Thursday, 6 October 2016

See You At Heart Of The Shires

A New Fair At Heart Of The Shires In Northamptonshire
This Saturday & Sunday (8th/9th Oct) 10am-5pm
Free Entry  Everyone Welcome  Dogs Too!

I have been busy all week preparing to take the fair to Heart of the Shires in Northamptonshire for the first time at the weekend. Heart of the Shires is a wonderful rural shopping 'village' set around a tastefully renovated Victorian farm in the countryside a few miles north of Weedon.

The Bandstand In The Courtyard At Heart Of The Shires

The fair will be taking place inside a large marquee and there will be around twenty three large stalls, Many of us have been collecting and creating pieces especially for this fair so there should be some great things waiting for a new home along. There will also be two stalls displaying jewellery and there will be a choice of vintage or handmade pieces.

Emma Bridgewater At Abraxus

There are lots of independent shops including a bridal boutique called Silver Sixpence, a deli, numerous gift shops, Country Clothing and the award winning Abraxus. Darlingtons Tea Room are on hand for tea and freshly prepared meals, there is an excellent children's play area adjacent to the marquee hosing the handmade and vintage stalls. Entry is free and everyone is welcome, dogs too! So please bring them along.

Joan The Vintage Caravan At This Year's Sywell Classic

Joan the vintage caravan will be joining the Heart of the Shires Fair on the Sunday and will be setting up camp in front of the marquee, she received lots of complements at Sywell back in September.

The Lovely Canons Ashby

Just a few miles from Heart of the Shires is one of my favourite places, Canons Ashby, there is a lovely garden to stroll around, a fantastic cafe and a wonderful house to explore. Expect to be greeted by friendly staff and roaming chickens when you arrive. I have been visiting for years and the picture above was taken on earlier this week as I visited the surrounding villages to put up some posters.
Canons Ashby is maintained by the National Trust and there is a charge to visit the house and gardens although the cafe is free for all to visit.

Another Dog On Wheels!

We found this chunky chap on one of the stalls in the Vintge fair at the Sywell Cassic, Neil who brought him will also be joining us at Heart of the Shires at the weekend. The beret and souvenir scarf are also finds from Sywell.

Vintage Threads

I buy old embroidery threads whenever I can (along with spools, wooden cotton reels and other things useful to the vintage haberdasher). The value offered by sourcing vintage stock is clear if you consider the cost of new items. There were a few stalls at the Umbrella Fair which takes place on The Racecourse in Northampton every August, on one I found boxes and boxes of all sort of things and it was £5 to fill a large bag. Thrifting is fun!

Darlingtons Tea Room

I will be blogging again in a few weeks time and will be publishing the dates for 2017.

The Children's Play Area At Heart Of The Shires

Take care and hope to see you at Heart of the Shires.

Friday, 9 September 2016

A Very Busy Autumn, The Sywell Classic 2016 & A Lovely New Fair!

Trips On Vintage Buses For Free

Our Autumn fairs commence tomorrow with a small gathering of stalls at St Mathhew's in Northampton. The old style tea room will be serving cakes from 11am. There is a lot happening in Northampton as it is the town's Heritage Weekend and there is a Craft & Food Fair at Delapre Abbey.
St Matthew's is on one of the routes for the vintage bus rides, they connect up places of interest all over town and can be caught in George Row in the town centre .

24th/25th September

The Vintage Fair fills Hangar One and it's all action outside! For more info and tickets please visit the The Sywell Classic Website.

The Olney Fair Is Five Years Old!

Without time to catch our breath we will be heading down to Buckinghamshire for the Olney Fair at St Pater & St Paul's Church Hall on 1st October.

A Wonderful New Fair - At Heart of the Shires

We will then be taking the fair to the fantastic Heart of the Shires set on Watling Street near Weedon. It is the county's finest rural shopping village and features many attractions including an excellent array of independent high end shops. The setting itself is a wonderfully restored Victorian Farm complete with an original bandstand. This will be an event not to be missed!

The Last Saturday In October 

We will then have a few weeks 'off' before returning to Lincolnshire for the Stamford Vintage Fair. The fair takes place in the Ballroom and Blue Room which are part of the award winning Stamford Arts Centre.

Stratford Town Hall

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Bargans Galore - It's The Vintage Jumble

Saturday 23rd July 2016

It's the Vintage Jumble in Northampton on Saturday. There will be around 35 stalls in total. 20 stalls will be set up inside with a further 15 large brocant style stalls set out on the lawn in the walled garden.  Tea and homemade cakes will be served in the old style tea room (although I'm going to take mine outside).

