Sunday, 31 August 2014

No More Worcester Flea For Me

This year has already been about lots of big changes for me and here's another biggy - no more Worcester Flea waaa! Three years to the day it began, we held the final Worcester Flea on its third birthday on Sunday 3rd August.

The City Council are renovating the market place (and it definitely needs sprucing up) by demolishing the existing one at the start of September. Unfortunately their suggestions for a temporary, alternative location for the Flea weren't affordable or suitable - I would've had to hire outdoor market stalls myself rather than them be provided as before, plus single market stalls aren't any good for my vintage clothing and furniture sellers, who make up over half of my traders.

By the sounds of it, once finished the new market place will be made up of single stall spaces, rather than the handy market roof we used to have, so again no good for vintage or furniture stalls or anyone who wants more than a single table top formation.

The doubly unfortunate element to this was that I only found out the market place was closing when it was publicly announced about a week before the August Flea, so I hadn't been kept in the loop at all about the plans.

The refurb had been touted for the start of 2014 so having heard no more, assumed the renovations had been shelved. If I had been kept up to date, then it may have been possible to have made other arrangements given enough notice. My annual insurance also happened to run out the day after the August Flea and without a suitable alternative venue (or full details about the new market)  I haven't been able to renew the insurance without the prospect of a years worth of events ahead. This basically means no more vintage event organising for me, as I'm now uninsured and it's far too expensive to pay for insurance per event if you want to keep stall hire nice and affordable for traders, as I did.

So The Worcester Flea has come to a natural end of sorts, as every other possibility has been a dead end. It's been a super frustrating time but on a positive note, it was nice that the last ever flea was a lovely warm, sunny day, with lots of stalls and lots of visitors. So we definitely went out on a high note!

There's loads more photos from the day (and an archive of the past three years!) in the Facebook album HERE.

I've met some lovely people through doing the Flea for three years and had some good times on the market, thanks to everyone who supported our little monthly vintage event over the years!

So all change and onto pastures new, just not 100% sure what or where that is yet! I'm embracing the chance of a complete change though but it's a bit weird not having any new events in the pipeline after five years of events organising. After all the initial hoo-ha of the Flea ending, I've actually now been appreciating the feeling for once of not having an unending list of jobs to do, plus not having to worry about all the things that were out of my control like the weather!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

A 1940s Fashion Show! **Updated with Video!**

Well hallo there! Just stopping by to mention the 1940s Fashion Show myself and Clare from Second Hand Rose are putting on this Saturday 9th August at Worcester City Museum & Art Gallery on Foregate St.

It's part of the programme of events for our big vintage fashion exhibition Fancy Pants: A Celebration of Style 1920-1945, that's currently on at the museum until Saturday 13th September.

I might even have to make an appearance on the catwalk myself (too scary for words!) as we've got so many great outfits we want to show! We'll have a mix of genuine 1940s pieces plus a few repro bits that look the part. As well as loads of fab clothes, we'll even be doing all the 1940s hairstyles on the models, so we'll definitely have our work cut out prepping everything of the next few days.

If you're local and can come to our free fashion show then please do, thanks!


There's now photos of the outfits we created for the fashion show on our exhibition blog at: and see below for a little edit of just some of the outfits from the show:

Forces TV also found out about the show and came along to film a segment about it. To see that CLICK HERE!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Our Vintage Fashion Exhibition is Finally Open!

I'm super excited to be able to say the vintage fashion exhibition Clare and I curated is now open!

Fancy Pants: A Celebration of Style 1920-1945 runs at Worcester City Museum and Art Gallery until Saturday 13th September! It's a family friendly exhibition for the Summer holidays, so there's dressing up for kids, plus trails and colouring in etc!

It's been a monster of a week working hard to get the exhibition set up and ready for our opening last night. We were so pleased with how it looked and Ron and Vickie from the museum did a great job of building everything we needed and got the lighting perfect!

We've blogged more about the opening night on our exhibition blog at with lots more photos.

We'll have more news from the exhibition and a 1940s fashion show to put on in August, so will reporting back with more news from Fancy Pants soon!

View from the gallery door of the 20s section.

Great crowd for the opening night!

One of the stunners from the 1930s section

Amazing 1920s coat

The Flapper corner!

1930s glamour

Gorgeous shoes and gloves

The 1940s section

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Our Vintage Fashion Exhibition Is Nearly Here!

After months and months of prep and currently being in the midst of one of the busiest few weeks for a long time, the countdown is finally on until our vintage fashion exhibition Fancy Pants: A Celebration of Style 1920 - 1945 opens with a preview cocktail party this Friday evening! We'll be showing friends, family and invitees round the exhibition, accompanied by the Worcester Ukuele Club. 

