The Grand Vintage Fair, St Albans.


So since my last post, a lot has happened. Tom & I left our flat in South East London, for a lovely one near St Albans in the county of Hertfordshire. It’s almost a mini “home coming” for me as I spent 3 years, studying at the University of Hertfordshire, in Hatfield.

Now that we are both freelancing, we don’t need to put up with the hustle and bustle of the city and why not try our luck at a more quiet, countryside (ish) kind of living?
We are an easy commute away from London and with trains running pretty much 24h we have the best of both worlds to choose from.

So far we are really pleased with our new place. It’s very spacious, with lots of storage and we’ve already made it super cozy. We are still decorating as we go along and as Tom calls it we are acquiring more “grown-up” furnitures, and thanks Emmaus and Vintage Fairs for that!

On Saturday we attended The Grand Vintage Fair, at the Jubilee Center  in St Albans. It was the kind of fair we had been looking for with lots of real vintage goods. Old clocks, fabrics, vintage clothes and all the charming “bric-à-brac”you’d expect to find in such place.

So here is our haul! 😀

One of the first items that grabbed our attention was this vintage Smith Enfield mantle clock, from circa 1950.
It is such a lovely and good looking object but very delicate. It needs to sit on a steady and stable spot. Our clock has found its place next to our lovely stuffed rabbit just underneath our beloved old school map of the British Isles.

Yesterday we tried to set it up and get the chime to work, but the sound and time were off. Luckily, Tom had another look at it today and now it’s all in tune and in time!

If you are wondering about the sound of the chime, it is actually very pleasant. I was worried that it would get on my nerves very quickly but we fell asleep last night and barely noticed it, and it didn’t wake me up either.img_9916

Next, is this lovely ink bottle. I’m not sure how old it is but the red ink it contained has left a lovely rosy effect on the bottle. What makes it even more charming is the pretty label with the silhouette of a little fairy. We’ve been collecting bottles (thanks to Tom’s mud larking hobby) and already have a range of milk bottles, including one that has an exquisite shimmering blue effect on it. However this little ink bottle is by far our most colourful one and the cutest of them all if I may say!img_9922

We found these French plaques from cattle contests from 1983 and 1961. We are going to have them on display on the walls of our landing area. They are solid, pretty little objects and work well as a pair. I particularly like them because of the writing on them.

This one reads: “Town of Audruicq, 1983. Various Races. Ox with four teeth. Third price.”


This one reads: “Town of Bergues. Rameaux’s Fair 26 of March 1961. Butchery Animal Contest. Nivernais. Female with more than six teeth replaced. Second price.”img_9924

We found this gorgeous green meat grinder, with a wooden handle, and just thought we had to have it. I don’t think we will make much use of it. Tom already had one, which we’ve never used, but I really think they make quirky decorative objects in the kitchen, and now we’ve got two!dscn606020161113_162316.jpg

Below are my very own guilty pleasures!

First of the lot, a bunch of vintage and discontinued modern pieces of fabrics and scraps. They are absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to use them for the dolls!dscn6053 dscn6054dscn6056

Now, these are probably my two favourite finds. An old hand embroidered purse from circa 1960. It looks a bit grimy but a good wash should fix it.Other than that it’s in very good condition. The texture and pattern is so pretty and it’s actually very colourful too. I intend to add a longer chain to use it as an evening handbag rather than a purse. img_20161112_160935.jpg


I also got this lovely compact powder mirror. It is a gold medium size, with hand painted roses and ornaments. I believe it’s from the same period as the purse, if not a little older.
I don’t actually wear make up, if only for a bit of coloured lipstick every new moon (lol) but I like carrying a mirror in my bag even though I don’t make much use of it. I think they are pretty little things to look at and I thought the purse and the mirror made a good combo together.

Luckily the powder had been used and cleaned out, which saved me for doing it myself. Since I don’t intend to refill it I placed a picture of Tom and I on the inside, instead.img_20161113_155442

Michael was a boy who had a clock stand and from whom we bought the mantle clock. He seemed to me to be barely 13 years old, but he displayed such passion and knowledge for such a young man. We enjoyed chatting with him and learning about the history behind each watch and clock he had. He knew an awful lot about them and was clearly highly enthusiastic to share the intricate beauty of clockwork.

I bought this exquisite Swiss, vintage Enicar “ultrasonic” men’s watch.
I fell in love with the patina and signs of wear more than anything but I also love the little red arrow clock hand. I like to watch it race around the clock.
After doing a bit of research I found out that this particular model goes on Ebay for a starting price of £80. I only got mine for £18 but this one is already dear to me and won’t be for sale any time soon! img_20161113_133601.jpg

We also met this couple who live in Limousin, in France. Their stand comprised essentially of French vintage factory worker’s clothing. Rustic items in lovely shades of blues and thick linen and cotton dresses. I got myself a man’s jacket in deep cobalt blue and a light lavender blue apron that has few traces of paint on it. I love it!
I will share those in a later post and how I intend to style them in my everyday style.

All in all, the Grand Vintage Fair was a success for us. We found great stuff, had good homemade food for two for under a tenner and we met lovely passionate people, all that on a rainy day!



3 thoughts on “The Grand Vintage Fair, St Albans.

      • Thanks. 🙂 It’s lovely to read you! (again) I hope you’re good too, and that settling in after the move has been going well. A good vintage fair certainly helps! ❤

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