Saturday, 24 September 2011


When I moved to the South West just over a year ago, there were very few vintage/handcraft fairs, especially not in Bath. Everyone I met there talked wistfully of the old Saturday antiques market at the Tramshed as if Bath had once had a heyday, never to be repeated. The only fair that anyone talked about was  The Original Vintage and Handmade Fair in Chipping Sodbury, which I visited once and which was very busy, chock full of amazing stalls and a lot of ladies fighting over fabric.

My friend Becky and I wanted somewhere we could sell our products (she makes teacup candles). We couldn't get stalls at Chipping Sodbury so we decided to start our own fair, the It's darling! fair, a mix of vintage and handmade sellers in the Bath Guildhall. We loved doing it although it was extremely hardwork, but the traders we met are wonderful and each fair (we've had four over a year and a half) has been a success, certainly in terms of its awareness.

This year we're delighted to see that there are so many more events spring up, all with different creative twists.

Today, for example, I had a stall at Miss B's Pop Up Boutique and Vintage Tea Party at the Selwyn Hall in Box, just outside Bath. I have no idea who Miss B is, I suspect she might be ficticious.
Miss B's flyer
It was organised by a group of ladies I'm just getting to know, who meet informally for a knitting group each week and who all have their own busy careers, but who fancied putting together a kind of clothes swap with a difference. They asked their friends to buy a rail and to sell their cast-offs, plus invited stallholders like myself to participate too.

I love what they did with the hall, which on a hot day, could have been very oppressive with its blood-red walls. However, Joanna, one of the organisers, made the  most fantastic bunting - all in one long length - that criss-crossed the entire hall and gave it a wonderful, festive, extremely English feel.

Selwyn Hall, Box with Joanna's one-length bunting

Joanna is obviously very talented because as well as being a one-woman bunting machine, she has also started making/upcycling upright lamps which are beautiful. I want one! She was selling them for £95 each which I think is such a bargain.

Wish I was this clever!
The main focus of the day was the clothes but I didn't get much of a chance to have a rummage. It looked like everyone was having fun looking for a bargain though and I thought it was a good idea for an event, as it gave it a homely, wholesome feel, a cross between a jumble-sale and a swish.

Bagging a bargain

I was lucky enough to have quite a lot of space as someone next to me didn't turn up so I made full use of it and tried out using my 1970's magazine rack as way of alternating the height of the china displayed on the table.

My stall at Miss B's

The lighting in the hall combined with my flash has made these pictures look really 1960s/1970s!

I wasn't the only non-clothes-rail seller though. Some others that were there were:

Debbie from Jumble Jelly, her haberdashery in Bradford on Avon

Kaz Lammie (left) and her original prints

Flower headbands from Fairyglass
Kay Tanna  and her handmade brocade from Something Different
I was also really happy to see my friends The Pop Up Parlour there, the vintage makeover stylists who work with me when I run vintage tea parties, The Secret Tea Party.

Eleanor from Pop Up Parlour


I give 'em 10/10


  1. Hello! It was so good to meet you at the pop up boutique, such an incredible atmosphere and definitely the best cakes I have seen in a long time! I will ponder how to have some vintage fun over here in Bradford - I'm sure a JJ vintage day would be "Darling"!!! Have a great week, Debs

  2. Thanks Debs I'm going to email you and pop over to chat about one...I drove past your shop today it looked so cool love Mrs Stokes x

  3. This looks like such a lovely fair, I saw the flyer and wished I lived a bit closer so I could have popped in! Hope you had a successful day! x

  4. HI Amy this would have been great for you to do...if they do another one I will let you know x