13 January 2013

Vintage at York Barbican

Yesterday I took a brief break from my maths revision -I think my current tally for past papers is 12!- and nipped into York with my Mother to have a rummage around a vintage fair at the York Barbican. I haven't got any photos of it I'm afraid -we were half way there when I realised that it was still sat on the side at home.

We left a little later than ideal, arriving some time after the start, but surprisingly it wasn't too busy considering that it was late morning on a Saturday. Whist I didn't buy anything in the end, I saw some gorgeous vintage and vintage inspired dresses, and was seriously tempted by the glittering allure of antique jewellery. My Mother had more luck: at a sixties stall playing out records, she picked up a great copy of Peter Gabriel's first album for Dad's record player. She also spotted a Glen Miller swing album in a charity shop, so our house sounds just like all the vintage shops that I love to rummage in!
I happened to overhear one other shopper discussing with a stallholder about the lack of entertainment. Previous vintage fairs at the Barbican have involved pop-up tea shops and often live performances. When I considered this, I realised that the woman had a point; part of the joy of vintage shopping is the experience. Whenever you go into a good vintage store, you can be certain to enter an atmosphere of nostalgia, with record players crooning out old songs.

Just over a year ago, I went to a similar-sized vintage market at the Cheese and Grain in Frome. The organizers had transformed the little servery at the back with printed table cloths and vintage-themed banners to add a touch of glamour to the tea and cake being sold. At another fair in Chipping Sodbury, the local WI baked up a huge array of cakes and treats to serve the shoppers resting their legs on cushy chairs that looked over the main street of the market town.

Thinking about this, I wonder if perhaps there is a niche for those that bake to promote their businesses by renting a stand at a fair or market and to create a little bit of vintage hospitality and class for everyone. Who knows what might pop up -a 50's style diner serving milkshakes to ladies in flapper dresses? If I walked into a vintage market to be greeted by the clinking of vintage crockery and a the rich husky voice of a jazz performer, I know I'd stay for another root around the stalls!

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