Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Olney Christmas Vintage Fair & Pretty Nostalgic

Style Advice And A Celebration Of 'Englishness'
 From Pretty Nostalgic

We will have a small number of Pretty Nostalgic magazine for sale at the Olney Christmas Fair on Saturday, it is the Christmas edition which has features on vintage baubles, old photographs and "a short history of Christmas" (and much more too).

The Christmas Edition

The season is well and truly upon us and we are looking forward to our last fair of 2012.

Back To Black & White

I drove over to Olney this afternoon to complete preparations for the Olney Christmas Vintage Fair which is taking place at St Peter & St Paul's Church Hall on Saturday. On the way the trees and hedgerows looked wonderful and I jumped out to get a couple of photos, all the colour of the landscape had been drawn away by the cold.

Siberia (aka North Bucks)

I briefly imagined myself back to Russia c1917 and I thought of Zhivago and Lara hidden away in the  sanctuary of the frozen countryside, a sanctuary which tragically could not withstand the enormity of events that enveloped them. My own romantic associations with wintery scenes proved equally temporary as I recalled that heavy rain, strong winds and about 11 degrees are forecast for tomorrow (all of which will clear away hopefully presenting us with a lovely sunny day for the fair).

See You On Saturday
The Doors Open At 11am

The Church Hall is about 100 yards away from the busy Market Place, or as I prefer "about 30 seconds from the lovely Olney Deli". I of course called in and left warmed by a pot of Earl Grey clutching a bag of speciality cheeses.

A Merry Xmas
(image courtesy of The Stock Solution)

I would like to wish all 'friends of the fair' a very merry Xmas and see you at the fair!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Saturday's Fair In Stamford

A Very Vintage Christmas

It was freezing cold when we set off for Stamford in the dark on Saturday morning, arriving in a warm and welcoming Arts Centre an hour later. When entering Stamford from the Kettering Road be prepared for the grandeur of the vista as you turn on to the main street and drive down the hill past the   George and then up the other side towards St Mary's.

Hats Galore From 'Antoinette's Vintage'

The team at the Arts Centre had thought of us and had turned the heating up and it was much appreciated, soon the stall holders arrived and there was hour of 'coming and going' before everyone settled into our home for the day, the cosy Ballroom and Blue Room.

A Beautiful Gucci Case

I found this lovely case hidden under one of the tables, the top of which had been draped in vintage sackcloth, the juxtaposition of supple luxury and basic necessity was striking.

Sackcloth & Silver

I popped out into the busy streets to pin up a few more signs and noticed all the Christmas trees bundled up outside one of the shops, when I returned there was a queue of people waiting for the fair to start!

The Fair In The Ballroom At Stamford Arts Centre

I enjoyed a laugh with Fred (of Antoinette's Vintage) about the fashion advice I offered in my last 
blog-post, perhaps there is some mileage in the 'Heroes of Telemark' look.

Classic 60s Styling

I had the opportunity to talk with people visiting the fair for the first time when they arrived as well as greeting many 'friends of the fair'. I really must update the music we play at the fairs although I am keen to maintain the 20s-early60s theme although I could not resist including a track from a few years later which prompted one of our stall holders to comment that that it was the first time he had heard a Velvet Underground track at a vintage fair (thanks Ian).

Costume Jewellery

Costume jewellery and glass are affordable ways to capture part of the vintage style, a pressed-glass vase full of fresh cut flowers can transform the most ordinary of sills in the same way that a well chosen brooch can set off a jacket or coat perfectly.

Fill With Chocolates For A Vintage Xmas Table

Small pieces of furniture such as stools and shelves, colourful old tins with good designs and vintage enamel and zinc are also popular - I should have bought an old mop-bucket I spotted at a recent fair as the combination of hens, lots of rain, a dog and a painted kitchen floor at home make for much mopping.

Vintage Rustic Wares
This basket of old teddies looked very cute and I am very happy to say that none of them require a battery to make them 'work'.

Teddies Looking For A New Home

I have mentioned the worth of vintage toys and old books for children before, I think they make wonderful gifts, there is something lovely about passing a previously treasured toy onto a new generation.

A Set Of Old Skittles
We returned home with this set of vintage skittles complete with a very worn old red wooden ball. I set them them up on the hall floor on Sunday afternoon, our dog was dozing at the time and was clearly startled when eight out of the nine pins clattered to the ground around his ears.

Vintage Tins

Soon it was time to bring the fair to a close and we stepped out into the flag-stoned streets after collecting the roses from the tea-room.

We Enjoyed Our Day In Stamford
The fair will be in Stamford in May and November next year, we look forward to returning very much. Our last vintage fair of 2012 will be taking place in Olney.