If you are an early riser why not visit the Holcot Car Boot (Holcot is a village around 4 miles north of Northampton), it starts around 7.30am/8am.

Take care and see you at the Jumble
The address is 27A The Drive, Northampton. NN1 4RY.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

My Gosh It's July Already & A Busy Month Ahead!

2nd & 3rd July 2016

I cannot believe six months have passed since I last wrote (an if you were wondering the Market Harborough Fair was a great success and turned out to be our busiest fair ever). We will be joining the wonderful Flywheel Festival at Bicester Heritage at the weekend. The vintage fair will be set out inside a traditional marquee whilst outside there will be an abundance of classic cars and historic vehicles along with some track fun and displays in the sky.

See You In Olney On9th July

With little time to recover we will make the journey through Buckinghamshire in time for the Olney Fair on 9th July. We had a super time in May when we were joined by Gracie the vintage caravan who served hot tea and homemade cakes in true vintage style and kept us warm on a very breezy day.
Gracie will be joining us again in Olney.

Gracie From Grace & Favour At Olney In May

With virtually no time to rest, one half of Vintage In The Shires will head north for Scotland for the Vintage Fair at Loch Leven's Larder in Kinross on the 17th July. It is the first vintage fair for Kitty the Vintage Caravan who is set to be the star of the show.

See You In Scotland!

We will then head straight back to Northampton for the Vintage Jumble on the 23rd. The Jumbles are always good fun and you never know what you may find. The stalls will be set up in two rooms and there will be additional stalls outside on the lawn if the weather is good.

Bargains Galore and Tea & Cakes

July will end with us joining the Classic Car and Bike Meeting on Sunday 31st.

See You On Sunday 31st

Take care and hope to see you at one of the fairs, it is going to be a very busy July!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The Return Of The Market Harborough Vintage Fair

 Saturday 30th January 2016

Preparations are well under way for the return of the Market Harborough Vintage Fair. We will be joined for the day by over forty traders from the local area, across the East Midlands and beyond.
The local radio station, Harborough FM will be helping to spread the word about the fair to the sounds of the Glenn Miller Orchestra (Click Here to listen to the advert).

The Sywell Classic Last September

It has been a while since my last post so here is a quick catch-up along with some of my favourite finds from along the way. The end of September was bathed in beautiful sunny weather and we had a fantastic time at the Sywell Classic (we will be back at Sywell 24th/25th September 2016).

The Lovely "Joan" At The Sywell Classic 2015

Although most of the stalls were tucked away inside the cavernous Hangar One the lovely vintage camp set up by lovelettersvintagecaravan (Instagram) created a fantastic first impression just outside the huge sliding doors (and yes it took over ten people and two hours to get them fully open!)

A Trio Of Tricolours

I found these French flags at the Stratford Fair back in September and they reminded me of Fred and Antoinette from Lincolnshire (they have American flags on their stall).

Vintage Roses

We found the place-mats (decorated with prints by Vernon Ward) and the barkcloth at the Sywell fair.

A Thrifting Bargain

I found these ducks in a small table top sale in my local library, they are very heavy and efficiently stop a particular door at home slamming shut (when a certain configuration of other doors results in a gale which tears through the house from front to back).

Film Stars From The 1940s

I found a lovely book full of pictures of British movie stars from the 1940s at the Olney fair in October. I do not like to deconstruct original things but sometimes it is simply the best way to display something so I mounted the individual pictures on thin board. They attracted a lot of interest when I took them to Market Harborough Market last week, it was particularly nice to see a number of persons of advanced age instantly recognising the stars on show.

A Wonderful Painted Silk Pillow Case

I found the silk pillow case at the Leamington fair in October, Teddy and Mavis (on whose stall I found it) always bring along some fantastic pieces and regularly join us at the fairs in Stratford and Leamington.

Vintage Romance

I found an old child's annual at the Northampton Fair in November and really liked the black and white prints inside. Annuals have been a wonderful source of inspiration for the posters I produce for the fairs, they contain some really good images that represent the 'pictorial style' of their time.

What Do You See?

I found this set of brooches at the Stratford Fair in November, it was a memorably busy day and I found some nice things. Do three flying ducks make you think of Sir Peter Scott or Hilda & Stan? Style wise they look good on denim and tweed.

A Christmas Project

I found the doll's chair in the Antique Centre in Olney and made the seat cover from some vintage fabric from the USA. The Polish dolls were borrowed from a shelf at home to help make the photo more interesting.

