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.