Saturday 15th Decemeber 11am-4pm
Many thanks to our stall holders , the team at Stamford Arts Centre and everyone who came along on the day.

Friday, 30 November 2012

The Last Light Of Winter & The Dates For 2013

Vintage In The Shires 2013

I have been busy setting the dates for next year, they will be printed on the reverse of the card and will be available next week. I have also been busy getting ready for tomorrow's fair in Stamford. I drove over to Rutland earlier this week and it was great to see posters for the fair had already been pinned up around town.

Thank You Corinna

Many thanks to Corinna who kindly took the time to do this. I have spent today preparing some display boards to hopefully lure people away from the busy shops into the fair.

Fair This Way!

The fair in Stamford takes place in the Ballroom at Stamford Arts Centre which is situated on 
St Mary's Street in the historic town centre area. It is not surprising to hear that the cobbled streets and fine Georgian buildings regularly appear in historical dramas on television, walking past the grand stone house-fronts and through the narrow alleys which connect the main thoroughfares (lined with interesting bars and shops) feels very much like 'stepping back in time'.

Stamford Arts Centre
27 St Mary's Street, Stamford. PE9 2DL.

I am happy to report that a new vintage shop has opened in Northampton called 'Vintage French Finds'. Its situated on Kingsley Park Terrace (very near to where I live). The ladies in the shop are very friendly and they have some lovely items including many original french pieces.

Vintage French Finds
Kingsley Park Terrace Northampton

I particularly liked the window display which had a WW2 theme and once inside I was quickly tempted by a double breasted Italian naval coat, which teamed with an off-white polo neck will complete the 'Norwegian mariner' look.

VE-Day Thoughts

As I was driving home from Stamford the sun was dipping below the green fields bathing the landscape in a wonderful light. There is something about the late afternoon sun on a cold clear winter's day that does much to enhance the appearance of anything it settles on. December will be with us tomorrow and the air has taken on a cold embrace, there might even be snow in the air. I cannot think of a nicer place to be on a freezing day so if you do happen to be in town please come along and say hello.

January - June 2013

I will be blogging about individual events once the remaining fairs of 2012, in Stamford and Olney have taken place.

July - December 2013

I hope to see you at the fair in Stamford tomorrow,and that you have a safe journey.

Best wishes.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Some Pictures From Saturday's Fair In Olney

Ford Anglia

I spotted this beautiful Ford Anglia in a very traditional garage at the top of the High Street in Olney  on the Friday before the fair on my way home from setting up the room. It is primrose yellow, I do not know if this is it's original colour but it looked fantastic, it caused me to stop and enquire about it.

A Sunbeam Mixmaster

On Saturday we gathered in St Peter & St Pauls Church Hall for the 5th Olney Vintage Fair. It is a pretty building, made of mellowed stone, has large lattice casement windows and is only a moment's walk from the bustling heart of this rather special market town. The hall was full of stalls and tables for tea nestled in the corners. Vintage kitchenalia is always popular at our fairs and there are usually a few 'standout' pieces such as this Sunbeam Mixer which I spotted in Vicky's 'Nostalgic Kitchen. The Sunbeam Mixmaster was first made in the USA in the early 30s, the white bowls are made of glass it and would look great in a vintage style kitchen.

Tala Hearts
It would look even better if used to 'whip up' a cake although perhaps fold would be a better word, and the cakes would I'm sure taste nicer if they were turned out of these vintage heart pans.

A Tricky Occupation

I also liked this pail though it seems a bit impractical as one would have to move all the eggs around to ensure that those that needed eating first would be at the top! The next item (pictured below) which I guess is from the 60s did not quite 'catch-on' in the way that food mixers have.

Glass Coasters

These glass coasters fit like a small sock onto the bottom of a glass, presumably to protect polished surfaces, however I think they would slide around as if on ice.

Floral Prints In Old Oak Frames

Floral prints are also popular and we decided we liked the one on the left and it returned home with us,  the flowers are either Phlox or Sweet Williams.

 A Special Guest On Saturday
Something which I am very pleased to report is that some lovely dogs have visited our fairs recently and I have to say that their owners have behaved very well (sorry I mean the doggies).

Another Sweetie
They all posed wonderfully and I hope they enjoyed the fair and wonder if they tried the cakes. Dogs are something that one does not see enough of at vintage fairs and their continued participation is to be encouraged.

A Handsome Chap

Our fairs always have a number of stalls selling pretty vintage china and original vintage textiles. Embroidered linens and eiderdowns are always sought after and are becoming less easy to find.