1950s Home Style

I like the design and images of mid-Century magazines and journals, especially those dealing with gardening and DIY. Some of the projects suggested in the magazines are the sought after homewares of today.

Crinoline Ladies - Vintage From The 1930s

I like 'crinoline ladies' as they remind me so much of the 1930s (I have illustrated this point before) as they were so frequently used as a design motif in all sorts of home crafts and homewares of the time. Yet I also like crinoline ladies in a similar way to which I like Laura Ashley designs of the 1970s and the early 1970s film The Go-Between (and for that matter The Go-Betweens, the Australian band from the 1980s).

An Authentic Makeover

I found the condiment pots at a small church hall sale last year, originally the tops were a cream colour, I found some old tins of enamel paint in my cellar and spent a few minutes dabbing it on with a worn out brush.

Delicate Vintage Cards From France

The cards were a find from the newly opened Leicester Antique Warehouse, a number of my friends from the world of 'vintage' have places there, they find some lovely things.

A Little Rustic Charm

We always like to find trugs and other wooden 'things' that can be used to store and tidy things away (particularly the excessive amount of ephemera floating around our home). The trouble is that they tend to fill up very quickly!

Valentine's In Stratford

If you do not make it to the Market Harborough Fair we will be in Stratford Town Hall on 13th February.

Take care and hope to see you at the fair.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Sywell Classic & The Braderie In Lille

Vintage Classics

I love this illustration which I found in a vintage annual which I picked up during the summer, the subject is apt as it is only four days until the Sywell Classic!

Sywell Aerodrome In Northamptonshire

The Sywell Classic will be taking place over two days and will feature vintage and classic vehicles of the land and skies. Tickets can be obtained through the event website and the event has a Facebook page, it was great fun and we cannot wait to return, the forecast is for sunny weather.

Watch A WW1 Dogfight Recreated At Sywell

Another lovely image from another annual from the 1930s, come and see them for real, the vintage 
bi-planes will look and sound fantastic as they fly above as part of the very impressive 'dog-fight'. 

How Will You Get To Sywell?

And yes there will be lots and lots of vintage and classic cars and motorcycles along with some high output drag racers who will be tearing down the strip. You will find the vintage fair inside the cavernous Hangar One.

The Sywell Classic - 26th/27th September 2015

Not a million miles away (several hundred however) is Northern France and early September saw one part of Vintage in the Shires travel to France for the Braderie in Lille. Around three million people descend on the place and it is alive with all sorts of stalls and the aroma of Moule et Frites pervades the air, it is essentially the largest antiques event in Europe and takes place each September. I remained in Blighty to look after the Stratford Fair.

A Summer Find

I found this ever so slightly risque annual at a car boot sale in the summer and took it along to the Stratford Fair where it quickly found a new home.

Some Lovely French Finds

A case full of lovely vintage French enamelware made it's way back across The Channel and I especially like this pretty coffee pot, however the prices were very and it was obvious that the french have 'cottoned-on' to our liking of their wares.

A French Bargain

Undeterred by the exalted prices on show there are always bargains to be found and this lovely set of pans in a duck egg green colour were a bargain, especially so as they came with attachments, a lovely set of kitchen storage jars.

More Vintage Enamel From France!

A few 'bits and bobs' also made the trip back, i must mention this lovely biscuit tine from the 19020s/30s. It is French I believe however the style is one employed by artists in America and Britain during the inter war years and it is a style I like very much. If you have been following this blog or the Facebook page I write for the fair you will know that portraits of women in oil, watercolour, print or on tins such as this have always been a prized find. Some of you will also know that vintage dogs, be they old dogs made from mohair and packed with straw, 'dogs on wheels', ceramic dogs or images on postcards, in books or on tins, are also a favourite of ours.

A Very Decorative Tin From 1920s/30s France

I will write again shortly after the Sywell Classic with snippets of my September finds, photos from The Sywell Classic, posters for the Autumn fairs and news about our return to The Three Swans in Market Harborough on 30th January.

Until then take care and see you at the fair.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

As Summer Flies By

Hollywood Glamour From The 1930s

I found this small collection of cards and the photo of Bogey at the Olney Fair in July, the last of our summer fairs before a well deserved (or not depending upon your view) break before the Autumn fairs begin in September (in Stratford Town Hall on Sunday the 6th to be exact).

One Of The Stalls At The Olney Fair

When I began to write this blog yesterday it was a hopelessly miserable day, Northampton was covered in rain and severe weather warnings for the week to come ruled the airwaves. So I decided to reminisce about summer just at the moment that it begins to slip away (August is the cruellest month etc).