Since last week Clare and myself have been working in the 'Steward's Chemist Shop' area of Worcester Museum and Art Gallery, prepping the exhibits we've chosen from the County Costume Archive. This is how it looked at the start of the week:

We started the time consuming but satisfying process of steaming and arranging the gorgeous dresses from the 1920s, 30s and 40s and getting them ready for their big moment in the spotlight!

Over the next few days we're setting it all out in the main gallery space and getting ready for the family friendly launch day on Saturday. 

There's more details about the exhibition, background info and behind the scenes over on the exhibition blog at

Will post more photos of the actual exhibition itself once it officially opens on Friday/Saturday. Exciting!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

A Bicycle Basket Bazaar And A New Handmade Project

Last Saturday was the Bicycle Basket Bazaar I organised at the Museum and Art Gallery. The event is one that's taken place around the country and I was given permission to use the name for a one off, non-profit event for Bike Week and to support local, independent traders.

Here's a couple of snaps! There's loads more pics on the Facebook page HERE.

 This was my stall featuring my Pashley and a bunch of the new handmade items I've been working on lately:

Which leads me nicely on to introducing my new handmade project that I've been working on for a few months now! I've started Paper Pigeon Press, a little outlet for making hand printed items. I've hand carved stamps of my own designs, then printed them on various products such as greetings cards, art postcards, tea towels, tote bags, t-shirts and also made some badges from digitised versions of the stamps.

I've started a new blog to house this new project that's more art and design orientated at and have just started a new Etsy shop called The Paper Pigeon Press. I've also a new Instagram HERE.

I'll be adding more items soon and I'm working on new items with fabric block printing and stamping techniques for scarves and headscarves etc.

I've been working on the symbols designs and patterns for a while now and these were originally inspired by my favourite 1930s Fortune Teller's tea cup:

I'm feeling super excited and inspired by this project! I've got lots of ideas for fabrics, patterns, brooches, zines and more.

I'll still be using this blog for all things vintage related such as our upcoming vintage fashion exhibition (more on that v soon!) and the Worcester Flea.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Rose Bowl Flea Market

My brother is lucky enough to live in LA and he's usually super busy writing, producing and playing with his band Deluka (*cough* new EP 'Bonds' out 23rd June!!*cough*) but he recently took time out to visit the famous Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena.

He was kind enough to send me some photos so I could visit vicariously, until such time that I can afford to go over and see it in all its glory for myself.

I've organised a small flea market for the last three years and visited larger ones in the UK, but I can safely say this is unlike anything I have seen/been to -  hello all day sunshine, palm trees and 8km of some seriously good looking old stuff! There's also every likelihood of bumping into a genuine Hollywood film star amongst the moochers, as well as all kinds of Californian characters, so it's great for people watching as well!

Here's the pics, thanks Kris!

One last shameless plug!

Listen to tracks on Soundcloud HERE!

Monday, 26 May 2014

All Change!

I can now reveal some big news that's been under wraps since the start of the year: Second Hand Rose will be closing the doors of its Hopmarket shop in a few weeks to focus on online selling and going mobile!

The shop has been open for 8 years and I've been involved with it for the last 5 years, so it's a big change but definitely the right one at the right time!

I got involved with the shop in 2009 after meeting SHR owner Clare (who's shop was opposite my husband's old skateboard shop) and getting involved with organising the first WAVE Vintage Fair in Worcester. At the time I was a freelance writer and arts author and was organising small exhibitions, but that year two of the magazines I was paid to write for folded and the rotating exhibitions we were putting on came to a natural end.

I decided to use this as an opportunity for a change and as our fairs we're a huge success, I decided to get more involved in vintage events organising and at the same time started helping Clare expand her shop's online presence, which then lead to covering days in the shop. As I'd collected vintage clothing and knick-knacks since my teens, to have the run of a vintage shop was a real treat.

Over the past five years we've been involved in some great events through WAVE and the shop, got up close to the Queen and co-authored a book on vintage fashion with Clare. I also launched my own Worcester Flea three years ago so not bad going!

But after a particularly long Winter, sitting in a shop had lost its appeal for both of us and it was time for a another change. Going mobile means that Clare is free to travel to events up and down the country without worrying about the Hopmarket shop as well, and can just concentrate on online trading. Although I'll no longer officially be involved with Second Hand Rose's new online and mobile format, closing the shop means that I'll be able to join Clare at a few of these fun vintage events now too!

So all in all it's a very positive step and has left me free to pursue other avenues now for myself - more on that in the next instalment.

I'm sure we'll end up organising something new together soon though, so watch this space. Of course we already have our big vintage fashion exhibition coming up in July at Worcester's Museum and Art Gallery, more on that next month!