January is a difficult month. There’s the financial hangover from Christmas, the weather’s cold and damp and it’s another couple of months before the clocks go foward. Big sigh.
What we need is something to lift the winter blues and I have just the thing. On Saturday I’ll be heading to Victoria Hall in Saltaire for a day of vintage fun.
I’m slimming down my vast collection of fabulous old stuff (my partner has another name for it. It rhymes with “clap” but what does he know?) and have taken a stall at the Rose and Brown Vintage Home and Fashion Fair. The fair, run by the lovely Caroline Brown, is a treasure trove of wonderful homeware, clothing and accessories. There are old tunes, a vintage tea room and a guaranteed trip down memory lane for those of us aged enough to remember the old days.
It’s more than shopping, it’s an experience and, even if you can’t afford to splash out, there are loads of cheap treats. Unlike shops, stallholders have few chances to sell so they price low. In fact, some of them see it as a hobby and are simply out to cover their costs.
Vintage costume jewellery is especially good value. It’s more original than Topshop/Jigsaw etc., it costs less and the longer you keep it the more it is worth. At the last fair I bought a diamante necklace for £5 and a pair of clip-on earrings for £1. I also got a fab cushion, crocheted on Orkney, for £2. It has pride of place on my rocking chair and it reminds me of a lovely day and of the Scottish granny who knitted it.
There are some great bargains for fashion lovers and for interiors fans. The latter will find collectable glassware and pottery, retro coffee tables, Trimphones and tea sets, and all sorts of things they never knew they wanted.
I’ll be bringing some of my printers’ trays with me, with prices from £18 to £24 each. They look great hung on a wall and are one of my vintage obsessions, perhaps because they allow me to collect lots of little knick-knacks. I’ve filled this one with some of my Wade Whimsies.
Pride of place on the stall goes to an exquisite, 1950s Palissy Maytime tea set, which is in perfect condition, despite its age. It’s obviously been cherished by its previous owners. Ditto my 1970s Tams soup bowls, also in blue.
For 1940s enthusiasts, I am bringing my green dress with matching jacket. I don’t wear it enough so am looking for a good home for it. My daughter is also selling a fab 1950s dress, which she bought for her high school prom.
Oh, and I will be bringing Lulu, my talking doll, who I think was born in the 1970s. She’s been mended so sometimes has a speech impediment but that’s part of her charm.
Hope to see you there. Rose and Brown Vintage Fair, Saturday, Jan 31, 9.30am til 4pm, Victoria Hall, Saltaire. www.roseandbrownvintage.co.uk