Vintage Gardening 1930s Style

Our home was full of sweat peas this summer, a daily procession of flowers lasting from early June to late July. I had earlier in the year been inspired by the lovely cover of Popular Gardening from the 1930s to grow some for myself and the results were great, my own little bit of re-enactment, employing traditional horticultural techniques gleaned from a 1950s Mr Cuthbert's guidebook (featured in an earlier blog). I spent quite a few hours listening to TMS picking flowers in the garden, TMS is of course Test Match Special.

Sweat peas From The Garden

They looked particularly nice when put in old jam jars, we took a few bunches along to our stall at Bicester.

'Random Makes' - One Of The Stalls At The Stratford Fair

We returned to the Town Hall in Stratford on the first Sunday in June, it was a really warm sunny day, and it seemed that everyone wanted to sit by the river (finally making their way to the fair in the late afternoon as we began to pack away). There were some lovely stalls and I particularly liked this collection of embroidery threads in their original box, thanks to Hannah from Everly Vintage for bringing them along.

Some Vintage Threads In Their Original Box

We had been looking forward to Midsummer weekend since before Christmas when we were invited to take the fair to the inaugural Flywheel Festival at Bicester Heritage in Oxfordshire. It was a fantastic weekend and I really enjoyed wandering around the beautiful historic cars as they prepared to take to the track and the combined forces of the Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire Home Guard on morning patrol was very reassuring.

Summer Flowers At The Bicester Flywheel

We arrived on the Friday to set up, we find a large marquee waiting for us and were joined by some lovely motors in the picnic area on the Saturday and Sunday. Many thanks to B for bringing along some lovely flowers, I always look forward to seeing your stall. The Flywheel will be taking place again in 2016 and we will be there.

The Marquee Housed The Fair

A hop, skip and jump and we were back in Northampton for the July Jumble, stalls filled the rooms inside and formed a 'vintage village' on the lawn outside. The next Jumble will take place in Northampton at St. Matthew's on 9th January, the next Northampton fair will be taking pace on Saturday 12th September.

Some Of The Stalls On The Lawn At The July Jumble

It was a day for 'small finds' for us although I spotted quite a few pieces of furniture being squeezed into cars or hauled away into the surrounding streets.

Little Finds At The July Jumble

In early August we visited the Canal Festival at Blisworth, it has been taking place for several years, people sell from boats moored along the Grand Union, cream teas in the church as a brass band marches through the village. There are always a few gardens open along with garage sales. This year we found a box of original threads and some lovely buttons, well worth the trek down a long winding lane.

So Many Colours

I remember as a child being fascinated by the displays of coloured threads whenever we visited our long since departed local craft shop (which was once on Abington Avenue near the Kawasaki garage in the late 1970s) and I love finding things that remind me of those visits.

Vintage Military Buttons

The buttons were a great find and the set of six enamel coat buttons from France are quite old and would look nice stitched onto a modern knit.

French Enamel

The festival field was full of trade stalls, 'street food', a display by WW2 re-enacters and a small collection of lovely vintage caravans.

Spotted At The Blisworth Canal Festival 2015

A trip to London is as much about finding somewhere nice that serves nice tea and cake as anything else to me so it was not surprising that I was not included in a trip to London when the other part of Vintage in the Shires went sightseeing. I was pleased with my colourful notebooks which was my reward for not complaining, they come from the Transport Museum shop.

My Notepads From London

The two original loom ottomans were a bargain find from our local second hand shop, we call in every now and again and always seem to find something to take home. 

Two Bargain Ottomans

We love vintage textiles, especially barkcloth and linens from the 1930s through to the 1950s and tend to buy it whenever we find it. These pieces were picked up at various places during the summer, there is one curtain, a cushion cover and piece made into a nice peg bag.

 Vintage Flowers

Boxes for storing hats, clothes and linens are another favourite of ours and we found this pretty box at Blighty Bazarre when we last visited Leamington Spa.

More Pretty Vintage Florals

 Here is the poster for the Stratford Fair. The Town Hall is situated in the centre of Stratford adjacent to the Garrick Inn.

Our Next Fair - Remember It's A Sunday

The Stratford Fair will be followed by the Northampton Fair the following weekend. If the weather is good there will be plenty of stalls outside to complement the stalls inside the hall, tea and cakes will be served throughout.

Stalls Inside & Outside

We will then have a short two week break before taking the fair to the Sywell Classic for the last weekend in August, we had a great time last year and cannot wait to return. Hope to see you at a fair soon.

See You At The Sywell Classic