Monday, 11 November 2013

A day out in Somerset

It was my husband's birthday this weekend.  We planned to visit Shepton Mallet Antiques & Collectables Fair and set out early on Saturday morning, only to hit heavy rain, and then just outside Cardiff, the driver's side windscreen wiper jammed.  We managed to pull over onto a reasonably curvaceous stretch of hard shoulder so wwere even off the hard shoulder, and tried fixing it.  No joy.  We ended up taking an A road up towards the valleys and lurking in a pub car park until the AA came out to try and fix it.  A temporary repair was carried out, and we limped home.

Attempt No. 2 was yesterday, and we made it . . .  Here is the "new" bridge over the Severn into England . . .

Whilst we had an enjoyable day, it was a little disappointing as very few outside stalls set up (who can blame them, after Saturday's weather), and there wasn't the same amount of "house clearance stuff in the back sheds" which we know and love at Builth and which we were hoping to find here.

Back in England!

There were lots of nice little tented stalls to explore - the shabby-chic Country Living look where folk had bought tatty furniture and rendered it even tattier with a layer of Farrow and Ball paint and a rub-back.  And some "fashionable" lamp-shade updates, though tbh, I don't think the sacking look will ever take off . . .

The "country look" was popular and I loved the beautiful wooden mould/spoon? next to the iron.

Then there was the unusual - a vast elephant foot and a very expensive collection of corals (more out of shot).

Some vintage kitchenalia . . .

This was perhaps my favourite stall.  She had a good eye and wonderful displays.

This little Victorian caravan and contents was AMAZING.  I became a child again and wanted to take it all out and play with it.  I didn't dare ask the price.  The little horse that pulled it was gorgeous too, and the stall holder said she had such a soft spot for him, as he had a floppy head where his stuffing had moved (probably into his legs!)  What a unique thing to sell.  Wish I'd found it going cheap!!

Inside the showground buildings (it is a permanent show site for the Bath and West Show) other people had set up their stalls.

And a grander setting . . .

This was another favourite stall, with some interesting kitchenalia.

One of the few things I'd have liked was this painting of a blue roan hunter.  Lots of TB about him and he was obviously someone's pride and joy in the late Victorian period.  Another thing I'd have liked was a lovely Newlyn copper candlestick I saw on another stall (£230 please . . .)

Prices were eye-watering, but we discovered that it is truly an arm and a leg to have a stall here (£300 for the best indoor area and £139 or so for an outside stand).  But people came and bought, and presumably didn't haggle too much.  Don't think we will be doing a stall there as it's too far to go really, for us in far off distant foreign lands . . .

There were a few quilts, but I didn't see any prices . . .

This was pretty but I don't know if it was of any great age.

A modern quilt, but a good display background.

And then we were heading home . . .

Kath - I know, we were so close.  One of these days we will arrange a meet up when we aren't dashing off somewhere else!  Promise : )

Post tomorrow will show the few things we could afford to buy . . .


  1. Looks like you had a nice time in the end. I like the sound of the house clearance bit, I've often found nice bits in house clearance.

  2. I would have enjoyed trolling around these displays--although the prices would have been way over my budget. I love vintage kitchen implements, not so fond of 'shabby chic'--I think its been a bit over-done, peeling paint and all.
    We've done the stuck windshield wiper in a heavy rain bit--scary!

  3. Oh for the days of junk shops where you could pick up so much lovely stuff! I loved that caravan too. I wonder who bought it? x

  4. As I was reading I was thinking, you were only "down the road" from me. Yes we will have that coffee one day LOL
    I did like the textiles, I was very drawn to the stall which you said you liked best. It all looked fascinating. Not for the first time, I wish I was here when the family cleared this house for sale, judging by the lovely things I found in the attic and out buildings.

  5. Lots of interesting stuff, as a miniaturist at one time would have loved that little gypsy caravan. I must admit 'shabby chic' is probably on the way out, just love the idea of 'distressed furniture'....

  6. Wow, you have some of the coolest old things to look at and buy or not buy, but the nostalgia could be overwhelming, no? I love the header picture-so vast and uninhabited and yet cultured or manicured or ... what's the word I want... anyway I love the picture and likely would love the country too. My favorite singer/songwriter for all time is a Welsh lad from Cardiff-Martyn Joseph. Wonderful conscientious songs about the little guys in the world-the miners who were treated so badly, the poor mums who supplement their meager incomes by "working" in London, the war refugees from Bosnia and so many more. Maybe you have a minute to look him up at his site and net and he's on FB and You Tube as well. A super man and a Welshman to boot.