anything at all.

The Little Guides

I love the style of these 1950s book covers (I think they look like they come from the 30s), this one looks very seasonal with it's russet tones although the fair has no immediate plans to venture into the fair county of Gloucestershire at present. We once visited the famous Robert Opie Museum in Gloucester, the displays of visual advertising and packaging were fascinating.

Retro Shades

1950s and 1960s retro style textiles and ceramics look great in modern homes and are always popular, the designs create impact as they tend to be bright and bold.

1930s Rural Idyl 

This is the picture on the side of a large toffee tin we found, it probably came from a sweet shop where it was used for display as it was quite large.

Pretty Kitsch
This group of dancers from the 50s or 60s were spotted on the cover of a vintage music score, I liked how striking the pink taffeta gowns appear against the dark ground.

1950s Style - Poodle Wool
I loved the cover of this knitting pattern showing hats made from 'poodle wool', British Pathe has a great film clip about this particular yarn, feature a lady knitter taking her pet poodles for a walk by the river in 1956 (I am sure you will be happy to learn that poodle wool does not come from poodles).

Vintage Wedding Style From The USA

This pattern book was sold in Battle Creek Michigan (the home of Kellogg's cereals) about sixty years ago, McCall's patterns are still operational although they have changed with the times.


Sunday 20th October 
We are really looking forward to returning to Leamington Spa next week. The Royal Pump Rooms are  fantastic and there are going to be some lovely stalls set amidst the grandeur of the setting. It will also be our earliest start ever - 10am!

Best wishes and hope to see you at the fair.