Wednesday, 22 October 2014

As Days Go This Was Second To None.

Late for once but fashionable so I hope! Here is my take on the Bloggers Meet-up in Walsall.

What can I say?

After wanting to go for a few years now I finally made it to the legendary 'Second To None' and what bloody magnificent company to visit it in.
I just had to take a few minutes to drink in the window and yes that was a brimming box of sparkly brooches I spied, oh be still my beating heart!
To say the shop is crammed would be an understatement, I was actually a bit overwhelmed and kind of flipped through a few rails without even seeing things until I spotted a really rather lovely black floral evening bag for £3 and suddenly the fog cleared and I was looking with the keen clear eyes of the hunter.

Vix our ever thoughtful and glamorous hostess had brought drinks, but as by this time I was up the top of a ladder rummaging through handbags I decided to wait until I was back on solid ground before cracking open my can!

Next stop for me was the box of brooches, once a magpie always a magpie! It took some effort but I got my choice down to one or two,
or maybe three or four.....
Look shoes!

I was going to ask about buying a flying duck to join my repro ones but I got distracted (not difficult in this Aladdin's Cave) and forgot.
My brooch habit quenched I suddenly realised everyone else had gone upstairs, oh yes there was more.
First thing to greet me was this C&A jumpsuit. 
How do I know it was C&A? Because my mother had the very same one, she also bought me one in pale blue. That was my early teens, a time when my Mum was still buying my clothes and I was just starting to take enough interest in clothes to realise this bothered me - A LOT.
Especially as she had a habit of dressing me in things that really did me no favours, like pastel blue jumpsuits.
Not a good look when you are short, solid with puppy fat and pastel shades make your pale skin look like a corpse risen.
These days I am a foot taller and the puppy fat that I was delighted to lose has crept relentlessly back on as what the magazines call 'middle age spread'. I should be bothered, and to be fair I often am, but as I've said before basically I'm greedy and I hate exercise so I can't see me going back to my teeny tiny days any day soon.
The downside of this is 99% of the wonderous stock in this shop wasn't going to fit.A couple of frocks I dearly would have loved to slip into were these.

Instead I just took pictures, and thank you to the lovely Lyndsey for holding up the green frock and keeping me company in the back room whilst we made some space for the others to try on the things that caught their eye.
I did grab a couple of shots
Curtise risking life and limb next to the teetering fabric mountain
and Emma trying on a pimptastic hat that was too small for Vix or me.

Purchases made it was time for refreshment so off to Wetherspoons we went.
Chips, drink and much laughter later we did a tour of the town, chazzas and all.

Following the Bill Bryson rule I made sure I looked up as well as around.

The OBD was found and photographed
as was the famous Walsall hippo

then there was time for one last much needed drink in here before we headed to the station
My train was cancelled so instead I got to join Emma on hers and bleat on at her all the way back to Oxford.  She bore it bravely.

So do you want to see my purchases?
The kind of handbag that makes a collector's heart skip a beat or two. Early 1940's and in IMMACULATE condition. I did not let this out of my clutches until I had secured it as mine!
The pretty black floral one for £3 and another lovely brown fabric and leather one.
just one or two brooches........

I did also buy a kitsch tartan headscarf with scottie dogs on it but it's in the wash.

Finally without too much persuading from Vix a genuine Scottish Tam O' Shanter (it said so on the label)for £2 in a charity shop.
Thank you to Vix, Curtise, Emma, Fiona, Tania, Vanessa, Annie and Lyndsey for such a fabulous day out. Here's to the next one.


  1. How did I miss all those brooches? All gorgeous, but the horse with the pink saddle looks especially interesting. Your 1940's bag is exquisite, what an exceptional find. Wasn't STN amazing? I'd be in there every week if I lived in Walsall. Here's to the 2015 meet-up. x

  2. All those ducks! I saw two in a charity shop the other day, priced separately though. I would have snapped them up had there been three and if they were priced as a trio. I love the brooches you picked out, they're lovely. Love a brooch.
    I'm glad you had a fun day x

  3. Didn't she do well? Those brooches are mental, I love them. The burgundy bag is sublime, the shape is beautiful. StN really is amazing, isn't it?
    I'm dying to see you rocking that Tam O'Shanter (and I really need to Google the origins behind the name).
    Great photos, you've captured Walsall well! Here's to next time. xxxx

  4. Somewhere between a magpie and a squirrel. Magrel? That sounds a bit like mackerel, you're not a fish. Squirrelpie? Well that just sounds a bit rude. :D

  5. That looks fab! It must be so cool to do something like that.

    I had never heard of the Walsall hippo. He looks entertaining.

  6. A great day out, with lovely company and the wonderful Second to None to satiate our vintage-loving needs - who could ask for more?
    Your bags and brooches were great finds, and you snapped some of the interesting details around Walsall town centre that are easy to miss.
    Yep, next time can't come soon enough! xxx

  7. That 1940s handbag is just wonderful, really perfect, not surprised you pounced and wouldn't let go. It's Vera Lynn, port and lemon and Foyle's War all wrapped up in one delicious package. Em looks excellent in that hat. I loved that jumpsuit for exactly the reasons you hated it. I had a pale blue one too!! Bought by my mum. Slightly regret not buying it and reliving my teenage years now. Xxxx

  8. Great brooch haul,lovely. And the bags! What can I say? It was a terrific day out and the train back was an extra treat. You got off the train and I remembered 'The Imitation Game'! I may have said it out loud.
    Can't wait to do it again.

  9. What a blast! you could spend days in Second to None (gutted I didn't make it) and your treasure is perfect, vintage bags are always the best (I prefer them) 99% of stuff never fits me either, but there is always that elusive and beautiful 1% that I will find one day!! x x x

  10. You did AMAZINGLY! I love the red bag and all of those brooches (I am a brooch magpie too!). I need to visit charity shops like this!! x