Spring Flowers

China and linens are still very affordable and provide one with a very tactile connection to a time that now seems so long ago.

Spot The Parrot
A number of our stall holders focus on more male oriented vintage which is part of our fairs which I value and very much want to maintain.

 Aluminium Propellor

I am sure that this could be put to some useful purpose however I think it's clean sculptural lines are aesthetically pleasing and provide sufficient reason for this once busy object to enjoy a life of leisure.

Two Old Ducks And Some 70s Kitchenware

I really liked these cute (Donald?) Duck figures, showing signs of repair they were once much played with and hopefully treasured.

Vintage Maps

These old OS maps proved to be very popular and the basket was much depleted by the end of the day.

Brooches And Education

Costume jewellery is always very popular, I spent most of the day in the little foyer of the hall sitting opposite this display, my feet getting colder by the minute!

The Exit From The Fair

I would not usually display a picture of the door to the venue however on this occasion I will differ as the door in question was adorned with news of the Olney Christmas Fair. We enjoy visiting the lovely market town of Olney so much that we decided to add an additional date before Christmas.

The Olney Christmas Vintage Fair

We hope you enjoyed the fair and hope to see you again when we return on 15th December. If you want to see the fair again before then we will be in Stamford on 1st December.

Stamford Vintage Fair

Best wishes and see you soon.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Yesterday's Fair In Market Harborough

One Of The Lovely Stalls From Saturday

We had a great time on Saturday when the fair visited Market Harborough for the fifth time. I set off from Northampton just before 8am (not realising that I had left a 30s parasol and set of knitting needles in a puddle on the front path) and drove through the mirk. I arrived in Harborough half an hour later and found that I had once again failed in my bid to be 'first to arive', some of our stall holders had arrived even earlier than me. My Captain Scott moment soon passed.

A Very Interesting Collection

Through the course of the next two hours the large sales room was transformed into a riot of colour as the stalls took shape. I busied myself with the putting up of signs, the tables in the tea-room had already been laid so I had time to walk down to Emmerson and West Ltd to grab one of their delicious poached salmon and dill mayonnaise rolls.

The Tea Room (Before The Fair Started!!)

There were some great individual pieces on the and many of the collections on display were well put together.
One would have been able to both furnish and fully equip a period 50s/60s kitchen just inside the sales room as our first two stalls featured specialist kitchenalia and kitchen furniture.

Spot The Very Cute Radio

I really liked the radio from the 50s which is hiding behind the storage jars, why have a 'Roberts' when you can have an original. It may not be digital but it looks great.

A Beautiful Display Cabinet

I had little opportunity to walk around the fair as I was kept busy at the entrance, the horrible mid-morning weather certainly did not deter the good people of Harborough and the surrounding shire lands. When I finally managed to escape from the front desk I had a quick whizz around and found this wonderful shop display case full of coloured threads. Sadly it had already been sold.

A Very Colourful Cosy
Some pieces, such as this chenille tea-cosy are not costly and would make a great gift for a tea drinker. The recipient of the gift would of course need to maintain the traditional habit of using a pot to prepare their tea.

Perfect For Vintage Desserts
Traditional custards and jellies set in old moulds would I am sure taste nicer if eaten off shiny vintage cutlery.

Plastic Fantastic

David from 'Paper and Plastics' ( ) regularly joins the fair when it visits Market Harborough, his stall looked great and I love the combination of choice vintage magazines, early plastic domestic wares and 60s-80s fashion items.

An Array Of Original Bangles And Bracelets

There was a great atmosphere in the sales room which resembled a smart indoor market (complete with music from the period) and a big thank you to customers, stall holders and 'friends of the fair' who dressed in finest vintage attire.

Twiglight And Homeward Bound

The last light of day was slipping into the cold night sky as we said goodbye to The Three Swans, our home for the day.

A Few Things We Took Home
Of the things we took home I particularly liked the boxed Pyrex 'Gaiety' casserole dish complete with it's original box and leaflet. The colour is blue and features a snowflake design and would be perfect for a winter stew.

60s/70s Pyrex

The fair will be visiting Market Harborough three times next year, the dates will be posted soon. As our next fair was only one week later, in the lovely market town of Olney in Buckinghamshire I set up a small leaflet display at the entrance to the fair.

Welcome To The Fair

On next fair is taking place in Olney on Saturday 10th November. I will be blogging again as we approach the day and will announce the dates the 2013 once the fair in Olney has taken place.

5th Olney Vintage Fair
Tomorrow I am going to visit the newly opened 'Vintage French Finds' in Northampton. Best wishes and see you in Olney next Saturday.