Saturday 7 February 2015

A Spot of Research and a Vintage Fair or Two.

Firstly I want to say thank you for all the kind comments on my last post. It's been a roller coaster week with my Dad, he had a major setback last weekend but since then progress has been slow and steady.
My Mum rang me on Wednesday to say he was out of his coma. She only knew because she was sat by his bed doing a crossword and decided to read the questions out loud and Dad suddenly answered!

She said I asked "Who was Victoria's husband?" and Dad said "Albert".

I cracked up laughing and she said "why are you laughing?" so I explained that when she said who is Victoria's husband? my first thought was David Beckham! I hang my head in shame.

Prior to Dad getting ill I had arranged to go to Reading last Sunday for a vintage fair with my friend Charlotte from work. In the end I decided I'd still go, I agree with the those who say having some me time is vitally important when your life is full of drama. I certainly felt the need for a break.

Sunday dawned and was bitterly cold, even the short walk from the train station to The Hexagon was enough for me to lose all feeling in my nose and ears, it was a most welcome relief to dive inside. 

The fair was free which was a bonus and bigger than either of us had expected. It was called 'The Real Vintage and Fine Food Fair'.

Odd combination but each to their own.

 I had assumed the food would be in one area and the clothes in another, but no, they were all mixed up together. Not such a happy mix if I'm honest, as there was not just one but two cheese stands which lent an extremely pungent aroma to proceedings!

I'm a little bit miffed because I was convinced I took more pictures whilst I was there but when I checked my camera I only seem to have taken two - bah.

I was very taken with the unusual tan bag below but it was £25 which I felt was just a bit too much in it's condition which was well loved.

I also resisted a gorgeous black beaded 1940's evening dress which had a very tempting price tag but I just knew I wouldn't get the wear out of it, and as I had already bought a glitzy dress at another stall I put it back.
So what did I buy?
First item was this gold tone bird brooch for £4
Last item was this wee elephant on wheels for £3. I actually spotted him as soon as I entered the room but walked round the whole fair before going back to get him.
The lady who owned the stall was thrilled as apparently her husband thought it was rubbish and no one would want it. She pointed and laughed and was like "Ha! see, SEE, I told you someone would buy it!" all of which he accepted with very good grace as I stood there patiently with the elephant in one hand and £3 in the other.

Finally my other purchase was this glorious, glorious frock.

 You know me and green frocks....

At £25 this just had to be mine, it is handmade and beautifully done, I love it.

Once we had given the fair a thorough going over we headed back through town and out the other side of the train station to go to Fanny's on a spot of research for a possible future outting.

Yes you read that right, there is a wee antiques emporium in Reading called 'Fanny's' 

(I dread to think what kind of web searches this is going to bring to my blog!)   

Based in an old back street abattoir, indeed the hooks and pulleys from this gruesome trade still run round the ceilings of the whole building. It is packed full of randomly priced treasures, I say randomly priced because I saw some things that were frankly dramatically over priced and others that seemed very reasonable. There was no rhyme or reason. 
We had a good poke about though, there were some really lovely pieces of furniture to be had as well as all the other sorts of odds and ends you get in house clearance places.
This rather odd picture of teddy bears did make me laugh.

I had read on the Queens of Vintage website that the upstairs was full of vintage clothes, especially evening dresses. 
I've no idea how old their article was, but sadly there were no frocks, evening or otherwise, to be seen. 
We both left empty handed but I would probably go back there again, it's close enough to the station to make it a no brainer and I'd be interested to see what new things they have in and who knows? they might get some clothes back in.

It seemed appropriate to get some cake next, if nothing else we were both frozen to the bone and in need of a hot drink, and you can't have tea without cake right? 
Charlotte lives in Reading so whisked me off to Workhouse Coffee where I wedged myself against a radiator to drink tea and eat delicious baked cheesecake. Blissful.

My second vintage fair was today and completely unexpected. I was walking into town with Himself, he was heading to the station, I was heading to Sainsburys to do the food shop, when he pointed out a teeny tiny sign saying 'Vintage And Retro Fair Here Today' next to the civic hall. 

I decided to stick my nose in on the way home and I'm glad I did. It wasn't huge, but then to be fair the civic hall is not exactly massive. The entrance fee was a very reasonable £1 and the lady at the door very kindly looked after my shopping for me so I had my hands free to have a good rummage. 

There were a good mix of clothes, accessories and household items on the stalls as well as a jive demonstration, vintage hair dressing and teas. I'll certainly go again if they have another, it was a lovely surprise to find something like this going on in my home town. Even if this time I only came away with this fabulous brooch for £4


  1. Oo that last brooch and the green dress are indeed special purchases! I hope they've given you a bit of a boost. I'm so glad that your Dad has been making progress since the setback, and I did smile at the crossword story (and your answer!). Post a pic of you in that dress if you can! x

  2. So glad to hear your dad came out of that coma. Amazing to think of him answering your mom's crossword puzzle! That green dress is absolutely stunning. I wish we had some vintage fairs around here.

  3. Good to know your dad is doing OK, I've been thinking about him.
    That dress looks gorgeous, and you can't go wrong with vintage brooches, can you? Or a cool elephant! xxx

  4. Glad to hear your dad is doing well, that must be such a relief.
    I love that green dress and the brooch looks really pretty.

  5. So glad to hear your dad is doing well. Love the hefalump and the brooches and the dress is gawjuss! Can we see it on please?

  6. Pleased to hear your Dad is doing well, lovely. That is one glorious shimmers! xxx

  7. It's good to hear that your dad has recovered from his setback.

    That last brooch is especially nice - you do have the best finds!

  8. What great news about your Dad, that's absolutely wonderful!
    The Vintage fair looked brilliant, the aroma of cheese must have added a unique level to the experience! - the dress is divine, the colour, texture and shimmer are beautiful, the brooches so pretty and the elephant on wheels is adorable! and has a new home now! x xx

  9. Sorry to hear about your dad and very pleased to hear that he's recovering.
    Trying times definitely call for a bit of quality time for yourself, believe me you make a much better hospital visitor when you've had a break and some fun.
    Love that dress and the elephant looks very familiar, I must have had one when I were a girl! xxx

  10. Oh my goodness, I've just caught up on all this, your poor dad. I hope he is on the road to recovery now? It all sounds very traumatic. That frock is beautiful, proper mermaid material. xxx